Our Generic Blog

May 2009
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Cool Web Sites
Filed under: Computers & Internet
Posted by: site admin @ 5:27 pm

The following links and associated descriptions have been migrated from my first blog (”Cool Web Sites”). I think it makes more sense to post them here.

Paper-wad basketball game

Prepare to become addicted…

Baby Name Wizard

Type in a name and this tool shows you a graph of that name’s popularity (i.e., number of people with that name) since 1880. It’ll get you hooked, especially if you’re expecting and looking for a suitable name for your child.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Pretty much self-explanatory. I set this to my browser home page.

Missing Money?

My cousin turned me on to this. I actually discovered that there is almost $200 of my money that I needed to claim through my state. I just sent in the paperwork. If my cousin had not mentioned this, I never would have known about it. And based on a recent home maintenance issue, it’ll come in handy right now!


I’d heard of this site and even visited it a few times over the past year or so, but I’ve never actually used it yet. However, I keep hearing more and more about it. It’s kind of like a giant classified ad service, but it’s free.

How Rockets Engines Work

Here’s a cool little introduction to how rockets work from the HowStuffWorks.com web site.

Here’s a great sample chapter from a book about spam, viruses, worms, etc.

Using a computer requires a certain level of responsibility, as does anything else, really. Now that computing and the Internet are so pervasive, we all need to avoid the ostrich syndrome. One of the best ways to prevent viruses, worms, spam, adware, and other “malware” is to stay informed. This sample chapter from a book titled “Canning Spam: You’ve Got Mail (That You Don’t Want)”, by Jeremy Poteet, provides some great information, particularly for those who are not computer experts. If you use a computer, you need to read this.

Windows Support Center

This is a great place for lots of details for maintaining your Windows operating system. In particular, look at the information and links for “parasites” - i.e., adware, spyware, scumware, whatever you want to call it.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Information

Identity theft has become a HUGE industry (i.e., multi-billion dollar per year), and it’s not only happening using the Internet. I’d recommend checking out the Federal Trade Commission’s web site for ID theft for general awareness of the problem.

Scams: Spoofing eBay Emails and Website

This site by eBay shows how identity thieves are creating fake emails and fake eBay web site to steal identities and your money.

UNIX tools on a Windows Box

Do you work on a Windows machine, but need UNIX-style tools? Do you port UNIX code into a Windows environment? If so, here are some tools you may want to check out:

MKS Toolkit: www.mkssoftware.com Cygwin: cygwin.com or www.redhat.com/software/cygwin

Urban Legends Reference Pages

Before you forward that next email to your entire distribution list, check to see whether it’s a hoax. The Urban Legends Reference Pages at Snopes.com contains information and research about all kinds of different messages that appear throught the internet on web site and email. Hoaxes are debunked.

Basics of Space Flight

This is a great tutorial covering the broad basics of spaceflight. It was developed for NASA and JPL employees, but has become popular with high school and college students, as well as individuals who just have an interest in space and space flight.

HR Giger - The Official Website

HR Giger is the guy who did the artwork for the alien concept in the Alien movie series. Also, there are currently 2 Giger bars, both in Switzerland. It would be worth going to Switzerland just to go to the Giger Bar in Château St. Germain, Gruyères, Switzerland.

Orbiter - A free space flight simulator

Now this is cool! It’s a free spaceflight simulator that runs under Windows. It’s NOT a game.

Easy Message - the ultra-lite instant messenger for MSN, AOL, ICQ, and Yahoo!

For anyone who uses instant messaging from AOL, Yahoo, ICQ, or MSN, check out this IM application. It can simultaneously log in to multiple accounts in one or more of these different IM systems! Also, it’s only about 240 kB, so it’s not a bloated-code monster.


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