The secret history of the F-14’s flight computer

If you’re Gen X, you know the F-14. You may have even known about it before the movie Top Gun. The story of its flight computer, and the man who designed the hardware, Ray Holt, is intense. I don’t share a ton of links, but this is one you’ve gotta read. It’s the best piece of tech journalism I’ve read in years. Every possible box they taught me to check in journalism school, this story checks. I’m trying to remember the last time I saw a technology piece do that.

I’ve heard of Ray Holt before. He’s almost the Gary Kildall of computer chips. This story tells the story of his triumph, tragedy, and how he carried on, reinvented himself, and is still helping people today. It makes him human.

HP Touchpad tablet

HP Touchpad tablet

The HP Touchpad tablet was, dare I say it, the biggest technological flop of the 2010s. It was HP’s attempt to compete head to head with Apple with a premium-priced tablet that didn’t run Android and, of course, didn’t run Apple’s iOS. Instead it ran WebOS, an operating system it acquired from Palm, Inc.

HP didn’t meet expectations with the Touchpad, and discontinued it after just 50 days on the market. But there are lessons to learn from HP’s experience with its tablet, even if it’s largely forgotten today. Read more

Who makes Kobalt hand tools for Lowe’s?

Who makes Kobalt hand tools for Lowe’s?

Kobalt is Lowe’s house brand for power tools and hand tools. As a house brand, they are less expensive than the big name brands. But are Kobalt hand tools good? And who makes Kobalt hand tools for Lowe’s? I did some digging to find out.

Kobalt hand tools are made by Apex Tool Group, a company owned by Bain Capital. Apex also makes several brands you may have heard of, including Wiss, Allen, and Weller.

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Can you caulk over grout?

Can you caulk over grout?

It certainly is tempting. You have tile on the wall with broken grout and need to patch it up. Removing and replacing the grout will take all weekend. A tube of caulk costs $5, and you could probably cover those gaps in 15 minutes. So can you caulk over grout? It sure would be easier.

While caulking over grout is a fairly common quick fix, there are several reasons not to recommend it. It seems to work sometimes, but when it doesn’t work, you end up with two problems.

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