Tech

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Technology: Organizations, Reviews, People
This is a collection of Technology items that I've done over the years. I'm a bit of a geek and a pedant, especially around User Interface. I often err on the side of comprehensive than simple: why you like/don't like something is more important than whether you do, at least for others. As they may not have the same currency as I do.
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▶ General Techℹ️

▼ General Techℹ️

General Tech • [19 items]
  • Artificial Intelligence - Computers aren't "intelligent". But you can program them to learn patterns from data, in pretty limited ways. This isn't self-awareness, and for now they can barely "learn", and even that is more about pattern matching than being able to learn how to learn. But here's some terms/ideas and a starting point.
  • Balanced tech company - What does it take to have a well-balanced (well run) company? I have been a consultant for companies for a dozen years, and been an employee at various companies for at least that many. So here are some oversimplified (for brevity) views on what makes a tech company successful or not. No company gets it all right, some just get it more wrong than others.
  • Beta - Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta... what is a beta version anyways? The short version is just letters of the Greek Alphabet: Alpha (1st) was generally for in house testing, Beta (2nd) was for outside testers, and Golden Masters were versions burned onto prototype CD's (that were gold in color) and sent to places that would manufacture many CDs/DVDs from. So pre-release software.
  • Dotcom Bubble - People on both sides of the dot-com bubble can be wrong at the same time. The Internet IS changing the global economy, and this IS NOT just a "flash-in-the-pan" fad that's going to be gone tomorrow. But the other side is that investors CAN overreact to hype, get way ahead of returns, and that can cause a big pullback. But in the long term, this is the new normal.
  • Ergonomics - Ergonomics is the study of people's efficiency in their working environment. But it practically means adapting our environment (or tech) to meet our needs. How we design our workplace (environment) to maximize our productivity or minimize our operator fatigue and discomfort. Let's focus on how it applies to computers and the workplace.
  • FUD - FUD means "Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt", it was used by big companies to scare users away from small companies software (or hardware). They'd sow uncertainty, so customers would buy from the safest (largest) company, even if it wasn't currently the best... or scare them into buying the most expensive software for features they might someday need.
  • Female Geeks - Why are there so few female geeks? Sexism is a part of life. Some who don't know me might call me a sexist pig. Not because I think one gender is better than the other, I just think everything in life is about tradeoffs. Genders are not better or worse, but there are differences.
  • Hollywood Hackers versus real life - While I'm not exactly an intrusion or defense expert, I do know more than about 99% of the public and have a CISSP (a broadly recognized security credential). And I a can say that Hollywood doesn't know shit about computer security.
  • Information Age - I first wrote this in the early 80's. Then reworked in the early 90's, late 90's, and so on. The idea is the competing realities of infinite storage vs infinite network bandwidth. Which is better and why? And which is going to obviate the other? Of course the truth (so far) is that both are advancing.
  • Journaling - Journaling is the art of creating logs of things that you're doing, such that you can reverse or recreate things, using the logs. I joke it's, "Dear Diary, now I'm going to make a change..." Basically it is like being followed around by the FBI or a secretary, and have them writing down every little thing you do, every day. A minute by minute diary of events.
  • Legacy Kills - Ahh Legacy, being haunted by the past. Sometimes great, always painful, a products legacy can be both its greatest strength (name recognition, customers, trained users, and so on), and it can be it's greatest weakness (cruft, resistance to change, millstone to drag around, etc). Customers hate change, thus legacy can suffocate innovation through products own success.
  • Origins of the Internet - Most of the technologies and features we know and use on the Internet were created, improved and adopted by our private sector decades before the Internet. The reason it was created in the U.S., and not one of the socialist countries, is because of our private sector, otherwise everyone would be on France’s Minitel.
  • PCs 20 year anniversary - The media claimed last week (2002) was the 20 years anniversary of the "PC", and it was, if you think the IBM PC was the beginning of the computer or personal computer revolution. But of course it wasn't. The truth and history is more expansive and rich than media tropes, and popular opinions.
  • Quality Assurance - Quality Assurance is a bit of an oxymoron, as quality is never assured. I spent a lifetime doing Software Quality Assurance one summer. After that, my dealings with QA, and appreciation for what they do has never been the same. I'm a better programmer than QA person, or at least I was at the time: I prefer to fix things than just fine things. And so I wasn't a fit for Pertec, and that culture is partly why Pertec is no longer around.
  • Spam - When asked why are unsolicited emails called spam? (Where does the term come from?) In my usual geek style -- ask a simple question and get a four page answer that may eventually stumbles into the point. But the short version is a Monty Python skit where every breakfast came with spam (and a song).
  • Speed and Performance - Speed and Performance: how they differ. Many people understand simple specs and performance changes in a subsystem. What they don't understand is those effects on the whole system. Improving a subsystem's speed may have a very small impact on real-world performance. This is why you hear speed increase 50% or 100%, and users see a 5% performance gain.
  • Throughput and Latency - Speed is relative. What kind of speed are you talking about? There are a few aspects to speed on a computer. People start looking at benchmarks, or hearing numbers, and they don't always understand what they mean. For example twice as fast doesn't take half as long, because twice as fast at one thing is not twice as fast overall.
  • Wetware - The other day, I got the pleasure of speaking with a bunch of teens at a career center, on a "career day", about what it is that I do, and why I do it (I was Director of New Media for a Media Conglomerate: I put Newspapers online). One of the things I was asked about is what is holding technology back the most. The answer was easy, "Wetware (People)".
  • Why is software so buggy? - Why are programs so buggy? They're not bugs, they're undocumented features... sorry, that's an old programmer joke. Everyone has problems with their programs (software), it crashes, stalls, or does unexpected things. People ask about these "bugs", why are there so many, and what can they do about it. Hopefully this helps you understand why.

