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© St. Petersburg Times, published June 19, 2000

A daily dose of free

Let's face it. We all dig free stuff. Not just the odd cup of coffee at your favorite caffeine outlet or a round of gratis dessert from a favorite restaurant but a real, dyed-in-the-wool freebie. So, while what's offered at this site is not a mortgage payment or at least a good meal somewhere flashy, there are plenty of almost useless yet strangely appealing items to be had. Either enter your real demographic information or make some up for a goodie a day in your real-world mailbox. Blessings to She Who Must be Obeyed for the pointer to this one.

Lotta what?

America still warms to the yell of "Yeah, baby!" in a bad, fake English accent thanks to Mike Myer's Austin Powers. At least they do in the circles I frequent (note to self: must get different, funnier friends). Naturally this hasn't done the James Bond business any harm at all, and fun stuff like the Bond Girl Name Generator should tickle your funny areas.

It's a small world

If you've got a Windows CE-based handheld computer, it's a smaller world finally if you want to beam your electronic business card to a chum with a Palm. Unless you've been under a rock, the Palm is king of the handheld hill and, until this point, the two systems just didn't talk to each other on a social level. Thankfully there's a program for your CE device called PeaceMaker from Conduits Technologies just begging to be downloaded. It'll make that MS machine talk to a Palm. And it's free.

Visual search pleasures

I'm not sure if this search engine is better than anything else out there but, boy, does it look good. It's Java applet-powered, and if you think visually rather than in a list format, it might just do the trick for you. Even though it's a free product, the about page lists a phone number for support, which is another first.

Underpowered Mac?

Apple claims it's going to release its new version of the operating system that powers the Macintosh computer next year. Like most software projects, the shipping date has slipped from this summer, so don't hold your breath. Having played with the pre-release versions, I can attest that the OS is a radical departure from what you're used to if you're a Mac type. And it further distances older Macs from staying current. Some older machines are unable to run OS 9, the latest Mac OS, so gizmos such as Jerome Foucher's A-Dock are a fabulous addition for OS 8 users, as well as for keyboard junkies like me, who like to change applications without using the mouse. It'll cost you a mere $7 if you decide to register it and keep it after the trial period.

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