Google's iGoogle Page
One of my favorite free Google services is iGoogle. It is the home page on all my computers. When I open my Web browser, iGoogle is there for me. iGoogle is like the newspaper thrown on my front yard. iGoogle goes so well with the taste of the first sip of coffee in the morning.
iGoogle is a personalized homepage sort of like, but a lot cooler than, My Yahoo, Pageflakes or Netvibes. Your personalized iGoogle page can have any number of gadgets arrayed in three columns below a Google search box. These gadgets can provide you with all sorts of information. There are weather gadgets. Constantly updated news feeds on a variety of subjects. My favorite of these is Google's Tech News. Another gadget serves up daily cartoons. I use this to get a different Calvin and Hobbs 'toon everyday.
There are literally hundreds of gadgets available. You can get gadgets to play games on or listen to music with. There's a gadget that will tell you where and what time movies are playing in your area. You can even do live video chat in iGoogle (more about that later).
To make your own personal iGoogle page, go to Google's main page at http://www.google.com and look for iGoogle. You will probably find a link to it in the upper right-hand corner on the page. If it isn't there, and oddly enough sometimes it isn't, try this: On the upper left-hand side of Google's famously simplistic search page you should see Web Images Videos Maps News Shopping Gmail and more. So click more and you will be presented with a drop-down menu of options. One of those options will be even more so click that. There's where you'll find iGoogle.
Once you've found the iGoogle icon, click it and begin following the instructions. You'll see the setup wizard which will allow you to choose some interests and a theme. Then you click See your page and there's your brand new iGoogle page.
Signing in with a Google Account before you start lets you save your iGoogle page across computers. This way you can access your iGoogle page from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection.
If you don't sign into your Google account your iGoogle page will be saved just to the computer you use to build the iGoogle page. Anyone who uses that computer will be able to see and make changes to your page. Also, if your cookies are erased, you will loose your iGoogle page. So signing into your Google account before beginning to build your iGoogle page is definitely the way to go.
You do have a Google account don't you? If you use Gmail you have one. If you don't have a Google account, signing up for Gmail is the way you go about getting one. Because once you've signed up for Gmail, your Gmail account becomes your username for all Google services and the password you choose when you sign up for Gmail becomes your password for everything Google. Not long ago you had to have in invitation to sign up for Gmail, but not anymore. Just type Gmail into Google's search box at http://www.google.com and click on the first entry which will be Gmail: Email from Google.