Keeping up with computer and Internet technology can be a Sisyphean endeavor. As soon as you've mastered one piece of software, it's either outdated or upgraded or, worse yet, extinct. And the cycle continues ad infinitum.
It's no wonder that many of us suffer from a condition known as information anxiety in these hyperpaced times. In short, we feel that we can't stay on top of the protean realm of cyberspace. But here's a dose of reality: by using a few choice resources, we can create a collection of Internet bookmarks that will help us monitor technological trends and tools.
Certain Web sites will keep us on the red and serrated edge. Here's a roundup up of the best watering troughs or fuel stops on the Web. The gadgets that these sites serve up will make your life easier and more productive. At a minimum, they'll allow you to scan the environment and watch the horizon.
A goldmine of resources organized in a Yahoo!-like categories. Provides easy access to tools described as "Most Popular," "New Releases" and "Our Picks." Includes features and reviews of specific products, too, as well as a spotlight on a specific product each day.
Internet Product Watch
This Internet watchdog and alerting tool highlights the top 5 products (top 50 if you want to expand the list). Groups products into functional and utilitarian categories such as "communication," "searching" and "networking."
Bored with your browser? Spice up your Web forays with this collection of plug-ins: Flash, Shockwave, Winamp, Adobe Acrobat and so on. All provided by the ubiquitous America Online.
WebAttack (Top 100 Free Downloads)
This "Internet Tool Provider" lives up to its name. These freeware products encompass network security, image editing and more. All gratis.
Offers downloads for different computing platforms, including PC, Mac, and Linux. Highlights a "Program of the Day." Even features an open source office suite from OpenOffice.org.
Web Tools for Educators
A niche site for those in the education profession. Provides educational games, screen savers, lesson plan generators and more.
A reputable technology portal. Features a "free downloads" category. Offers free tools for Web development, mobile devices, Internet tools and more. Also displays lists of most popular tools for each category.
This hub dubs itself as the "source for computing and technology." Its family of related sites includes Download.com. In fact, you may notice some redundancy among the sites. But what's wrong with multiple access points?
Geared mainly towards Information Technology professionals, this site features downloadable white papers, articles and templates.