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Digital domestic help

The internet is not solely the domain of high-tech industries and international name brands. When it comes to everyday services, especially chores for households, the range of online help is extensive. A quick bit of surfing can take care of everything from dinner to dog-walking.

http://www.agenturaboruvka.cz/sluzby.htm
Many experiences bear out that one of the better babysitting services in Prague and environs is Borůvka. Not only are the trained employees familiar with the psychomotor development of children and infants, they're also reliable and discrete regarding your privacy. The agency provides service 24 hours a day, and reacts immediately when necessary. Its statutes also cover settlement of and compensation for damage caused by its employees. Services can be ordered by e-mail, over the phone, or in person, and include cleaning, window washing, ironing, and care of older people or pets.
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http://www.domestica.cz
This firm offers one-time or regular babysitting and throws in a bit of tutoring. But Domestica will also take care of minor household maintenance - ironing shirts, cleaning carpets, washing dishes, dusting, or ordinary household errands (shopping trips, etc.). You can also hire regular transport with a driver to drive your car, and you pay him only an hourly wage (and gas, of course). He can take you to important meetings, take your mother-in-law to the cottage, or your children to school. It's like a Mrs. Doubtfire-type incognito nanny whose only shortcoming is cooking.
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http://www.foodtaxi.cz
If you need help with dinner, you can use the Food Taxi delivery service. From its site you can choose Mexican, Chinese, Italian, or any international food from several types of local restaurants. Prices are the same as in the actual venues, you just pay for transport - CZK 50/km for the first three kilometers, and CZK 14 for each additional km. Delivery takes 40-60 minutes; just fill in the order form over the internet, or call the hot line.
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http://www.lautias.cz
For big, professionally prepared celebrations, this web site is a savior - not only with food preparation, but also for hostesses, floral decorations, or music production. And if you decide you don't want a whirlwind of friends in your apartment, Lautias will arrange a venue. This service is based on specialized catering, from garden parties and coffee breaks to cocktails and luxurious banquets. But for it to be really worth the cost, at least twenty people should be involved, because the company produces all the treats it offers (except for cold cut plates and salads) for at least twenty.
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http://www.westerntouch.com
"Our services are designed to save you time cleaning, taking care of pets, and making major shopping trips," promises this firm's web presentation. It adds: "We have no limits, we'll do anything for you." We decided to check, and contacted the company to ask if they could take care of ordinary office duties or arrange visas for countries that still require them. They said yes. And can you take care of two kangaroos? After a brief pause of disbelief the answer was also "yes". But Western Touch focuses mainly on help with regular household tasks, rather than on odd exceptions.
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novelties
www.bbc.co.uk/czech/
The Brits have not only a fine, dry sense of humor, they also stand out from other Europeans with their characteristic perspective on world events. This BBC broadcast online will help you compare news over Czech media with that of their British colleagues. The news covers the same events, but they can be seen from a completely different perspective. Ideal study material for forming your own opinion.

kurzy.fin.cz/kurzy/kurzy.asp?A=P
Need to take care of organizational chores prior to a holiday? It's worth checking out this web site, where you'll find the best exchange rates. You can arrange them upwards or downwards, and thanks to the color code you'll know right off where to make the best buy.

www.osobni-finance.cz/
A clever site with advice for daily problems. Examples: how to organize personal finances; where to deposit money; which banks offer which loans; how to count savings from building savings plans; etc.

word of the month:
Hard disk DVD recorders
- In the wake of DVD players' popularity, DVD recorders are coming into vogue. They can play rented disks, but they can also copy or record telecasts. These clever machines differ according to the type of media they work with. They are all shiny DVD disks, some with a + designation, others with a -. Also, the R marking for recordable and the RW marking for overwrite are confusing - not to mention the DVD-RAM format. It is generally true that, ideally, you should choose a machine that supports as many formats as possible, and that can access FireWire, so it can also work with your digital camera.
© The Prague Tribune, 2004
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