Have you used the Google Chrome internet browser yet? I know it's fairly new, but it has been highly publicized (and just about as highly criticized) for being the brain-child of one of the biggest corporations in America.

If you're interested in trying out a new way to browse the internet, you can download the installer for Google Chrome from the Google Chrome website. In Firefox, you can just type the word "chrome" into the address bar and it will take you to the right page. (Even when I have the links, I think that's so cool that I often look up pages in Firefox just to test where the keywords take me.) If you don't have Mozilla Firefox either... you should break out of the square mold and try something new.

Google Chrome is fast, free, easily set up, and full of fun surprises. With only a tab bar and a address bar, the interface uses far less screen real estate than any other browser that I've seen. It works on Windows, Mac (Intel), AND Linux (Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora/openSUSE), perfectly replacing the bulky bars and borders of each window manager with it's own sleek and customizable set. There's only one menu to deal with, hidden under a little wrench icon on one side, where the most used options are directly shown and the lesser used options are in submenus. The address bar automatically searches Google if you don't put in a DNS-recognized web address (example.com) and can search some other sites directly. But what sold me is the speed. When you have to boot an older laptop, open your web browser, email your professor, and shut down the laptop on a battery with 5 minutes remaining, you need a browser that reduces your stress and gets the job done. Hey, among college students, that kind of thing happens all the time.

Speaking of college, wouldn't it be nice if your web browser alerted you to the fact you have a class in five minutes? I don't know how many times I've gotten zoned (doing my calculus homework on the Pearson website, OF COURSE!) only to look up at the clock and realize that I needed to have rushed out the door in a great big hurry... five minutes ago.

Well, Google Chrome uses what's known as "extensions" to extend the usability of the browser. And guess what - there's an extension for alerting you to appointments and classes and all sorts of things, suggested by the Google Chrome Team themselves, called RemindMe. You can get it from the Google Chrome Extension Library.

But don't just listen to me - there's a Google blog full of useful knowledge for students. Just look for the Google Student Blog. You can even find a pile of interesting extensions by looking at all the posts tagged "Chrome Extensions". Try a few out! If you don't like them, just type chrome://extensions/ in your address bar, hit enter, and disable or delete the ones you hate.