Journal: News & Comment

Wednesday, April 18, 2001
# 5:04:00 PM:

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Hi there, Sun readers

The Thursday, 19 April edition of the Vancouver Sun lists some of my favourite sites in its "My Bookmarks" column, part of the "Net Works" weekly technology section. Here are some sites I visit regularly that didn't fit into the print edition:

Search: I use Google and Yahoo! -- if they don't help, I resort to AltaVista (especially its translator),, or the Open Directory Project.

Info for Mac users: I visit MacInTouch, MacNN, VersionTracker, MacFixit, and Low End Mac. New users of Mac OS X will also enjoy Mac OS X Hints, Xicons, and the Iconfactory.

General Tech News: I don't live in California, but "Good Morning Silicon Valley" is the best daily summary, and the author is pretty snarky too. The Register (from the U.K.) also has a bad attitude -- a good thing. Wired News still doesn't take things too seriously. ZDNet's Anchordesk isn't as good now that Jesse Berst has left, but David Coursey is a reasonable replacement. And cnet's, even if it is bland as white toast, makes news easy to digest.

Canadian Content: Not long ago, Canadian expatriates had to try shortwave radio to get a taste of home. Now, (or, if you prefer, is a comprehensive Web site that offers a huge selection of CBC programming (mostly from radio and TV news). Even people like me, who live in Canadian cities, use the site for its archives (in case we missed a show) or to listen to the radio when we have a computer, but no radio, nearby. Words: Woe and Wonder is a good sub-section of the site for language geeks like me too.

Analysis and Humour: Salon publishes some of the best writing on the Web, even if there's a bit less of it now that they're not so flush with money. The Onion remains bitingly funny and on target -- rarely has something so mean made me laugh so hard and often.

Music: Other than the Web site for The Neurotics, the band I play drums in, I don't visit a lot of musical sites. I do, however, listen to Internet radio a lot ever since I got a copy of iTunes (free for the Mac). Right now I often have BeNOW, Texas Flood Radio, PirateRadio, Rewind 69, Chart Boy '60s, or Goon Squad Radio tuned in.

Shopping: In 1996, I made my first online purchase: a Magic Bag. We still have it. Today, eBay Canada is my favourite, though I also buy stuff from Small Dog Electronics in Vermont, Onvia Canada here in Vancouver, Chapters Online, CompuSmart, and Indigo.

Pals: I often check up with my friends, acquaintances, and former coworkers through the weblogs they maintain, which include: Alistair, Sam, Marlas and Stef, Jason, Jo B., and Mark.

The best information on the Web still has the stamp of a human author. Often, I find smaller sites run by individuals or small teams more helpful than big ones run by large companies. Still, there are some things big companies do better.

In case you missed them...

My original top picks for Web sites to be published in the newspaper were: TidBITS (tech news and commentary), World Wide Words (English Language), Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox (Web design), MacSurfer's Headline News (what it says), and Blogger (the tool I use to post these journal updates).


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