Every time I turn around, Google's come up with something new, cool and innovative. It's no wonder it has Microsoft on the run. Here's a quick round-up of some of the functions available from the web’s most popular search engine.

Nifty Google features

Calculate this:

You can use Google Calculator to crunch numbers and figure out conversions. Try entering 12*12 and see what happens; you can also run more complex equations, like G*(6e24 kg)/(4000 miles)^2). Google Calculator handles conversions of all types, such as three ounces into tablespoons, $16 into euros, or 19999GB to MB.

Find that number:

You can track FedEx and UPS postal service shipments just by sticking the tracking number into Google's search field; do the same with postcodes and area codes, vehicle IDs, patent numbers, aeroplane registration numbers, and even UPC codes.

Make me special:

Google has special search sites. There's one for Firefox users, another for Linux users and even a spot for those of you who can't get enough of Microsoft .

Visit Broadband Advisor for the latest news and reviews about the internet and internet tools.

Useful Google services

Sights on Google:

My friend Leo sent a note asking if I wanted to create a quick web page, or something fairly complex, with just novice skills. "Google Sites is fun to play with," Leo said, "and even makes a useful web page, too. Of course, it's free."

Ongoing experiments:

f you like poking around with web tools, you need to explore Google Labs. For instance, Experimental Search gives you five new ways to search, each aimed at tightening and focusing on specific results.

Alert me!

Google sends me an email every time it sees a new occurrence of "steve bass PC Advisor," or keywords about my various hobbies and interests. If you haven't tried Google Alerts, you're missing out on a terrific service.

Hello, Google?

If you're using Firefox and find something cool on the web, you can use Google send to phone to pass the info along to a mobile phone. It's a nifty service that's really useful for, say, sending a map to a lost friend. However it's available only in the US at the moment.

NEXT PAGE: There’s even more fun to be found on Google.

Latest Google stories - click here

Every time we turn around, Google's come up with something new, cool and innovative. It's no wonder it has Microsoft on the run. Here's our run down of some of the coolest functions available from the web's most popular search engine.

Even more fun with Google

You probably think there's not much more to say about Google. Nope, there's still lots.

Start by downloading the Google Cheat Sheet, a two-page PDF with lots of valuable Google shortcuts, search and query examples, and services.

Visit Broadband Advisor for the latest news and reviews about the internet and internet tools.

Even better is 55 Ways to Have Fun with Google, a free e-book with Google trivia, games and nonsense, enough to kill an afternoon (I did). The more I explored, the better I liked this 228-page book. For instance, I wasted time with The Image Quiz, which has you guess the Google search term for a bunch of images.

I also picked up a nifty Google magic trick, learned how to find world records, read IRC chat logs people didn't know were public, and browsed to some very funny Google parody sites, such as UnderGoos, the underwear search site, and Cthuugle, the Lovecraft search engine.

Also I always get a kick out of the way the folks at Google occasionally transform the logo to match up with the day. Here are some Google logo rejects.

Latest Google stories - click here