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Ken CottonKen Cotton
VP of the Tokyo Users Group

In addition to his volunteer work as vice president of the Tokyo PC Users Group, where he has been given the nickname "Early Adopter," Ken also:

  • Helps other English speakers get 24-hour, 128k NTT OCN lines through a shop in Akihabara called NetworkCenter SoftCreate.
  • Is a distributor for a local ISP, Global Online.
  • Just started writing for CJMag; he likes to talk about telephones.
Tokyo PC Users Group homepage
I wouldn't be writing here if it weren't for this group. I attended my first meeting 5 years ago as a total beginner and met the friends and found the ideas that have since shaped my life. Besides the award winning newsletter, the club also has some of the busiest newsgroups in town with many newbies going there for free help. Those that get a lot out of it and want to put back are encouraged to join and get the TPC newsletter sent to them and free entrance to the monthly meetings.
Yahoo! Search options page
I'm not the only person to use Yahoo!, but I start right from the search options page. It allows me to search newsgroups at DejaNews, e-mail addresses at Four11, or to refine my Yahoo! search. If the search comes back empty, it defaults to another search engine, presently AltaVista. I use this one so much that I have made it the default start page for my browsers.
DejaNews usenet newsgroup search engine
This is where I find what important people are saying about subjects that interest me. If I want more I can subscribe to the newsgroup with my newsreader. In my opinion, the newsreader is the part of the browser packages that gets overlooked by most new users. It takes new users time to learn that "news" doesn't mean Wall Street Journal. Once set up, the advantages of a newsreader's threading and archiving capabilities become very obvious.
The PhoneZone
An online buyers' guide dedicated to business telephone systems, Internet telephony and related products. It was here that I found the products like Internet PhoneJACK by QuickNet and that are saving me money on my phone bills. Not only do they have great reviews, but they also ship products to Japan. These guys are sharp.
Net2Phone online phone company
An Internet phone gateway that allows me to call from my PC to a regular phone at much cheaper rates than the callbacks. In addition to calling my family for hours at a time at 10-15 cents a minute, I also call the major airlines' US offices to make reservations when the local offices are closed (the US 800 numbers are FREE!). Sound quality improves drastically when using QuickNet's Internet PhoneJACK. As Brian McConnell of said, "It's only going to get better."
The Daily Briefing audio and video newscast
I'm an audio freak and Internet radio beats the heck out of local AM or FM stations, as I get programs when I want them, and in English. My favorites are: @Computerworld Minute, CNET Radio News, PC Week Technology Headlines, PC World News Radio and Tech Talk Fast Tech News. I do catch other audio sites, but the DailyBriefing is just so convenient, requiring just one click to listen to my favorites.
The best place for self-development audio cassette programs that teach success, motivation, time management and other self-development topics. Nightingale-Conant has the largest collection and I've bought so many I can't count them. As my favorite speaker Brian Tracy says, "one idea on one side of one of these cassettes could pay for them all." I agree. It's interesting to note that usually the only people I meet that have heard of this company and its tapes are in the first-class lounges at airports. Like anything else, these tapes work only if you do.


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