By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 5, 2001
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Give us strength
I swear if I have to sit through one more PowerPoint yawnfest I'm going to throw myself off a roof. Scrub that thought: I'll take the laptop that belongs to the presenter and launch that off instead. If you've been lucky enough to have missed out on PowerPoint, it's a needlessly whizzy way of presenting your words on a computer screen. Rather than enhancing a presentation, it has found its way into the hands of professional obfuscators who revel in their newfound power of confusing everybody in a room. To get an idea of this mess, have a look at this site, which wonders what would have happened if Lincoln had a laptop and used it to give the Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation.
Fun with 404
My Dutch language skills are non-existent, so I can only guess as to what this company does even after visiting its site and clicking around a bit. But whoever wrote its "page not found" script has a severe dose of the funnies. It's hysterical. Reminiscent of Marvin, Douglas Adam's paranoid android in the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, it moans and mumbles its way through telling how miserable its life is and how you stand absolutely no chance of ever seeing the page you requested. Very cool.
Fast lane or bus lane?
Here's an interesting way to gauge how fast your connection to the Net is, though many variables could influence speed. But providing your Internet Service Provider has some clue about how networks work, this page could give you a leg up on what your download rates really are. If your expensive T1 is pretending to be a T 0.1, scroll down to the bottom of this page for information on how the bandwidth is calculated.
Just add radiation
If you've got a spare $20 in your pocket and are itching to see if those snappy new shoes will rub your toes the wrong way, why not spend an afternoon constructing your own X-ray machine and lug it down to the mall with you? I'm kidding, of course. But if the thought took your fancy, it's doable. Instructions above.
For handy folks
I think the last truly heroic thing I did was hang a ceiling fan. It wasn't enough to be shocked with live wires or take a dive from too many feet above the ground. Oh no, I had to sew a finger back on after trying to cut open some electrical tape. So the thought of taking power tools to my PC is not in my future. You, however, may be made of sterner stuff. Consider this site and the truly cool acrylic window you could install in the side of the thing. Send pictures when you get done, please.
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