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© St. Petersburg Times, published January 8, 2001

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Missing pet manual

Unscientific polls show that a good 50 percent of the people I consider friends got pets over the holidays. Dogs, in case you also got one, don't come with manuals. In fact, they're almost never prepackaged and can grow up to be as contrarian as their owners without proper care. That's where Data Pet steps in. Here's a great pet health Web site for owners that's worth bookmarking.

True blue for Intel?

One can't help but bump into those Blue Man Group commercials when trying to get the requisite three hours a month of TV watching packed into the schedule. And compared to what keeps broadcast TV free, they're marginally entertaining, unlike Web advertising, which is really annoying. It should entertain you to learn that rather than use Pentium PCs to do their thing, the Blue Man Group is a Mac kind of creative endeavor. The irony tickles my funny bone.

Dicey stuff

One night while driving home, I was mesmerized by a story on National Public Radio about the decline of the traditional American farm. Large, commercial farms are driving smaller ones into obscurity just as retail megastores were the kiss of death for main street generalists. But it seems that Community Supported Agriculture efforts could be a salvation for the little guys. In essence, the idea is that they band together with the consumer and sell veggies direct. Each consumer becomes a shareholder in the effort and is guaranteed a bag of whatever is in season for a good part of the year. If you listen to the story on NPR with your Real Audio player (available at and think this might be of interest, check out Sweetwater Organic, Tampa Bay's local CSA effort.

And I thought I had it bad

I've got a few Macs. In fact, I've got more Macs that PCs. But I'll use whatever makes sense to get the job done. For instance, our chums in Redmond, Wash., make some kicking development tools and Word 2000 is a great word processor once you get rid of that annoying paper clip that's there to "help" you. Microsoft, however, makes some lousy operating systems, even if Windows 2000 is a great step in the right direction. You can't win them all. There is a certain element of the population that provides an alternative but none as much as the people who run this site. Hard-core Macphiles will find their kin here, Windows bigots will be aghast, and the rest of us will chuckle.

Keep your old gear

New techno toys are great, but in the case of the Palm organizer, getting a skinny Palm V to replace a bulkier model means a new round of peripherals. If you're flirting with this idea, you ought to have a look at the Palm Dock. It's an adapter that sits between your old Palm III add-ons and your new Palm V. Genius.

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