Friday, April 13, 2007

Inspector Gadget

In surfing the web, one finds incredible tools to do unbelievable stuff for free. For starters, Google Docs gives everyone online ability to do most of the functions of MS Office, something very powerful when needing to write, distribute and store content free from the constraints of location and money (does PDF conversions as well). Get an account at Google and you're done. Zoho is another resource that does the same thing but adds a plethora of other cool applications including Wikis, Chat, Database and Creator.
For doing online research, Zotero's the one as it's "a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. " It also connects to Word to do the same drill.
For visualizing data, Many Eyes does the deed indeed. While you are at it, check out THE BEST tutorial on an app here! IBM has a winner on it's hands for sure.
For Semantics, MIT's Simile simply rocks. A link to this site showing the benefits of Time Line has been posted before but every time anyone goes there, something new appears.
For RSS, Attensa has a very nice free aggregator that works with Outlook (I know, I know) and Firefox. It ranks and categorizes feeds in elegant fashion.
For out of this world stuff, wikisky will kill time and educate you while doing it.
Last but not least, go to Refdesk to access more apps than God for everything from architecture to zoology. I use this as a home page to keep me in touch with the world.
This is just a very short list of what's out there for doing serious work at no cost save the price of web connects and a computer. Open source rules and the fruits of this disruptive tech is there for the picking.

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