San Francisco, California

I love my new Google homepage. I feel like the pilot of an aircraft with a glorious dashboard of data laid out in front of me, but instead of speedometers, odometers, this that and the other-ometers, I’ve got quotes of the day, technology updates, headlines, moonphases and weather. I’ve got an all-dancing, all-singing life-ometer. Here’s how you can create your own customized overview of the world….

1. Choose Google as your homepage in your browser, if it isn’t already. How you do this will vary depending on what operating system and browser you use. I use a Mac and Firefox, and I go into Firefox/Preferences and set my home page there to

2. From the Google home page, click on the link top right that takes you to ‘Personalized Home’.

3. Then click on the link top left to ‘Add Content’. You’ll be presented with a dazzling array of possibilities. You can filter them according to the categories on the left if you want, or just wander at will through the wonderful world of the internet, clicking on the ones that catch your eye. You can easily remove them later.

4. My laptop died while I was doing this exercise, and I swore loudly, thinking that I’d lost all my selections, but luckily Google updates your home page as you make your choices, so system crashes are not a problem. (Well, obviously they ARE, but not for the purposes of setting up your homepage.)

5. Once you’ve finished your selection, you can remove any items you decide you don’t want simply by clicking on the cross on the top right of each item. And you can drag and drop them so you have your favourites at the top, with less frequently used ones below.

These are the ones I chose:

Technorati Tracker
How to of the Day
Wired News: Gadgets and Gizmos
Google Videos
Quotes of the Day
Quotes 4 All: HIGHLY recommended
Quote of the Moment
Top Stories
Date and Time
Current Moon Phase
This Day in History

All recommended.

My laptop has to go back to Mac this week. The interface from the hi-lo-triple-conflabdabricator to the thingummywingummywotsit is overheating, so it keeps shutting down without a moment’s warning. It’s going to be a nightmare for me – so much to do, and without my third arm. I should be able to carry on blogging using the computer up at the main house, but it’s all desperately inconvenient. How will I manage without my dashboard to give me an inspiring quote or tell me what phase of the moon we’re in?

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