To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason. To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
Tuesday October 12, 1999
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In the 10/8/99 issue WebSkulker told you about two web sites that help you find cheap mail order prices for computer equipment, consumer electronics, and other categories. Jr. Skulker Batteryman suggested PriceWatch and an anonymous jr. skulker suggested NexTag as two additional sites that compare prices among mail order stores. Both or these start out looking like the Shopper.com that we discussed previously in that you click on categories and subcategories until you find the product you want, or search for it directly. Once you are on the page for a specific product, both sites will hopefully list several stores carrying the product, along with their price and other information, just like Shopper.com. The difference is where the listings come from and what you can do with them.
Shopper.com appears to be based on the store's own web sites so that you can click on the "Buy Info" link and go from the Shopper.com comparison page directly to the product in the store's site. PriceWatch claims to get their prices directly from the merchants as specials for PriceWatch users, and that they might be lower than the store's normal web site prices. So when you see a price you like on PriceWatch, you must call the dealer and tell them you saw this special price. Hopefully they will honor it, but PriceWatch has all kinds of disclaimers and excuses if the dealer refuses to honor the price.
NexTag doesn't seem useful to WebSkulker, but jr. skulkers might want to try it. It presents a list of stores and prices like everyone else, but you can then fill in a field to make a lower bid, place a check mark in front of some of the dealers, click Go, sign in, confirm your bid, and then supposedly your bid will be transmitted to the selected dealers to see if they will accept that price. What actually happens is that you will get the original comparison price screen back with some of the prices crossed out and new prices written in that are maybe $5 lower. These lower prices are probably about the same as you could have gotten anyway through Shopper.com. It is possible that one or two of the dealers may send you email the next day offering a lower price, but usually nothing that special.
Many of you jr. skulkers have learned that there are people out there who will -- shudder -- violate the copyrights of record companies by taking music CD's and converting the tracks to what are called "MP3" files. Many of these people will share these MP3 files with you, so before you buy a CD, search to see if anyone has made MP3 files of its tracks. If so, you can download them and play them through your PC speakers and portable MP3 players. Of course this is only to try out the song, right? You will buy the CD the next day, won't you?
Click on the first link above to learn about Abe's MP3 Finder. This is a free program that you download (through a link on the left of the page) and install on your PC. Fill in a registration form, and then start the search process. The program has two types of searches: Web Search, and Exchange Search. For Web Search, you type in the name of an artist or group or the title of a song, press Search, and the program will search popular web sites that have collections of MP3's and present you with a list of what it finds. Double-click on any file and the program will automatically download it to your machine.
Exchange search works the same way except that it searches the hard drives of other users of Abe's program that are online right now and have given permission to do this. While you are in the program, other users will be able to search your MP3 area, so this is a true exchange. Because other users might have low-quality files or slow Internet connections, you can specify the quality of MP3's that you want and a minimum speed for the other party. Press Search and you will get a list of MP3's that match your criteria. Again, double-click on a file to download it.
Abe's program also allows you to chat with the other users who are online from the Chat tab (press "Join" to select a chat channel) and send them private messages from the Online Users tab. Meet other MP3 skulkers!
The second link above is to the Winamp site where you can download Winamp, probably the most popular player for MP3 files.
This site lets jr. skulkers track the progress of airline flights that are in the air over the U.S. right now. You would normally use this to track a specific flight that someone you know is on. To see how this works you can ask it to track a random flight. Press the button for "Graphical Version" and press Go. There will be a delay as a Java applet downloads, then you will see a map of a portion of the U.S. with a picture of an airplane showing where the real airplane is right now and the direction it is flying, and simulated instruments for speed, heading, and altitude. Keep watching and the airplane will move across the map!
Go back to the main page and notice the function on the left called "Flight Alert". If you are taking a flight and someone is going to the airport to pick you up, this function will send them an email message when your plane lands, or one hour or two hours ahead of time.
The first was submitted by Jr. Skulker boB (who spells
his name backwards to prove that Bob spelled backwards is NOT the
same) and the second by Jr. Skulker Tristan Tom. These two sites
have news, information and reviews of all kinds of PC hardware such as
CPU's and video cards. They talk a lot about over-clocking CPU's
and the best hardware for 3-D games.
The first was submitted by Jr. Skulker boB (who spells his name backwards to prove that Bob spelled backwards is NOT the same) and the second by Jr. Skulker Tristan Tom. These two sites have news, information and reviews of all kinds of PC hardware such as CPU's and video cards. They talk a lot about over-clocking CPU's and the best hardware for 3-D games.
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