A year or two ago we took a look at a new cable television program with a computing and networking focus. It was called "CNET Central," and it's still around, but the folks at CNET have been busy doing all sorts of other cool things since then, some on television, some online.
Today, CNET produces six television programs in all, and they air at various times on both cable and local broadcast television. CNET's online presence has expanded significantly, as well, including nearly a dozen different Web sites, and a free e-mail service, too.
CNET Central is a show about what's happening in the world of computing and the Internet. The show features the latest news, features stories and glimpses at new products in the world of computer technology. This cable show can be seen on the USA Network and the SciFi Channel.
The New Edge is another cable show, also on USA and SciFi, that deals with all kinds of advanced technological breakthroughs (not just computing), and how they affect (or may soon affect) the way we live.
The Web is just what it sounds like -- a show about the World Wide Web. This show, also seen on USA and SciFi, deals with the latest scoops on hot Web sites, Web technologies, and Web-related social issues.
Cool Tech, seen on the same cable networks as the shows above, is about the latest developments in consumer-oriented technology. It covers products that are available for use by real people, not just things that exist only in labs.
Tech Reports isn't so much a show as it is a series of technology-related reports prepared for use by local television stations in their news broadcasts. Tech Reports covers the Internet, online services, and high-tech industries.
TV.com is also available on local broadcast stations, and it is devoted to entertainment on the Internet, consumer-oriented information and featured Web sites.
Air time schedules for all of the CNET productions can be found at http://www.cnet.com. Click on the "TV" link for information and links to program schedules.
If you visit the main CNET site (CNET.com) you'll find links to the other CNET sites in the navigation bar at the bottom of the page.
For technology news, there is News.com at http://www. news.com, featuring all kinds of reports on computing and networking technology. For information about what computer equipment to buy and where to get it, check out Computers.com at http://www. computers.com. If you are a Webmaster (someone who builds and maintains Web sites), you need to visit Builder.com at http://www. builder.com for the latest information about Web site development and links to tools, tips, and information.
For the computer gamers, there's Gamecenter.com at http://www.gamecenter.com, where you'll find all kinds of information about the latest game software, gaming hardware, freeware and shareware, and just about anything else you could possibly want to know about computer gaming.
If you're looking for software, try Download.com (http://www.download.com) and Shareware.com (http://www.shareware.com). These sites provide links to more software than you can shake a stick at, and some of it is totally free.
For information about the current state of Web browser technology, or to download the latest version of your favorite Web browser program, visit Browsers.com at http://www.browsers.com. There are links to all of the major browser developers, and tons of free downloads available, not to mention reviews, tips, plug-ins and other browser stuff.
Search.com is a Web searching site (http://www.search .com), and Shopper.com (http://www.shopper.com) is an online shopping mall for computer and networking hardware and software. Snap, at http://www.snap.com, is a Web index similar to Yahoo!, and you can sign up for free e-mail at http://www.email. com.
The CNET suite of Web sites, TV programming and other services is a great example of the kinds of marketing opportunities there are out there on the 'Net for anyone with a few good ideas and some creative, hardworking people close at hand. Advertising abounds in all of CNET's resources, online and otherwise, and that is to be expected. But it is a relatively small price to pay for an enormous amount of very useful stuff, easy to find, and presented well. Well worth a look.
-- Doug Heacock is executive director of the Kansas Research and Educational Network at Kansas University. You may address questions to him in care of the Lawrence Journal-World, 609 N.H., Lawrence 66044, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.