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Freebies from the net October 20, 2006

Posted by sumesh in Free, Google Stuffs, Info, Internet.
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      The cyberia is up for a revolution of sorts; the web is becoming more influential and mobile than anytime in the past, with fantabulous new applications, stupendous new programs and services, and out-and-out innovative start-ups popping up on a day-to-day basis.  Proving wrong all the apocalyptic predictions on the burst of dot-com bubble and the Internet, the new ball game is finally conquering the web and the world, and there are many things new under the sun! eek

This site –thoughts INFilo– will be featuring some of these new and U-friendly developments once in a month, in every second-Friday blog, if you will.

In the present blog we will take a look at some of the exciting applications Google launched recently.

***** Google Docs and Spreadsheets is a free, on-line, integrated word processing and spreadsheet program that allows you to collaborate your work with other people and make changes together.  In this integrated file system Docs  has a built-in group editing feature that keeps all the revisions other people have made,  and Spreadsheets has a chat feature that facilitates real-time group editing.

Google Dsp is a simple and extremely useful web based application with great collaboration features.  Google has launched it last week and since then I have been utilising it even for non-collaboration purposes as I don’t have MS office on my main platform (Writely was the earlier version). It is, one could say,  a really smart step for a Web 2.0 platform, one giant leap for netizens.

All that is needed for this app is a Web browser as there’s nothing to download. Files are stored (auto-save) securely on-line (so no power outages and disk space problems) and one can edit it from any comp with a net connection. Also, it has an option that let you save the files to your own comp in different formats.   It accepts most popular file formats-DOC, XLS, ODS, RTF, CSV, etc.  The on-line feature is that it let other people (multiple people) one choose update files instantly from their computers. 

redface  One can utilise this app in a number of creative ways.  One can coordinate teaching assignments, business plan and other group activities.  (I imagine this feature becoming a common teaching/learning aid in the near future.  And computers becoming cheaper as free services like Google DSP, which do not require disk space, are popping up regularly).  One can publish the files as web pages, post them to your blog and control who can see them. 

You may ask why I gave a five star rating to Google Docs & Spreadsheets,which is in beta version now.  The main reason is that it is promising, inspite of its limitations.  As you will see, there are many early-stage omissions, but I hope they are just early-stage omissions.  It will be integrated in full, with Gmail also, soon.  I also guess they have learned lessons from the failure of Google Video, well and were able hit the market of iron where it is red this time. 

So whom are you waiting for.  Go on and try Google Docs and Spreadsheets

See also the following:

***The Google Literacy Project

***/ Google Reader 

***/Gmail  GDisk One can use this facility as 2GB disk (on mail platform at present on Windows machines, but search me).


****Google Co-op (Custom Search Engine) LATEST

Forthcoming: U-friendly browsers & shortcuts