Bob and Joy Schwabach

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  February 2008, Week 2 


A few days ago, one of our contacts at sent us an invitation to join, a job hunt Web site where you get paid to go on interviews. Joy thinks it sounds good; Bob is a cynical reporter and remains skeptical. (As NotchUp comedienne Lily Tomlin once remarked, "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.")

OK, so you are paid to go on job interviews, and you set the fee, typically $500. The idea behind this is that people who are quite happy with their current jobs are often the most desirable candidates for a new job. But these people normally won't enter the job market without some incentive. (This is where Bob's cynicism kicks into high gear: Why wouldn't people just take the fees for going on interviews, instead of taking a new job?)

You have to justify the price you set for showing up at a job interview by listing your qualifications, including your present salary. You can say what companies you would like to talk to about a job change and what companies you don't ever want to talk to. Your personal information remains private, says NotchUp, until you accept an interview, and then only the interviewer gets to see it.

At this point the defense takes the field and tries to prevent people from gaming the system and just showing up for interviews to collect the fees. People who don't seem to be serious about their job interviews are given bad ratings; those ratings are given by the interviewer. Too many interviews and bad ratings and no more invitations will come your way.

You have to receive an invitation to join NotchUp, or you can apply at the Web site. (We received an invitation, which naturally made Bob suspicious, as in the old Groucho Marx remark: "I don't want to be a member of any club that would accept me as a member." Besides, we don't want a job.) Finally, if you recommend someone to NotchUp and he goes on interviews, NotchUp says it will pay you 10 percent of that fee for making the recommendation. The site says that companies using Notchup include Google and Facebook. (We contacted a spokesperson at Google, who wasn't sure about the arrangements, but said it sounded legitimate.)


The original CorelDraw was one of the first heavy-duty graphics programs to CorelDraw X4appeal to business users as well as artists. The program has been around for nearly 20 years and has 4 million users. This illustrates an important reason for the long-term success of any program: Once you've learned how to use it, why change?

The new CorelDraw Graphics Suite X4 has a list price of $429 ($199 for upgrades), which is pretty hefty, but nothing compared to the time cost of starting over. The large installed base of users should like the new features: There are 80 templates for producing business documents, advertisements, newsletters, etc. Each template can be further defined by selecting the type of business you want applied to the form. If you'd like to share your thoughts on any design, the program has a "ConceptShare" button that takes you to Corel's Web site where you can look over and talk over other people's designs.

A feature we've always liked in CorelDraw is the ability to bring in any bitmap drawing and automatically convert it to a vector drawing. In plain terms this means that enlarging a drawing that has been converted to vector art gets rid of the so-called "jaggies" you see as a bitmap gets bigger. The jaggies are those stair-step lines that appear on the edges when a bitmap drawing is made larger. The vector transfer routine can now be applied to mechanical drawings and signatures as well.

New features in CorelDraw X4 include 10,000 pieces of clip art, new type fonts, support for RAW camera files, and the ability to add notes to imported PDF files. You can save any files in formats that can be opened by users of Microsoft products and AutoCAD.

A new feature that should appeal to many writers, editors and type compositors is "What the Font." Clicking on this takes you to the Web site, which can identify what font is being used in a document someone gave you to work on. (Free trial at

INTERNUTS  wants to be the place where you bury your old gadgets and computer gear. For qualified products it provides a pre-paid shipping label thatMy Boneyard you can download and print from the site. It accepts old laptops, desktop computers, cell phones and monitors.  provides a place to register your wishes for presents for any occasion. You can do this at several other Web sites, but this one claims a difference because you can request presents from particular stores.  offers discount deals on software. The "DOD" part of the name stands for "Deal of the Day," so the deeply discounted price applies to one product for one day. The product changes every day. Discounts range from just 10 percent to more than 90 percent on some software.


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