LOS ANGELES—There are so many things available that make life easier and it's nice to find them for free. Case in point, those sticky notes you use to keep your place in a book, remind yourself about appointments, and make shopping or errand lists. Haven't you wished you could affix one to an Internet site or an email? Now you can just go to the 3M site 3m.com/market/office/postit/com_prod/psnotes/#lite and download the free program. It allows you to "stick" notes on a site or email, to set alarms to remind you to check something and even offers color coding.
If free samples are your thing, try Substance.com substance.com/shop/freebies, Style for Free styleforfree.com, Cool Savings coolsavings.com, Hot Coupons hotcoupons.com. and Free Stuff freeandfun.com. Many of these require a membership, and then send you coupons for your area. You simply print out the ones you can use, a considerable saving in time and money.
Free shipping and percent off codes are found at Flamingo World flamingoworld.com, Current Codes currentcodes.com, Funtasia funtasia.net/BrowseMerchantsAB.php, and Tops Media topsmedia.com.
If you're tired of pop up ads, and who isn't, one of the best tools for stopping them is the Google toolbar. Once installed, a simple matter of going to the site google.com and downloading the bar not only brings an efficient ad stopper but form filler. This alone can save you hours in filling out those pesky address/email address requests.
Other free pop-up stoppers may be found at Web Attack webattack.com/freeware/misctools/fwpopblock.shtml,a site that offers many freeware and shareware programs from utilities and graphics to Pocket PC and PDA games. If you can't find what you're looking for there, a simple search asking for free pop up stoppers will bring up dozens of sites.
For those who enjoy online games, MSN's The Zone zone.msn.com/default.aspx has both single and multi-player games for all ages. At Virtual Vegas virtualvegas.com/home/home.asp you'll play to win "icoins", which you may redeem for chances at a wide variety of prizes ranging from cash to toys.
If you're really into winning, and not easily frustrated, On-line Sweepstakes online-sweepstakes.com will reel you in like a 12-pound bass. They have a clever little macro called "Robo Form" that will fill in most (and usually all) of the requested information, just be sure you have a Yahoo or other free email address so your main mailbox doesn't get filled up with unwanted email. An excellent free email address, with 15 mbs of storage, filter, and many other extras may be found at http://mail.gawab.com/enindex.html.
Why all the interest in fun and free things? The trade show season starts next month, so this month I'm going to spend some time relaxing. That said, next month's article will be about plans for Comdex 2003 and CES 2004.
On a somewhat personal note, October is Lupus Awareness month, please access the Lupus Foundation's site lupus.org and learn about this disease that affects so many of us.