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© St. Petersburg Times, published August 23, 1999

Cross-platform chat
Online chat rooms have been blisteringly popular for a long time. I remember paying CompuServe $22 an hour for the privilege of real-time words-and-spaces swapping, and of course now it is available for free (if only I could get that online money back and buy Red Hat stock with it). What is ultra-groovy about BeeDo's chat is it is Java based, so in theory it will work on your computer if your browser supports Java. It is full of Swedes, because BeeDo is a Scandinavian company (and if you go to, you will get it all in Swedish). Of course it works on Windows, it worked on my Unix-like FreeBSD box and there is a pretty good chance it might work on your iMac, too.

Truth in Y2K statements
Blah, blah, blah, Y2K, blah, blah, we are not liable, blah, blah. In addition to being sick of the whole Y2K experience, I am sick of spineless Y2K statements. But not Hart Scientific's. It is hysterical, brilliant and what a Y2K statement ought to be. Just for fun, I'm going to call the people who made my toaster, my kitchen knives and my desk to see if they have any kind of statement. Watch this space.

Click and save!
The universe pays you back for bad things you do. I got a spoonful of that recently when I shelled out close to $100 to find out a fuse was wobbly and stopped my air conditioning from blowing cold. Amazingly these fuse things are everywhere in my house, so I have resolved to find out more about how the place ticks. And in true geek style, I wound up at ImproveNet, a showcase, planning and consumer-to-contractor hookup site. Instead of learning about fuses, I realized how horrible my kitchen is, so I am having it redone. Who said the Web saves you money?

Clearly better
Do-it-yourself types will drool over Ryan's Clear Computer Case, a modification that will no doubt invalidate any warranty your PC may have. It is a step-by-step plan to strip your computer of the boring beige and turn it into a plexiglass work of art, while letting it do computer-type things. Sure, you could buy an iMac in the same way that you could change your own fuses. But what fun would that be?

Southern style
Here in the United States, we are blessed with a wealth of different cuisine styles. That is what we get when we put 270-million people from around the planet in one place. In other less fortunate countries, such as the one I am from, we lived mostly on a diet of sawdust, which isn't that tasty. Naturally places such as those described in Soul Food Online whip me into a frenzy and I found some wonderful local establishments I am busting to try. A frantic wave of the calash to Terry Parks for tipping me off to this one.

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