Resource Grabber 1.96

Whether you’re a programmer, web designer, webmaster, or magazine editor, you’ve all spent time searching for images. True? I myself was foolish enough to actually go out and buy one of those 100,000 collections… what a waste of time and money! The newsgroups also seem to be full of people looking for good sources. Well what about looking on your own machine?

Inner Smile’s Resource-Grabber can do just that - and a whole lot more besides. Now before going any further, this product is written by a developer for developers, so isn’t exactly going to be the most polished piece of software right? Wrong - very wrong. This is an excellent, powerful program that can pick out more images and sound resources from your own hard drive than you probably believe exist. Not only that - the features and interface are absolutely first-rate too. Read on…

From the spotlessly-clean installation, you know you’re onto a good thing with this software. Upon starting the program you’re greeted with a fairly simple, intuitive interface - so clear that you can start using the software without so much as a glance at the help file. We did - and scanned our Eudora directory; the whole thing took about 20 seconds, and produced 227 images and sound files! That took us by surprise, so we tried the same thing using the Windows System directory; a staggering 614 images and sounds! Now that made even the most cynical of reviewers sit up!

Okay, pretty impressive so far - but there’s more. Playing around with some of the options that are available lets you configure exactly how you want the software to work. For instance, while it is both useful and ‘morally’ correct to have the copyright warning flash up before each scan, this can become quite tiresome once the point’s been made, and so you can turn it off. In fact, there’s actually very little that you can’t control and/or set to your own preferences. You can choose where the different file types are stored (each can have their own directory), what file types are to be processed, maximum bitmap size, JPG quality… in short just about everything you can think off.

The software also has some extremely useful features built into the processing - icon resources can automatically be converted to bitmap images, and you can even choose a button-like 3D effect to be added to these. One of my personal favourites is the ability to split multi-glyph images into separate symbols, and one of the more useful is the ability to set the program to clear-out all the stored image directories before commencing a new scan, to stop the software hogging your hard drive space.

One other thing - if you choose to scan an individual file or directory, you make your selection from the traditional ‘windows-type’ interface… the nice thing is that when you move the mouse towards the top or bottom of the window, it automatically scrolls the list for you - simple but NICE!

Note: Version 1.99 came out while were reviewing 1.96a, and includes the ability to extract Delphi form images, font resources, string resources, menu definitions and more. One thing that we noticed is that the software can sometimes run reasonably slowly - scan a large directory with subdirectories and you can certainly go and make a coffee (not such a bad thing); scan your whole hard drive and you can go out to buy fresh coffee, and probably pick up a few magazines on the way. When you consider what the software’s actually doing this isn’t so bad at all; just don’t expect to select your directory and instantly have everything finished.

The help file is absolutely excellent - don’t make the mistake of assuming that a developer writing for developers will leave this aspect basic. It’s first rate. Support is available and minor updates are free.

There are obviously copyright and licence issues in using this software; check very carefully before using any of the images in your own work. As long as you’re not treading on any legal toes, this is a mightily impressive program. I personally was somewhat amazed by the sheer quantity of images hidden away on my own hard drive; anyone in constant need of button symbols, icons and other graphical goodies really should have a look at this software. Chances are, there are more lurking than you would believe possible.