▶ Networkingℹ️

▼ Networkingℹ️

Networking • [10 items]
  • Bots, Crawlers and Spiders, oh my! - The terms bots, crawlers and spiders are likely to give arachnophobes the heebie-jeebies, but they're really just an important part of the way search engines work. The automated critters just go to the front page of a website, and look at every link in that page... then go to each of those and do the same, and so on.
  • Cookies - If you've heard Internet slang thrown around, you probably heard someone reference "cookies". What are cookies, how do they work, and what do they mean for your privacy? This article covers the basics.
  • EMail - The Origins, history and evolution of eMaill, forums and live chat. Ever since man learned how to communicate, he started looking for ways to improve communications. And ever since women learned how to communicate, we've had spam, and men looked for ways to filter communications. (Just a joke). Here's the basics of email.
  • First Network Gaming Party - My fiends and I (from the Mousehole), did the first Mac Network Gaming Party.
  • Network Casting and Subnets - What is Network casting and subnets? Networks are ways to break up information into smaller chunks (packets) and then send them over a shared line or radio frequency, to other devices, where the parts can be rebuilt into the whole again. Casting and Subnets are ways to send to many people at once, but not everyone.
  • Never trust the Internet - Think of the internet as "the net of 1,000 lies". This is a bastion of free speech. But never forget that free does not always mean "correct"! Sometimes you get what you pay for. So trust, but verify. Heck, that's good enough advice to use it every day -- the same applies to teachers in school, and textbooks, certainly politicians, and so on.
  • Web Basics - Have you ever wondered how the Web works? The majority of the Internet and computers are actually very simple to understand. The jargon and alphabet soup (acronyms) only make it sound more mysterious and complex than it really is. This article covers the basics of what happens when you go to a website.
  • Web Search Basics - The basics of searching the web, or how to use Google better. Unfortunately, Web Searching is still not very good -- partly due to complexities of language, mostly due to poor implementations. But sadly, since Google and others have done a really poor job of adapting to you, you're going to have to learn how to adapt to them.
  • What is DNS? - What and how Domain Names work" how to turn a human readable Domain name (like https://www.igeek.wiki) into computer readable IP address (in older v4 it's something like 192.168.2.1, in newer v6 form something like 2001:db8:85a3:8d3:1319:8a2e:370:7348).
  • What is a WebApp? - What is a Web Application, and how does it vary from a traditional website? Normally, when you browse, you're just looking at files on someone else's computer. But sometimes, instead of just static files, sometimes the host is running an Application that serves you simulated files based on a lot more information than just URLs/pathnames.

