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Location: Austin, Texas, United States

I'm a software engineer / partner working for a young company in Austin, Texas, USA. I spend most of my free time hanging out with friends and family, eating out, and partying in the Warehouse District. I should spend more time working on my house....

Friday, February 18, 2005

Great Google tools

I have been playing with two new tools from the guys a Google and decided I should mention their usefulness.

First, Picasa. Picasa is digital image editing tool. Like most image editing tools it lets you adjust color balance, contrast, etc, but Picasa does a much better job at this than most tools. For instance their red eye remover, although not perfect everytime, is the best I have ever used. I use this function very often thanks to my over dialated pupils and Picasa returns my eyes to a natural look. Also, their automated fixes (Auto Contrast, Auto Color, and I'm feeling lucky) are great. The interface is easy to use and very intuitive. Take the tour and learn about all of the cool features. The best part, the software is FREE. Download Picasa and try it out.

The other cool google tool is Google Maps. Much like Mapquest and Yahoo! Maps, you enter an address and it generates a image of the location. But the Google guys added some very nice features. The best being that you don't need to use the silly arrows to move around the map space. You can simply left-click on the photo and 'move' in the mapspace much like you would drag an icon across your screen. If you move very quickly it may take a few seconds for the service to catch up with you and generate the map, but it is pretty quick and very useful. Additionally Google maps combines some of the great google search tools to allow you to look for, say, coffeeshops in the area you are viewing. Just type in 'coffeeshop in Austin Texas' and icons pop up on the map showing you where local coffee shops can be found. Lots of other interesting features are mentioned in the tour.

If these aren't enough for you you might be interested in some of the other Google Software Downloads. You might also be interested in their other Services and Tools.


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