Bob and Joy
                                      
 
     By Bob and Joy Schwabach
                                                                        

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May 2003, Week 3 -- Traffic

 

 

 

   Do you ever wonder how many people visit your web site? We did. So we ran up a copy of "Mach5 Analyzer."

 

   This is a new program for analyzing web traffic and the best we've seen. Mach5 fits it's name and is very fast. Within seconds we found out we average over a thousand visitors a day to our site, we also get about 20,000 "hits" a day.

 

   Here's the distinction between visitors and hits: When you count "visitors," that tallies the number of individuals who came to the site. "Hits" refers to the number of times the site was viewed. So, for example, a single visitor might go to a site many times to check different items. Other sites might link to yours, so visitors there could click in and out of your site and return to their starting point. Even if there were a hundred of those, they would still be counted as only one "visitor" because there was single site of origin.

 

   If, like some businesses, more than one person is authorized to edit a site, Mach5 Analyzer records who made changes. The program classifies user traffic by the day and hour, how long they stayed, what operating system they used to log onto the site, what files were most popular for viewing, and much other detailed information.

 

   Mach5 Analyzer is available from Mach5 Enterprises www.mach5.com. The program comes in versions for $100 and $200 for Windows. There is a free trial version.

 

Boom Box printer

 PictureMate

 

   Epson's new photo printer, "PictureMate," looks a lot like a boom-box radio and CD player. It even has a fold-down carrying handle like a boom-box. Nothing complicated here: There are slots for three sizes of digital camera cards. Plug in and start printing.

   What we really liked about PictureMate is you don't have to connect the printer to the computer to crop, enhance or print a stack of regular 4 X 6 glossy photos. This is the only size paper the printer uses but it happens to also be the size people usually want. We've had problems printing this size with other photo printers and usually ended up wasting a lot of expensive paper.

 

   Expense is an issue with any photo printer, of course, and here you know what it's going to right from the start. The ink cartridge and paper come together in packs that sell for $29. You get 100 sheets of glossy photo paper in the package, so that works out to 29 cents a print. This is roughly the same as the price for having your pictures printed by a photo lab. But this way you can have the same quality for the same price at home, without the hassle of uploading your files to a website or taking your camera card to a camera shop.

 

   The print quality is excellent, and Epson claims that the photos will last 200 years in a photo album. Price is $199 and for now you can get it at Best Buy www.bestbuy.com  or www.mypicturemate.com.

 

One graduate, one email

 Graduatemail

   About a gazillion kids are going to graduate from colleges this June and when they do, many of them will lose their best friends -- the ones they're linked to through the campus email system. A service called Graduate Mail offers a way to soften this loss by setting up a new email account that is simply your name registered as an Internet domain.

 

   You can do this on your own but there are some benefits from doing it their way. For $4 a month, Graduate Mail promises an email address that stays the same all your life and links to other email addresses you accumulate in the working world. The service screens out spam and as a little bit of an "old school tie" kicker, sends part of the fee to your college's alumni association.

 

   Graduate Mail is $4 a month or $35 a year from www.graduatemail.com.

 

Internuts

-- www.j-walkblog.com/blog  Here's a guy who just puts things on his web site that he finds interesting. And by golly, they are interesting. There's the collection of 300 odd icons he's found on other sites while browsing the web. Also has links to anything on the web that caught his fancy. For instance ...

-- www.coolproductz.com  How about a blender powered by a cordless drill? Make smoothies and shakes even if you didn't bring your blender to the beach -- as long as you have your electric drill. Doesn't grab you? How about sticking a soda can on the side of your monitor? Needs a long straw, though.

-- www.fakeisthenewreal.org  Click on "electoral college" and you get maps of the world's subway systems. Tells you where to get off. Moscow radiates, Paris clusters. Or, a hypothetical map of the United States if it were rearranged into 50 states with equal population. The states would then have about 5.6 million people each. Interesting map.

 

-- www.iwantoneofthose.com  Here you can get a set of cow stickers to make your refrigerator look like a Holstein cow, sort of. Oh boy. Lots of odd gift ideas on this site.

 

-- www.thinkgeek.com Hot hands might need a mouse with a built-in cooling fan. Find it here.

 

NOTE: Readers can search more than three years of columns at the "On Computers" web site: www.oncomp.com. You can e-mail Bob Schwabach at bobschwab@aol.com and Joy Schwabach at joydee@oncomp.com.

 

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