Maths, Minis, And More

Published Date
01 - Jun - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Jun - 2006
Maths, Minis, And More
As this was an anniversary issue, we decided to include two sites in this space-one that takes your desktop to the Web, and one that could get a neuron or two fired up.
When we heard about, we didn't expect to take the site seriously. Honestly, with a name like Goowy, what can you expect? Our first glimpse revealed it was some sort of e-mail and Web storage site. As it turns out, Goowy is a site that has IM, mail, file storage, games, personal organisers and more rolled into one-making up what they call a "webtop."

This Flash-based site is rather original in concept. Goowy explains that their purpose is to offer a "fresh desktop-like experience on the Web." We tried a guest account, and what we got was a sort of a desktop, with a toolbar at the bottom. The "webtop" has several functions neatly arranged. There's Goowy mail (but imagine an uncool is that?), IM, a page to manage contacts, and a calendar. The IM has four service providers-AOL, Yahoo, MSN and ICQ; you can access two or more messengers simultaneously. You also get storage space for your data. And there are the "Minis"-where you have weather reports, news, and videos, besides Flash games.

For anything maths-related, just head to MathWorld is impressive primarily for the desktop-on-the-Web feel. It's novel-you have to log in just once to access all the features instead of logging in individually for, say, blogging, IM, and so on.

The design is impeccable-it actually does feel like a desktop, with reminders sliding up as in Outlook, tooltips for the icons at the bottom, nice colours, and more. Functionality-wise, it's good, really: you get most of your everyday stuff under one banner.

This isn't a desktop-it's what Goowy calls a webtop

Last we checked, this up-and-coming site offered 1 GB of file storage, 2 GB of mail, and a forum had been added. Take a look!
A mathematics resource, here's a maths encyclopaedia that would be an enthusiast's answer to fevered prayers for comprehensive information on any subject under mathematics. Not only does the site have a huge repository of formulas, theorems and explanations, you can also contribute your own facts and definitions.

The site is "intended for students, educators, math enthusiasts, and researchers," and is easy enough to navigate. The sheer amount of content will amaze you: you need to exercise some patience before you get a hang of digging out the information you need.

On the left of the main page is an index that lists the main categories. Clicking on these takes you into sub-categories, and so on. There is, of course, a search window on the main page. Reading up "About Math world"-a link under Destinations-helps understand the site a little better. Then there's "Math news for you" to read up on what's new on the mathematics front, besides checking out recent contributions to the site.

To simplify the explanation for a term or expression, the site makes effective use of an interlinked framework of descriptions. If, for example, you were to look up quadratic equations, going to Algebra > Algebraic equations > Quadratic equations takes you to the required expression. But here's the tricky bit: the page defines a quadratic equation as a "second-order, polynomial equation in a single variation x"! If you scraped up quadratic equations from memory and don't have a clue as to what a polynomial equation is, you can begin by clicking on the hyperlink. The linked page then goes on to describe the quadratic formula, the development of the quadratic equation through history, and so on. You'll eventually find what you're looking for, but you do need to have your basic maths in place-which again, the site helps you with.

Mathworld is helpful at all levels-whether you're in school and need to understand all about the Fourier series or whether you just need to quickly solve a probability problem (and have even forgotten what probability is all about). The only hitch is there really is a lot of information-you'll need to get the hang of clicking in the right places to get to what you're looking for.

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