Nov 25

Toy

Interesting demonstration that many of the most important technologies start out as toys – personal computers certainly did, and there are many others. Hell, I bet the first bow and arrow was some “useless” kid’s toy in 100,000 BC.

Nov 25

Block

Surprised this hasn’t happened already, ad blocking tools being attacked.

Because someone’s right to make a buck trumps my right not to see bullshit I don’t want to see, and didn’t consent to see, all on a computer that I own, over a connection I am paying for.

Capitalism. What a system.

Nov 24

Knifing

I’ve carried a pocketknife nearly every day of my life since I was eight years old.

Never got into any trouble about it at school. Where and when I grew up is gone now, though; a different world.

If I could, I’d rather carry a Bowie knife like one of these on my belt, as I did nearly every summer for years when I was younger, when it was still possible.

I don’t have any desire to carry a gun, but knives are so very useful, unlike a gun which is only really good for one thing. And it’s so much harder to kill someone or yourself accidentally with a knife than with a gun. To kill someone with a knife, you have to mean it.

Knives are generally useful tools, unlike guns. Here are some things I did with my Bowie knife that I carried nearly continuously from age 10-15:

1) Cleaned fish.

2) Cleaned deer and birds.

3) Pried rocks up to look for bait (not the best use of a knife, but it was a cheap knife).

4) Trimmed fishing line.

6) Made my own fishing poles.

7) Shucked mussels.

8) Defense against feral dogs in my area.

9) Trimmed limbs for uses such as water rise measuring stakes (one place I lived was prone to flooding).

I am sure that I am forgetting many more. I miss my big Bowie knife. Wish it were acceptable to carry one of those beautiful ones around these days.

Nov 24

Libros

The book that most exceeded my expectations: The Emperor’s New Mind, by Roger Penrose.

Even though its conclusions are almost certainly dead wrong, it’s interesting and mind-expanding throughout. This book caused more deep thinking in me than any other.

The most disappointing book: Gödel, Escher, Bach, by Douglas Hofstadter.

An overlong, boring hodgepodge of ideas that I either learned and/or occurred to me independently by the time I was twelve. My reaction on finishing this book amounted to, “That was all? That was fucking all? 700 pages that seemed like 7,000 for that?”

Nov 22

50s

While the 1950s were far from ideal – especially for minorities and women – this makes them seem by comparison a bit better than I’d previously credited.

It now takes two and a half incomes to produce the same standard living that one income did in the 1950s.

It shows how much poorer relatively we’ve all gotten in relation to our so-called betters, especially when it comes to the really important things in life such as health care, education and housing, where most of the cost increases have arisen.

Nov 22

Don’t quail at the thought

We had quail today for Thanksgiving.

It’s the first time I’ve had that since I was 15 or so. This time it wasn’t hunted, but bought at the store. It tasted exactly the same, though, as quail is not all that domesticated.

It was damn fine, and a great Thanksgiving.

It is indeed fun not being dead.

Nov 20

Sword

I know it seems I’m on an anti-Windows 8 crusade, and in a way I am. The app store model is a threat to open computing, and the interface is just absolutely abysmal.

In a way, it’s more personal than that. Windows 7 is a great OS for getting work done. It’s fast, stable, and multi-tasks like a dream. Windows are resizable and if I want to – which I very, very often do –  I can see more than one thing at a time.

I don’t want to be forced in the future to use a single-tasking always-full-screen OS where I am as fucking slow as everyone else. Because I work quickly and I assimilate a lot of information at once, a real multi-tasking OS makes me so much faster than other people.

Windows 8 would Harrison Bergeron my ass right quick.

Windows 8 or any Windows 8-like OS would be the equivalent of tying two five-pound bricks to my ankles and asking me to compete in a marathon.

Uh-uh. Not. Gonna. Do it.

Nov 20

Window

Windows 8 is so very shitty.

One of the worst aspects of Windows 8 for power users is that the product’s very name has become a misnomer. "Windows" no longer supports multiple windows on the screen. Win8 does have an option to temporarily show a second area in a small part of the screen, but none of our test users were able to make this work. Also, the main UI restricts users to a single window, so the product ought to be renamed "Microsoft Window."

That reads like an Onion article, but alas what is written there is true.

Windows 8 isn’t even good enough for me to use recreationally, much less for getting any work done.

Nov 18

Windows 8 phone home

Nah, this couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that most users don’t want their desktop to look and to work like a phone.

Microsoft blames the PC makers. My source cited to me the PC makers’ “inability to deliver,” a damning indictment that I think nicely explains why the firm felt it needed to start making its own PC and device hardware.

It’ll be interesting if Microsoft continues to pursue this already-failing strategy of making all PCs (even workstations) into crap phone-like single-tasking experiences.

If so, in the long run this will be good as it will utterly destroy the dominance of Windows and Office, leading to more space for competing OSes.