Reference Sources

Acronym Finder
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“With more than 1,000,000 human-edited definitions, Acronym Finder is the world’s largest and most comprehensive dictionary of acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms. Combined with the Acronym Attic, Acronym Finder contains more than 5 million acronyms and abbreviations. You can also search for more than 850,000 US and Canadian postal codes.
“New! Add Acronym Finder to IE 7 right-click menu!”
Anchor Link Anagram Server
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
Anagrams, Wordplay, Creator, Solver, Finder, Generator, Crossword, Transmogrifier
“Did you know that parliament is an anagram of partial men? Or, Clint Eastwood an anagram of Old West Action? Someone once said, ‘All the life’s wisdom can be found in anagrams. Anagrams never lie.’ Here is your chance to discover the wisdom of anagrams. Enter the word or phrase in the form below and press button.”
Anchor Link
License: Free Online and Freeware Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“ is a free, ad-supported, reference search service, created to provide you with instant answers on over a million topics covering people, places, words and names, drawn from reliable dictionaries, encyclopedias, websites, and more. As opposed to standard search engines that serve up a list of links for you to follow, displays quick, snapshot answers with concise, reliable information. Our editors take our content from over 100 authoritative encyclopedias, dictionaries, glossaries and atlases, carefully chosen for breadth and quality.
“For ultimate convenience, install 1-Click Answers software, and click on any word in any document on your screen, whether you’re working in Word, reading your e-mail, or browsing the web.”
Anchor Link Apache HTTP Server
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
Version: 2.2
Release Notes, Reference Manual, User’s Guide, How-To / Tutorials, Etc.
Anchor Link Audio Pronunciation Dictionary
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-10-06
Updated frequently
“A free online Talking Dictionary of English Pronunciation.
“Enter the word or phrase in the box, press the Submit button. When your entry appears in pink, mouse over to hear it pronounced. You can list up to 15 entries like this: cat;cart;cut;cot;caught;coat. There are currently 159,874 entries in the dictionary.”
[ Note: It appears that this site is updated almost every day. Therefore all of the information here is only as accurate as of the last date we reviewed the site. Ed. ]
Anchor Link BabelFish Translation
Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“The Yahoo! Babel Fish box enables you to translate (online) short passages to and from English to a number of languages and to and from several specific pairs of languages (for example, German to French, French to German). You can also translate Web sites, e-mails, etc.”
Anchor Link Bartleby
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“The preeminent Internet publisher of literature, reference and verse providing students, researchers and the intellectually curious with unlimited access to books and information on the web, free of charge.”
Online Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Thesaurus and searches by Reference, Verse, Fiction, and Nonfiction.
Anchor Link Calculators On-Line
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“Currently the Calculators On-Line Center contains over 24,335 Calculators and Spreadsheets, over 4,125 Courses, Lectures, Manuals, Handbooks, and 1,000’s of Movies, Videos, Simulations and Animations.”
Anchor Link Conversion Online
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“Convert just about anything to anything else.
Over 5,000 units, and 50,000 conversions.”
Anchor Link Customer Service Phones
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“Looking for the customer service phone number? You certainly won’t find it on their site. In fact, it only shows up on the page that appears immediately after you place an order. You can, however, find it here. I’m including all the customer service contact information that I can find. Send me a note if you know more, and I’ll include it.
“Now included by popular demand — The e-Bay, PayPal, NetFlix and more phone numbers!”
Anchor Link DateDiff
License: Freeware Last Reviewed: 2012-05-28
Version: 3.0 – Released: 2011-02-15 Windows: 2000, XP, Vista, 7
File Size: 3.50 MB
“DateDiff is a calendar program that allows you to select two different dates, then calculates the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds between them. It can also determines what the date is X number of days before or after a given date. Features:
• Determine number of days between two dates
• Determine date X days before or after a given date
• Date and plus/minus values saved from one use to the next
• Fast scroll through months (click, hold and drag on calendar headers)
• Week of year displayed in left column on calendars
• Multiple skins to choose from”
Anchor Link Dean’s Law Dictionary
License: Shareware Last Reviewed: 2013-04-11
Version: 79 – Released: 2013-04-11 Windows: XP, Vista, 7
File Size: 60.5 MB Both 32- and 64-bit compatible
“Why not use the best U.S. English Law Dictionary you can buy? Dean’s is new and hands-down it’s already a professional necessity. But don’t just take our word for it. Find out for yourself. You can easily download and see first hand the unsurpassed professional quality of our state-of-the-art definitions in our Digital Legal Dictionary…. there’s no comparison. Discover for yourself all of the unmatched features you get only with Dean’s.
“Best of all we don’t stop there. The sky’s the limit as we continue to add new definitions, improve our current work product, review new cases, create new user features, and enhance the user friendliness of our capabilities. But don’t let all that stop you from buying. When you buy Dean’s you get the current edition of our product as well as 3 FREE annual content upgrades and all operating systems changes we make so you will be current for up to 4 years.”
