Fantastic search tips for Google

Fabulous article from PC Plus with these 16 tips for advanced Google Searches:

  1. Use the Google search bar as a dictionary
  2. Check the time in other countries
  3. Universal converter
  4. Calculator
  5. Scientific calculator
  6. Finding MP3s
  7. Retrieve unavailable pages
  8. Find show times for films
  9. Site-specific searching
  10. Carry out a book search
  11. Retrieve old Web pages
  12. Google Experimental search
  13. Better people search
  14. Access the Deep Web
  15. Protect your privacy
  16. Search for videos

Borders Scrap Store website launched

Borders Scrap Store

Late last week the Borders Scrap Store website was finally launched. I had fun designing and building it. Here are a few features that I’m proud about:

Dynamic site on a static host

The site is built using XHTML 1.0 Transitional, CSS 2 and hosted on a static hosting account. In order to allow the staff to update the news section more easily I set up a WordPress account: http://bordersscrapstore.wordpress.com/ and then used the Google AJAX Feed API to pull-in the latest news items into the static HTML page.

There can be a delay of about an hour (or more) before news is updated, because it relies on Google Feedfetcher, which is also used for Google Reader and the Google personalized homepage.

I discovered that a good way to ensure that Feedfetcher was picking up the new feed from the Borders Scrap Store WordPress account was to simply add the feed to my Google Reader account. That way it was in the system and guaranteed that Google will be watching this feed.

Microformats and Google Maps

Other neat features of the site include the use of hCard microformats on the contacts page, and personalized Google Maps.

Microformats are simply ways to mark-up existing XHTML code so that the data can be read equally by humans and machines. This means that on the contacts page if you have a browser add-on, such as Operator for Firefox, then you can automatically import the contact details into your contacts application (such as Microsoft Outlook) without having to manually type in the information.

I used Google Maps to create custom markers for the Selkirk store and Musselburgh store which should make it easier for folks to locate the stores using familiar mapping tools.

Next

I’m already working on my next project: a new website for the Christian Fellowship of Healing.

Synchronizing Outlook with Google Calendar

SyncMyCal

At last! My online experience is now complete. For this afternoon I managed, using the wonders of modern technology, to synchronize my Microsoft Outlook 2003 calendar with my online Google Calendar.

I used the excellently simple SyncMyCal which allows you to synchronize your Google Calendar(s) with either Outlook or Pocket Outlook (on a PDA).

The free version allows you to synchronize appointments for a maximum of only 7 days (3 days in the past, today, and 3 days into the future). The full version (£13.50) allows you to extend your synchronization period AND setup an automatic scheduled sync (the default is every 15 minutes).

It really couldn’t be more simple. Now Jane can really keep an eye on my goings on, because if anything knows what I’m supposed to be doing it’s my Outlook calendar.

Other options

You may be interested, while I was searching for a solution to sync Outlook with Google Calendars these are the three options I looked at (as well as others folks have recommended in the comments):

  • SyncMyCal (Lite for free, or Pro for £13.50)
  • gSyncit (US $9.99)
  • RemoteCalendars (Free OpenSource)
  • Calgoo