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Old 11th Jul 2006, 10:51   #8 (permalink)
OverRun
Prof. Airport Engineer
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Australia (mostly)
Posts: 726
SEARCHING TECH LOG (or any PPRuNe) - UPDATED NOV 2011

One of the great strengths of Tech Log is that it is an ever-growing repository of knowledge which can be searched. The search function is not completely friendly, so here is how to get the best out of it. The latest version of vBulletin software has a different set of rules for searching, and so this post has been amended and updated:

1. Click on search on the top menu, then click on advanced search on the drop-down menu (since the default for a normal search is to search only the very recent posts).
2. Change the 'find posts from' to an appropriate time span - I use 'a month ago' and 'older' for instance. Default is very recent posts. (You can save your preferences by the way, at the bottom of the screen).
3. Use several keywords to limit the search results. With only a single keyword there are potentially thousands of results but since there is a limit of +/- 400 posts in the search response, many won't be listed and will be discarded, and the results may not be much use. Typically the oldest posts get left out. It looks like the limit is one of 19 pages of responses.
4. To search with more than one keyword, the search phrase is a bit specific. So if I was chasing up discussion on brake cooling during turnarounds and whether the brakes should be released to aid cooling, my search would be looking for brakes cooling and release. I would use:

RIGHT WAY(S)
brakes cooling release
brakes AND cooling AND release

WRONG WAY
brakes +cooling +release

5. To search with one keyword excluded, say my search was looking for brakes without any discussion on fires, I would use:

RIGHT WAY
brakes -fires

WRONG WAY
brakes NOT fires

6. Check the number of results you've got. It should be less than say 25 or even 50 (well maybe 100 if the term is common). If the results are somewhere near 400, then you have hit the limit and an unknown number of posts have been discarded. The latest vBulletin version just stops searching, but doesn't tell you that it has. It looks like the limit is one of 19 pages of responses. Take a look at the last page of your search responses - if the posts are dated in the last year or two, then clearly a lot of the earlier posts have been missed.

Rephrase your search, or limit the forums you are searching, or put in date limits, etc.
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