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Last Updated: Friday, 18 November 2005, 15:34 GMT

By Kate Russell
BBC Click Online Webscape-r

Kate Russell gives us her latest selection of the best sites on the World Wide Web.

No Limits Rollercoaster Simulation website

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

I do not know about you, but I love to ride on a roller coaster.

The bigger and scarier the better in my book, so when a forum buddy of mine, Grim, discovered a demo of No Limits Roller Coaster Simulation, I could not wait to download it and give it a go.

Remember this is a demo, so expect to be reminded at every turn about all the great additional features you will get if you buy the full version.

But there are five thrilling tracks to ride for free in the demo, and you can even design and build your own unique roller coaster, though you cannot save it or ride on it in the free version, I am afraid.

The fun of this package is definitely in the ride. Click the download link and once installed you just launch the software, pick a track, and then click to ride it.

By using the mouse you can look around as you ride, and hitting the H key brings up the other options you have for controlling the experience. You can ride in any of the cars, or even step outside to observe from the ground.

Hitting F7 will widen and narrow your perspective, and holding down SHIFT will make you go faster. Both options are designed to increase the thrill factor of the ride if you need it.

The graphics look good, and the sound effects are awesome. All you need now is a fan blowing in your face and it is as if you are actually there

Internet Frog website

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Talking of speed, how fast is your internet connection?

Maybe you know what speed your contract with your ISP is supposed to give you, but if you want to check out how fast your connection is actually performing then you need to jump onto the Internet Frog.

There are a few useful little tools lurking on these pages, but we want the speed test.

Straight away you are launched into the speed test application, and a progress bar informs you that a test is being carried out - looking at download speed first, and then upload speed.

Many people do not realise that with DSL connections the speed of connection you are sold refers to download speed, and typically the upload speed for most home connections is only 256k.

The results are illustrated in a graph, and for more information, such as the quality and consistency of the service, round trip time and maximum pause time are listed below in the results.

For more information about what these figures mean in layman's terms, click the link under definition of terms.

The rest of the site is worth exploring too. I particularly like WHOIS, which is useful if you want to find out who registered a website.

Just type the domain name you are interested in and it will tell you the name, address and details of the person or organisation that registered the site, plus the date of registration. This can be especially useful if you are going to buy something from a website and want to make sure they are a valid organisation.

Guess the Google website

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Next up, another Google hack. This time in the form of a quick fire guessing game, and you will find it on this blog.

Guess the Google is a nicely presented Flash game that asks you to guess the search term that returned a montage of 20 images from Google. You can guess as many times as you want within the 20 second time limit, and there are 10 rounds to play in each game.

Some are very hard, others not-so-hard, and the time limit aspect of the game really gets the pulse racing.

At the end of the round you are invited to add your name, and if you did well enough you will appear on the high-score page.

Annoyingly, you do not get to find out the answers to the montages you did not get, but that does not stop the game itself from being addictively fun.

The Postcard Crossing Project website

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Jorge Laranjo sent this site which links the virtual world of the internet with the real world outside.

The premise of The Postcard Crossing Project is to receive postcards by snail mail from users all over the world, but you have to send them out too.

First you select a country, region and city, and the next page asks for some personal information about you, including your postal address, which is obviously required if you want to see cards dropping through your letter box.

Once registered, you request an address to send a card to.

You are given a unique ID to put on the card and then you just pop it in the post.

Once the card is received the recipient enters the details into the website, and your details get put on the list of addresses for mailing out to.

In theory for every card you send, you will eventually get one back and this could be from any one of the 4000-odd registered users all over the world.

I think that is a brilliant idea, and I am eagerly awaiting my first card right now.

Click Online is broadcast on BBC News 24: Saturday at 2030, Sunday at 0430 and 1630, and on Monday at 0030. A short version is also shown on BBC Two as part of BBC Breakfast: Saturday at 0645. Also BBC World.

Kate's downloading advice
01 Jul 05 |  Click Online


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