Anchor Link Dictionary of Units
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“For information on a specific unit, click on the first letter of its name.
“This dictionary began as a collection of notes describing the relationship between various English and metric units. It gradually grew until it finally became too large a word-processing document; I couldn’t find my way around in it any more. Today the dictionary has become a kind of interactive resource. It grows slowly and steadily, mostly through suggestions from readers and my efforts to answer questions posed by readers. You can participate in this process! Please let me know if you find any errors on the site, or if you can’t find what you wanted to know, or if you know of units used in your field of study or in your part of the world that aren’t included.”
Anchor Link Free Video Lectures
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“This is a comprehensive site providing Video lectures, lessons, Audio lectures, podcasts, free online classes, courses, animations, interactive online tutorials and Text materials like ebooks, Lecture notes, slide presentations on new technologies in the fields of Electronics, Communications, Computer Science, Networking and Mechanical Engineering, Astronomy etc…
“The site also provides Video and Audio lectures, lessons and all educational videos on various Sciences: Biology, Psychology, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Anatomy and Pysiology, Philosophy, Social sciences, etc…”
Anchor Link Get to a Human
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
This website helps people get a real live agent when dialing customer service phone numbers. The cheat sheet is a good resource when you need help and don’t want to deal with automated systems.
“Our goal is to improve the quality of customer service and phone support in the US. This free website is run by volunteers and is powered by over one million consumers who demand high quality phone support from the companies that they use.”
Anchor Link Google Earth
License: Adware Last Reviewed: 2013-04-23
Version: – Released: 2013-03-02 Windows: XP, Vista, 7
File Size: 23.3 MB Both 32- and 64-bit compatible
“Google Earth allows you to view global imagery and other geographic information right on your desktop. Just type in the address or location, and watch the interactive 3D navigate to that location, zooming in to street level (you can actually see cars on the street). Along with the detailed satellite images, you can pan and zoom, mark locations, and activate layers that show points of interests like banks, schools, restaurants shopping areas and much more. In addition to the standard satellite view, Google Earth also includes a tilt feature that allows you to render the map in a realistic 3D perspective that shows elevations levels. Additional features include on-screen measuring, emailing and printing of map views, personal places and more. The latest version also allows you to explore stars, constellations, galaxies and more.
“Note: See this page for system requirements:
( PC System Configuration ).
Anchor Link How Stuff Works
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“HowStuffWorks is widely recognized as the leading source for clear, reliable explanations of how everything around us actually works. Through the flagship Web site, a popular series of books, an acclaimed kids’ magazine, as well as many other ventures, the award-winning company has helped demystify the world for millions of curious people.
“Knowledge – The gift that keeps on giving. Plus it’s cheap. That makes you look smart. Have you ever wondered how the engine in your car works or what makes your refrigerator cold? Then How Stuff Works is the place for you! Click on the categories below to see hundreds of cool articles.”
Anchor Link
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
Updated frequently
“ibiblio – the public’s library and digital archive. Home to one of the largest ‘collections of collections’ on the Internet, is a conservancy of freely available information, including software, music, literature, art, history, science, politics, and cultural studies. is a collaboration of the School of Information and Library Science and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
“The average municipal public library receives a few hundred visitors a week. averages 12 million information requests per day, and the contributor-maintained collections are expanding daily. A free and vibrant exchange of ideas among a large community of contributors who share their knowledge across disciplines, uses the open source model to encourage users to help shape the way information is managed and accessed in the 21st century.”
Anchor Link Internet Movie Database
Information and Retail Services Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
Updated frequently
“Welcome to the Internet Movie Database, the biggest, best, most award-winning movie site on the planet. Visited by millions of movie lovers each month!”
Anchor Link Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
License: Freeware Last Reviewed: 2012-09-19
Version: 4.0 – Released: 2012-09-19 Windows: All
File Size: 4 KB Requires: Java
“Introduction to Quantum Mechanics was created as a simulation utility that allows you find out more about quantum mechanics.
“This activity introduces basic quantum mechanics concepts about electrons that are essential in understanding modern and future technology, especially nanotechnology.
“Introduction to Quantum Mechanics is a cross-platform instrument that’s been developed in Java.”
Anchor Link Kelley Blue Book
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
Updated frequently
“What’s my Blue Book value? New car pricing; Used car values for shoppers; Buy and Selling; New car reviews; Tools – Tips – Advice. A comprehensive and easy-to-use resource.”
Anchor Link Length Conversion Calculator
License: Free both Online and Download Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: – Released: 2012-10-29 Windows: XP, Vista, 7
File Size: 2.1 MB
“Length Conversion is a handy, lightweight tool that allows you to convert length to different units. From centimeters to inches, feet, meters, miles or yards, you got it all with Length Conversion. This easy to use calculator is a useful tool for anyone!”
