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Not being the creative type myself, I've been watching to see what others would come up with for April Fool's Day. (I did once fill my mother's top-most unopened teabag with instant coffee. Very successful.) The best I've seen this year is the 4/1/95 issue of TidBITS, forwarded to me by David Joslin. It starts with Adam Engst saying "TidBITS, the Best Short Electronic Newsletter with Weird Capitalization Written Directly for the Internet. ... This issue brought to you by Worst of the Web and the Useless WWW Pages Hall of Fame ."

Then Tonya Engst reported on CodeSucker, a new Mac program that can suck "features" out of other programs and combine them to suit your needs. Grab Outline and Heading styles from Word 5.1, envelope printing from Now Contact, and the Transaction Register from Managing Your Money. Sucker Software will also sell you a T-shirt that says "Code Sucks" on the front and "Suck Code" on the back. The company believes "there's a customer born every minute."

Geoff Duncan described Multimedia C++ 1.0, a programming environment with a 3D videogame interface. Function templates are anti-aliased, and the speedup due to code optimization is shown by the rate at which your code scrolls by -- but the best feature is that you can just drag syntax errors to your trash can. The six-player network edition includes Sega and Nintendo game controller adapters.

Hubert "Vince" Fournier contributed a piece (from Wired?) on Grand 'Ol Party software for Newton, which ties into GPS for real-time tracking of the Los Angeles party and entertainment scene. "You know, all the big celebrities have been subscribing to this service since, like, you know, Day One," said CEO "Spaz" Hubbard. "Now, I just say 'Hey, Newton, where's the good stuff happening?' and it draws me a map! Is that **cool,** man, or what?!" You can use Newton's built-in address book if you need to bum a ride from a friend -- but "GOP tells you whether you **want** to go to a party or not, which is totally important." Four stars indicates Hollywood royalty, "but, like, half a star probably means Kato Kaelin's there."

The really neat product, though, was Tonya Engst's proposed SimWord. This may have been inspired by Dave Winer's recent suggestion that word processors include a SimCity-style disaster menu. (KidPix comes close, with its dynamite screen eraser. The very successful Keroppi Dayhopper also offers a word processor with a good graphic interface for kids -- but no disasters.) Anyway, a SimWord user would choose a basic genre and set up sections "zoned" as Introduction, Acknowledgement, Text, Additional Reading, References, and so on. You then bring words into the zones, but the words will leave if they're uncomfortable. You have to provide well-thought out titles and carefully crafted sentences if you want them to stay. Erecting stadiums in the zones improves quality of life and makes words more likely to stick around. "Once words start moving into your zones, you can go have a cup of coffee and find your work nearly done when you return." If you need to move material between distant sections, build airports or use a Trek-style cross-reference transporter. You can select disasters for their "random human element," such as a George Will quotation storm, or you can just set the zone parameters for special effects. Ignore quality of life, for instance, and you may get 500 pages of turgid conversation interspersed with Russian names, in the style of Dostoevsky. Or pay a Zone Commissioner too little and you'll get a black market, with words trading their letters to each other. Successful traders may become so long and powerful that they can create criminal zones, where stray words are killed and stripped of their vowels.

To which Adam Engst added "This week brings you some irrelevant articles about topics you probably don't give a damn about. In fact, just pack it up and don't read this issue. Go outside, get some sun, and have a life, okay?" Or you can read the whole thing from or .