Friday, June 22, 2007

101 Really Useful Websites

Let's just see how useful they are...

Here is just a selection, see the complete list on The Independent

Compiled by Rebecca Armstrong, Rhodri Marsden, Abigail Outhwaite and Jimmy Lee Shreeve
Published: 11 June 2007

Spring cleaning tips and tricks all the year round. You'll find gems like using soap and vinegar to clean wood, and a simple way to brighten up gold - a dab of handwashing soap on a toothbrush. There's a list of cleaning providers, and a discussion forum.

Find a restaurant, takeaway or pub anywhere in Britain. Just insert a postcode and you'll get results to suit your tastes. Select whether you want to eat French, American, Chinese, Thai, Indian, seafood or vegetarian and you'll get full details of the establishment, with a handy Google Map.

If you try and send anonymous text or email messages, you'll usually leave some kind of trace. But not with Sharpmail: it's been used by friends to bring together the love-lorn but shy, by parents sending messages to children at Christmas time, and - no doubt - a host of far less innocent pranks.

Provides a hand-picked selection of cultural events in UK and US cities. Content comes from local editors and writers.

Whenever you have to fill in your email address as part of an online signup process, Emailias lets you create a new, temporary address which automatically forwards the mail to your normal address. Then, if you start getting marketing messages or spam, you'll know how your address was obtained, and you'll be able to cancel that temporary address.

"Video says it better", says the strapline at If you're tooled up with a microphone and/or a webcam, you can use its service to send voice or video greetings free via the net, rather than spending precious time wrestling with a Qwerty keyboard and subsequently spellchecking your emails.

Guide from Washington University on dressing for interviews. Has photos of men and women looking good and bad, and somewhere in between, and advice on whether to wear a tie. It even includes employers' comments. One accounting firm describes a guy wearing dark trousers, shirt and tie, but no jacket, as "a little electronic store salesman looking".

The National Parks are featured strongly on this resource for walkers but you'll also find guides to great walks in the West Country and other parts of Britain. Has info on where to stay and an online forum to share the walks you've discovered. Also included is a guide for newbie walkers, detailing the gear you need, how far to go, and where to go.

Find out the difference is between Scotch single malt and Irish whiskey. Discover other bourbons besides Jack Daniels, including Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace and Elijah Craig. There's also extensive tasting notes from connoisseurs of the golden brew, giving you an excellent idea of what to expect.

Lots of useful info for keeping your PC running smoothly. There's detailed instructions on how to defragment your hard drive, a must to keep your machine running fast. Plus handy tips and tricks for FireFox, Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, along with game cheats for Tomb Raider, Delta Force and Battlezone.

Got a problem and need an answer? Log on to this community weblog, post your poser then await advice from the "hive mind". Current topics awaiting advice include what to do when a Mac shows the "blue screen of death", what financial aid is available to students and why cats follow you into the bathroom.

Stuck for what to have for dinner? Don't feel like going out? This site has 40,000 free recipes, all created, tested, reviewed and approved by home cooks. There's even step-by-step videos.

Trying to send holiday snaps or music files by email can fail if your mail server rejects the message for being too large. YouSendIt's free service allows you to upload files of up to 100Mb, and sends a link to the intended recipient.

This site keeps a database of wireless hotspots in all areas of the UK, and whether they're free or subscription-based.

Add Imified to your friends/buddy list, and you can set yourself reminders, add diary appointments, post to your blog and all manner of other things.

Spinvox's technology converts voicemails and memos into text messages or emails, with surprising accuracy. Set up your mobile to receive voicemails as texts, and, if you hate texting, you can let Spinvox send spoken messages out as SMS or email memos.

Getting pictures and or videos off your phone and uploaded to a destination was laborious - until Shozu came along. It enables you to upload images to various online destinations including Flickr and YouTube.

List your favourite bands, films and actors to receive a network of recommendations based on these preferences.

Fill in your likes and dislikes and this will notify you when your favourite band is coming to town, lets you know what's happening where you live today, this week, or this month, and you can share these events with your friends on your viewable calendar.

This mail-forwarding provides you with a unique American address so that the US sites can send your goods to Myus, and Myus sends them to you. It's that simple.

Keeping on top of trojans, viruses and worms can be tricky. This site keeps a rolling update of all the current threats, as well as links to the latest versions of the AVG suite of protection software. All software is free.

Back up mobile numbers for free on this simple-to-use site.

This award-winning free site gives you access to McAfee's massive database and offers automatic alerts to sites that use or have links to spyware, adware, spam, viruses, scams and other high tech horrors.

In this digital era, it's all too easy to leave photos to rot on a memory card rather than printing them out. This online lab prints out your pictures from just 5p and posts them out on the same day.

This online parking marketplace will help you find a spot, whether it's a garage or unused parking space. You can also list any spare parking you have available for rent.

Type in your destination and setting off point and Skyscanner will come up with as many options as possible on your desired date of departure. And show you how much your chosen trip will cost.

A cashback website that pays its members a percentage of money earned when they purchase goods and services through the links on the site. Start getting paid from the minute you sign up.

A free online file conversion site that works for hundreds of formats - ideal if you're awash with different file formats. Easier than conversion software.

Oxford University Press experts offer advice on grammar and English usage. Ask what comes after once, twice, thrice... Or a word like "siblings" for nieces and nephews.

If you're finding the cost of sending text messages to be a crippling drain on your meagre resources, this site allows you to send texts to any UK mobile phone number for free. No limits on the number of messages you can send - but remember to include your name in the message, otherwise the recepient won't know who it's from.

Are you keen on instant messaging, but frustrated that Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL all require you to have different bits of software running in order to keep in touch with people? rolls all these services and more into one application that runs inside a browser window and that you can use on public computers.


The ultimate boredom-busting site that lists thousands and thousands of events in the UK and worldwide. Search by date, country, region and type of event to find a dream day out anywhere in the world. Free, fast and simple to navigate.

If you use VOIP applications - such as Skype, and MSN - to chat to people using your computer, offers a client you can install on your mobile phone; this allows you to talk to people around the world via your handset for free or at substantially reduced rates.

Most modern mobile phones have the facility to send email messages, but setting it all up can involve intensive fiddling and hours spent on the phone to technical support. sms2email offer a solution in their suite of services: simply text the email address and message to 07766 404 142, and they'll take care of the rest.

Instead of picking up the phone to make an international call at eye-watering cost, just go to a website, type in the phone number and chat for free. And it works on any computer, private or public. You're limited to 10 free minutes a day if you're not a member, but signing up gives you a wealth of extra features.

Covers everything from creating a home office to how mortgages work, along with solving such quandaries as whether antibacterial soap is any better than regular soap. Also lists essential gadgets and how to get the most from your digital camera. Plus fascinating, but less practical topics, such as how Black Hawk helicopters work.

Download subway maps onto your iPod - everywhere from London, New York and Paris to Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo. Set up by a designer who says: "I thought the idea of putting my subway map onto my iPod was cool. Why should I keep it all to myself? If it's helpful to me, then why not to the rest of you?"

You can help the Sichuan earthquake victims today by

here, the money goes into purchasing water purification tablets.

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