About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

March 20, 2012


Well I have been given a "fan-boy" title.  Since I have been writing about Google’s many products and features for a few weeks I was emailed recently and asked why I was such a Google Fanboy. 

I have used that term before (re: Apple) so figured this time I would look it up and online at Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.  MW said that a fanboy is a boy who is an enthusiastic devotee (as of comics or movies).  OK, I agree I am an enthusiastic devotee of Google and I sometimes wish I were a boy, so "sticks and stones…"  One very interesting thing I found was that the term was first used in 1919.  I wonder what they were fanboys of in those days… possibly the Treaty of Versailles or Lady Astor? 

OK, on to my next "fanboy" item.  Google has created a neat place to keep track of all the latest news, sports, weather, emails and on-and-on.  If you are a Gmail account owner you get this free and can customize it the way you like.  This "place" is called iGoogle (

Go to the site and if you aren’t already logged into your Gmail, log into the site with your Gmail username/email address and password. 

Once logged into your account you get a default setting of iGoogle.  This default changes from time-to-time.  Today I saw four "gadgets"; the Weather for Chicago, current date and time, YouTube Spotlight Videos and CNN’s top stories.  These can all be edited, removed or rearranged on the page.  For instance you could change it from Chicago weather to your local zip code to get current weather happenings.

The Hamster GadgetGadgets are mini windows made by Google users which offer active content and can be placed on your iGoogle page.  They may be placed on any page you own.  Beware!  This is for the more adventurous only!  Check out for samples.

Ron's iGoogle My iGoogle page contains eight gadgets I like.  First is Google Latitude which shows all of my friends’ locations in Google maps if they choose to reveal them to me.  Next is a gadget showing my Gmail, followed by my calendar, RSS news feeds, local weather, movies currently running at my local theaters (with times, etc.), FOX News and last a How to of the Day. 

You can choose from thousands of different gadgets and take that literally…there are currently over 280,000 of them.  To install one you click the gadget link on your page, find one in the new window, open and click Install.  That’s all there is to it.

Now let’s get real, many of them are time wasters like adding a hamster on a wheel to your page or a spider that follows your cursor around. I just have to ask, why?   However, some of them are very beneficial for personal or business uses.

Set up your own iGoogle page and let me know which gadgets you like.

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