October 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 18)


Strong Points: Useful and free
Weak Points: Will take a bit of adjustment by user

The sort of subtheme for this month’s column is Web 2.0. In case you’ve been on the moon for a past few years you need to be aware that there is a whole class of online applications poised to redefine how you use your computer. Consider, for example, Gmail, which allows users to keep and manage enormous quantities of mail on a Google server. The Google Calendar application does the same thing for calendars, Flickr facilitates organizing of pictures, and Facebook/Myspace allows users to organize their virtual social lives. Now common applications, such as word processors, spreadsheets, graphics programs, and presentation software are all popping up online. The newest of these that I’ve found is Spresent, which is a free, web-based alternative to PowerPoint. Built using Flash, the site requires free registration, but after that, users are off and running. Will web-based presentation software replace PowerPoint? My guess is yes, eventually.

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