By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 17, 1999
Imagine driving down I-275 looking for a particular exit. But all of the highway signs flash, have tiny text and almost go out of their way to be unreadable. As time ticks on, some people's senses deteriorate and bad Web design makes their lives harder. Are you guilty? Click over to this page from Microsoft. If you spot any familiar nasties, break out your HTML editor and fix them right away. The downloadable white paper contains groovy design tips that could benefit all Web readers, not just seniors for which it is intended.
It seems like hundreds of years ago that the sometimes-bearded leader of Oracle, Larry Ellison, unveiled the idea of a network computer. His idea of an Internet appliance, rather than a computer, flopped. But it obviously got others such as Landel Telecom thinking. It offers a $200 device that does nothing but read e-mail -- just as your toaster does nothing but make toast. A nifty idea with a subscription at an affordable $10 per month. Unfortunately you can pick up quite a decent second-hand computer for about the same amount and it can do a lot more than read e-mail. Now if the machine were less than $50 or free with a year's subscription, I would even take one.
Ah, the good old days, when we poor folks stored our data on audiocassettes and 64k of random access memory seemed like enough to last a lifetime. Back when the industry had some characters who weren't afraid of anything. This page brought back some distant memories of hardware gone by to the point where I tried to con one of my co-workers into giving up his ancient Kaypro II. Okay, I couldn't get the machine but at least I've still got Bill, Guido and Steve.
There might be a grain of truth in this fanciful article. The premise seems to be that if you've become addicted to one of those nifty Palm Pilots, the super highway between your fingers and your brain will have been permanently re-routed so you can write only in Graffiti, the way you enter text into your Pilot. Frankly I think my inability to write with a pen stems from the fact that I've been addicted to e-mail since the late '80s. Like my high-school French, handwriting has become a dim memory. Quel horreur!
Lacking the eloquence to write that relationship terminating it's-not-you, it's-me letter or e-mail? Or do you have the necessary verbal skills but are too lazy, pathetic or hung over to write the thing yourself? Then Site Seeing is your break-up best buddy. Fire up this link, type in the dumpee's name and hit submit. If only divorce and bankruptcy could be so simple.
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