Tag Archives: photograph

Selling Marx trains

Since my advice on selling other makes of trains was popular, I thought I would give similar advice on selling Marx trains. Marx never got the respect that its competitors got, but its trains have built up a following over the years, and in the last decade as I’ve watched prices on competing trains slide, Marx has held its value.

Don’t expect to get rich selling off your Marx trains, but if you keep your expectations realistic, you’ll find an eager buyer, or ideally, at least two interested buyers so you’ll realize a good price at auction.

Continue reading Selling Marx trains

Selling Tyco trains

I got an inquiry last week about selling Tyco trains. As a child of the 70s and 80s, I certainly remember Tyco, and in recent years Tyco has gained a bit of a following.

If you’re looking to sell some Tyco gear, you certainly can do it, but you have to keep your expectations realistic. You’ll probably be able to sell it, but don’t expect to get rich off it.

Continue reading Selling Tyco trains

This week’s photo leak is a reminder of the need for good passwords

This week, numerous celebrities, mostly female, had their Apple accounts hacked and intimate photos stolen and leaked. There are several things we all need to learn from this.

We don’t know yet exactly what happened, though I’ve heard several theories. One possibility is that the celebrities’ accounts were hacked recently. Another is that someone who’s been collecting these photos through various means was hacked.

The incident probably was inevitable, but it’s also entirely preventable. I can think of three things that led to it. While this discussion may seem purely academic, there are misconceptions many people, famous and not, have and need to get rid of.

Continue reading This week’s photo leak is a reminder of the need for good passwords

Finding a connection to my Dad in a suburban St. Louis estate

Yesterday I wrote about my greatest estate sale find ever. Well, the very same month as that one, I found another estate sale featuring a Lionel 1110 locomotive, which happened to be my Dad’s first train. So of course I put that sale on my list. The 1110 wasn’t among Lionel’s finest moments, but I’ll note that in 1986 when Dad and I pulled his postwar Lionels out of storage, it was the first of Dad’s locomotives that we got running, and in 2003 when I got them out again, it was the only one that still ran.

Well, this 1110 didn’t run. The motor assembly was cracked and it wasn’t worth the asking price. But behind the locomotive, I found some paperwork. “Build these realistic models!” it urged. It was marked $4. The tag warned it was very delicate. I took it out of the plastic bag it was in, decided against trying to unfold it, and bought it unseen. Continue reading Finding a connection to my Dad in a suburban St. Louis estate

How Shloosl can copy a housekey from just a photograph

Lifehacker caused a bit of a stir by posting a link to Shloosl, a service that will mail you a copy of your key in exchange for a pair of digital photos of it and $5. Then they claimed the key worked better than a hardware-store copy, which really set some commenters off.

Is it bad security? And how does it work? Continue reading How Shloosl can copy a housekey from just a photograph

Short takes, 5 Jun 2012

I’m positively uninspired this morning, trying to recover from a weekend of the most boring writing I’ve ever done in my life–something that, mercifully, only a small handful of tortured souls will ever have to see and read–so I’ll do some short takes.

Continue reading Short takes, 5 Jun 2012

Why I won’t be using Google Drive

Google Drive, on its surface, looks useful. They give me a few gigs of storage that I can access from any computer with Internet access. I could use it like a virtual USB drive.

Except I won’t. The terms of service are too problematic for me. Continue reading Why I won’t be using Google Drive

Don’t give prospective employers your Facebook password

I’ve read multiple stories this week about potential employers demanding that interviewees hand over their Facebook passwords during the job interview so they can snoop around.

There’s no good reason for this.
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Should journalists hack?

I experienced an interesting collection of contrasts going to journalism school in the mid 1990s. Inside the same building, we had investigative journalists who specialized in advanced use of databases and stodgy editors who missed the days of manual typewriters and wore technological ignorance as a badge of honor.

And yet, there were textbooks that said journalists ought to be learning computer programming, because there was going to be a need for journalists who had the ability to do both. It took a while, but it seems that day has come. Maybe not to sit down and write applications software, but to hack.

But is it ethical for a journalist to hack?
Continue reading Should journalists hack?