Technology is growing by leaps and bounds, day by day. But many of us are so engrossed in our daily routine that we fail to notice most of what is happening around us. Its impossible to keep track of everything that is happening. Yet when we come across certain things, we wish that we could have known about this earlier. Tech Talk serves the purpose. No talk about gadgets here.
Originally the idea was to post elaborate details on operating social media like whatsapp, as I came across quite a few people, who did not understand it and were at the mercy of the kids at home. Thats reserved for future posts if I have any takers 🙂 .
For now I am concentrating on the useful websites that I came across, which I felt I could have known earlier. You too never knew them, did you?
Lets get started!!!
1) Search Engines
Immediately Google comes to mind for most of us, as it is the most widely used search engine, followed by Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing . Then there is Russia’s Yandex, China’s Baidu & Newyork based AOL.
In Ask.com you can ask questions and possible answers are provided, with a large list of other related queries. It is popular for accomodating colloquial language.
Dogpile is a metasearch engine which fetches results from other search engines and presents them in a combined form to the user. Apart from these there are numerous other search engines operating all around the world, though some are country or region specific like the japanese goo .
The purpose of touching upon search engines is to introduce these 3 search engines which caught my attention
Ever lost the manual for an important gadget and you don’t know where to look up for it. Here’s Manualslib, the ultimate online manuals collection. The site says it has 2.5 million manuals, relating to 48000 brands uploaded, which are absolutely free to view or download. There is no need for registration. You can choose to either download the entire manual or specific pages that you need. Get it here.
You can also share the documents on social networks, compare specifications of two different products as well as look up troubleshooting.
I came across this some time back and was pleasantly surprised. Two of the websites which I had been closely following are no longer hosted, and I was pretty upset that I lost track of so much valuable content. Come, Wayback machine!
It is a digital archive of the world wide web created by a non profit organisation called the Internet Archive. It is a huge digital library offering free universal access to books, movies, music and billions of archived web pages.
Its software crawls the web and downloads all publicly accessible webpages, creating archives. Data restricted by the publisher or stored in inaccessible databases are not available, but you can find pretty much everything else.
You can use it to view dead websites or dated news reports. You can also use it to view how a particular website looked few years back.
Go to the internet archive’s website, archive.org
In the search bar, type the keywords or the website URL. You can select the name of the site from the search results that appear. When you click on the website, a page appears with black bar graphs showing the years and below that a calender for 12 months.
The black bars show the number of times the page was archived by the wayback machine. When you click on a particular year, the 12 month calender for that year appears.
Click on the colored date to access the website on that particular date. White dates cannot be accessed as it has not been archived on that day. Clicking on a date in August 2000, took me to the website.
So using the wayback machine you can access long lost websites.
Time and again, we come across short links in our mails, social media etc and we dare not to open it fearing a hack or a spam. Unfurlr comes to our rescue. You just need to paste the link in the ‘Check this url’ box and the details of that link are revealed.
Unfurlr is a product of Mailchimp, which is a well known email and marketing services platform. They have a disclaimer which states that this product is in the experimental stage, and that they rely on outside services to give their results.
You can go through their disclaimer for more info. Nevertheless you can use it to get an idea of what is behind the short link, that we come across often. Get unfurlr here.
This is a free secure and temporary messaging service, which does not require registration. On typing in your message, a url is generated. Any recipient receiving the link to this url can access the message. It gets destroyed automatically once it is read.
This service can come in handy when you need to share sensitive details like bank account details, passwords etc, to close friends or relatives. Get it here. For more details, glance through their FAQ section.
6) Pdf drive
This is a vast resource of free e-books in pdf format. Books are sorted under various heads and can be downloaded as a pdf file. For instance browsing under Fiction and Literature, I came across quite a number of Classic books as well as recent ones. There is no limit on downloading, and the site does not contain any ads. Try it here.
7) Radio garden
Radio garden is an online live radio service, featuring radios across the globe. Clicking on the play button on the site opens up a globe with lots of green dots, which indicate the radio stations. By using your mouse control/ fingers, you can move to any part of the globe and listen to the radios available there.
There are another two options – jingles and history. You can listen to jingles by clicking on it, while history lets you listen to specific programmes aired in the past. Get radio garden here.
Cymath provides step by step solution to all kinds of maths problems from algebra to calculus and integration. You have to just choose the topic and type in your problem using the key pad provided. Get it here. It is also available as an app in iOS and android.
9) Coolmath games
This is a very cool site, with lots of brain training activities. They have a number of options to choose from for every age group. You can try your hands at logic games, memory games, puzzles and more. Definitely a fun way to train and exercise our brains. Get it here.
They also have quite a few other maths related sites for primary school kids, parents & teachers which also can be accessed through the above link.
Do check out their coolmath4kids, which teaches the very basic maths to small kids in interesting ways. Added to that are lots of quizzes and games on maths.
10) Math is fun
Still on Maths, this is a very good site for kids to understand the basic maths concepts. It covers all topics right from pre-kg to grade 12.
Everything from counting for kindergarden kids to calculus, probability, permutations for secondary grade kids are explained in an easily understandable way. This one definitely will make kids feel maths is fun. Try it out here.
