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© St. Petersburg Times, published December 20, 1999

Lazy photo processing

This start-up is betting big bucks that you and your digital camera will take advantage of its free online photo storage gallery. In addition to keeping your digital shots safe, you can share your photos with friends and family. This site has a bunch of smart features but the most useful is a filter to get rid of red eye. Take photos like I do and you'll understand. They'll print your photos on high-quality paper and mail them to you or a friend for a small fee (hint: much cheaper than buying a high-end color printer for your home or office). If there was ever a reason to own a digital camera, ShutterFly might be it.

What geeks really want, Part 1

Before you know it, the fat guy with the sackful of goodies will be attempting to squeeze through the air-conditioning ducts and bring us our rewards for a year of poor behavior. Looking back at the evil things I've done this year, it'll be slim pickings Saturday. So I'm going to reward myself for my misdeeds with a spanky refurbished 1950s TV from It's not too late to get the geek in your life something that nobody else has because this, ultimately, it's what we lust after. RAM and PDA's are nice, but you can't beat being the only cat on the block with a General Electric Hotpoint mid-1950s portable TV.

What geeks really want, Part 2

Chances are, if you live with a geek, you're up to your ears in TVs, so maybe Harry's site is a bad idea. Most of your TVs are probably missing things like cases anyway. So why add fuel to the fire? What you need to reward yourself with is a watch like no other! A full-blown wrist-based personal digital assistant with a screen so small, you'll need a microscope to schedule lunch. Palm organizers are so common and useful, they have precious little nerd factor left.

A free e-mail surprise

Well baste my Christmas puddings! I was looking for a decent e-mail program for my new iBook and resigned myself to paying for Eudora, one of the most full-featured, non-Unix e-mail programs. I was delighted to learn that Qualcomm is offering the next version for free. It will be supported by advertising. Should that offend your eyes, you can pay the $50 to make it advertising free. An innovative approach and I hope it works. Version 4.3 is in beta. It has been stable for me but that might not be the case for you. Govern yourselves accordingly.

Privacy's still a joke

If you're concerned about what little privacy you assume is yours, you might as well stop worrying because you have absolutely none. I'm not talking about the credit bureaus or the government selling your driving records. Without resorting to illegal means, Joe Average can spend a little money and dig up your Social Security number and your date of birth. Combined with your name, those are the magic keys to steal your identity. Scared silly? I am. Note that the New York Times site is free but requires registration.

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