Good Surprise: Google

Category: By Christian
I was pretty slow to jump on the Google bandwagon, but at this point you might as well consider me to be a certifiable fanboy. What I have come to realize is that Google either invents or acquires some of the coolest stuff on the net. I am currently using three free programs from Google on a regular basis, and I dare say that one of them has pretty much revolutionized my life in cyberspace.

Let's start there, shall we. I have one word for you..."gmail". For years and years and years I used hotmail. It was fine, but when I switched to gmail I became a much better emailer. For one, it groups all of my conversations together, so I don't have to trudge through my entire mailbox to piece together strings of emails and figure out who said what when. Secondly, gmail gives me so much space in my mailbox that I never have to delete ANYTHING. As someone who thrives amid clutter and hates to throw things away, this is truly a blessing. If Google could find some way to invent something that could do for my home what gmail has done for my email, I would be eternally indebted to them. My final plug is that gmail has tons of street cred. It's called gmail, for crying out loud.

Now if you don't want to switch your email address over to emailing heaven, that's fine. It's a lot of work. What I do suggest everyone do is download Picasa. It's Google's free digital photo software, and will do anything the novice photographer needs. We started using it when we got home from Vietnam and were ticked at ourselves for not using it when we were over there. I can email photos with the greatest of ease, and the program even resizes them for me. Plus, it has this sweet feature where I can push one button and it will optimize the lighting in the photo to make it look as good as possible. It's the straight bomb-dizzle. If you want prints of your pics, it also has tons of links to online services. Oh, and if you want to share pics without making prints then you can easily create online albums.

Finally, I have to tell you that Blogger is way better than my previous blogging engine. People who aren't a part of Blogger can now leave comments, and they don't get annoyed with pushy MySpace invitations. It's also visually sharper, and has a similar layout to MS Word. Not only does it have a spell-checker, but it also links to my gmail and picasa accounts. For a minute I started to worry that someone at Google would get power over all of my services and steal my identity. Then I remembered that Google stock trades at something redonkulous like $400/share. Since Google employees probably have numerous shares, I be they aren't interested in stealing money from some poor bloke like myself. My only worry now is that Google will become the so-called "mark of the beast" mentioned in Revelation. That could be a problem.

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