Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Google Pack

Google Pack is a free software package from Google containing the following software:

1. Google Earth: You know... that really cool interactive globe that Google has created? The program allows you to see a satellite image of any place in the world. You simply need to input an address or place and the globe rotates and zooms into the area that you indicated. If you haven't played with this yet, check out your house or workplace, school, or whatever. It sweet.

2. Norton Security Scan: This is a basic security scanner. If you can't afford virus protection software this will help you at least scan and see whether you have an imminent threat. If you don't have anti-virus software, let me know and I will see what I can do... Its important, especially if you have a PC.

3. Spyware Doctor: The Spyware Doctor is also a starter program that scans for problems and fixes most minor issues. If you have a big spyware problem, you may be allowed to fix it only by upgrading. Truthfully, I have used this program many many times and have found it to be quite efficient. I have never been prompted to upgrade.

4. Google Desktop: Google desktop is fun little widget-like program for Windows users. Windows XP already comes with a sidebar which is what Google desktop essentially does. But, if you have XP and want the sleek look of a sidebar, hook it up with Google Desktop.

5. Picasa: this one does stuff with photo organization... I have never used it and don't have much desire to at this point. But, I am sure it is okay.

6. Mozilla Firefox: This is a shareware web browser. Firefox has established itself as a truly wonderful browser over the past years. It has less security weaknesses than Windows Explorer (although this may be a result of the smaller market share it possesses. If you think about it, people that write viruses or try to break into your system through application hacking do so most often through the application that has the greatest market share. It is more likely to be successful in hijacking a computer through the web browser's port by assuming that that computer is using the most common web browser). Anyway, Firefox also allows you to customize it much more than explorer. Pretty much, it does everything Windows Explorer does better and it does more things than what Explorer allows you to do (completely change color scheme, for example). Its cool.

7. Google Photo Screensaver: This is a fun little screensave that allows you to make better picture screensavers from your own photos than the default windows picture screensaver. Its kind of fun to use.

8. Adobe Reader: This is an essential, must have, get it right away, program. You need it to read .pdf files which are rampant over the internet and through business. If you don't have it, you better get it.

9. Google Talk: This is a instant messenger. Not essential.

10. Skype: Pretty cool communication tool (that rhymed). If you don't know much about Skype, it is a instant messenger that allows you to make phone calls through your computer to other skype users for free or allows you to pay a small price to use it as a telephone line, Voice-over-IP style.

11. RealPlayer: yucky... to me, this is as bad as Winamp (sorry winamp and users (all 3 of you) and sorry RealPlayer users, you aren't as bad as Winamp users).

12. Star Office: This one is like Open Office, which was featured in an earlier post. You would do well to use either Star Office or Open Office. They are very similar and both are good.

Here is a link to the download site: Google Pack

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