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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BORDERS HANDS ONLINE OPERATIONS TO AMAZON

Did you see that Borders is handing its web site to Amazon? Borders will close its own site, and Amazon will open a new site that features both logos, with Amazon essentially taking all responsibility for inventory and order fulfillment. At one time it was thought that the bricks-and-mortar retailers could leverage their stores by tying them to their web sites. […] continued

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LINKS TO PUNDITS

A new addition to the Favorites page (under News / Links): Slate links, a collection of links to hundreds of political columnists, editorial pages, movie critics, book reviewers, gossip writers, and others.

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GATEWAY PULLING OUT OF OFFICEMAX

Tough year! Gateway is struggling with slumping sales and a fuzzy business plan. It’s closing a bunch of its own Gateway Country stores, and it just announced that it’s going to withdraw from 1000 OfficeMax stores.

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MICROSOFT CORDLESS MOUSE

I should have expected that Microsoft would release its own cordless mouse, to counter the recent successful releases from Logitech. Here’s an early review of the Microsoft cordless mouse.

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CHEAP COMPUTERS

Prices are nosediving again. Want a cheap computer? There’s only a few left, but how about an E-Machine E-Monster 1000 – a Pentium III 1GHz processor, 20Gb hard drive, 64Mb of RAM, and a CD recorder – for $775. Remarkable stuff, and prices are only going to be going further down in the next few months. […] continued

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