Hot on the Web
Lost in Cyberspace
Online San Diego
Feature Articles
Book Reviews and Reading Diary
Music Reviews
Favorite quotates
Contact Me

Browsing aimlessly but interestingly

Hot on the Web

This column originally ran in ComputorEdge on August 9, 2002
(Issue 2032, SOHO)

A few months back, I wrote about Bremsstrahlung Recordings, a San Diego-based outfit that has designed its Web site to look and act like an old classic Mac desktop (

When I wrote that, I knew there was another site that did something similar with the old Atari GEM desktop – just took my increasingly creaky memory a bit to come up with it. But I recently stumbled across it again – the Little Green Desktop at

The entire site is set up like the old Atari GEM operating system – pull-down menus, the GEM-styled windows, even the font. There's even a snide little Amiga-bashing going on – just like the old days of the Atari vs. Amiga rivalry, with both sides refusing to even concede the existence of the Mac or lowly DOS machines!

(If any of you have come across sites that emulate any other operating systems, send me the URL.)

If you're into Ataris at all, the site is even fairly informative. The ST game archive is truly impressive, with multiple screen shots of many – if not most – of the games.

And the .st domain is a perfect fit for this site, as the Atari ST was the most popular of Atari's 16-bit personal computers – and the one whose desktop the site most closely emulates.

By going to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority and making my way to the Country-Code Top-Level Domains list, I learned that the .st domain is designated for Sao Tome and Principe. I then traipsed over to the CIA's World Factbook to learn São Tomé and Principe is a small cluster of islands off the West Coast of Africa on the equator.

Like the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, whose assigned country domain is .tv, São Tomé and Principe has decided to open up bidding for its domain to the general public.

Some countries – like Great Britain (.uk) and France (.fr) – restrict registration of their domains to their citizens or at least residents. Which seems reasonable when there are a limited number of possible domains anyway.

But when your population is only 165,000 (São Tomé and Principe) or even just 11,000 (Tuvalu), you can probably anticipate that internal demand for domains isn't ever going to outstrip the supply – so why not make a few bucks off your country level domain?

Tuvalu's .tv domain was predicted to be popular, with the thinking being that the television industry would want to grab up domains like or for marketing purposes. Or maybe even or

Yet there don't seem to be a lot of .tv sites abounding, at least not that I've run across. While ABC has mirrored its site at, CBS and NBC have apparently not purchased their associated .tv domains – and yet the registry says they're not available. Trademark issues, no doubt – which means that if CBS and NBC refuse to purchase them, they can still prevent Tuvalu from selling them. Go figure ...

The company handling São Tomé and Principe's .st domain is a Swedish outfit, and the .st registry site features big street signs – they're marketing the .st as a way to get a "street" address online. Wall Street, the most obvious example, is, alas, still available.

Visiting the Country-Code Top-Level Domains list again, you can see that there are some interesting marketing possibilities, especially as the established .com, .org and .net domains are quickly running out of good, easy to remember domain names. Estonia's .ee could be of interest to electrical engineers, Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands' .js might intrigue various Jesuit institutions (since Jesuits sign the initials "js" after their signature to indicate the Society of Jesus), and the Bahams' .bs would seem a perfect fit for the campaign sites of our politicians.