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Friday, December 10, 2004

Lots of links, not much juice 

I'm leaving on a jet plane. Instead of a real post, a few useful things I found:

Credit where due, these first two are from Joshua Paul's column in Performance PC:

CutePDF is a free-to-home-users PDF-writing utility for PCs, so they can approach the abilities built into Mac OS X.

ALZip is a free-to-home-users Zip utility. Much less important to xp users, but I can assure you, very useful for Windows 2000.

Now for the actually fun stuff:

Slate has a nicely obsessive review of reasonably serious home-espresso machines. Notably, they reviewed my in-laws' machine, the Starbucks Barista, which turns out to be both a decent machine (left-handed milk foamers are no problem for some of us) and made for Starbucks by Saeco, who are my irrational favourite coffee-machine company since they sponsor an elite cycling team. I use this machine to make nice lattes for my mother-in-law, though she believes my milk-foaming technique still needs a lot of work. It gives me something to practice.

But for real obsession, read this excellent espresso FAQ. The best part is the link to an even more obsessive discussion of espresso-making machines. It's like audiophilia: no matter what equipment you have, there's always some way of taking it to the next level.

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