I don't consider myself a geek, but the more I'm online, the more I find myself collecting and using all kinds of strange and wonderful programs and software tools. I'm always on the lookout for tools that will help me do my job (writing and Internet publishing) quicker and easier, and when I find something truly useful, I get really excited.

I got really excited the other day when I ran across WebAttack (http://www.webattack.com/freeware/index.html), a site devoted to freeware and shareware programs designed to make your online time more productive. I've only been to the site a couple of times, but the programs I've found there have already saved me hours and hours of headaches and frustration.The programs available on Web-Attack are grouped in nine categories: Web publishing, surf tools, download management, communication, miscellaneous Web tools, FTP & Telnet, search tools, security tools and essential files. The site is updated daily and is growing quickly. Between the time I'm writing this column and the time you read it, scores of new programs will be added.

The site is fairly easy to navigate, but I'd recommend clicking into each category, even if you don't think there's anything there for you. I bet you'll find things in every nook and cranny that you can use. Here's what I found during a recent sweep through the site:

- A spam killer: Are you finding all kinds of annoying junk e-mail messages in your mailbox every time you log on? I am and it's really starting to bug me. I can't go online anymore without being assaulted by a dozen get-rich-quick come-ons, a couple of "exclusive" time-share offers and five or six invitations to spend some quality time with "Hanna and her naughty girlfriends."

I've finally found a way to kill all those unwanted ads. I just use a nifty little program called Spam Be Gone, which I downloaded from WebAttack at: http://www.webattack.com/freeware/comm/fwspam.html. I'm not totally spam-free, but I'm no longer hearing from Hanna or the time-share guy, so I'm happy.

- Some nice Web publishing tools: If you're building a Web site for fun or profit, you MUST visit WebAttack's nice collection of applications that will help you get the job done quicker and easier. There's something here for everyone, from the newest newbie to the most sophisticated Webmaster.

The latest little application I discovered is called Tab2HTML (http://www.webattack.com/download/dltab2.html), a program that takes tabbed text files and creates HTML tables out of them. I know this sounds boring, but I frequently create Web pages filled with columns of text and numbers. This tool has cut hours of work out of my workweek.

Universal Press Syndicate