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Google.  Ever wondered if there was another way to get there or to modify your experience when you’re using it?  At a recent birthday party, I ran into a young man who shared with me, out of the blue, two seemingly “useless” but interesting applications of web-front/redirect pages.  Here are two of them—plus another one I had in my idea-hopper which also dealt with “how Google looks when you use it.”

Here’s a list of the three.

1. Gewgle.com. This is perhaps the most useless of the three—but did you know you can get to Google.com by typing in Gewgle.com?  That’s web redirection for you.

2. Blackle.com.  What’s that all about?  Well, apparently you can visit this site (or others like it, such as Darkle, which is part of the larger Shikle.com website which offers Google to you in a variety of colors) you get to enter a sombre haunted-house feeling version of the search engine you’re likely to use most often—all I mean by that is that it’s black, instead of eye-searing (though friendly) white.  As of this post, the Blackle.com site claimed that it had saved “2,051,678.337” watt-hours of screen-energy.  I suppose that’s one advantage.

I suppose that there are some accessibility advantages with Blackle.com and Shikle.com, as different color schemes can work for various seeing-impairments and vision eccentricities.  A friend with vision-impairment, actually legally blind, set his laptop to a green on black color scheme for optimal reading capacity, and high contrast.  (He may have also been into the Matrix, but don’t tell him I said that.)

3.  So, getting away from colors a little bit: Goosh.org.  I found about this from a computer repair technician who happened to be doing a temp-job with me—he was using a repair tech site called “tech-nibble.com” which I should probably note later.  Anyways, it’s a sort of funny (sort of sad) portal for Google that allows you to avoid the shame of having to appear to appeal to the commonest-search form for information questing: asking “Dr. Google” but rather appear to be doing some unknown high-tech, back-end computing query… It makes it appear that you are working directly in the “command line” while you area actually searching Google.  In other words, until you actually click through on a site, a client quickly glancing at your screen will think you’re up to some technical wizardry that they couldn’t do yourself.  Not that I’m into deceiving clients—but there may be some other possibilities out there for using this “Google shell.”

So, those are some fun thoughts on how to search — and search engine “shells” you can use.