In grrls we trust
By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 26, 1999
The Internet has brought a voice to everybody, not just the middle-aged white guys who have traditionally had the microphone. One of the genres that fascinates me is the Grrl movement: upwardly mobile, independent women from the teens on up. I find the energy and mostly positive nature absolutely electrifying. Plus it gives fat saps like me a chance to peer into the female mind so I can kid myself, just for a moment, that I understand what is going on. Yeah, right. This site is great. All the fun of Cosmo but without the need to rip all the mail-in cards so the thing will lie flat.
Furthering the theory that geeks care about information rather than aesthetics, this site provides so much information that even geeky-wizard and Tech Times columnist John Torro might learn a thing or two. You find excellent information on networking Windows-based PCs, servers and non-Windows boxes. Got problems getting Samba to talk to NT? Dial-up networking giving you the NO CARRIER blues? Before you know it, your local area network will be like a '70s Coke commercial with everybody living in perfect harmony.
PCs don't have the exclusive right to networking aggravation. When the networking tools fairy came to bless the various operating systems with TCP/IP (that magic bit that allows you to connect to the Net) troubleshooting goodies, I imagined the Mac was outside having a cigarette. That's a shame because when my Mac-based chums call at 3 a.m. with their Internet-related woes, there is not a great deal I can do to help. But no more! This nifty $10 utility takes a scalpel to the networking internals and opens them, lab-rat like, for the world to see. Now you can call me late and often for help.
April Fool's on the Net was generally a snoozer this year. Everybody must have been totally fixated on making money rather than having a fleeting moment of levity -- with the exception of those waggish investors at the Motley Fool. I heard about its fictitious eMeringue over dinner and almost coughed my dentures into my cedar-baked salmon because I was laughing so hard. The story is one of a company that ships you ready-made meringue toppings and its IPO. Hysterical.
Ah, the good old days -- before skinny lattes, fat-free this and that, and decaffeinated coffee tables. The days when a hearty meal contained verboten ingredients such as butter, cheese, and -- gasp! -- red meat. Even though the site is built to plug a book, you will get a bang out of the content, providing your stomach and your arteries don't get you first.
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