Smart Stops on the Web


An Online Encyclopedia

This site is devoted to an electronic encyclopedia that details the history of the Internet from its origin as a Defense Department project in 1969 and discusses the mechanics behind the Web. Also included are many articles on Internet engineering, as well as a section linking to “requests for comments” (RFCs).

For Computer Enthusiasts

If you’ve ever wondered how PCs got their start, the Computer Museum site has a timeline tracing their history from 1945 to 1990. Each year’s entry contains illustrated descriptions of important hardware and software innovations, as well as milestones in commercial computer applications and artificial intelligence.

Find Free Downloads Here

Absolute Freebies lives up to its name by offering free downloads of complete Windows-based software packages—not just demos or review copies, as well as screensavers and wallpaper to enliven your desktop. Another section of this site lets you order free CD-ROMs from a continuously updated list. The company requires only that users pay the shipping charges.

Abacuses, Calculators and Computers—Oh My!

If human beings are descended from apes, then today’s computers are descended from ancient abacuses and (less ancient, but nevertheless dated) calculators. This site is devoted to the history and hobby of collecting calculators. It offers some historic advertisements for abacuses and calculators, which were the computers of their time.

More Free Downloads

This site not only links to free software programs for home, office and educational purposes, but it also has a summary of what each linked site offers and a review of the software’s usefulness. It includes an archive section in case you missed something previously posted.

Still More Freebies

This site, like the two above, has links to free downloads as well as descriptions of the other sites’ additional offerings. It includes the usual games and business and home-use software, but unlike the others, also provides free downloads for fonts, e-mail, catalogs, coupons and graphics for designers.


Investment News’s site provides information about earnings, investments and trades, as well as the latest computer-related and telecommunications news. Registration is free for a trial membership and allows you to access more feature articles by the company’s dedicated staff writers.

Bank on These Links bills itself as “Your Online Business Secretary.” Although the site can’t screen your phone calls or get your coffee, it can locate contact information and links to sites on a variety of business topics, including banking services, bond brokers and markets, currency markets, general financial services and international trade.

COSO Online

This site, from the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), includes its landmark report, Internal Control—Integrated Framework, and the executive summary from Fraudulent Financial Reporting: 1987–1997, which provides an analysis of fraud cases under investigation by the SEC during this 10-year time period.

Links to the Law

Edward P. Smith, a Greenfield, Massachusetts attorney, created a site with extensive links to other sites on computer and telecommunications law, as well as to legal services and periodicals. Related U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Appeals Court decisions can also be found here.

Show Me the Money—Literally!

This Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) site is aimed at the currency collector. Among its various sections is one with facts and trivia about U.S. (as well as Confederate) currency. Another allows users to purchase uncut sheets of various denominations and shredded currency. Yet another section offers links to related sites, such as the Federal Reserve and the Department of the Treasury.

The Soundbytes of Music

Microsoft’s WindowsMedia radio station guide broadcasts radio transmissions, in real-time, from literally everywhere in the world. You can choose any station, whether it’s local, national or even international. If the site doesn’t have your favorite station, it will find what you’re looking for.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.