Google Docs

A few years ago, Google began creating a suite of office productivity apps that include a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software. These are online applications that store your files on Google servers and are accessible through a web browser from any computer connected to the Internet. Though nowhere close to having all the bells and whistles of Microsnot’s Office suite, it provides plenty of functionality to create basic documents. You can save (download) documents to your local computer in a variety of formats, e.g. WORD, OpenOffice, pdf, html, rtf to edit in other programs if you desire. Files can also be setup for sharing and collaborative editing by colleagues. Starting this week (and extending over several weeks), Google is rolling out it’s Google Gears implementation of Google docs that will allow offline editing if you’re not connected to the Internet.

As one who works from a variety of different places, I’ve found it very handy. I don’t need the bloatware that WORD has become for most of my needs, especially for note taking (Google Notebook is also good for this) and initial drafts.

If you haven’t checked it out already, see http://docs.google.com/

The suite has gained such popularity that Microsnot has developed a similar product, Office Live Workspace.

Oh, Google’s office suite is free too.

See Earth Online Media post “Google Docs Offline”

For more Google applications see: http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/

Published in: on April 3, 2008 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Geoscience and iTunesU

If you have not checked out iTunesU I suggest you do so. There are several very good podcasts related to topics in geoscience that can be used in your courses if you’re an instructor or provide additional information if you’re a student. Download iTunes for Windoze or OS X, go to the iTunes store, click on the iTunesU link in the upper left corner, and start exploring. The Yale science podcast has some very interesting material. Or check out offerings from PBS, like KQED Science : “Science of Big Waves” or “Earthquakes: Breaking New Ground”. Oh, it’s all free too!

Get iTunes at: http://www.apple.com/itunes/

Published in: on April 2, 2008 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment