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© St. Petersburg Times, published October 4, 1999

Desktop to go

The idea of an Internet terminal has been kicking around since I joined the fray in the early '90s. It would be a simple device that would give secure access to the Web and would be easy enough for your mother to use. Network computer advocate Sun Microsystems tried this once before, and the whole thing fell as flat as day-old beer. But it might be on to something with the latest incarnation, the Sun Ray, especially in the field of education, which is what this CNN article explores. Without an access card, you can't use the network. As a school kid, I would regularly lose really important things (such as my shoes), so it'll be interesting to see how it works in the real world.

Stop that! It's silly

In Site Seeings of yore, we've broached the topic of squirrel fishing, the act of trying to get squirrels to latch on to goodies attached to string and then hoisting the unsuspecting rodents in the air. Normally the topic would drift through the mind of a reasonable person and out the other ear, never to be thought of again. But if you want normal, you picked the wrong column. It's obvious to me now that the squirrels have us on the run, not the other way around. Read this page and all will be explained.

Auction junkies rejoice

Just as the idea of a Web directory such as Yahoo or a shopping directory such as has demilitarized each respective area, it's a natural progression for the Internet auction genre to have a search engine of its own. It indexes quite a few auction sites with the notable exception of eBay. So fire up one browser window with eBay and one with Bidstream. And drool at the goodies you could own.

All Dave, all the time

Computer emulators are rather smart devices that allow, for example, your Mac to run Windows software. It's no walk in the park to do this but quite feasible with the fast machines we have today. What isn't so easy is emulating humans. A good step in the human emulation department comes from a bright spark by the name of Bennett Haselton. He took the time to write AutoDave!, a simple Dave Barry emulator that will have you giggling if the Real Dave tickles your funny bone.

Geek girls

Who said being a nerd was the exclusive domain of men? This movement was created to combat the "locker room mentality" of Linux's online support presence. Having been in a chat area or two, it can get pretty brutal and asbestos underwear often is required. Good news is you can keep your gender intact and still join -- it's primarily a women's support network but anybody is welcome if he/she plays nice. I think they're on to something.

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