11) Science for kids
This one deals with Science, Maths and English in a very enjoyable way for elementary and primary kids. There are quite a few experiments and project ideas for kids participating in school exhibitions. Other than that, there are a lot of interesting options to get kids hooked on, like games and quizzes. Explore it here.
12) Scribble maps
With scribble maps you can create your own maps. Using the tool bar provided you can mark pointers, draw or erase lines and do a lot of cool stuff. On the bottom right corner, you have options to view the map in google earth view, street view etc. Though the options are limited in the free version, its more than enough for normal usage. Get it here. You can look up online videos on how to operate it.
Supercook is a recipe search site, which lists out recipes which you can prepare using the things that are available with you. There is huge list of options on the left.
As you select the ingredients that you have on hand, recipes that you can make out of it appear on the right. And you will come across so many new recipes that you haven’t even heard of.
They have a very huge database of recipes and suggested recipes are mostly from very popular sites like allrecipes, food network etc. You can filter your search based on courses, cuisines and diet types.
You can also focus more on some key ingredients. They have a very handy help option at the top right corner, which will guide you on how to go about. Overall it can become your meal planner. Get it here.
14) Eat this much
Welcome your automatic meal planner, eatthismuch. This is an awesome meal planner for any kind of diet. There are a host of options for customisation, once you select your diet. You can also calculate the calories you need for a day, based on the details that you type in.
For this calorie value it suggests a meal plan. You can customise it to any number of meals in a day. If you are not happy with the suggestion, you can regenerate a new meal plan.
And the best part is it gives you the recipe too, with nutrition details. A must try for people looking for easy ways to manage their diet. Get it here
Scratch is a free block based visual programming language, with a huge online community for children primarily in the age group 8-16.
It has been developed by MIT media lab. It teaches kids to program their own interactive stories, games and animations and share them online.
Apart from this, students can use the available programs to learn maths, history and even photography. It also helps teachers to create conceptual and visual lessons.
They even have ScratchJr, for kids in the age group 5-7. Scratch has been translated into more than 70 languages. You can check out their statistics page to get details on how many people are using scratch.
If you are new, get down to the ideas tab where you will find all the tutorials. The explore tab brings up a lot of options for you to get started. Now create your own projects through the create tab. Get scratch here. For more details look up their FAQ section. You can even look up online videos on how to get started.
This is a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes, and patterns, discuss the latest trends and explore colorful articles. You have the option to browse, create colors, palettes, patterns or shapes apart from getting to know the trending patterns and colors.
The palettes give you tons of color combination options, with the hex code and rgb value. They also have useful tools like photocopa, which can extract the colors from a photo uploaded by you. There is also a community with forums, groups and a blog that talks about colors in real life. In short, this site is everything related to color. Look up colourlovers.com .
Aspiring to study in the US? Then a glance at this site is a must. USnews provides up to date information on the best graduate schools in the US, with rankings. Clicking on a university name gives you more details of the university like admission details, academics concentration, cost and career.
They also have write ups on graduate school advice like applying to graduate school, paying for graduate school, information on GRE etc. There is also a section on featured advice dealing with things like ‘what a fellowship is and why it matters’ .
Apart from this, they also have details of top ranking universities around the globe as well as details about online colleges. Visit USnews for a thorough knowledge on graduate education.
18) Young ocean explorers
This is a website by a father-daughter duo from New Zealand. On their mission to inspire kids to love the ocean, they have created an amazing website with cute little high-quality videos that capture the kids’ imagination.
Steve and Riley passionately explore the ocean and give us lots of insights into marine life, strongly emphasizing environmental education. Most of the kids’ crazy questions like “Where do creatures poo in the ocean”? are answered.
Kids will definitely fall in love with the ocean. Have a look at it here.
Do you have a lot of questions in life? Then this is the site for you. Howcast provides lots of short expert hosted videos on all our ‘hows’ under various heads from arts and crafts to parenting and love and relationships. Want to learn ‘how to knit’? or’ how to create a gravity-defying cake? ‘ you have it all here. Get down to the ‘everything on Howcast’ tab in the footer where you can find the list of all videos available on this site. You can learn a lot on this site. Get it here.
Artsonia is the World’s largest student art museum. It’s a free, safe, educational program designed to connect parents and families with their child’s creative activities at school.
Artsonia which was launched in 2000 is now a place where over 8 million pieces of artwork are published every year. Students and teachers can easily create a digital portfolio with student artwork which can then be shared with family and friends.
Parents can also take photos of their child’s artwork and upload it to their child’s online art gallery on Artsonia.com. Once the artwork is published on Artsonia, child artists can enter contests, family members can leave comments for the artist and order keepsakes with their child’s artwork on it. Try it out here
It is also available as an app in Google play and app store.
21) Virtual Musical instruments
This is such a cool site enabling you to learn and play a host of musical instruments like the guitar, drums, piano, etc. No need to download any software. Just click on the musical instrument you want and follow the directions for the keys. Even if you are not trained, you can definitely enjoy playing and creating 🙂 . Get it here.
…to be continued