▶ Programmingℹ️

▼ Programmingℹ️

Programming • [29 items]
  • 64 bit - Bits of bits... how many bits should my computer be and why should I care? It mattered before 64 bits (2002 or so). After we got to 64 bit computing, this became ancient history. The idea was if 16 is good, then 32 must be twice as good, and then 64 has to be great. The truths of engineering aren't that clear. 32 bit did 99% of what people needed. 64 covered the rest.
  • Agile - Agile is a process for doing Rapid Application Development. Sort of formalizing what works (and what doesn't) from the dozens of rapid-application processes (and the failures of Waterfall) that predated it.
  • Anti-aliasing - What is Anti-Aliasing? It is using color to increase the percieved resolution on a display. It can't really alter resolution, but it can appear to do it, to the eye.
  • Basics of BASIC - People ask me, "How do I get started programming?" There are many choices, and it really depends on what you are trying to do. There is programming Applications, scripting, Web Programming, and so on. The most important thing is to just get started and try something. BASIC is a great intro to programming language.
  • Big or Little Endian - What is Endian? How do you like your eggs? Big or little end up? If there are two equally valid ways to do something, then odds are that two different companies will chose to do those things differently. This is Murphy's law in action -- and it applied to different chip designers and how they ordered data in memory.
  • Binary, OCTal, HEXadecimal - Counting in Computerese: The Magic of Binary, Octal and Hexadecimal. Computers deal in the mystical numbering systems, like Hexadecimal, Octal and Binary. People get concerned over it sounding complex, but they are really quite simple. If you can read this article, you should have a really good understanding of what they are, and how they work.
  • Command Line Interface - There is an ancient computer debate about command-lines versus a GUI (Graphical User Interfaces). One side argues that command line is where the magic happens, and if you don't know it, you don't know computers. And one computers designed that way, there's a small grain of truth. but a lot of bias and things to unpack as well.
  • Databases - What is a database? What are the kinds of databases? Why do you care? A Database is just a place that is used to so store and organize data (information). Your address book, a spreadsheet, basically anything that has a lot of similar (like) elements, is the basics of a database. This tries to demystify some of the basic terms.
  • Digitized Sound - Digitized Sound: understanding samples, rates and digital audio is really pretty simple. Sound is nothing but pressure waves traveling through the air, and hitting your ear -- which your brain decodes as sound (from noise or music). Computers can either generate waves (synthesize tones), or digitize the sound (sample the pressure wave very quickly and reproduce it later).
  • Enterprise Tools - Enterprise, Opensource or Commercial tools, which is better and why? Of course the answer is, "it depends": different tools are better for different things. Now I know that doesn't sound revolutionary, but that does seem to perplex some people. People don't understand the different tools or market segments they fit into, or what they are good for.
  • FUD - FUD means "Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt", it was used by big companies to scare users away from small companies software (or hardware). They'd sow uncertainty, so customers would buy from the safest (largest) company, even if it wasn't currently the best... or scare them into buying the most expensive software for features they might someday need.
  • Forward Compatibility - People talk about "Backwards" compatibility, but Forward Compatibility is often more important. Backwards compatibility is when new stuff plays old stuff. But even better is designing things so you current stuff can take advantage of features that aren't yet available, but will be. And then when they are available, "tada" they just start working.
  • Free Features - A free feature in software, is like a free lunch: there's no such thing as a free lunch. The value of something is directly related to how much it does what you need, and how much it doesn't try to do stuff you don't need. Most "free" features, are things that programmers thought wouldn't be hard to add, but become distractions, support, and bug magnets.
  • Hack, Crack or Phreak - What are Hackers, Crackers and Phreaks? I did a little of all three, but that was decades ago (literally), and in computer times that is ancient history. But the concepts are still valid -- even if I'm no longer "plugged in" or have lost interest in doing them.
