I lost a college classmate this week.
We weren’t close, so I didn’t take it as hard as some of our newsroom-mates undoubtedly did. But at the very least, as a human being with a soul and with two kids, I feel bad for the wife and two kids he left behind. It shook me up enough that a couple of my coworkers asked me Wednesday morning what was going on. I told them.
“Don’t try to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense,” the smartest guy in the room said. Read more
My oldest just started kindergarten, and he needed some school supplies, of course. Among those supplies was a paint shirt, and the instructions said an old adult-sized shirt would be fine.
We sent him with something, but he wanted a different one his second week of school–something bigger than what we sent him initially, so that it would cover his legs too. “I want a plain shirt,” he told me. “One with no writing on it.”
Then he paused. “The shirt you have on looks good.” Read more
Rob O’Hara posted a podcast about phreaking today. He explains in layperson’s terms how the phone system was controlled by tones, cites it as an example of security through obscurity, and he talks about his own first-person experience subverting the phone system. He was far from the only one who did that.
It’s interesting that I read two things about buying Twitter publicity today: John C Dvorak’s experiment for PC Magazine and an interview with my classmate and friend Ken. The idea is that people buy Twitter followers to make themselves look bigger than they are, whether they’re celebrities trying to make themselves look like they’re on their way up rather than down, or, like the scam my friend discovered, indie book authors trying to build a following.
A former classmate and coworker contacted me with a question.
My router is about 5 years old. I have a cable modem and a router. The cable modem is fine. The router keeps connecting and disconnecting from the internet…used to happen occasionally, now happens all the time. I reset it and it works for a while, then disconnects. Is it time for a new router or do you think something else is going on?
I see two options. Read more
A former classmate and industry colleague dropped me a line a few weeks ago. He pointed out that memory is dirt cheap, and he bought 16 GB of RAM, just because it cost him around $100 to do, and was wondering what to do with it. A ramdisk, perhaps?
My search logs prove that ramdisks are the best-kept secret in the industry (virtually nobody knows or cares about them), but they’re still the best way to increase the longevity or life expectancy of an SSD and an outstanding way to pep up performance. A ramdisk is 80 times faster than a hard drive, 60 times faster than a RAID array, and 10-20 times faster than an SSD.
Technology journalist Mat Honan infamously had his entire digital life hacked and erased this week. Slate published some advice to keep the same from happening to you, and my former classmate and newspaper staff mate Theo Hahn asked me to comment.
I’ve been grabbing Project Gutenberg texts as I think of them, and prettying them up with an epub editor, but I learned today that I’ve been largely wasting my time. Manybooks.net is a site that has most of the Gutenberg collection available and has already cleaned up the formatting and added covers to make these old public domain books look better and more recognizable on an e-reader’s virtual “shelf.”
That’s not the only thing the site has going for it.
In the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, a high school principal is resigning amid allegations that she posed as a student and friended 300 students on Facebook. School administrators seem to be obsessed with what goes on on Facebook.
I suggest they should be paying more attention to what goes on in their own hallways.
Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold (who also happens to be a former classmate) dug out an interesting story about Cardinal great Stan Musial. In 1947, he was diagnosed with appendicitis. Team doctor Robert Hyland was reluctant to recommend immediate surgery, as it would sideline Musial, the team’s best player, for nearly a month. So instead, he froze Musial’s appendix, Musial sat out five days, and played the rest of the season before having the appendix removed.
This curious, um, cure caused a lot of head shaking and questions. So I did a little digging. Read more