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By JULES ALLEN, Times Correspondent

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 29, 1999

Around the web . . .

Caustic wit

It's that time of year when we, the general public, are spoon-fed the kind of dross that would have been labeled B movies in gentler times. It's a strange time of year -- sandwiched between the end of the summer blockbusters and some potentially good holiday season fare. Tech Times devotees know there's nothing I like more than a good moan about something. Perhaps if the bottom ever falls out of this Internet thing, I could set up shop across the street from Mr. Cranky (perhaps not, as we all know there's no end to this Internet thing). His vitriolic, adult wit burns into the greedy movie industry and will have you rolling in the aisles.

Spot spotting

Before discovering wine, women and song, my major vice was a candy bar or three. And, as if on cue, 24 hours would pass and my face would erupt like Mount St. Helens on steroids. You would think that my preteen mind would have made the association that sugar = zits. But when you're craving the good stuff, you'll suffer the consequences. Alas pimples aren't limited to youthful members of society. A little stress will remind your face what it's like to be 12 again. While this site strongly suggests that you consider Ortho Dermatological brand fester fighters, there's a lot of good info for anybody with a zit or two, including a PimpleGram and a Space Invaders-type game to help lighten things up.

More free help

One day, computer devices will self heal and fix themselves when things go wrong. They'll be intuitive to operate and totally crash-proof. Don't hold your breath, though; that day is a long way off. In the mean time, the Internet provides rich resources for those who are prepared to help themselves. C/Net's is the latest in a string of really good, free help sites to crop up. It's a peer-to-peer question-and-answer forum. My only gripe is your e-mail address is in plain view of the world. That's great when you're after a quick answer but is really bad if it falls into the hands of spammers.

X marks the spot

I was wondering why some bright spark hadn't given one of the many Web-driven file storage places better integration with a PC. Dragging and dropping files around on a local network is a great way to get organized and now it's possible to drag and drop files from your Windows 95/98 PC to this free file storage service. (A version for Windows NT is under development, and ones for Mac and Linux/Unix are being considered.) The Web interface is almost completely driven by JavaScript, and I was irritated that there was no kind of checking for it being turned off. I've purposely turned mine off for sites I don't trust, and I thought this site was broken. That aside, if you're a Windows 95/98 user, this site is a smart way of transferring and backing up your files.

Look, Ma! No wires!

On to this week's Really Geeky segment: Just after the announcement of Apple's nifty AirPort wireless base station for roaming Macs, Farallon comes out with SkyLine, an equal opportunity PC card that allows both Windows and Mac notebook computers to access the AirPort and thus the Internet. What this means to you is that you can run around your house with a notebook computer and pretend to socialize with those unlucky enough to live with you while you indulge your inability to be away from e-mail for even five minutes.

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