Anchor Link MapQuest
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
Well maintained
“Consumers can access color maps, driving directions and create an extended trip with the Road Trip Planner. After they enter the address of their desired destination, pinpoints the location and assembles the best route or map. Consumers can access millions of locations around the world, find places of interest, and create, save, download or email personalized maps. With the Road Trip Planner they can also customize trips and determine key stops along their route, such as sights and rest areas. MapQuest’s Yellow Pages also allow people to find businesses in any city for which they don’t know the address.”
Anchor Link Medical Dictionaries
Free Online and Retail Prices Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“Specifically designed with the busy medical word specialist in mind, Stedmans@Work is the only resource you need to meet on-the-job challenges 24 hours a day! Stedmans@Work offers a unique package of on-line medical word tools and services that will ensure accuracy and increase efficiency for the novice as well as the seasoned professional. Click on the Stedmans@Work logo to experience the most comprehensive collection of on-line resources available to medical transcriptionists and other medical language professionals!”
Anchor Link Merck Manuals
Information Only – Retail Hardcopy Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
Updated Periodically
“Merck is committed to bringing out the best in medicine. As part of that effort, Merck has created The Merck Manuals, a series of healthcare books for medical professionals and consumers. As a service to the community, the content of The Manuals is now available in enhanced online versions as part of The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. The Online Medical Library is updated periodically with new information, and contains photographs, and audio and video material not present in the print versions.”
Anchor Link Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“For more than 150 years, in print and now online, Merriam-Webster has been America’s leading and most-trusted provider of language information. Each month, our Web sites offer guidance to more than 40 million visitors. In print, our publications include Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (among the best-selling books in American history) and newly published dictionaries for English-language learners.
“All Merriam-Webster products and services are backed by the largest team of professional dictionary editors and writers in America, and one of the largest in the world.”
Anchor Link Microsoft Research Maps
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“The Microsoft Research Maps Web site is one of the world’s largest online databases, providing free public access to a vast data store of maps and aerial photographs of the United States. Microsoft Research Maps is designed to work with commonly available computer systems and Web browsers over slow speed communications links.
“Exploring our planet by studying maps and images is a fascinating experience! Not surprisingly, the first place many people visit is their own neighborhood. You also might want to take a look at famous places such as our National Parks or your favorite sports parks. Microsoft Research Maps is also a valuable resource for researchers who was to study geography, environmental issues or archeological mysteries … there are almost limitless possibilities.
“You can easily navigate the enormous amount of information in Microsoft Research Maps by selecting a location on a map or entering a place name. And now, a new Web service—called Microsoft Research Maps.NET—enables Web developers to easily integrate Microsoft Research Maps data into their own applications.”
Anchor Link Pipl – People Search
Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“The most comprehensive people search on the web. Pipl’s query-engine helps you find deep web pages that cannot be found on regular search engines. Unlike a typical search-engine, Pipl is designed to retrieve information from the deep web, our robots are set to interact with searchable databases and extract facts, contact details and other relevant information from personal profiles, member directories, scientific publications, court records and numerous other deep-web sources. Pipl is not just about finding more results; we are using advanced language-analysis and ranking algorithms to bring you the most relevant bits of information about a person in a single, easy-to-read results page.
“Not convinced yet? Try searching for people and you’ll see the difference.”
Anchor Link Quick Reference Site
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“The ultimate resource for free IT-related Quick Reference Cards and e-books.
“Throughout the years I have collected a huge pile of documents that deal with almost every aspect of software development. The purpose of this site is to centralize this information and to make it available to everyone who may need it or shares my passion on this subject. There are still a lot of documents in my ‘archive’ that I like to share with you all.
“At the moment this site represents only a fraction of what I want to provide, so a lot of work still needs to be done. As a result, you should consider this site as a work in progress. I’ll try to keep you updated on the most challenging, powerful and continuously evolving software technologies of the moment. I hope that especially Java and C++ fanatics (like myself) will find some valuable information over here.”
Anchor Link RedCrab
License: Freeware Last Reviewed: 2013-01-17
Version: 4.32 – Released: 2013-01-17 Windows: All, incl 8
File Size: 6.69 MB
“RedCrab is a scientific calculator with a full-screen editor. The mathematical expressions are not typed in a typical command line, but can be enter in the editor window. RedCrab display the result either under or next to the expression. The handling is easier than conventional calculators.
“RedCrab supports the entry of complex algebraic equations with fractions, square roots, exponents, etc. for technical and scientific applications. Several mathematical functions can be written on the same page. Results from one expression can be carried over to the next task.
“You can save and load the formulas to create a formula library. Complex tasks can be explained visually by importing drawings in bitmap format. No installation of the software is required. You can just copy the software to your system and starts the program.
