Backbytes: Woz, Viator, Abebooks, Spamgourmet

WOZ

Apple zealots are thick on the ground in cyberspace, but perhaps none is more central to the Apple core than Steve ‘The Woz' Wozniak, co-inventor of the first Apple computer. Woz remains a central component of the Apple legacy. His personal Web site contains biographies, a webcam (‘wozcam'), links and a staggering collection of letters from fans, which he personally endeavours to answer. Of particular interest are his responses to questions about the TV movie ‘The Pirates of Silicon Valley' - the story of Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

www.wox.org.

Viator

If you're planning a holiday and you make most of your bookings before you go, point your Web browser to Viator. The site focuses on the tours you would take once you've arrived at your destination rather than bookings for airfares and accommodation. You can search by destination as well as interest (cooking, romance, whale watching, etc). Viator says the prices are the same as they would be if you made a reservation at your destination, and you can set the currency to Australian dollars.

www.viator.com.

Abebooks.com

Where Amazon is a book-selling behemoth, Abebooks.com draws on the resources of many smaller bookstores around the world to help you find rare, second-hand or out-of-print books. There's a fast search facility and you can rank the results by newest or price. Results detail the condition of the book and where the store is - so you can buy from a store closer to home, for instance, to save on postage. The Collector's Corner has features on collecting books as well as a resource to find old maps and prints.

www.abebooks.com.

Spamgourmet

Sick of the load of spam e-mails hitting your intray every day? Spamgourmet, offering disposable e-mail addresses and spam blocking, could be the solution. Don't think of this as a Hotmail or other free e-mail address alternative - it ‘eats' the spam (that's why it's called Spamgourmet!). There are two modes: no-brainer and advanced. The site is pretty minimal (in terms of help and how-tos) because its makers are keen to keep it a shoe-string operation.

www.spamgourmet.com.

Editor's choice: From one screen to another

There's been some argument that Net fans are spending less time watching TV and more time surfing, but there's no reason why the two can't complement each other. Many well-thought-out sites for popular TV shows exist that will keep fans happy between episodes.

Sex and The City fans are well catered-to at the site created for the show (www.hbo.com/city/index.shtm). As well as episode guides (complete with music credits) you'll find fashion slideshows and details on the interiors created for the four main characters. There's even an address book of the bars and restaurants they drink in if you're planning a trip to New York.

Friends fans should stop by Warner Brother's site (www2.warnerbros.com/web/friendstv/home.jsp). There's not as much behind-the-scenes details as Sex and The City, but if you're keen to know how certain plotlines develop before the episodes are screened here, check out the episode guide.

A more interactive site is the one for Crime Scene Investigation (www.cbs.com/primetime/csi/main.shtml). You can trawl through the case files to piece together the evidence and eventual solution for each murder in this drama set in police forensic labs in Las Vegas (you'll need Flash and some features require registration).

At The Simpsons official site (www.simpsons.com), you navigate using a map of the town of Springfield (mouse over different buildings to see where they'll take you). This is a great site to answer any Simpsons' trivia arguments. In the episode guide section use the chalkboard to pick the season and then click on one of the books alongside the snoring Homer for the episode number.

Home and Away has a cute site at http://homeandaway.com.au. Clickable cartoon depictions of various locations lead to further information and there are forums to chat with other fans.

Your favourite shows not covered here? Use Google! Tip: search on the name of the show, the word ‘official' and the word ‘TV' to help narrow the results.

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