By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 1999, The Syracuse Newspapers
Bit Player for May 23, 1999
Chris Pirillo is going to burn out one of these days. But before he does, take advantage of his indefatigable nature and subscribe to his free and fascinating newsletter, Lockergnome. If you're a Windows user, you'll find it indespensible.
Go to http://www.lockergnome.com/ to fill out a form and you'll start receiving Lockergnome by e-mail. You can also read past issues on the site.
Pirillo and his wife, Gretchen, have an unusual eye for interesting and helpful tips, programs and sites on the Web. There are many other newsletters that try to do the same thing, but not a single one can touch Lockergome's formula: Take a literate Windows enthusiast, add a recent bride, mix in some personal references (always done tastefully), sprinkle in a few excellent tips or links in each issue and keep the entire thing brief enough to be read in a minute or two.
Chris and Gretchen also maintain a good balance between enthusiasm for Windows and a healthy recognition of the many shortcomings of Microsoft's operating system. They're not cheerleaders, and that helps make all their recommendations more valuable.
Another essential newsletter for Windows users who like to download free programs is the Freeware Home newsletter. You can subscribe at http://freewarehome.com/mainpage/subscr.html.
The Freeware Home newsletter lists new files that have been added to the freeware collection at the Freeware home Web site. A brief explanation for each file appears below a download link that leads to the Freeware Home site.
The site itself is well organized. Unlike some freeware and shareware sites, Freeware Home always tries to include a link to the author's or developer's home site. This can help show you what the program does (and often how it looks on the screen) before you download it.
I also like the IDG newsletters that come a couple of times a day. I can read them quickly and jump right to a site that catches my eye. IDG is a print publisher with a strong online operation, too.
You can find the IDG newsletters and many others at http://www.tipworld.com/.
Finally, if you'd like to get in on the revolution that's sweeping the PC world – the big switch to Linux among millions of former Windows users worldwide – here are some sites to visit every week or so:
The LinuxToday site at http://linuxtoday.com/.
Linux Weekly News at .http://www.lwn.net/.
The Linux headquarters site (a private effort) at http://www.linuxhq.com/.
The home page, very spartan, of Linux guru Linus Torvalds, at http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/~torvalds/.