√ Calculation range: 1.7e 308 to 5e-324
√ Accuracy: 18 digits
√ Display: 15 digits”
Anchor Link Reverse Address Directory
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“Finds a Person’s Name and Telephone Number from a Street Address by Searching multiple Address Directories and Looks up the Street Address of any Person in the United States and Canada to Find a Person’s Name and Telephone Number!”
Anchor Link Short History of Cryptography
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
Author: Fred Cohen
“Cryptography is one of the oldest fields of technical study we can find records of, going back at least 4,000 years. It is quite noteworthy that of all the cryptosystems developed in those 4,000 years of effort, only 3 systems in widespread serious use remain hard enough to break to be of real value. One of them takes too much space for most practical uses, another is too slow for most practical uses, and the third is widely believed to contain serious weaknesses.”
Anchor Link Social Security Number
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“The Social Security Number (SSN) was created in 1936 as a nine-digit account number assigned by the Secretary of Health and Human Services for the purpose of administering the Social Security laws. SSNs were first intended for use exclusively by the federal government as a means of tracking earnings to determine the amount of Social Security taxes to credit to each worker’s account. Over time, however, SSNs were permitted to be used for purposes unrelated to the administration of the Social Security system. For example, in 1961 Congress authorized the Internal Revenue Service to use SSNs as taxpayer identification numbers.
“In response to growing concerns over the accumulation of massive amounts of personal information, Congress passed the Privacy Act of 1974. Among other things, this Act makes it unlawful for a governmental agency to deny a right, benefit, or privilege merely because the individual refuses to disclose his SSN.
“The Social Security Protection Act of 2010 Become Law: President Obama signed the bill aimed at reducing identity theft by limiting the Government’s use of and access to social security numbers. The bill, which passed the House and Senate, prohibits government agencies from printing social security numbers on checks and from allowing prison inmates access to social security numbers.”
Anchor Link Stellarium
License: Freeware Last Reviewed: 2013-04-21
Version: 0.12.1 – Released: 2013-04-21 Windows: XP, Vista, 7, 8
File Size: 73.6 MB Both 32- and 64-bit versions
“Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.
“Features include:
• default catalogue of over 600,000 stars
• asterisms and illustrations of the constellations
• images of nebulae (full Messier catalogue)
• realistic Milky Way
• the planets and their satellites
• a powerful zoom
• equatorial and azimuthal grids
• star twinkling
• shooting stars
• and much more …”
Anchor Link Switchboard
Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“Your Phone Directory for Yellow Pages and White Pages.”
Anchor Link SYMBOLS
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“Welcome to — the world’s largest online encyclopedia of graphic symbols! contains more than 2,500 Western signs, arranged into 54 groups according to their graphic characteristics. In 1,600 articles their histories, uses, and meanings are thoroughly discussed. The signs range from ideograms carved in mammoth teeth by Cro-Magnon men, to hobo signs and subway graffiti. Use the Graphic Index to search for the meaning or history of a sign. If you want to see an ideogram with a certain meaning, use the Word Index.”
Anchor Link The Reference Desk
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12

“The Web site contains an extensive index to on-line references, including links to thousands of teaching files, multimedia tutorials, and data bases. The site, which is divided into ‘information centers,’ also offers links to information on such subjects as the arts, science, sports, and technology, among many others. If it doesn’t have a link directly to what you’re looking for, it can probably give you ideas about where to look.”
Anchor Link Urban Legends Reference Pages
Information Only – Donations appreciated Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
Updated Frequently
“Welcome to, the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation. Use the search box above to locate your item of interest, or click one of the icons below to browse the site by category.
“Urban legends are a specific type of folklore, and many of the items discussed on this site do not fall under the folkloric definition of urban legend. We are following the more expansive popular (if inaccurate) use of ‘urban legend’ as a term that embraces not only urban legends but also common fallacies, misinformation, old wives’ tales, strange news stories, rumors, celebrity gossip, and similar items.”
[ Particularly useful to discover correct information regarding “Internet Hoaxes” and “Computer Viruses”; Ed. ]
Anchor Link Wayback Machine
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public. Search 11 billion pages of the Wayback Machine.”
Anchor Link WhatIs
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“Definitions for thousands of the most current IT-related words. Browse alphabetically; Browse for definitions in many categories; Check our most popular fast references: Every File Format in the World, The RAM Guide, Chat abbreviations, DSL Guide, Our latest discovery.”
Anchor Link World Factbook
Information Only Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities. Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.”
Anchor Link ZIP Code Lookup
License: Free Online Last Reviewed: 2012-03-12
“To locate associated ZIP Codes, enter a city and state name (e.g., Memphis TN). A list of Official USPS Abbreviations, including state and US territory abbreviations, is provided for assistance. To locate associated cities, enter a ZIP Code (e.g., 94116).”