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It's becoming increasingly clear that good ol' Google is becoming - has become? - the Web 2.0 mothership. And for good reason - the company is doing a great job of bringing the power and promise of Web 2.0 to the world. Here are some tips to make the best of iGoogle, your personal Google homepage.
GMAIL GALORE Configure Gmail to check mail from all your other POP email accounts (Gmail/Settings/Accounts). You can check up to five other email accounts through Gmail, and respond using any of your email addresses. If you download the Google Notifier for Mac (free), an alert that includes the sender and the subject line will flash in your menubar whenever you get a new message.
BEEF UP GOOGLE CALENDAR Google's calendar doesn't let you track tasks, but you can add a to-do list to your homepage. Remember the Milk (free) lets you organize tasks by project name; search, group, and share task lists; and create "smart lists" for planning future projects that don't have any to-dos associated with them yet. After you sign up, set up your lists, then go to Remember the Milk's Help section to download the Google homepage gadget and display your to-do list on your homepage. Also grab the Quick Add bookmark, which allows you to add tasks to your to-do list with one click.
INSPECTOR GADGET There are more than 25,000 Google Gadgets that you can add to your iGoogle homepage. If you want to add lots of Gadgets to your homepage, click on Add a Tab to create new pages. You can put all your RSS feeds onto one page, your Google documents onto another, your games and amusements on yet another - and keep your primary home page clear of clutter.
You don't need to be a programmer to make your own Google gadgets. Go to Add Stuff, click on the Gadget Maker service, and choose a gadget to modify. Among the roll-your-own Gadgets are ones that let you display photos or videos, create a mini mood blog, count down the days until a certain event, send greetings, and much more. You can share your Gadgets with friends and family or the whole world.
UP LATE? Check your iGoogle page at exactly 3:14 a.m. and you’ll see something interesting. In the Cityscape theme, UFOs show up and abduct people, a sea monster surfaces in the Beach theme, and ancestral ghosts manifest in the Tea House. Each of the themes except Classic has its own 3:14 surprise.
During the day, the tea house is a sunny, happy place.
At 3:14 a.m., the sky darkens and ancestral ghosts appear on the surface of the lake.