DOUGLAS ADAMS DIES

Douglas Adams passed away on Friday. He was 49. He was the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, and several other of the most wonderful books in the world.

“So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

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HOME NETWORKING

I’m convinced that home networking is going to be huge. The various wireless and phone line options to connect home computers and share an Internet connection are exciting. They will open up possibilities you haven’t even dreamed of yet. You’re going to want this in your house. Trust me.

But not yet. […] continued

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OFFICE XP

I spent ten minutes today looking at Microsoft Office XP for the first time. Two things jumped out as features that might be worth the price of admission, if they work. I’ll be watching the reviews.

— Voice recognition is built into the Office applications. Microsoft has been pouring money into voice recognition technology for years now, but this is the first time anything has come out of the labs (with trivial exceptions). […] continued

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CDR PRICES TO RISE

Stock up on blank CDRs! According to this article, a combination of circumstances is going to cause the price of blank CDRs to jump significantly in the next couple of months – as much as triple the current prices.

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HOMEPAGE VIRUS

There’s another virus travelling around quickly this morning. It’s similar to the Anna Kournikova “Love Bug” virus – annoying but it doesn’t damage your computer. The “Homepage” virus will arrive in a message from someone you know, with the subject line “Homepage.” The attachment is a .vbs visual basic script that opens a porno web site on your computer and sends the message on to everyone in your Outlook address book. […] continued

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DELL COMPUTERS

As other computer manufacturers fall by the wayside, Dell continues to stand out. They ship promptly, they don’t make very many mistakes, and their customer support is as good as it gets. That is to say, not everyone has a happy experience, but the odds are better with Dell than with any other manufacturer. […] continued

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ORBITZ.COM

Five major airlines are working to bring Orbitz.com online next month as a one-stop source for airline reservations. Every other human being connected with the travel industry is screaming bloody murder. The airlines have already squeezed commissions to travel agents and Orbitz looks like an effort to short-circuit the remaining agencies and the online travel services. […] continued

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EASY CD CREATOR 5 & WINDOWS 2000

Easy CD Creator is the software I use for burning CDs. It’s got a reasonably simple interface and it does almost everything most people want to do with their burners. (Out at the fringe, with other software, it’s possible to overburn CDs, copy discs that are copy-protected, and have more fine-grained control over the process, but most people never get to that point.)

As I understood it, Microsoft licensed some of the underlying technology from Adaptec and included it in Windows 2000. […] continued

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WINDOWS XP PRODUCT ACTIVATION

Tech types are all atwitter over the “Product Activation” requirement that will be introduced with Windows XP. After you install a retail copy of Windows XP, you won’t have unfettered use of it until you “activate” it online or with a phone call to Microsoft. There’s lots of details, but the idea is to keep you from installing one copy on multiple computers. […] continued

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MORE CHEAP COMPUTERS

Look, this is getting ridiculous. Costco has a few dozen E-Machines today with these specs: Celeron 633MHz processor, 64Mb RAM, 15 Gb HD, plus a DVD drive and the usual accessories. Price: $399.99, including a 15″ monitor! Amazing.

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SATELLITE STORY, PART 5

My purchase order is in for Pegasus Express Plus service. The price has dropped a bit in the last two weeks. Startup costs are about $600 for hardware (including installation) and software. Service for 2-4 computers is $99/month, plus $15/month for a static IP address. No delays yet in the service rollout, so June is still the target. […] continued

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CABLE INTERNET ACCESS

AT&T now owns most of the cable system in Sonoma County. They’ve amusingly named the cable division “AT&T Broadband,” and cable Internet service has been rolled out to limited parts of Windsor and Healdsburg. Just for fun, I spoke again to the AT&T @Home division that handles Internet access. As of today, AT&T @Home has no record of the existence of a city named “Sebastopol,” much less a date to roll out service – and they’re looking at a schedule filling up the next year. […] continued

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MICROSOFT & SMALL BUSINESSES

Microsoft has revamped its bCentral web site, a collection of services and resources for small businesses. One interesting example is the offer to design and host a web site from scratch for $399. That’s the price for a custom design with a generic but relatively professional look, and five pages of content. […] continued

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NEW ADOBE ACROBAT & QUICKTIME

I don’t know whether these are compelling upgrades – haven’t tried them, don’t know about new features – but Adobe has released Acrobat Reader 5.0 and Apple finished work on Quicktime for Windows 5.0. Acrobat 4.0 was very polished and stable, and I’m not sure what would make a new version seem like a big improvement. […] continued

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WEB SITE OF THE DAY

You were probably thinking to yourself, gosh, I wonder where I can see stick figures fighting Jackie Chan-style? Aren’t you glad I’m around to help? (Requires Flash and a bit of a wait while it downloads.) After you’ve seen that, you’ll probably be exhausted and ready for the simpler pleasures of things my girlfriend and I have argued about. […] continued

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