Websites Then and Now–Don’t Miss This!

October 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm (Internet surfing, Technology) (, , , , , )

Along with the evolution of Internet and Internet services, the way we make websites has dramatically changed! Where we used to have text, a few colors, and clipart, we now have dynamic graphics, multimedia features, interactive banners, and so much more!

Did you know you can see what websites used to look like? I just discovered this today. Check out the Wayback Machine! How cool is this?

The following pictures were from right around a decade ago. It’s fascinating to see how different they look today! From 1996, here’s MSN.com:

MSN.com 1996

And… Yahoo.com! (or should I say Yahoo! .com…) :-)

Yahoo.com 1996

Isn’t that precious?! And here’s Google.com circa 1998…

Google.com 1998

 

And, I know this is only four years ago… but just think about how much this site has changed!

Facebook.com 2005

Remember when Facebook.com was just for college students?

Check out more great memories at archive.org!

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Mozilla Firefox: The IE Alternative

July 16, 2009 at 2:17 pm (Internet surfing) (, , , , , , )

Mozilla Firefox is the second most popular web browser for Internet services, next to Microsoft Internet Explorer. Mozilla was one of the first companies to implement tabbed browsing, which is now standard for all Internet browsers. Their browser is free to download and compatible to Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. Firefox is also an open source software, meaning their engineering is available to anyone to be improved or borrowed to make other products. Google’s new browser, Chrome, was based off of multiple Firefox features, and Google openly credits Firefox for their ideas.

There are a variety of features started by Firefox that are now used on other browsers. The “Session restore” feature allows you to go back to the sites you were visiting in the event of Firefox or your computer unexpectedly crashing or closing. Bookmarking, similar to “Favorites”, can be done with one click on the star icon in the address bar to save the current page to view again later.

Firefox also has several unique features: The “Password Manager” offers to remember (or never remember) password information that you are entering on a website. Instead of an intrusive window popping up in the middle of the screen, this feature displays just under the toolbars and can easily ignored if you don’t want to specify how to handle the password information.

Downloading is simple and convenient on Firefox. When you click on a link to download, you will see the Download Manager window, showing the name and progress, as well as the option to pause or cancel the download. Once the download process is complete, just double click the file to open it, instead of trying to find it on your computer.

Firefox may very well be the king of customization with over 6,000 customization options—and counting! These vary from necessary add-ons that help you view certain webpages and applications, to personas and skins tailored to your personality and interests. Here are a few examples:

  • The Minimap Sidebar shows the location of any address by drag and dropping from websites or manually entering an address. You can then get directions with Google, Yahoo, or Live Local. Address are automatically saved for future reference.

  • AnyColor allows you to customize your web browser frame and options window to your favorite color.

  • Speed Dial lets you preset 9 websites of your choice to one-click access them from blank new windows or tabs.

  • Lazarus: Form Recovery saves all the data you type in forms online in the event of a crash. You can simply return to the form, right click, and “recover form” to restore all your information.

Being able to create a browser that is just right for you is easy with Firefox’s many add-ons. For example, the new and improved Internet Explorer 8 has many of the same features, but with Firefox, you can choose only the features that you will use.

Firefox continually looks for ways to make a better browser. The latest version, Firefox 3.5, is faster and safer than previous versions with new technology and better handling of your computer’s memory. It also now has the “Private Browsing” option, like other browsers, which allows you to surf the web without saving any cookies, history, or files on your computer. To read more about the security and speed features, see all the available add-ons, and read more about Firefox 3.5, check out firefox.com.

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Optimizing Your Search Engine Experience With Google

June 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm (Internet surfing) (, , , , , )

Google has become a widely popular and prominent authority in the search engine world. Finding the right website for many topics is relatively easy on Google, but sometimes a simple keyword search doesn’t bring the answer right away. Obscure topics, past events, and genre-specific searches sometimes take a little more effort. Google has additional features that you may find helpful for your extensive research.

Google shows the most popular ways to refine your search at the top of the page, such as Images, Maps, and Shopping. If you click on “more”, you’ll see some additional queries that may interest you, such as Finance or Blogs. The “even more>>” link will display all of the search options and special features Google offers. Each item has a short description if you are not familiar with these features.

Suppose you want to research a certain topic with which you are unfamiliar and which has many subtopics and fields you want to explore. At the top of the results listed for your search query, you will see the “Show options…” link. This displays a sidebar to the left with additional search tools.

In the first section you can view videos, forums or reviews of your topic. You can specify when the page was added/updated in the next section for results with recent articles. The third section changes how the view of the search results to show pictures or more text to determine if you want to peruse that website further.

The fourth section shows four more research tools: “Related searches” show common topics related to your search. The “Wonder wheel” shows related topics on spokes with your topic in the center. For example, if you’re searching for “apples”, the wonder wheel shows “apples nutrition” and “apple types”. If you click on a sub category, it becomes the main category and shows more subheadings. Clicking on “apple types” brings up “apple varieties baking” and “sweet apple varieties”. When you find the topic you’re looking for, switch back to standard view to see websites from this topic.

Lastly, Timeline shows the popularity of your topic over time and shows select search results in chronological order. You can also click on parts of the time line to get month to month results from a certain year, etc. The earliest results show excerpts from books written in the first millennium.

With all of these handy features, there’s little question why Google has become a name brand for search engines. Try it out and experience the world of Google search at its finest.

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