Yeah but......what does this website DO? (links please...)

I’ve been collecting a list of amusing websites for as long as I have been online. I really enjoy wasting hours on end watching innane videos and reading funny news items etc.

Lately I have found some very interesting websites that actually serve a distinct purpose. For example:

The Visual Thesaurus™ is an amazing resource which presents words in a spatial format, somewhat like an interactive map of space (VERY interesting). is another helpful site which provides a wealth of DNS and IP related searches.
WriteExpress is a handy rhyme dictionary that I use from time to time. provides an archive of old versions of various programs to those who may not like what the current version has changed. is the ultimate source for free technical support. (Yay! I can stop bugging GQ with my endless stream of computer questions).
ShieldsUp!! will probe your system for security vulnerabilities and offer suggestions. (I LOVE this site!)

Would any of you like to share some of your favorite sites which provide a cool service or otherwise perform a useful interraction? I’d love to add some more sites to my “Handy Website” list.

Well, one that doesn’t seem to do anything but I found highly amusing anyway was Zombocom.

All things are possible through ZOMBOCOM!
CJ is an indispensable guide to the technological wonders around us. From rocket engines to computer monitors to turbochargers to bulldozers, the site offers clear, easy-to-understand descriptions of how things work.

The descriptions are often animated for greater clarity and always link to outside reference materials. Also of great use is how well internally-referenced the site is, so when you read the description of how a bulldozer works, the engine part of the description will be linked for further reading on that single topic.

For what it’s worth, I file the Straight Dope under ‘Entertainment’ in my bookmarks. HSW indubitably belongs in my ‘Edification’ folder.

The one downside to How Stuff Works is how commercialized its become in recent years. I realize that as a free site, they gotta make money somehow, but I could do without the flashing ads.

You have 15 minutes to loose? check this :

For the x-files fans:

For your eyes:

For the fightsty one :

For the political uncorrects :

And my favorite for the MATRIX reloaders :

And I agree with ** stark ** howstuffworks is great!

On the more serious side :

Thanks, STARK, I’d forgotten about How Stuff Works.

Keep in mind, the OP is asking for useful sites, not amusing or entertaining sites. Save those for another thread.

My bad, ** Skybum **. Well, I hope I redeemed myself a little bit with my second thread.

Here is another one : - how to scan your computer for viruses when you don’t have an antivirus up to date. Very * useful * when friends / family ask me to fix their computer…
Am I forgiven? Am I? pleaaaase ? :slight_smile:

Acronym finder:

Useful. Not fun.

City of Reno maps, including just about every bit of information you could want, all overlaid on overhead photography. You need a separate viewer and license agreement, but it’s awfully useful. Like seal_cleaner’s. though, it’s not so fun.

Not to worry, those are some great links. I didn’t mean to imply that they shouldn’t be interesting or fun. Just trying to keep the scope of sites narrowed down a bit.

Here is one I forgot to mention:

Welcome to, the worlds first site and best site dedicated to improving and customizing Microsoft® Windows® XP. We provide the keys to unlock the potential of Windows XP ™

An absolute must have if you are running Windows XP and like to poke around under the hood a bit.

Gas Buddy is a map of the US and Canada. It lets you click anywhere on the map and find out gas prices in the area. I think it’s pretty useful if you’re planning on taking a trip or you’re just looking for the cheapest place close to your home.

Don’t forget OpalCat’s Virtual Bubblewrap page.

Useful and fun: the Internet Movie Database, when I’m watching a movie or TV show and I get that “where have I seen that actor before?” quandry, I can go to imdb, look up the movie/show in question, click on the actor in question, and look through their past work to find the answer. It’s saved me from many sleeplesss nights :). has a number of useful functions. You can determine the number of days between dates. (Countdown to your retirement, graduation, parole :eek:, etc.). Find out what time it is in any city in the world. And lots of other cool stuff. Don’t know how they manage to guarantee its accuracy what with lag time and all, but they claim accuracy to within 0.3 seconds. Good enough for me.

I’ll second Roadfood’s IMDB suggestion. Highly accurate and thoroughly internally linked. A lifesaver when you just know you’ve seen that actor somewhere before but can’t remember where.

And as an aside: Bizarre, Roadfood, I thought I was the only Doper that’s been around here for four-plus years with a sub-three hundred post count. I figure it’s a sign of healthy internet habits! Either that, or only speaking up when you’ve got something worthwile (and unique) to say.


Couldn’t resist, sorry!

Touché, Iteki, touché. I rationalize it by figuring I did post something of use, too. I then rationalize this post by including the following:

Can’t believe I missed Merriam-Webster’s online dicitonary, In addition to the dictionary, of course, there are also decent word games and the word of the day.