St. Petersburg Times
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Site Seeing

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 31, 2003

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Demand valve

While this article may not change your life, it does offer some insights on the current blight of office productivity and raises some interesting points. While I don't agree with all of them, some of it fits within my world view. I prefer answering lots of e-mail or fielding three or four simultaneous instant messenger conversations to a single phone call. And if you don't answer the electronic missives, the phone will ring its little head off.

The anonymous shopper

She Who Must Be Obeyed often laughs at my paranoia. That's okay. I just go into the garage and pet my new shredder that I picked up at an accounting firm's fire sale. Naturally, I'm leery of frequent shopper cards. They're almost a necessity these days, unless you're willing to pay full retail to protect your anonymity. Trading the cards with your friends is a good way to monkey with the data that follows each card around, but nothing compares to Rob Cockerham's prank attempt to become North America's Safeway Super Shopper. Read on for a chuckle.

Character development

Decent eye candy sites have been avoiding my gaze recently. While I usually stumble over them all the time, none fed my brain in that very special way until now. In a previous life, I paid my rent drawing cartoons, so I have a soft spot for the medium. I really enjoyed what this site has to offer. It celebrates the art of off-beat cartoon characters from well-known and not-so-well-known artists. While the site's interface could be much more user friendly, it's not that hard to get the hang of it.

Wiki, wiki Web

Wikis are a cornerstone of many technical projects. In essence, they're a way of letting a team of people contribute to the corpus of knowledge. Anybody can edit anything without layers of tedium and approval. They work very well for small groups, so you can imagine my interest when somebody sent this one my way. It's an open encyclopedia that allows anybody to edit the content in true Wiki fashion. And it seems to be working. There are more than 110,000 articles, and, while I didn't read them all, what I found was well written and seemingly correct.

On the edge

If you're an OS X user, it's possible you've played with Apple's Safari browser. I spend quite a bit of time using it, but lately I find myself drawn to Camino. Based around parts of Mozilla, the popular open source browser, Camino tries to do one thing very well rather than including the kitchen sink and myriad options. It's still a preproduction release but stable enough for every day use. If your Mac isn't quite as beefy as newer models, you'll appreciate its svelte nature.

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