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Webbased Computer Applications
By: Craig Shipp

It's fun when we can invent a new word that not only has meaning but can truly change our lives for the better. But before I explain the concept of Webbased let's go back in time to our first home computers and why we got computers in the first place. Around 1980 my Dad purchased  an Osborne computer to help support my Mom's growing Real Estate business.

The goal was to use the machine to create a computerized mailing list and print mailing labels so my Mom could keep in regular contact with clients and potential clients. After a lot of programming and trial and error the system actually worked. Our household was in the computer age.

Fast forward more than 25 years and my Dad now 80 years old is still breaking new ground with home computers. Instead of mailing lists his focus now is photos. Specifically, uploading photos from his many travels to flickr (see . flickr is an on-line photo sharing service that hosts your photos on their server in a database. By on-line I mean webbased which means the data which in this case is photos and the associated titles, captions and tags are stored on the flickr servers and NOT your local computer (except if you want to as a backup).

There are several benefits to this arrangement: 1] Photos can easily be shared with family, friends or everyone on the web (you choose which sharing options). 2] You can log into your flickr account from any PC with an Internet connection and no special software is needed on your local computer. 3] If you wish multiple administrators can access your flickr account and share the work load of adding captions and uploading new photos.

By now you might have guessed that flickr is but one example of the trend towards webbased applications. Another great example is GMail. GMail is googles answer to services like hotmail and yahoo mail that paved the way for webbased email solutions. The key to webbased email is the fact that your email stays on the webbased server and is NOT downloaded to your local computer (unless you want to).

With GMail your mail can be organized by adding tags to messages which GMail calls conversations.  You then archive the conversation which is then search-able by keyword or tag. Google also adds to the mix webbased documents and spreadsheets which allows you to store documents that look like they were created by your local word processor but they are all webbased. These documents can then be shared with others and published as a webpage for the world to see. You can even give others permission to edit these on-line documents. And, all of this happens without any special software on your local computer. You simply interface with googles servers via your Internet browser and the magic happens. No software to buy and it's all FREE. Did I say FREE? Is this cool or what?

Cap all this off with a customized google homepage which displays your GMail inbox, To-Do List, Bookmarks, News feeds and lots of other cool stuff and throw in for good measure on-line banking with a linked PayPal account and you're living in a brave new webbased world. Enjoy your new found freedom and control!

Click Here to view AreaGuides Network photos on flickr!

Also visit for cool video content!

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Webbased Computer Applications
By: Craig Shipp
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