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© St. Petersburg Times, published November 22, 1999

Why should you care?

There's a common perception that Linux, the operating system that could, is difficult to install. Well, it's not alone; all operating systems are a nightmare for the average person to install. Unless you've had a disk crash or your PC didn't ship with an operating system, this particular brand of computer joy has passed you by. And trust me, you're not missing anything. Corel is out to change that with its flavor of Linux. It supposedly has one of the most hassle-free installations of any operating system, Unix variant or not. If you've considered having a sniff at this Linux thing but have been put off by the geek factor, you might want to give the freebie version a try.

Hit-and-miss searching

It's a great idea but the implementation is kind of hit-and-miss. I'm a forgiving person (when I feel like it) and this useful destination still has that new site smell. If you're against homogenized video chain giants that dictate how employees should dress and cut their hair, you'll enjoy this site's references to the little guys. The tape section is on target, but the DVD area is wacky -- the nearest place to rent most DVDs is in Pennsylvania. If the gas bill didn't bankrupt me, the late charges would for sure.

Eye candy alert

Taking a good photograph is like cooking a good meal. The ingredients are important but it's what you do with them that makes all the difference. Goons like me can spend a lot of money on whizz-bang equipment and take really bad pictures (which is an art in itself, a story for another day). If you'd like to peruse some of the photographic greats, the absurdly long domain named awaits you and your trusty computer rodent. My favorite works belong to Diane Arbus, and I imagine she would have a field day at my family reunion.

Free money!

Sick of hearing about mega-rich twentysomethings and the media stories of them selling their vapid Internet start-ups for a bazillion dollars? Do you hate your miserable life and long to laze on a beach somewhere sipping beverages from a coconut? Then help is at hand. All you need is an Internet-related business plan and some gullible rube with a stack of cash to buy your company. Use this wonderful business plan generator for the former and please e-mail me if you find the latter.

It's the servers, stupid

The non-technological citizens of the world were aghast at the thought of Microsoft being portrayed as a bullying monopoly, even stepping on the toes of monster-size companies such as IBM. That nice Gates fellow? How can this be? But, as publisher Tim O'Reilly points out, Judge Thomas Pennfield Jackson's report is focused on the desktop and not on the server end of the business. So, if you believe the opinion of this article, you'll perhaps get a better perspective of just how important the server side of the Web really is. If you're remotely interested in the antitrust case, this article makes good reading. Before you wade in, know that O'Reilly and Associates is one of the largest publishers of open source books.

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