Monday, March 1, 1999

About the Author:

Internet e-zine guru Todd Kuipers

Todd Kuipers is a software designer/Internet consultant, living and breathing, with his wife Susanna, in Calgary, Alberta. He is resident at Merak Projects currently working on Web based implementations of their petroleum softwareand their Web site. He spends his spare time reading, writing, reading and writing about beer, tasting beer, reviewing anything that he comes across and providing pure research skills to paying customers. Current and past things Todd and Internet can be seen at

One time proprietor of the currently defunct "E-mail-zines list", a listing of e-zines available via e-mail, Todd kept his interest in "low-bandwidth active delivery content" and currently subscribes to (and generally reads) 80+ e-mail publications on a wide variety of topics.


Full-column and topic INDEX

Well, what the heck is new here? I've been setting up my new home PC over the past day, finally ordered the cable modem installation and, surprise, signed up for cable TV at the same time. We have a decent TV, but haven't had cable in the house for better than a year. Calgary's pretty good for "free" TV stations - we have 5 available via the old aerial (so old in fact that I no longer knew how to spell aerial...), but the reception is lousy at best. So like I said last week, with this new fancy box, I'll be able to get these columns out even faster and they will continue to be edited well by the great editing staff at the Sideroad (plug plug).

And yer thinking enough already. So this week I'm going to review another montrously popular e-mail newsletter by the strange name of LockerGnome and throw in a completely unrelated short as per usual.

Review - LockerGnome

Quick Rating:
Overall - 5
Content - 5
Writing - 5
Regularity - 5
Extras - 5

E-zine Description: Direct from the site:

Let Lockergnome do the work for you! We'll e-mail our Windows 95/98/NT newsletter to you for FREE--packed with the latest 32-bit downloads (freeware & shareware), websites, games, media, fonts, updates & patches, themes, tips & tricks, computer industry news, and more. Subscribe today!

Frequency of Publication: Week-daily, along with an optional weekly digest

Subscription Instructions:

WWW location:

Contact Information:

e-mail to:

Cost: very free


Content - 5
Lockergnome publishes daily tips, tricks, reviews, opinion and news related to Windows 95/98 and NT 4.0. Sound fairly straight forward? In a way it is, but given the wide variety and depth of information sent out every day, it's a genuine treat to read. The HTML layout alone makes it an enjoyable read, the excellent content makes it an obvious one.

Each issue is broken into sections: GnomeREPORT, GnomePROGRAM, GnomeSYSTEM, GnomeCANDY, GnomeFAVORITE, GnomeDESKTOP and GnomeTIP. The Report starts the newsletter out and covers general thoughts and news along with the occasional reader mail piece. Program covers a new user side application. System mentions a system level tip along with related programs. Candy reviews or mentions another program generally in the entertainment vein. Favorites mostly covers bits and information available on the Web. Desktop provides tips and tweaks for your OS look along the Theme and Font vein. Tip seems to be a catch-all for general operating hints.

I've never read an issue that I didn't use something from - and remember this is a daily newsletter.

Writing Quality/Style - 5
The HTML formatting makes the newsletter great to look and ensures that each section is well laid out and easy to scan. Writing style is casual and witty, cutting quickly to the chase.

Regularity - 5
Every day. Without fail. Honest. And if your server bounced one of the issues on you, you can always read through the weekly text digest.

Extras - 5
Well designed, the HTML really adds to the experience. Each issue has the obligatory copyright and sub/unsub info, including an identifier that lets you know what address you subscribed with - a serious bonus for people like me with 15+ e-mail addresses. The HTML layout makes each issue work just like a web page, providing a whack of links and additional information like easy on the eyes advertising.

On top of that, the site is well designed with archives of past issues and information on why the heck the newsletter is called Lockergnome.

Overall - 5
Another fabulous e-mail newsletter. I'm not sure how to properly throw out the superlatives because it may sound trite. Maybe the best way to put it is "Lockergnome is the kind of newsletter I wish I produced".


E-zine Title: WordTips

E-zine Description: >From the site:

WordTips is an electronic (e-mail) publication designed to help you learn how to effectively use and master Microsoft Word for Windows. Each issue contains several tips which, when applied, can help you increase your proficiency with this popular word processor. Some tips are geared toward beginners, while others are geared toward those who have been using Microsoft Word for some time. Every tip is designed to help you better master Microsoft Word.

Every week this mailer provides a set of tips and news items on MS Word, the worlds most popular word processing package. My lastest favorite was instructions on how to remove the annoying little Word paper clip "assistant" that "attempts" to "help" you figure things out. There's also an ExcelTips newsletter available too.

Frequency of Publication: weekly

Subscription Instructions: Visit

WWW location:

Contact Information:

Cost: free

Previous Issues

Text © Todd Kuipers, 1998, 1999. Part of the original Sideroad.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at