  • Hiring Programmers - Many Human Resources and Managers, don't know how to hire or utilize programmers; proven by their job reqs. They act like they can just throw programmers around from one task to another, or they select programmers based on language (Syntax), and not what really matters (skills and abilities).
  • History of Visual Basic - The History of Visual Basic is a bit of a history of early computers and Microsoft, how they borrowed other people's ideas and even implementation and then took credit.
  • How does compression work? - How does software Compression work? How do you make something smaller? In some ways you don't -- you just encode the data in a more efficient way. This article explains some basic concepts about data storage and compression: which are far simpler than people realize (it's just the implementation that can get some hairy math).
  • MHz or GHz - MHz or GHz, what does it mean? It's just clock speed - but that doesn't mean what some people think. Many people assume that MHz (or GHz) is how much work a computer can get done (horsepower): but it's more like RPM's in a car than MPH. If all other things are equal, it can mean the car is going faster, but usually they aren't. So it doesn't translate car to car.
  • Programmer or Engineer? - What's the difference between a programmer or a software engineer? Prestige of the term. There used to be a difference (long or short term solutions). But since the age of agile programming (rapid application development), there are scant few software engineers -- you're too busy coding and being agile.
  • RISC or CISC - During the 80s and 90s there was a Computer Chip design war about RISC or CISC. What does that mean, and which is better? For a while, Intel (and AMD) were able to spend more on design and delay the inevitable, but once mobility (with performance per watt) became important, ARM and RISC designs have taken over for x86's older CISC design.
  • Raster Images - Sometimes you'll hear people say, "rasterized image" (often as opposed to vector images), but what exactly does that mean? Here's the very basics of pictures or rasterized images (and a little bit about compression).
  • Shell Script - There's a joke amongst programmers (usually towards their management), "if you don't leave me alone, I'll replace you with a very small shell script". The idea is that they're so simplistic and repetitive that a few lines of code could do their job: now go away.
  • Software Consultants - I worked over a decade as a consultant (both agencies and independent), and used and managed them for a couple decades more. I have nothing against consultants or consulting (they're a useful resource), but there is an art to using consultants wisely, and most companies blow it. I explain some of the pitfalls and ways to use consultants better.
  • Software Development Life Cycle - There's a lot of variants of a Software Development Life Cycle. And the methodology has changed over the years... but mostly the underlying issues remain fairly constant because human nature, resource management, and the concepts behind writing software itself don't really change.
  • Synthesized Sound - Synthesized Sound is just making waves. Computers have two basic ways of recreating sound, one way is Digitized Sound (sample it, and then play it back later), the other is to synthesize it (make a waveform that approximates what you want) -- creating pressure waves by algorithm, rather than recording it.
  • UNIX - I'm both a big UNIX fan, and one of its detractors. UNIX is the old war-bird of Operating Systems -- which is ironic since it really isn't an Operating System any more -- but more on that later. UNIX was created as a private research project by AT&T's Bell Laboratories (Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie) in 1969.
  • What is MP3? - What is MP3? It's just a compressed file format used for sound (that came from MPEG's version 3). Video requires a lot compression, and the Motion Picture Expert Group did such a good job on compression, that we use it without a video track to compress Music/Audio as well. It is called MPEG Audio Layer III, aka MP3.
  • What is a WebApp? - What is a Web Application, and how does it vary from a traditional website? Normally, when you browse, you're just looking at files on someone else's computer. But sometimes, instead of just static files, sometimes the host is running an Application that serves you simulated files based on a lot more information than just URLs/pathnames.
  • Why is software so buggy? - Why are programs so buggy? They're not bugs, they're undocumented features... sorry, that's an old programmer joke. Everyone has problems with their programs (software), it crashes, stalls, or does unexpected things. People ask about these "bugs", why are there so many, and what can they do about it. Hopefully this helps you understand why.

