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October 19, 2005

Best Web-Based Periodic Table of the Elements

by @ 9:30 pm. Filed under Hardware, technology

For all your periodic table of the elements needs.

Okay, this might be kind of specialized, but I just had to include it because it's so nicely implemented. I guess the only way to describe it is that it's the nicest and potentially most useful periodic table of the elements I've ever seen.

Best Free Web-Based Dictionary Application - ObjectGraph Dictionary

by @ 9:29 pm. Filed under Hardware, technology

I need to be clear about this. This is by no means the best online dictionary. It's the best, most user-friendly, dictionary application. For more authoritative word definitions, go to Merriam-Webster or Dictionary.com, both of which are great resources.

ObjectGraph Dictionary makes the list because it acts the most like a paper dictionary, only a lot faster. It uses the type-ahead technique, which Google made famous with Google Suggest. I found it interesting when used by Google, but ideal when used by a dictionary. If you haven't seen this type of application yet, prepare to be impressed.

Best Free Web-Based Spell Checker - Primal Grasp - broken-notebook

by @ 9:29 pm. Filed under Hardware, technology

These two spell-checking applications look almost exactly the same. So much so, that I wonder if they are the same code. Broken-notebook has a listing on sourceforge, so I'm inclined to think it must be the original.

In any event, these simple, online utilities act and feel very similar to using spell-check in a word professor. Type your text in the box. Click "check spelling", and misspelled words are underlined in red. Click on the red words, and alternative solutions appear, nice and neat.

Best Free Web-Based Mapping Application - GoogleMaps (Google Local)

by @ 9:25 pm. Filed under Hardware, technology

I have to admit. I feel a little sorry for MapQuest. For years, it dominated the online map niche. They were true innovators, and are probably the single most important reason I haven't bought a paper map in many years. You might not be aware, but most alternatives, like Yahoo! Maps, actually licensed and re-branded MapQuest.

I have now completely abandoned MapQuest in favor of Google Maps.

GMail might be the application that precipitated the current onrush of AJAX applications, but GoogleMaps is the most universally useful. GMail is great and everything, but you can still use email without it. There is no real web-based alternative to GoogleMaps. There have been a couple companies that achieved a similar interface by using Java, even before Google, but they're slow-to-load and more kludgy.

In GoogleMaps, Google achieved what most believed impossible, a quick, responsive, mapping application that lets you quickly drag your way around the map, zoom in or out, overlay satellite photos, use plain-speech address searching. All in your browser.

Recently, GoogleMaps has integrated with Google Local. This is a very good thing. You can easily search for businesses in a particular area like "dog groomers in eastern Tuscaloosa". This comes as great news for all those eastern Tuscaloosa dog groomers.

New Category! Best Free Web-Based Informational / Educational Applications

by @ 9:23 pm. Filed under Hardware, technology
Absolutely Free Software -
Best Free Web-Based Informational / Educational Applications