Want to make up your own poll and get people to take it? Conduct an
Internet search at blazing-fast speeds? Find a recipe for authentic
Italian bread soup? Relive your childhood days watching Underdog and
Polly Purebred? Today’s column shows you how and where.

The sound of music. With it being unclear how long Napster will be available, other
file-sharing sites are getting more attention. Gnutella, which allows sharing of all
files — not just MP3s — and FreeNet are gaining in
popularity. Also see Scour and Imesh. More difficult to use, but less likely
to be shut down, some say, are open-source systems such as Napigator and Inapnow.

Because I depend on royalties from each copyrighted copy sold to
repay my effort when I’ve written a book, my sympathies are with the
music industry on this one. Metallica might not miss the revenue from a
few thousand CDs, but a newer artist surely will — and may not get
invited to record another. But I think the music companies are going to
have to make all songs available for Web download, at a price that’s
less than in a brick-and-mortar shop. The Web is a juggernaut that can’t
be ignored.

Fast search. Have you tried Raging Search? It’s the new search engine
from Altavista, which has the world’s largest search database and has
supposedly tested 30 percent faster than other search engines. And why
not? Most of the other search engines have turned into portals — and
you have to wait for banner ads and graphics and who-knows-what to load
before you can begin your search, or get your results. All Raging does
is text searches — and it does them very well.

Keeping track. Are you a road warrior who wishes you had a
record of all your frequent-flier programs in one spot? Not only does Miles and points.com keep track
of airline and hotel frequent-user points, as well as Web point
programs, for you, it also tracks promotions from hotels, airlines, car
rental and credit card companies, long-distance providers, retailers,
and Internet “point” programs.

What do I do now? If you’re one of an estimated 10 million
Americans with stock options, you probably have lots of questions: When
does it makes sense to exercise them, or should I hold onto them as long
as possible? You can find answers at MyStockOptions.com. It provides
the financial planning tools you need and lets you quickly calculate
what your options would be worth when the company’s stock price changes.

Never fear, Underdog is here! OK, boys and girls, you have to
be over 30 to appreciate this one. From the mid-’60s to mid-’70s,
cartoon characters Underdog, Tennessee Tuxedo and the Go Go Gophers
could be counted on to make TV viewers chuckle. Wally Cox (“Mr.
Peepers”) was the voice of Underdog, who spoke only in rhyme; Don Adams
(of “Get Smart”) was Tennessee Tuxedo. Now you can relive those days at
The Underdog
. Read along as Polly Purebred interviews
Commander McBragg, Professor Whoopee and the rest of the gang. You can
also access a photo
with stills from some of the episodes. Charming. Oh yes, be
sure to turn on your sound for the opening screen.

Hungry? Swap recipes at Out of the Frying Pan, which
also offers a handy table of measuring equivalents (what if I don’t own
the 8-inch-square pan called for in a recipe) or emergency ingredient
substitutions. Pasta Plus is a very
professional effort, providing past recipes by name, by Italian region,
discussing cheese, brands and types of pasta, as well as an English to
Italian and Italian to English glossary (and the current temperature in
Rome). The pasta recipes run the gamut from soups to risotto to gnocchi.

Movie listings in the Palm of your hand. Got a Palm Pilot?
Then you can easily find a movie and what time the next show is. ShowTimesToGo offers a free, fast
download that will — with regular e-mail updates they send you —
provide the names of all the movies showing in the area you’re in, what
theaters they’re at and the showtimes.

Can you believe that? If you’re a regular browser at auction
sites, you may wonder at some of the quirky items people put up for sale
(of course, the same is true of in-person garage sales). Disturbing Auctions has
collected some of these for you to laugh over — genuine ghost poop,
Barbie broken into three of four pieces, a clown lava light guaranteed
to scare any 6-year-old into trying to keep his eyes open all night, and
many more.

A, B or C. If you’re tired of the constant polls you hear
about during the current election season, why not ignore them and make
up your own? You can at Survey
. You can also share your opinion in polls that others have
developed: What’s your favorite breed of dog? (Labs have it.) What’s
your favorite tech site? The possibilities are limitless — and fun.

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