By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 5, 1999
By now the hubbub about the nefarious Melissa macro-virus should have calmed down. I was surprised by this one in two ways: Nobody had written something like it previously, and, it got near top billing on last Monday's All Things Considered on the highly impartial NPR. National attention means that virus writers are going to be seeking new ways to mess with you and your data. If you don't run a virus checker, now's a good time to download one -- go to Yahoo! or your favorite search engine and type in "'virus protection."
Before my primary home PC did the Linux/FreeBSD/OpenBSD operating system shuffle, it was running Windows NT, Microsoft's most stable operating system. I was hooked up to the very nifty, $15-per-month Internet-based backup service from Atreiva. While cleaning out bookmarks the other day, I mistakenly fired up its site and found that it has started to offer its service for free. While it's browser based, it works only with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 on Windows. But if you're interested in securely storing less than 10MB of data, it won't cost you a dime and you might just thank yourself if your hard disk goes south.
Who ya gonna call?
So much of the Web, so little time. My new theory on why the Web appears to be so slow in the evening is that the overworked ad servers just can't keep up with the demand. If they are doubling the Internet's bandwidth every 60 days, that means there must be bunches of new users firing up their browsers. And judging by the speed of the server, the ad folks aren't keeping up. So the latest gadget on my Browser Swiss Army Knife is JunkBusters' proxy server. It takes a bit of tweaking on your part, as you have to be able to read HTML (to find out where the ads originate) and add them to your block list. Totally free and available for Unix and 32-bit Windows PCs. No Mac version, though.
When I'm 64 ...
As my old chum Herschel Chicowitz always says, being a "boomer isn't so much a matter of birth date, it's an attitude." And do I have an abundance of attitude. During my visit to this online magazine, the authors were celebrating the Atomic Age and had republished some rather interesting articles from the '50s. Add in a factoids section, a crossword, and the obligatory e-postcard generator, and you've actually got a nice site, daddy-o.
A thumbs up
While we've got this nostalgia thread in gear, feast your peepers on these wonderful movie posters of yore. If you're driving on less than a 28K modem, be prepared for a wait, since the site's heavy on graphics. Oh, but it's well worth it. Plenty of 3D film posters, magazine covers, film noir, Westerns, and more Frankenstein posters than you can shake a stick at.