Friday, January 25, 2013

1MM #7: Finding the tool you need

Sometimes just searching for an answer doesn't quite solve the problem you're working on at the moment.  

For instance, remember the Wailea beach sunrise challenge?  That involved working out some basic trig to compute the angles for the sunrise. 

If I'd thought about it for a bit, I would have realized that there's probably a tool to do this kind of thing... 

Here's one of the most important search lessons ever: 

   Search for a tool to do your complex tasks for you.   

In the Wailea beach challenge, I should have realized that someone would have built a tool to compute the angles and sides of a right triangle.  

This "search for a tool" idea is such an important notion that I made a 1MM video for it.  

The thing to take away from this is that MANY keywords can be used to find tools of various kinds.  In this 1MM I mention terms like calculator  app  and generator

But I'm curious what search terms YOU use to find tools.  Post your favorite examples in the comments below!  

Search on! 


  1. I often use the term "online" when searching for tools because it appears so frequently in titles, like "online X creator". I'd rather not have to download any tools. If I'm having a hard time finding something, I use a variety of synonyms for tool like creator, editor, maker, generator, and java applet. Java applet is a good one because you often seen them on academic sites.

  2. Hi Dr. Russell. I really enjoy yor 1MM and your Challenges. It helps to learn: new things, new ways to see and solve problems and also helps to learn to think different. In my case it is not only about using tools. To solve your challenges I have learned to "read" and "think" different and with that I learn each time. Thank you!

  3. This is not finding a tool but using a finding that Google seems to have missed.

    Makes it easy to conduct comprehensive people searches usually for genealogical stuff.

    ...back to The Assignment