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© St. Petersburg Times, published September 20, 1999

The write way

Contrary to what many of the sites you may see offer, there is a right way and a wrong way to bash out copy for the Web. We live in fast times, have short attention spans (go ahead, point your finger at yours truly) and reading reams of boring copy just doesn't cut it. If you are a professional wordsmith or just knocking together a family page, this site has oodles of good information. Bookmark it and come back every once in a while. It will do us all good.

Good deal for some

First it was free cellular phones, then free PCs. Now we've stumbled across free color printers. If you have a small- to medium-size business, it doesn't seem like a bad deal. Just meet Ye Mystical Minimum Monthly Print Volume (which isn't defined anywhere on the site), buy all your ink from the manufacturer's site and the printer is yours, rent free. If you don't meet the requirements in a month, you're charged $75. Home users need not apply unless you spit out an ungodly amount of color printouts. I'm holding out for free pizza. I'm sure I could make the minimum monthly consumption wishes of the most demanding vendor

Send in the clones

Handheld computer devotees rejoice! Former Palm Computing founders Donna Dubinsky and technical bigwig Jeff Hawkins have licensed the little computer that could and given it a much needed feature-set upgrade. While others have made industrial flavor Pilots, Handspring's computer is the first Palm licensee to focus on the consumer market -- the same space that 3Com dominates. The upside is you and I will enjoy more features for less money, and some iMac-inspired case designs

Wonder-full for Windows

I hardly need to tell you that free computer technical support has gone the way of eight-track tapes. It's ironic, as the productivity applications we play with on a daily basis have become more cumbersome and difficult to use. All kinds of innovative free support solutions are springing up, and stands proudly among them. NoWonder says it will support you for free, and my guess is it will try to sell you a premium membership for $25 per quarter later. Still it's not bad, and it's less than the cost of a per-incident single call to just about any software vendor. Its public boards are a little sparse but okay if you use Windows. Forget it if you have a Mac, Linux or some of the weirder operating systems, or you just don't communicate that well via e-mail

Deep fried

Tom Owad, the owner of this site, is a certified Apple Computer nut. And if not, he ought to be. This is one of the best collections of Apple computers I've seen. Replete with photos, it ranges from weird clones of the Apple II to the current machines. He even has a good write-up and pictures of the first sanctioned Apple Mac clone, the Outbound. I lugged one of these gems around the country during my wilder years . . . if only I could remember where I left it ">

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