- Applications galore: It's fairly obvious that the next wave in software applications isn't going to be the kind you buy in a box from your local office superstore. Instead, you'll be turning to the Web more and more to get your next software fix-not to simply download applications, but also to use them right online. Apps.com is touting itself as the leading resource for Web-based software and Application Service Providers (ASPs). At this site, you'll find more than 5,000 applications sorted into categories like "Business," "Computers," "Productivity Tools," "Finance and Investing," "Home and Family" and more. This is the place to go to find tools like financial calculators, conferencing, data storage and backup, Web site management, and customer-relationship management. A word of warning: You'll be craving a speedy Internet connection if you opt to run programs via the Web.
- Virus protection: The Internet keeps getting scarier and scarier. Uglier and uglier viruses keep thwarting day-to-day business, bringing some companies to a halt for days. It's time to arm your computer with protection that monitors it at all times. ZoneAlarm not only monitors your system for anomalies, but also lets you designate which programs on your computer have access to the Net and pops up a warning if something happens-great for computers that are always hooked to the Net via DSL or cable. A recently added function is MailSafe, which monitors incoming e-mail viruses like ILOVEYOU. You can't beat the price: It's free to consumers and $19.95 for businesses.
Cassandra Cavanah is a computer journalist with an entrepreneurial focus who's made a homebased career of writing and consulting on tech-related issues. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.