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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cool Web Tools Time

It has come to my attention that some people are not aware of three of the coolest web-based tools ever. But first, what makes a cool web tool? It has to meet three criteria for me to consider it cool:

1.) It must be useful for everyday tasks, such that it will be utilized at least once a week.
2.) It must be simple and easy to understand the application for which it is intended.
3.) The website must respond very quickly without nasty, annoying pop-ups. :)

These may only meet two of the criteria for some of you, but I find all three to be extremely useful on a regular basis. So without further ado...

+Babelfish, everyone's favorite translation tool for short snippets of foreign language or complete (often butchered) translations of websites.

+TinyURL, the absolute bestest thing ever for shortening up those dastardly long eBay auction links, Google search links, and web-based catalog links. My good friend Ken sent me a link today that took up a full 6 lines of text in a normal-sized IM window; Trillian didn't like it and did not consider the entire link to be part of the same text string, so I asked Ken to tinyURL it and voilà! problem solved.

+Windows Alt Key Numeric Codes, an absolutely brilliant page courtesy of Penn State University's "Teaching and Learning With Technology" website. Would you like to know how I figured out how to add the à to voilà above? This site explains it all, including how to add letters with symbols, other foreign characters, currency symbols, math symbols, and other punctuation, such as ©, ®, and §. Sure, you could use character map, but why scour through that annoying chart if you don't have to?

I have all three of these tools listed in my links toolbar in Firefox. I suggest you do the same; there is nothing worse in online life than to get stuck trying to figure out how do something so seemingly simple.

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