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Friday, May 19, 2006

PC Magazine's 101 Fabulous Freebies

PC World has announced their 101 Fabulous Freebies. (Hat tip to Jeff Utecht)

Some on the list that I'm already using:

Five on the list that I've got to try:

Hyperwords This Firefox browser plug-in renders any text--on any Web page--clickable. Highlight a word or phrase, and a pop-up menu lets you submit the highlighted text to search engines, reference sites, online merchants, and more.
I think this will help me find resources as I read blogs and am researching.
WriteBoard For collaborative editing, you can't beat WriteBoard. It lets you create, edit, and share documents with others--directly in your browser. You can even compare versions to see changes.
I'd like to see how this compares to writely and how I can potentially use it in my class.

FreeMind Psychologists say that an effective way to take notes is to put them in a Mind Map--a free-form tree structure that mimics the way your brain works. FreeMind does exactly that. It acts like an outliner--except that, instead of working with headings and subheadings, you create nodes and subnodes that branch from a central point. Each node can contain text, pictures, special icons, or colorful formatting. FreeMind is useful for taking notes in class, outlining books, or even planning a route to world domination.
I LOVE mind mapping. I am definitely trying this out as an alternative to my talk and chalk version of mind mapping!
Celestia When the world seems too small after all, launch Celestia. You can zoom through the solar system--and beyond--for real-time or accelerated views of planets, moons, comets, stars, and even the Hubble space telescope. Heavenly!
My son is a budding astronomer, we'll definitely get some learning time out of this over the summer!
Pandora Don't play the same song until you're sick of it. Enter the name of an artist or song you like, and Pandora will create a custom "radio station" for you that plays similar music, right in your browser. This service makes surprisingly good choices, and it uses your feedback to refine them further. And if you get tired of one station, you can just create a new one.
They also have a great roundup of Web-Based E-Mail, Blogging Tools, RSS News Readers, and Video Sharing Services. Keep your mind going and try something new!

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