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Computer Tips and Tricks: A Non-Google Search Approach

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We recently posted a blog about Google and its features, but we also would like you to know that searching is not all about Google. There are plenty of Google alternatives out there in the World Wide Web for you to try out and see where they will take you. Here are a few of them:
  • ASK.COM - a feature-rich search engine and uses "subject-specific popularity". Instead of ordering results simply by popularity, it orders them by "popularity among pages considered to be experts on the topic of your search."
  • DOGPILE - a metasearch engine that fetches results from Google, Yahoo, Windows Live Search, Ask.com, and several other popular search engines.
  • CHACHA - a search engine that pays human "guides" to answer questions for users. A technique knows as social searching. ChaCha lets you talk to a real live professional "guide" who takes your query and returns results made to your specifications. Completely free and can be a lot of fun.
  • QUINTURA - a visual search engine, powered by Yahoo, that has become the first search engine to help visually find web pages, images, video, and Amazon products. The search returns both a list of search results and a tag cloud that contains the original search terms surrounded by related tags. They also have QUINTURA FOR KIDS which is designed specifically for kids.
  • KOSMIX - a topical search engine that is still in beta mode. It conducts searches by category, including these six topics: Health, Video Games, Finance, Travel, US Politics, and Auto. Most of the results were outdated though but in non-timely issues and search terms, like health topics, it is a lot better and included lots of information on prevention, treatment, and risk factors, along with the standard list of search results.
  • STUMBLEUPON - a web browser plugin that gives you thumbs-up/thumbs-down icons in your toolbar allows you to discover and rate webpages, photos, videos, and news articles you come across. As StumbleUpon learns your preferences, it gets better at directing you to stuff you'll like. It is a recommendation system which uses peer and social networking principles.
  • TECHNORATI - a search engine for searching blogs, competing with Google, Yahoo and IceRocket. This blog search service includes plenty of ways to search for the hottest blog content, including a Top Searches list, a list of the most-linked-to blogs, and the music, movies, videos, and games that the most bloggers are linking too. You can sort your results by timeliness or authority.
  • DRAZE METASEARCH - a search engine that lets you collect search results quickly from Google, MSN, and Yahoo. A typical Google-looking page, with a search bar. Yu can also view the results from just one of the search engines, or exclude the results from one. The results page includes a "Peek-a-Boo" feature that gives you full, scrollable page previews, so you don't have to click through to see that a page isn't a helpful.
  • MS. DEWEY - a search engine that has a "flirty" style. It is a Flash-based experimental interface for Windows Live Search. Ms. Dewey is an interactive search assistant who audibly comments on searched keywords in her own style and makes random actions when idle, including taking props from behind her desk. It also features a modern-looking cityscape as a backdrop and the search results appear on the right. If you're a little bored on Google looks, you'll enjoy this one.
  • NETTREKKER - an educational search engine that is aimed at schools and students, and every site that is included in a list of search results has been hand-picked by a staff of educators to ensure safe surfing. A search for "stars" for instance, will include lots of info about constellations and zero about celebrities. The service is not free ($4.95/month), but your kids may have a school login, which they can use at home.

Resources: PCMAG.com, Wikipedia

Keep checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

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