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TECH TIP:  The New Google Toolbar

 

Toolbars!  Toolbars!  Toolbars!  There are more add-on Microsoft Explorer toolbars than Carter has liver pills (anyone still take those things?)!  Check out this link to read about some of the toolbars that are available:

http://www.masternewmedia.org/2003/07/09/miniguide_of_robin_goods_best_search_toolbars.htm

 

The 3 best toolbars are the Google Toolbar, the Yahoo Toolbar, and the all new MSN Toolbar.  Go to this site to read about these 3 toolbars:

http://www.windowsdevcenter.com/pub/a/windows/2004/08/31/Toolbar.html?page=last&x-order=date

 

In the future, MSN will give Google a serious run for their money – keep an eye on that one.

 

But – which one do I use?  Well, since Google provides around 75% of external referrals for most websites (including our own), that’s the one I use.  To be sure, Google is a great search engine and has a great toolbar – but one which carries some criticism - more about that later.  First we talk about the neat features of the new Google 3.0 Toolbar (the pros). 

 

It has all the features of the previous versions plus some new features. The old features includes:

  • Popup blocker:  This does an effective job helping block most popups.  If you have Windows XP, Service Pack 2, you also have an effective built-in popup blocker.  Between these 2 tools, “popup nausea” is a thing of the past.
  • Word Find and Highlight:  One of my favorite features – when you search for a word or phrase, that word or phrase is highlighted in the pages that Google finds.
  • Google News:  Want quick news headlines – click on the news icon in the toolbar.  There are links to the headlines to the major news websites (CNN, Fox, NY Times, etc).  I like it – it’s fast and concise.
  • Page Rank:  Google ranks the page in importance to your search – it’s their opinion.  I turn this option off – not necessary.
  • Autofill:  Allows you to fill out forms with the click on a button.  Shopping couldn’t be easier.  I turn it off – I don’t want personal information stored on my computer.
  • BlogThis:  Anyone keep a blog.  You can create a webblog post which points to the page you are visiting.  OK – so nobody has a blog – forget it!
    (Here’s an interesting article about weblogging – beware!)
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/01/24/BUGCEAT1I01.DTL

And now – the newest features:

  • Word Translator:  You can place the mouse over a word without clicking and you will get the translation of that word in the language of your choice (Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Korean, maybe a few others).  Could this help me learn a few more Spanish words?
  • Spell Checker:  If you have a form to fill out, you can check the spelling in the form.  Very cool – I can submit my self-evaluation without all the spelling errors!  I turn it off until I need it.
  • AutoLink:  Uh-oh – this one’s a little controversial.  This will add links to the webpage you are viewing – maybe that you don’t want.  I turn this feature off.
  • Auto Update:  Uh-oh – another controversial one.  This will automatically update your Google Toolbar without asking you – and, you can’t turn it off!

 OK – now for the last 2 Uh-oh’s.  There is some controversy about the Autolink and the Auto Update.  It seems that Google is taking some liberties that some do not appreciate.  With Autolink, Google adds some links on a webpage you are viewing to provide you with information they say will be helpful.  For instance, it will add a link to a map for an address on a webpage.  Or a link to Amazon.com for information on purchasing a book that you have done a search on.  Here is a website that will tell you more about this feature.  Remember, I turn this feature off, so it doesn’t bother me.

http://news.com.com/Google+toolbar+move+raises+online+ire/2100-1032_3-5582792.html?tag=st.num

 

And finally, 2 more links for you to read more about the pros and cons – mostly cons here, about the Google Toolbar.

http://www.google-watch.org/toolbar.html

http://www.google-watch.org/bigbro.html

 

Here is Google’s webpage which details the latest-greatest Google Toolbar 3.0 features.

http://www.google.com/support/toolbar?hl=en  

 

Google Toolbar has more pros than cons for me – so I use it.  Decide for yourself!

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Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046

E-Mail:    Marshall Adult Education

HOME | MISSION | SCOPE AND SEQUENCE | STAFF INFORMATION |SITE SCHEDULES | TECHNOLOGY
 WORKFORCE |
BUSINESS CONNECTIONDIRECTORY | GRANTS
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