Blog from Dec 02, 2010

New Database Available

LBNL now has access to the ICSD (Inorganic Crystal Structure Database)! (You do not need a log-in and password. The center column should have a message that says "Welcome to ICSD Web version.  You are now logged in to[sic] ICSD." If this is not the case, please contact the library.)

We often think of Cloud Services like Google Apps as keeping the strain off your desktop or laptop, but many of these services actually require quite a bit of horsepower from your browser. Google Chrome was built by Google to have excellent javascript performance which allows Gmail and other Google Apps to run more smoothly. Google Chrome will be considered for inclusion as part of our standard software package for ops desktops and we encourage the Laboratory to try it out to see whether it works well for you. And whatever browser you use, remember that it's more important then ever (for both security and usability) to keep your browser completely up to date.

Why use the Google Chrome Browser ?

These reasons were provided by James Lee of our Google Team:

  • A single input field, the "omnibox" (Firefox could do this too, with some configuration changes. It's far simpler than having both an address bar and a search bar)
  • Syncing of Bookmarks, Preferences, Extensions, Themes, etc.
  • Better insulation from problems; in many cases, only a single tab will crash, vs. the entire browser.
  • Better RAM utilization (in my anecdotal, totally non-scientific experience)
  • Extensions can be installed without restarting the browser (maybe Firefox can do this too now?)
  • PDF viewer & sandbox
  • Many nice Google-created extensions, such as
    • Send from Gmail, that makes it easy to set Gmail (even lbl.gov Gmail) as the default mailto: handler
    • Google Calendar
    • Docs & PDF/Powerpoint Viewer
    • Web clipboard
    • Screen capture (This may replace Skitch for me. It will be especially cool if/when they enable saving to Gdocs)
  • There's even an interactive "New to Google Chrome" guide .