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ATPM 6.12
December 2000


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About This Particular Web Site

by Paul Fatula,



Create Your Own Language

Aren’t you sick of all the rules and exceptions to rules and irregular verbs and strange tenses that plague English? Well, stop complaining and do something about it: Create your own language! This site contains a “How To” newsletter for people wanting to create their own model language, a basic English word list to get you started on vocabulary, and a link to a free program designed to let you “Invent your own language in minutes.” (Sadly it’s Windows-only, but the source code is available, so feel free to port it to your Mac.) The site also contains information about a staggeringly long list of invented languages, from Furbish to Pitakosilano. Sometimes silly, sometimes serious, and always obscure, this is your one-stop source for made-up languages.



Comments & Ratings of Hardware Resellers

One of many sites of its kind, ResellerRatings lets you view and post opinions of the many computer hardware vendors online. I’m a bit partial to this site over others such as because it saved me from buying a digital camera from a company whose customer comments are enough to give nightmares to any Internet shopper. The customer comments give you a much better idea of what a company is like than a mere numerical rating, even if it makes for lengthy reading (depending on which reseller you’re checking up on). Before placing an order from a company you’ve never done business with, check out this site.

McSweeney’s Internet Concern


McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, on the Web

The Internet version of the very small print journal, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern (“a quarterly journal published three times a year and distributed as best we can”) ranges from humorous to experimental to inane, with a new article posted every day on topics such as “Shampoo” and “What 100 People, Real and Fake, Believe About Dolores.” The zine is edited by Dave Eggers, whose Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, published earlier this year, pretty much lives up to its name. This is also the place to find out about the public appearances of Neal Pollack, who is unquestionably the best writer who ever lived. McSweeney’s is well worth checking out if you’re amused by that kind of thing, otherwise just throw it across the room.

Typing Injury FAQ


All About Repetitive Strain Injuries

While this site provides lots of information for people who suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other injuries caused by excessive computer use, my favorite section of the site is its listing of alternative input devices. There are many different keyboards designed to prevent (or at least minimize) RSIs, but finding one can be difficult, especially if Mac compatibility is an issue. This the place to start looking. Similar information is offered for furniture and mice, so go ahead and design your ideally ergonomic workstation, even if you could never afford it.

How Stuff Works


The Name Says It All

Go here satisfy your curiosity about common household appliances, electronics, foods, computers, car parts, and even Big Brother’s best buddy, Carnivore. The site is generally not too technical; it won’t give you all the information you need to make your own widget, but it will give you a good layman’s understanding of things. In addition to an item works, you’ll find out about its history. And the site’s search engine makes it easy to find whatever you’re looking for; you can even browse by category. There’s also an article on how How Stuff Works works for the self-referentially inclined.

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