▶ Securityℹ️

▼ Securityℹ️

Security • [12 items]
  • Cracking - Cracking is the black art of removing copy protection from other people's programs. There are many "pirates" (people that use software without buying it) -- but far fewer crackers. Cracking requires enormous dedication and patience. It was far easier in yesteryear (systems were simpler) -- but now days there are better tools, so in some ways that makes it easier.
  • Easter Eggs - What are easter eggs, and where do they come from? And I'm not talking about the physical ones in springtime, I'm talking about hidden features or credits in software.
  • Firewalls - A firewall (in real life or software) is something that protects one area from another to keep a fire from spreading. In computers and networking it basically does the same thing, but the "fire" that it is trying to slow/stop is an intruder or security leak.
  • Hack, Crack or Phreak - What are Hackers, Crackers and Phreaks? I did a little of all three, but that was decades ago (literally), and in computer times that is ancient history. But the concepts are still valid -- even if I'm no longer "plugged in" or have lost interest in doing them.
  • Hacking - It is not that hard to hack into a network/machine, but far harder (and different) than the movies make it seem. There are many levels to break in -- from the ballsy "impersonating an employee" (social hacking) and just walking around a company, to stealing network traffic and analyzing it.
  • Hollywood Hackers versus real life - While I'm not exactly an intrusion or defense expert, I do know more than about 99% of the public and have a CISSP (a broadly recognized security credential). And I a can say that Hollywood doesn't know shit about computer security.
  • How Secure are you? - How secure are your devices from intruders? The answer is "it depends", on a lot of things, like what machine you have, what you do, and so on. The OS's are more secure than the Apps you run. And iOS is best, then Android/Chrome, Mac, Unix, Windows. Store apps are safer than random downloads from the Internet.
  • Online Shopping - Shopping and Physical Security: One of the areas that people are very concerned about security is on-line shopping. I think they are often focusing on the lesser threats. People can hack your online shopping -- but it's a lot of work. It's far easier to steal your information through other means.
  • Passwords - The reason there's so many annoying password requirements, is because passwords are so instrumental to security (and human nature is so predictable). That being said, most of those annoying password requirements are doing it wrong, and just annoying customers.
  • Phreaking - Phreaking is when hackers broke the phone companies security, to get access to control the phones. Most often used to make free phone calls, or get operator powers. Because of improvements in security, consequences of getting caught and commoditization of long distance phone call costs, it largely doesn't exist any more.
  • Privacy - Privacy and the web: how safe is your info? The other night I was watching a Television show that discussed computers and privacy, and like a geek, I was getting annoyed and talking back to the show; it seems that Hollywood needs to get better technology consultants instead of terrorizing the public with misinformation and calling it entertainment.
  • Virus, Worms, Trojans - Virus, Worms and Trojans, some various hacker terms/attacks explained (simply).

