By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 21, 2001
Guess the Dictator or Television Sit-Com Character is a totally addictive online game that'll have you playing for days at a time. Okay, it's totally addictive for the first few times and gets really old really fast. But what a rush those first few times are! The idea is you think of either a dictator or sit-com character and then answer the computer's questions about the character. It nailed Hitler, Stalin and Ally McBeal but totally missed John Inman from Are You Being Served. It's testament that not all that glitters on PBS is gold.
Is this your bag?
I'm attached to a really nice backpack in a bizarre security blanket kind of way. All my tech goodies cram into it along with several hefty programming books. While its weight keeps my chiropractor in business, it's hardly the greatest environment for keeping a shiny new Thinkpad in perfect condition. Enter the InCase Laptop Sleeve, a modest, ahem, slip of a thing that protects portable PCs from the trials of mobile life. You'd think the Web would be overflowing with gear like this, but none of the major manufacturers or usual third-party suspects offer anything like it.
Hear that noise? That's Prime Time just around the corner. The latest test release of the Browser Formerly Known as Navigator is ready for download. It's a pre-release but worth a look if you're curious about this kind of thing. Pluses include a blisteringly fast HTML rendering engine that makes pages pop up very quickly and with very few crashes. Downsides are getting plug-ins such as Flash requires manually fiddling with files instead of using an installer, starting the Java applet viewer causes the keyboard to do odd things, and a limited feature e-mail client. I've been using for daily browsing on the Mac, Windows and Linux since its release, and it's great to have an advanced browser across all platforms.
Talking about sex can be embarrassing for many folks, as it's not usually the height of polite conversation. Here you'll find oodles of well-written, no-nonsense information on the thing that fuels the human race. While a little clinical in places, it's no Cosmo. And that's a good thing.
As wireless base stations go, Apple's AirPort is a bargain. The built-in modem is a lifesaver, especially if your DSL is more down than up. This little flying saucer can be coaxed to offer connectivity to PCs, but there are no Apple-supplied tools to configure the AirPort itself. That's hardly a shock. My AirPort config utility is hit-and-miss with Apple's new OS X operating system, so finding this configuration program was a dream. No more booting back into Mac OS 9 to fine tune the saucer.
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