Almost daily, I happen upon new and exciting Web sites either by chance
or, most often, by word of mouth.
While my list of bookmarks is constantly evolving, I have a handful
of Internet addresses that enjoy "most favored Web site" status and have
graduated to their own buttons on my Netscape personal toolbar.
Search.com (www.search.com) claims
the premier position of my Opening Home Page. You have to start somewhere
when you log onto the web, and Search.com offers as good a starting point
as any others that I've tried. The page loads quickly and provides categorical
search options as well as specific searches utilizing eight of the Web's
most popular search engines.
From Search.com's opening page you can also dig for phone numbers, street
e-mail addresses, maps and stock quotes. The interface is clean and
there's a minimum of advertising and clutter. To set or modify your own
starting home page, edit your preferences in your browser application.
ZD Net's Webopedia (www.zdwebopedia.com)
is an excellent way to keep on top of the ever-changing terminology in
the Information Age. This site offers a detailed glossary of computer terms
and "New Terms" are added daily so you're not caught off-guard when someone
asks, "So how 'bout that new 'Merced' chip?"
In the same vein, C/Net's Computers.com (www.computers.com)
is a comprehensive site for those who are in the market for new computer
hardware and want to do some comparison-shopping for the latest products.
This is a great starting point for gathering information and establishing
a budget for that new PC. Product reviews and evaluations are included
as well at this location.
For researching more general, academic-type topics, Encyclopedia Britannica
Online (www.eb.com) is a premier, first-class
This is a subscription Web site, but it's well worth the $8.50 per monthly
fee for researching school projects. This site includes photos, graphics,
maps, flags, and special topics such as the Britannica guide to Nobel prizes.
The "Week in Review" feature spotlights weekly news events, then provides
the related background and historical links for a better understanding
of current events. This month-to-month subscription would make a great
Christmas gift for families with school-age children.
You'll probably be surprised to learn that the CIA (http://www.odci.gov/cia/)
provides an excellent site for researching world facts. Yep, the Central
Intelligence Agency has a great Web site that features the World Factbook
as one if its most extensive publications online. Every imaginable bit
of trivia about countries around the world is archived at this site.
And speaking of your tax dollars at work, you'll find the U.S. State
Department (www.state.gov/) also has
a very extensive website covering current events, for instance, Secretary
of State Madeline Albright's travels and also updated historical information
such as New Independent States of the former USSR.
The State Department also maintains a comprehensive Web site relating
to world travel (http://travel.state.gov/).
Here you'll find travel warnings, travel publications, passport information
and details regarding unique topics such as international adoptions and
International Parental Child Abductions.
As long as we're talking travel, you'll enjoy both Travelocity (www.travelocity.com/)
and American Airlines (www.americanair.com)
for researching everything from airline flights, to hotels and even find
gate locations and arrival times for specific flights. These are both all-inclusive
Web sites that allow you to actually make travel reservations online.
The most recent addition to my bookmarks is the AT&T Messaging Center
(www.mobile.att.net). From this
Web site you can send a text message to an AT&T digital phone, anywhere
in the world, utilizing the Internet network. It's pretty amazing, but
it works and it's a free service to all AT&T digital customers.
To set up or edit your own bookmarks in Netscape, click Bookmarks from
the Netscape menu bar or toolbar. In Microsoft Explorer click "Add to Favorites"
to create your own list of favorite places.
To share your bookmarks or favorite places with a friend, save the list
to a floppy disk using the Save As command in Netscape or the Send to Floppy
command from Explorer. The bookmarks can then be easily transferred to
another computer or sent as an e-mail attachment to friends far away.
Catalog those great sites when you find them and share the wealth with
others. There's an abundance of excellent information to be discovered
on the Net.