▶ General Techℹ️

▼ General Techℹ️

Tech, Organizations • [15 items]
  • Adobe - These are a few articles (stories) on my experiences as an Adobe employee for couple of decades. I like the company and the people. All companies have quirks, these are some of the amusing or memorable experiences/observations. No slams, just more journaling life experiences.
  • Amazon - I was neither advocate nor foe of Amazon, but they converted me to foe through censorship and new CEO's douchebaggery. I was OK with better selection at lower prices, but their fees/costs of shipping killed some of that. Then their censorship, partisan sponsorships/politics worked against them (for me).
  • Apple - A list of various articles and topics of discussion around Apple. Since they're a secretive company (and I've been an insider), I tend to avoid opining on a lot of things about them, out of respect for their desire and right to control their own messaging. So I tend to only focus on the trivial for a reason.
  • Belkin - Belkin/Linksys/Wemo: American manufacturers of consumer electronics: including routers, iPod and iPhone accessories, mobile computing accessories, surge protectors, network switches, hubs, (USB and computer network) cables, KVM switches, racks and enclosures, and other peripherals.
  • Facebook - I want a social network that gives me control of what I see and share. Zuckerberg thinks ruthlessly stumbling on to lucky timing is the same thing as being really smart, and the world would be a better place if he ran it. Dunning-Kruger gets inflated by narcism and being surrounded by yes-men. Then he got political, and made him an enemy of Democracy.
  • Google - In 1995, two 20-something Ph.D. students from Stanford were looking for something to do their dissertations on, and decided that they should focus on a Web crawler. They found funding, a revenue stream based on advertising, and became a Unicorn (a multi-billion dollar company). Their saga from College Dormitory Culture to anti-American Corporate hate-Cult began.
  • Nextdoor - Thought geo-local, no-anonymity, and dictatorial moderation would make a different type of Social Media platform. And it might, if it wasn't run by leftist asshats from SF. As it is, just a bunch of wokescolds censoring and irritating people in most markets. The false civility and double standards of leftist PC thought-police who couldn't make it at Twitter.
  • Open Offices - Planners decided that if Google/Facebook/Twitter succeeded in spite of a horrendously distracted working environment, then everyone should suffer. Corporate America (especially Tech) started shifting to Open Office to the annoyance of tech workers everywhere. This was sold as "more collaborative", but distracting is more accurate.
  • Quark - Quark helped revolutionize Desktop publishing. But they also became synonymous for how to fuck-up your business. 3 out of 4 of their customers paid money and time to convert away from their product (and support) within a few years. Because their development, support, and licensing was that bad.
  • Slack - An internal messaging/communication tool (1:1 and many:many) that gives users the impression that their communications/channels are private, but the truth is that are able to be monitored by IT/managers/corporate eyes. So popular by users as an opproved way to communicate, popular by HR because it allows anyone to be fired for cause.
  • The Verge - Owned by far-left Vox, The Verge launched in 2011 by pirating folks from Engaget. But it's a reasonably good tech site that only occasionally delves into leftist advocacy (e.g. lets the editors bias through). Basically, it was an AOL editor's next big thing, and it mixed in a lot of podcast and video stuff.
  • Tik Tok - A short-form video platform owned by Chinese company ByteDance, founded in 2016, with lots of pranks, stunts, tricks, jokes, and entertainment. Since China has laws allow it to spy on users, this causes concerns for people in the Free World (Americans). For example, they could track soldiers locations, or backgrounds and metadata can reveal secret information.
  • Twitter - It's not that Twitter lacks intellectual diversity (and is 99.7%+ Democrats, based on political donations), or that they censor conservative truths that are too hard for them to debate. It's that they lied about it, and pretended there was no shadow campaign or bias. Hopefully Elon Musks acquisition will help with that.
  • Wink - American software and hardware company that does smart home devices. During the middle of a COVID pandemic they went from paid to subscription only, with 7 days notice to customers. Pay the extortion or their products became useless. Users were going to be irked either way, but the way they handled it was guaranteed to cause maximum irritation and alienation
  • YouTube - YouTube (a division of Google) has a specially abusive place when it comes to the world of selective censorship - that only seems to apply to truths liberals hate to hear.

