Setting your sites: Listing website favourites

The ultimate online search buddy:

Favourite site of Jayne MacAulay, Assistant Editor.

Wanna be a worldwide web wizard? Then download Copernic2000, available at the site. Described as a “search assistant,” Copernic 2000 is perhaps the ultimate Internet search engine. Type in what you’re looking for, and Copernic2000 searches 65 of the best online search engines – everything from Altavista to Webcrawler – to find the sites and information you need.

The best part of Copernic is it allows you to narrow your search to include only Canadian websites. But it does much more than search, and will actually rank and score up to 300 relevant sites. Copernic2000 also helps by removing duplicates and dead sites, thereby saving you time.

But what really sets this site apart, aside from its varied search engines, is the fact that users can download their search results and view them later, offline. I found the site straightforward to use, with the nifty download option clearly visible on the toolbar at the top of the screen. Pointers and how-to information is also included if users r into difficulty.

Close encounters of the book shopping kind:

Favourite site of Lesa Smith, Student Intern.

If you’re a book lover, like me, you’ll instantly fall in love with Indigo’s online store. The site offers more books than you could read in a hundred lifetimes, and most at discounts of 10 to 50 per cent.

Best of all, is 100 per cent homegrown, offering the goods and services of other Canadian companies such as Roots and Holt Renfrew. It also sells gift certificates to a variety of spas across Canada, as well as flowers and home decor products.

One of my favourite features is the site’s many bestseller lists, as well as a multimedia section entitled “On @ Indigo” that features details of author events and readings.

Better still, you can even listen in on your favourite authors. Quicktime, Shockwave or RealPlayer software is required to listen to these sound bytes, but links are listed to help you download these programs.

If you plan to make a purchase, the site requires credit card information for billing purposes but notes that it is a secure server.

Valuable research tool:

Favourite site of Kim Kerr, Contributing Editor.

This new website offers an online database of seniors’ policies and programs across Canada. The site covers just about everything to do with aging, from co-operative housing programs to details on discounted bus passes.

Maintained by federal, provincial and territorial governments, the site features a search option allowing users to browse – by jurisdiction or subject – an extensive collection of policies and programs available in both English and French. For more in-depth information, numerous links to other sites are provided, and to keep the information fresh, the site is updated on a regular basis.

On the practical side, the site provides program applications, where available, to many of the listed programs. Statistics Canada also plays its part with a useful list of stats on senior related topics. Also, if there’s something you can’t find or don’t understand, online help is offered.