Spoon.net allows you to run a range of browsers that include, different versions of IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari

Content archival and on-line note-creating/sharing tools are growing rapidly across the Net. This edition of NetSpeak takes a quick look at some of the recent entrants in this domain.

Archiving on-line content for accessing at a later stage with ease is essential for anyone doing research with the Net. Generally, archival tools help us obtain web site content — either as a complete web page or specific part of it — and store them under specific topic categories.

Of course, as all the collected information is stored on-line, the archived content can be accessed anytime anywhere. In the past, NetSpeak has discussed several content archival tools such as Diigo, Evernote.

Memonic (http://www. memonic.com/) is another such service recently experimented by this author. Besides helping us archive our data in an easily retrievable fashion, the service allows us to attach notes with each of the items being archived.

Use of Memonic requires no software installation. You just need to use the bookmarklet offered by the service. First, drag the bookmarklet button on to your browser toolbar and make it ‘memonic' ready. Now, whenever you need to capture web content, just click on this button and the service in turn will load all the required tools to capture and archive the web content. In addition to archiving and annotating web content, Memonic enables sharing it with your friends/public.

Besides archiving content from Web, you may need to archive content from other Windows applications (like Word/Excel) as well. Memonic takes care of this need also — for this it offers a client program. The facility to post archival content via e-mail is yet another advantage.

If you are looking for a tool that just allows you to create/archive notes on-line, take a look at the free service Simplenote (http://simplenoteapp.com/). The service lets you generate text-notes and keep them under specific tags/categories. Though the service does not provide any client program to create notes off-line and later upload it to its server, many such tools developed by external developers are in place (such as ResophNotes, available at: http://www.resoph.com/html).

Instead of archiving a web page, you may wish to simply write some comments on it and share with colleagues instantly. For instance, you may come across an article and wish to share some points among team members without taking much trouble and workflow distraction. Such requirements can be easily met with the service, Markup (http://markup.io/). Like Memonic, Markup also offers a bookamarklet to invoke it. This means, first you need to drag the bookmarklet button (via ‘Get Markup') and plant it on the browser toolbar. Once this is done, whenever you come across a web page to be commented and shared immediately, just click on the ‘Markup' button. At this point the service comes live and loads all the tools meant for commenting/sharing. Now click on the drawing tools provided by the service and make your marks/comments on the web page.

To share it with your friends, just click on the ‘Publish' button. Once this is done, the service offers a short URL for accessing this modified page, which can be shared. The advantage here is that the recipient not only views the web page but also takes note of your comments. When the recipient accesses this page, along with it he/she will get a ‘Respond' button, which will help him/her create own markup and share with others.

Spoon browser sandbox

Till a few years ago, for many, a browser means just Internet Explorer (IE). Despite the availability of alternative browsers this was the case for a long time. But things are changing fast.

IE is slowly losing ground and as per this ‘Statcounter' report, its market share has fallen below 50 per cent recently (http://gs.statcounter.com/press/microsoft- internet-explorer-browser-falls-below-50-perc-of-world wide-market-for-first-time).

Though at present a plethora of browser choices are available, one may not have the time or inclination to install/try out all of them. In case, you wish to experience different types of browsers without having to install them, take a look at the browser cloud service offered at Spoon.net (http://www.spoon.net/Browsers/). By just installing a small plug-in, Spoon.net allows you to run a range of browsers that include, different versions of IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari.

Finding software alternatives

Besides the availability of many free products/services, the greatness of the Net is that one can find several alternatives to each of these products.

For instance, Recuva (http://www.piriform.com/recuva) is a free software that helps us recover deleted files. Apart from Recuva, several other file recovery products exist. Of course, finding alternatives to popular programs is not that easy.

The entrance of the service ‘AlternativeTo' (http://alternativeto.net/) makes this process a little easier. In response to a query on alternatives to a specific program, this service attempts to list out products similar to the one being queried. As the listing is based on user recommendations, it conveys the popularity of each of the products as well.

He can be contacted at: jmurali@gmail.com