It wasn't online back then. You had to download the software and run it on your computer. It was always a decent program but I just re-tried it this morning and can report that it's much improved, very intuitive interface. It looks like they're keeping it free by placing ads.
In my experience:
- No diet analysis program is accurate. It's just a gage. Not every 3 inch apple has 8 mg vitamin C.
- Not every person digests, absorbs, and metabolizes nutrients in the same way, to the same degree.
- Nutrient absorption depends on other foods eaten.
It's still worth trying one of these programs at least once. They give you an idea of what foods contain what nutrients. And how a diet you're eating stacks up to a standard - like the DRI's.
Many diet analysis programs, including this one, use the extensive and reliable USDA food database. When I was an undergrad, we had to look up nutrients in tables, giant books of tables that didn't differentiate between say, an apple with skin and without. It was a herculean feat to do an analysis of someone's diet. Good software back then cost about $600-$1000 and was always buggy.1 And it was based on the same USDA values as these free programs. How things have changed.