Internet Explorer 8's Accelerators can greatly expedite all sorts of browser tasks. Greg Shultz shares some of the ones he's found most useful.
In the article Go fast on the Web with IE8 Accelerators, I introduced Internet Explorer 8's handy Accelerators feature and showed you how to get the most out of it. Now as a follow-up, I'm going to point you toward some of the best Accelerators for techies. Here are 10 IE8 Accelerators you should definitely take a look at.
Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.
1: Define with WikipediaThe reliability of Wikipedia content is somewhat controversial, but it's still one of the most popular Web-based encyclopedias on the Internet. With close to 3,000,000 articles, chances are good that you be able to find what you're looking for. That makes the Define with Wikipedia Accelerator (Figure A) an excellent addition to IE8's Accelerators feature.
You can access the Define with Wikipedia Accelerator in the Internet Explorer 8 Add-ons Gallery.
2: TechNet Search
As an IT professional, you are always encountering and reading about new technologies on the Web. By employing the TechNet Search Accelerator, you can instantly initiate a search of the TechNet site whenever you come across a Microsoft-related term you're not familiar with or want to learn more about.
3: Find Events by Keyword
The Find Events by Keyword Accelerator works with Community Megaphone, a site created by Microsoft developer evangelist G. Andrew Duthie that's dedicated to the discovery and promotion of developer and IT pro community events. The Accelerator will help you locate local or online events related to the specific technology keyword you select.
4: Youtube Search
When it comes to video on the Internet, YouTube is definitely the number 1 destination for the majority of Web surfers. By installing and using the Youtube Search Accelerator, you can quickly search the vast YouTube archive for videos on the topic in which you are interested.
5: Newegg SearchIf you're like the many IT pros who shop for hardware and software at NewEgg.com, you'll be interested in the Newegg Search Accelerator. Now, when you're reading a review about a new hardware or software product and wonder how much you would have to pay for it, you can just access the Newegg Search Accelerator (Figure B) and instantly get the answers you need.
The Newegg Search Accelerator includes a Preview window, which can show you the site content before you actually proceed to the site.
6: Amazon.com Search
If you do your online shopping at Amazon.com, you'll want to install and use the Amazon.com Search Accelerator to help you make your purchasing decisions.
7: Search on IMDB
Almost everyone who rents movies or watches television has visited the Internet Movie Database to learn more about the movie or program they were watching. With the Search on IMDB Accelerator, it's easy to conduct an IMDB search anytime you see a page that contains an actor's name, a movie title, or a character's name.
8: MSDN Search
If you're a developer, you'll find the MSDN Search Accelerator to be a handy tool. It will help you to quickly find details about Microsoft technologies, such as .NET or code samples, that you encounter on other sites.
9: Digg AcceleratorIf you enjoy submitting interesting sites to Digg, you may want to install and use the Digg Accelerator. Unlike the majority of the Accelerators out there, which are designed to function with selected text, the Digg Accelerator is designed to function only with the document or page. When you right-click on the page, you'll see a menu that offers the Digg Accelerator (Figure C).
The Digg Accelerator appears on the document's right-click menu.
10: Find with Wayback Machine
Remember an older version of a Web site that contained information that's no longer available on the current version? If you need to track down that information, a trip to the Wayback Machine may be the solution. The Wayback Machine is the name of the Internet Archive, which contains archived versions of Web pages from 1996 to the present. With the Find with Wayback Machine Accelerator, searching the Internet Archive is just a click away. The Find with Wayback Machine is a document and link Accelerator, which means that to access it, you must right-click on a Web page or on a link.
Check out 10 Things... the newsletter
Get the key facts on a wide range of technologies, techniques, strategies, and skills with the help of the concise need-to-know lists featured in TechRepublic's 10 Things newsletter, delivered every Friday. Automatically sign up today.
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.