iGoogle, therefore I am

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

Elton John might want it shut down but the internet is just too useful to fall prey to an aging pop diva.

The lovely Sir Elton

One of the most useful internet entities is, of course, Google. I was at a meeting last week when the subject of iGoogle came up and from the surprised looks it was obvious that there are still a lot of net users who haven’t discovered the joy of customising via Google.

With iGoogle, all you need is a Gmail account and you’re set. And who wouldn’t want a Gmail account with all that lovely storage space and fast loading? If you haven’t already got a Gmail account, point your browser to Gmail and sign up for what is probably the best online mail system you’re likely to find.

Then, you can go to iGoogle, sign in and start customising. Google and other clever little individuals have been busy creating widgets, gadgets and feeds to give you everything you could possibly want. There are metric converters, dictionaries, world clocks, world weather, news feed, wandering ladybugs and more.

You can choose what components you want to add and move them into the order you want them.

We have a friend currently holidaying in Dubai so we can keep track of the weather (the forecast is for a low of 33degC today), the time and even whether or not he’s sent us an e-mail through the integrated link to our Gmail inbox.

Speaking of weather, if you fancy yourself as a bit of an amateur meteorologist, how about having a crack at making your own weather station? You’ll find all the info on what to do and how to do it at the Franklin Institute.

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