Fractal site: Fractals are patterns consisting of smaller and smaller repeats of the same shape. Acid House fans will have come across fractal images projected on to the walls of dance clubs. But this site is not offering a new kind of trip. It is about image compression, man. Using fractal theory, Iterated Systems (http:// has found a way of compressing digital pictures to ratios as high as 100 to 1. The JPEG or GIF formats currently used for most Web pictures only allow compression ratios up to 30 to 1. What this means, according to Iterated, is that we will be able to put far more sophisticated pictures on the Web without waiting ages for them to load on to our screens. In the long run, it will also make video-conferencing via the Web a real possibility. But to participate in this new image revolution, you will need to download various applications from the Iterated Web site. The Fractal Viewer, which plugs in to Netscape browsers, is free, but they expect some money if you want the encoder for turning pictures into fractal files. You can also get Iterated's fractal video software from the site.

Weird site: Was there ever a more uninformative title than Dave Goode's Home Page (http:// When I first found this Web site, I was half expecting to hook up to a local plumber or baker.

But it soon became clear why Dave had not been able to come up with a decent title for his site. For it is devoted to his unusually eclectic interests and they do not lend themselves to summary. Not only is he into astronomy and earth sciences, Egyptology, the city of Cambridge, Islamic texts, Nasa and meteorology. He is also a follower ofmyths and legends on the Internet, ancient history and Meso-American studies. Helpfully, he provides links to a range of academic Internet resources and the Yahoo search engine. Oh and I almost forgot, The Fingerprints of God official page.

Travel site: Not that you would believe it when you first arrive. Hammerwood Park (http:// ww is a stately pile in Sussex built in the 18th century by the architect of the White House in Washington DC and owned for part of the 1970s by Led Zeppelin. The site plugs the house's attractions, complete with a virtual tour. But what you don't expect in such a stately site is a parallel tourism service for the whole of Britain. Click on the tourism link and you are given a surprisingly comprehensive series of links to accommodation services, eating and drinking places, listings and airline and airport information.

Python site: And now for something completely different. What else but the Monty Python home page (http:// This is not an "official" site, but it is so packed with Pythonalia. It bears all the hallmarks of someone with an unhealthy Python obsession.

The author has typed in the full scripts of all the Python films and the 45 programmes. Click on the sketches page and you can choose from a long list of old favourites, including The Argument Clinic. For total obsessives, there are biographies of the key actors in the Python posse, as well as a history of the group and links to other Python sites.

Bon viveur's site: Fancy yourself as a wine connoisseur? The Global Grapevine (http:// www. demon home. htm) is an online wine retailer that claims to champion small, quality producers which supermarkets and large chains ignore.

They offer wines from vineyards across Europe, plus California and South Africa - though I was surprised to see there was no Australia section. They also have a Beer Hunter section, full of macho-sounding ales like Tusker, so-named because its brewer was crushed by a herd of elephants. You can order online and they will then contact you by phone for payment.