Fedex's Web-based system for setting up package delivery is fantastic. Prints bar coded labels from your computer and requests a truck pickup with just a few mouse clicks. Watch them; what Fedex is doing today every firm will be doing in ten years ... if they want to remain in business, that is.

I never understood the term "appropriate technology" when I first heard it 20+ years ago, but now I do: the 3Com PalmPilot is "appropriate technology." It's small, flexible, and intelligently designed. I get literally months on a set of batteries. I bought a CE machine -- the Cassiopeia -- and was extremely disappointed. It's large and kludgy, actually requiring 8 MB of RAM and a MIPS R4000 to function, and even then slowly. Perhaps most amusing is the notion that color versions of the Cassiopeia are expected soon; this is a perfect example of why the CE guys just don't get it. How long would a color palmtop run on a pair of AAA batteries? 10 minutes, perhaps 20? The point is, I don't want a palm-sized machine that runs Windows. Ah well...

Returning to the Pilot, its software is invariably small; 17K gets a lot done on the PalmOS. There are literally hundreds of free or cheap and useful programs. Doodads like the Palm Navigator -- a tool to convert the Pilot to a very sensitive electronic compass -- or Delorme's Earthmate GPS receiver allow the Pilot to do even more than it was originally built to do. If you don't have a Pilot yet, get one, trust me.