Check out our bi-weekly Net perspective. Our goal is to make these columns useful for our readers whether they be novice or pro, while still offering a fun to read column. Feel free to let us know what Internet resources you find useful in your personal, educational, or business life - it might just end up in one of our columns!
After making it through six months of winter this past year you'd think we could put up with a little rain now and again. However, we still have to answer the question of what to do on those rainy afternoons. Well,we recommend the Internet. There's plenty to keep you occupied when you've got a connection and some free-time.
These wet spells are a good time to catch up on all the things we've been putting off, like cleaning and maintaining your personal computer. This is a great time to clean out any old files you don't need or try out new utilities. Check out Jumbo! for some neat shareware utilities (www.jumbo.com/util). You can download anti-viral or mail utilities, file organizers, or any number of programs. shareware.com (www.shareware.com) also is a great resource for these types of programs. Both of these sites are also great for shareware games!
Speaking of games, they're a great way to learn... errr... spend your time. In addition to the two shareware sites listed above, try any of the major search engines for their index of games. For example, the game index of Lycos (a2z.lycos.com/Entertainment_and_Leisure/Games/index-popular.html) lists directories of computer games, game companies, action games, and much more. Many popular games are shareware or freeware. Macintosh users can check out Mankala, a 24-bit color game for the Power Macintosh written by a local programmer (www.harborpoint.com/10thmuse). Other great game sites include Games Domain (www.gamesdomain.com) and Happy Puppy Games (www.happypuppy.com).
Perhaps you've wanted to computerize your personal finances. Tired of trying to balance the checkbook on the back of napkins or envelopes? You could fire up that trusty spreadsheet application that you have lurking on your hard drive or you could purchase one of the popular financial software applications. The two most popular are Quicken (www.intuit.com) and Microsoft Money (www.microsoft.com/moneyzone/more.htm). Quicken users will want to check the Unofficial Quicken Home Page (quicken.sj-coop.net/Quicken.html) for some useful tips and tricks; Microsoft Money for Windows 95 users can find useful information at users.aimnet.com/~hle/money95. Just because it's raining now doesn't mean we can't plan that picnic while taking in Shakespeare in the Park Tuesday night - or does it? Better check out the local weather from USA Today (www.usatoday.com/weather/basemaps/nw725280.htm). Or try the Intellicast Weather service (www.intellicast.com/weather/buf) which even includes a "Buffalo Allergy Alert" (www.intellicast.com/allergy/buf). These forecasts are updated hourly and come complete with satellite and radar maps for Western New York.
Maybe you're tremendously bored and wondering how your air conditioning actually keeps you cool. We didn't find a detailed on answer on that (we probably wouldn't understand it anyway), but we did find a small site detailing what to do if your a/c isn't working quite right (www.hotcold.com/cold_1.html). Maybe the best thing to do on a rainy day is turn on your television or take in a movie. To find out what's on the tube go to TVNet (tvnet.com) or TV Guide (www.iguide.com/tv/) for the latest information about the industry as well as features and listings. The TV Guide site even allows you to download their crossword puzzle software! Some of the major networks also provide their broadcast lineups on-line: NBC (www.nbc.com/entertainment/schedule), ABC (www.abc.com/tonight.html), CBS (www.cbs.com), CNN (www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/scheds.html) and Fox (www.fox.com/foxtv.htmM). Renting a video is always a great way to forget about the rain. Take a peek at Blockbuster Video's site (www.blockbuster.com) for the latest and greatest releases. There are thousands of video reviews on the net - some amateur - that you can use to help you narrow down your video picks. A directory of some of these reviews appears on Yahoo (www.yahoo.com/Entertainment/Movies_and_Films/Reviews). You can also check out the Internet Movie Database (www.buffalo.net/buffalonet/moviesearch.html) for information about a particular movie you might want to rent. If you're into first-run movies, check out information on the latest releases on the Internet. Most of the major movie studios now have World Wide Web sites that promote their current movies including some that we thought were neat: Sony Pictures Entertainment (www.spe.sony.com/Pictures/SonyMovies/), Paramount Pictures (www.paramount.com), or MCA/Universal (www.mca.com). Check out a complete index of movie studios at (a2z.lycos.com/Entertainment_and_Leisure/Movies_and_Videos/Studios). Some cities even have up to date movie theater schedules on line. Unfortunately, we haven't found any local movie listings on the web.
And just in case you missed any of our articles, you can find all previous Internet Guys articles on-line (www.edgeglobal.com/iguys). Now might also be a good time to drop us a note on what you've found interesting on-line. We're curious about local angles to the Internet. Email (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or fax ((716) 853-1350) us your ideas.