▶ Technology Reviewsℹ️

▼ Technology Reviewsℹ️

Technology Reviews • [17 items]
  • 2003.05.15 PowerBook Repair - I've had quite a few good, and a few bad experiences with Apple Support. This was support issues around a finicky model, that Apple wasn't good about supporting. (Certainly not as good as Old Apple / Pre-Jobsian). New Apple has shorter warranties, but they enforce them looser to convince you they are giving your grace. Sometimes.
  • 2015 iPad Pro (1st Gen) - A better iPad. iPad Prois better in every way -- bigger, faster, longer battery life... and more expensive. OK, better in all ways but price. The bigger screen, a keyboard that works, and the iPad fills a niche for me as a great travel/note-taking and entertainment device, when it's not worth bringing out my laptop. Or as a second screen for my laptop.
  • 2016 MacBook Pro (Touch bar) - There's a lot of whining and complaints about the New MacBook Pro's (MBP2016). Some valid, many overstated but heartfelt. But I think the problem was more about messaging than delivery. For me, and most users, it's a great product. But it would be as great without the touch bar.
  • 2019.01.31 Apple Chairs - I regularly visit the Apple Park, and I've noted that the wooden chairs they use in the Café and Apple Store there are comfortable, solid, simplistic, and a nice aesthetic. So out of curiosity, I looked them up. They're by a designer Naoto Fukasawa, called the Hiroshima Chair, and they're $2,500 each.
  • Apple Mouse - Until Steve Jobs came back, Apple could design a mouse. After that, form over function, and they suck. The USB Mouse (Hockey Puck), the Apple Pro Mouse, and the Magic Mouse all suck. Hard! I use a Microsoft Mouse, because even though Microsoft is mediocre at design, they're still better than Apple on Mice.
  • Apple TV+ - Apple TV+ is an subscription video on demand service of Apple, that debuted on November 1, 2019 (announced on March 25th at a Special Event). It is accessible in about 100 countries (fewer than competitors), includes custom programming, but so far is proprietary to Apple devices (no native Android/Windows players).
  • Apple Watch - Watch is hit and miss for me. Enough value to get me to wear a watch again. Annoying quirks that could be easily fixed. Kevin Lynch was my old boss at Adobe, so I was sort of rooting for him. And I like the idea of wearables, and there are usecases that add enough value. But 7 years, and it still can't keep up-to-date, or have a multi-day battery?
  • Apple killed my Music - One of the most assholish things Apple has ever done (and they've done a few), was a few versions ago, when I did an upgrade from one Mac to another their "backup" to New Machine decided that they would secretly NOT copy any Music if that Music was ripped from CD. No notifications, backup complete, and so on. By the time I figured it out, the old machine had been wiped.
  • Apple's Greatest Misses - I'm not an Apple basher, or Apple fanboy. The former looks only at the worst, the latter at only the best. I prefer to admit both. This article isn't into their many revolutions and successes, just a few highlights of technologies or ideas they went *splat*. Not to bash my Fruity friends in Cupertino, but any mistake is useful if you learn from it.
  • Belkin - Belkin/Linksys/Wemo: American manufacturers of consumer electronics: including routers, iPod and iPhone accessories, mobile computing accessories, surge protectors, network switches, hubs, (USB and computer network) cables, KVM switches, racks and enclosures, and other peripherals.
  • Bidet - I did a training at Google, and they had the fancy Japanese style bidet toilets in their visitors center. Since I was using the facilities, I tried it out. Not bad. I decided to get one for the home -- hey, a few hundred bucks to a squeaky clean pooper sounded like a fair trade to me.
  • Business Card Composer - Business Card Composer intro: a cool tool for creating business cards. This is an old review (circa 2003), but I'm happily amazed that the product still has been maintained and is used. Most software doesn't last this long, but I guess everyone needs business cards, and a decent little app for creating them has survived the test of time.
  • IPod - The iPod is a little device that is much bigger than people realize. For a complete technology nerd, I'm fairly socially aware and can actually interact with humans as well as hardware. But when something new and cool comes out, my technaholic tendancies tend to come bubbling to the surface. The iPod will be revolutionary in its simplicity.
  • Luddite Phone - One person (Joshua Haskell) experiments with rejecting a full-featured smartphone, to become more engaged in life. This Luddite reaction was a way to deal with the temptation for distraction, and to become more engaged in living in the moment, instead of the virtual world. It worked for them -- but probably isn't for everyone.
  • Mac OS X 10.2 - Jaguar - Apple acquired NeXT, Steve Jobs had a palace coup and replaced old Apple's Not-Invented-here and leadership with NeXT's Not-Invented-here and leadership. NeXT did some things better, some worse, and had even more arrogance and inflexibility than old Apple. But they did have competent management, a stronger vision, and a willingness to just ship "good enough" and fix it later.
  • Pixelbook - The other day I got a Pixelbook (at a great discount), which Google delivered to my house (same day, with 30 minutes of setup help): an incredible customer experience. For work? The Pixelbook is better than an iPad but worse than a MacBook, with a ton of caveats. iPad is better at single app workflows and iPhone/Mac integration, Pixelbook at multi-apps, keyboard/trackpad/browsing or as laptop replacement.
  • Tayogo Waterproof Headphones - Tayogo 8GB Waterproof MP3 Player Bone Conduction Bluetooth Swimming Headphones - Bluetooth and FM are useless under water. But as an MP3 player, it's not loud, but nice enough that I don't want to swim without them. They last about a year before the charger port fails. But the service/support is nice.



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