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ATPM 7.02
February 2001


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About This Particular Web Site

by Paul Fatula,

Isys Information Architects Inc.

Don’t let the i in the URL fool you; this is decidedly not a Mac propaganda site, much as I wish it could be. It belongs to a company that specializes in “highly usable information systems,” in other words, user interface design. In all likelihood, you’re already familiar with their Interface Hall of Shame, which wrote a deservedly scathing piece on QuickTime 4 when it first came out. If you haven’t read it, it’s a must. But the site is much more than that, with an Interface Hall of Fame delivering praise to the praiseworthy. The “New Entries” section features some great screenshots, generally from Windows, of true interface stupidities.


OK, so the Web is overflowing with pages offering desktop pictures. The ones on Mobius do a great job being both interesting and non-distracting, an unusual combination, in my experience. The images are complex abstract renderings, generally on the dark side and not overly colorful, which means your desktop icons will still stick out over the background, as well they should. While the images don’t tend to be available in a great variety of sizes, they do come in large, and from there, your Mac can scale them to fit your monitor size.

Patrick Combs’ Good Thinking Site

This is the site of a man who deposited a $95,093.35 junk mail check and lived to tell the tale of the madness that followed. That story alone (yes, its true) is great reading, but there’s a lot more where that came from. Combs also recounts times he delivered a baby on the sidewalk, got the president to sign his sweatshirt, guested on talk shows, and lots more. If you’re sitting in front of your computer bored and looking for some entertaining reading, this site is for you.


This is a relatively new site, which I found out about in the latest EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) E-mail Alert. Its purpose is to keep readers informed of the latest happenings in the area of (how’d you guess?) Internet privacy—and boy does it do a good job! Updated daily, the site is full of news and updates from around the world. It also provides links to off-site articles and “privacy resources” where you can learn more about protecting yourself from unscrupulous Web sites. As one would expect, the site doesn’t use cookies: “We are an information resource, not an information sponge.”


What does spam really mean? Can you ever know for sure? Spammimic lets you turn meaning into spam, literally! Type in some text, hit “encode,” and your very own spam message gets created. Send it off to someone and, assuming it doesn’t get filtered directly into /dev/null (that’s trash for everyone else), the recipient can go to spammimic and translate your spam back into a meaningful message.

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