© St. Petersburg Times, published August 21, 2000
Feel free to browse...
A ghost writer
I've said some bold things in my time and, in retrospect, maybe I should have kept my big mouth shut. Ah well, thank goodness for mint-flavor shoes. If you swing toward the less verbal side of society or are blessed with an overabundance of tact, you may like this one. It's a site that allows you to send anonymous, well-crafted notes in the nicest possible way. Rather than struggling with such delicate matters, one simply picks a subject, marks a few checkboxes and -- voila! -- an e-mail that would please Miss Manners is a click way. Everything from hygiene to personal appearance to personality defects are covered. Deep joy!
The joy of cheap
Longtime readers know I live for discounted-to-the-point-of-being-ridiculously-priced stuff. I want it all and I want a coupon making it half price. That's why I thoroughly enjoy Fat Wallet, a free site that lists member-contributed price breaks at well-known online merchants. The real value for me, however, is the discussion forums. They're jammed with-up-to-the-moment info on what's to be had for less, vibrant discussions colorfully explaining differences in opinion. Consider this place to be as addicting as eBay but for extremely cheap people.
One reason my Apple PowerBook fulfills a big chunk of my mobile computing need is that I get a kick out of the user interface. Add-ons such as Kaleidoscope make the experience more interesting and, as some would argue, more like my Unix-based desktop machines. Hey, until Apple OS X gets here, I'll have to live with what I've got. At long last, Windows users can get in on this user-interface fun with Stardock's Window Blinds (how punny). It's an extension to the operating system that can add all kinds of interesting eye candy to one's desktop, including making it look like a Mac or BeOS. And at $20 it's not going to break the bank.
Oh, I'm kidding! But there does seem to be a large gap between previews, you have to admit. Like all pre-release software, treat this preview version of Netscape 6 with asbestos gloves. Don't put it near any important data lest your goats stop giving milk. If you used Preview 1, you'll notice there's a lot of nice new goodies in this version, such as themes (or skins, as most techies call them) and an e-mail program that works. At the very least, Web site authors may benefit from the download just to see how their work may look in the proper release version.
A hidden Agenda
Well, maybe not hidden per se, but it's certainly not as prominent or popular with the media as Compaq's iPaq palm-size, Linux-capable computer or Samsung's Yopy. And Agenda's Web site isn't half as annoying as Compaq's. The machine looks like the ultimate hackable PDA: It's a 4-ounce, well-connected Linux-based computer that could be a smash with hard-core techies as well as the rest of us eager to flee from Palm or Windows CE land. The manufacturer lists essential peripherals on the site such as a modem and a keyboard, which is a smart move. There's no word on wireless modems, which could be the only thing holding me back.
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111