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Site Seeing


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 29, 2001

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Mental muscles

I've been meaning to slip this into the column for some time. It's a riot. Droll, bitingly sarcastic, tight writing awaits your visit. It's a refreshing trip back to the days when Web content was about content, not animation for no apparent reason. On the other hand, Salon used to be a huge favorite of mine but ever since it revised its layout, the eye-popping overabundance of ads makes it hard to read. The only thing missing from IronMinds is an AvantGo channel so I can take it with me on my PDA.

Pocket lock-it

PDAs are a great way for humans and geeks to organize information. That's all well and good, but there are certain things that really shouldn't be put in a PDA without the aid of industrial-strength encryption. Passwords to important online information and credit card numbers spring to mind. Do yourself a favor: If you're going to keep sensitive stuff in your Pocket PC, use something like this program. CodeWallet is the clear favorite of all the protection programs I played with. It's easy to use, allows you to segment your data into logical areas, costs a mere $20 and offers robust protection from prying eyes. There's a desktop version on the horizon that will sync with the pocket version. Very cool.

Something about Harry

The Harry Potter thing is quite amazing when you think about it. I'm quite out of touch with what anybody under 30 really thinks, but if a quarter of the media hype is to be believed, it has reinvigorated a lot of kids' interest in reading. That's no bad thing by anybody's measure. Even She Who Must Be Obeyed has fallen under the spell and is reading through the second book. So, in the spirit of true corporate altruism, Warner Brothers has taken a heavy-handed approach by squashing any domains containing the hallowed Harry Potter moniker: a few kids' fan sites, in other words. Welcome to the adult world of big business, little ones. It seems a few Brits are having none of this and have set up this informative Web site chronicling the battle against corporate greed.

No experience needed

Nothing gets you a gig faster than tons of experience. And without said weighty knowledge, getting in the door is close to impossible. Don't even think about firing up the online search sites because they're close to useless for the keen, yet inexperienced. All is not lost. This site is a great way to find a little internship action even if you have no idea where to start. The emphasis seems to be on gig, not job, but it could be the ticket to filling a void in your personal employment stakes.

Ancient Web history

Here's a fascinating snapshot from the past: a partial mirror of then-venerable Yahoo circa 1994. Note the number of entries at the bottom of the main page. That's entries, not individual Web servers. The site goes only a few links deep and, sadly, most of the entries link to pages that are no more. And, oddity is finding links using the almost defunct Gopher protocol (instead of Web or FTP). Wallow in the nostalgia.

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