Sunday, June 04, 2006

When did Google Eat Everything?

Before I left the states, I'd picked up a new laptop. Since I was leaving my nice sheltered existance in the big corporate world, I thought I'd start checking into some of the open source and freeware alternatives to the big ticket software I've had free access to via MSDN for all these years. So I was installing Open Office, GIMP, Mozilla, etc.

I've definitely become a Firefox convert, but out of everything I tried, the stuff I liked the most were all the new "Web 2.0" applications online. It's nice to be able to keep links, calendars, contacts, etc. in one universally accessible location (some even accessible by mobile phone browser). It's especially nice now that I'm contracting and could be at multiple client sites and multiple computers in a day. Anyway, before I left, here's what I was using: - bookmarks. - task lists, project tracking (mostly trying not to drop the ball on moving and immigration stuff) - calendar - with scheduled iCal export to Mozilla Sunbird and Sunbird Tray notifier. and Evernote - web clipping.
SiteMeter - blog web statistics. - RSS Feeds
Flickr - photos

I've only been offline for two months, but while I was gone, Google grabbed a good chunk of that space.

First was Google Analytics. SiteMeter is good, but the free account has limitations. Google Analytics is completely free, and has some really nice functionality. I think I'll still keep SiteMeter for the individual hit drilldown, but I use GA more now.

Next came Google Calendar. It does everything Hipcal does, plus it has nice integration with GMail. You can't beat the one-click "Add to Calendar" from webmail. Now I just need to figure out how to get SMS reminders working here on the NZ Vodafone network.

After those two, I thought I'd better take a look at the Google labs page and see what they were up to. Sure enough, Google Notebook takes the place of the "scrap book" application I'd been after for months. If you haven't seen Google Notebook or eSnips, check them out. They're a perfect place to store all those critical little things you run across that are gone the next time you need them. Like the forum post on how to get your Uncle Wiggley TV Tuner card to work with GB-PVR or the email address to use to send an SMS message to a Vodafone NZ customer (still looking).

Bloglines seems to be safe for the moment, I can't stand the Google Reader UI. ;-)

Anyway, I'm not complaining, I like most of the Google stuff (blogspot), I'm just hoping they don't get big, fat and complacent (at least not until the next generation of cool stuff comes along).

File Under: Technology,

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