In 1996, Dr. Thomas Pabst, a German MD then living in England, created a web page where he talked about motherboards, video cards, and a then little-known phenomenon called overclocking. Dubbed Tom’s Hardware Guide, it spawned a long list of imitators, creating a new industry: PC hardware enthusiast sites.
When it comes to trains, I prefer older ones made of tin, rather than plastic. And I like tin buildings too. Any time I open a magazine featuring someone’s train layouts, the buildings all look the same. I want something a little different, so I look for tin buildings to go with my tin trains.
Many companies through the years made food containers with printing on them that look like buildings. The tins tend to be about six inches wide, around 8 inches tall, and two inches deep. They tend to resemble the two-story commercial buildings you used to see in downtowns, with a storefront on the first story and offices or apartments on the second floor.
You can use these tins to put together a very timeless commercial district for your train layout. If you know what to look for, you can find coffee shops, bakeries, candy stores, florists, and plenty of other stores to make your town a nice place to live and work. And the buildings usually aren’t terribly expensive, either.
Ever since Bitcoin came into prominence, there’s been a great deal of speculation about the shadowy creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Newsweek thinks they found him: A semi-retired engineer who dislikes banks and the government and the fees and difficulty associated with importing model train parts from England and Japan.
Well, if you’re going to invent a cryptocurrency, what better thing to spend it on than model train parts? Read more
My tell-all about my encounter with “Computer Maintenance Department” was a little heavy on the jargon yesterday. It occurs to me that explaining what some of the terminology means, and the problem with their reasoning, may be helpful. I’ve also heard a few questions through various channels, and I think those are worth answering. Read more
John Dominik has been on a tear lately. Yesterday he wrote twice; the latter piece, The Stupid Juice–it Burns, shows an attitude that’s far too rare these days and frankly is one of the best pieces I’ve read in a very long time, anywhere. He laments people’s tendency to act as if those who disagree with them are subhuman and have no right to exist.
If you haven’t read it, I strongly suggest you do. Read more
I occasionally read an offhand comment where someone says he or she just bought a new computer, and the new computer is so much more power efficient than the old one, it’s going to pay for itself.
I wonder if they did the math, or if that’s what the salesperson told them. Because while I can see circumstances where that assertion would be true, but it typically would involve extremes, like replacing an aged Pentium 4 computer with, well, a netbook. They probably didn’t do that.
Part of the reason I got into computers professionally was because I was tired of hearing lies from salespeople and technicians. So let’s just take a look at this claim. Read more
If you’re going to quote people on the Internet, you might as well quote them accurately. Here are some tips for quoting famous people accurately, based on my own detective work on one of my favorite quotes.
“The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you never can know if they are genuine.” –Abraham Lincoln
The death of bin Laden prompted a couple of quotes attributed to Mark Twain and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to be repeated endlessly on social networking sites. It turned out both quotes were false. Inaccurate quotes also tend to pop up in election years.
Here are some good tips to avoid spreading fake quotes the next time something really newsworthy happens. One nifty trick: A Google search, filtered by date, to see if the quote existed anywhere before the event.
“Abraham Lincoln” may be right, that you can never know for certain, but you can get a really good idea with a little bit of digging. Read more