Posts

Yep, things are different

If you’ve ever visited this blog before—& gosh, I sure hope you have!—then you’re probably noticing that things are very different here. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been migrating from WordPress to Jekyll & Octopress. Besides the new (pretty default, which I will change) look, you should also see speedy page loads. Why? Because while WordPress creates dynamic, PHP- & MySQL-driven websites, Octopress instead generates static sites, which will always load much faster. That’s a huge win for you & for me. … (Read More)

Two of the best recommendation/review sites I use

For quite some time I’ve been relying on The Wirecutter when I need to purchase almost anything tech-related. If friends or students ask me which TV to buy—or practically anything, really—I tell them to look it up on The Wirecutter & get whatever it recommends. For those of you who don’t know, what distinguishes The Wirecutter is that it only recommends the best thing to get in a particular category. Instead of having to wade through so-called “reviews” that compare & contrast 5 or 10 or 20 items in a mish-mash that never strongly favors one thing over another, The Wirecutter cuts to the chase, which is great. … (Read More)

How I create & manage my CV (or resumé) using Markdown & Pandoc

It’s a fact of life: everyone needs a resumé. But if you’re in academia, you also need a curriculum vitae, more commonly known as a CV. Wikipedia defines it this way1: Note that Wikipedia prefers résumé; however, resumé is also acceptable & makes more sense to me, so that’s what I use. ↩ … (Read More)

The Short Stories of H. G. Wells, in e-book formats for your pleasure

It’s Free Book Fri… no, Saturday! Today’s book is a fantastic collection of short stories by one of the fathers of science fiction, H. G. Wells. Here’s the info; the link is at the bottom of this post. … (Read More)

“SSBs: Site Specific Browsers”—an excerpt from Mac OS X Snow Leopard for Power Users

Back in 2010 I wrote a really great book that didn’t get the sales I’d have liked: Mac OS X Snow Leopard for Power Users. Unfortunately, the book had the great fortune to come out just before Lion1 was announced, rendering it obsolete immediately (but hey, feel free to go ahead & buy a copy!). C’est la vie. Lion was the successor to Snow Leopard, remember. ↩ … (Read More)

Do you need to install anti-virus software if you’re running Windows in a virtual machine?

A friend of mine emailed me the other day: … (Read More)

How to fix an annoyance downloading music from Wolfgang’s Vault using a shell script & Alfred 2

I really like the music I can stream & download from Wolfgang’s Vault. It’s all live concert tracks from hundreds of great bands & artists, in a wide variety of genres: Rock, Blues, Country, Jazz, & Folk. For $3 a month (that’s nothin’!) I can stream as much music as I want, download concerts for $5 a pop, & in addition, I get to download two shows a week for free. All in all, quite a deal. … (Read More)

Some links re: The Wall Street Journal on Apple

A person I’d never spoken with before emailed me today with a complaint about HP (I get these often because of a post I wrote years ago that got a lot of attention: HP’s Horrible, Unhelpful, Incompetent Tech Support and Service). I always enjoy reading the messages I get, & I try to help as best I can1. And based on all those emails I get, it’s still not a good idea to buy a computer from HP. I wouldn’t. No frickin’ way. ↩ … (Read More)

The old Mac OS X is not UNIX canard

I’m on a mailing list for UNIX enthusiasts here in St. Louis, & a member posted this the other day: … (Read More)

Sorting table data with CSS & jQuery

I wrote up a tutorial for my students in Advanced Web Development: Sorting Tables with CSS & jQuery. From the intro: … (Read More)

Windows software UI of the day

Quick Media Converter. Gorgeous. … (Read More)

With great power comes the easy possibility of deleting all your files

Normally, when I want to use the find command to delete files, I do this: … (Read More)

Recommended Reading 15

Poor in cages show dark side of Hong Kong boom “For many of the richest people in Hong Kong, one of Asia’s wealthiest cities, home is a mansion with an expansive view from the heights of Victoria Peak. For some of the poorest, like Leung Cho-yin, home is a metal cage. The 67-year-old former butcher pays 1,300 Hong Kong dollars ($167) a month for one of about a dozen wire mesh cages resembling rabbit hutches crammed into a dilapidated apartment in a gritty, working-class West Kowloon neighborhood.” … (Read More)

The first day I used the Internet

A reporter asked me an interesting question a few years ago: “When did you first start using the internet? What for?” I wrote up my response, but then she ended up interviewing me on the phone, so I never sent it. While poking around in a folder on my Mac, I found it. It’s a good description of one of the most important moments in my life1, so here it is. OK, granted, not nearly as important as my marriages or the birth of my son or the deaths of parents & family & friends. But still pretty important! ↩ … (Read More)

Recommended Reading 14

Global Slavery, by the Numbers “While slavery is illegal across the globe, the SumAll Foundation noted, there are 27 million slaves worldwide, more than in 1860, when there were 25 million. Most are held in bonded servitude, particularly after taking loans they could not repay. Slaves cost slightly more now, with a median price of $140, compared with $134 per human then. Debt slaves cost on average $60; trafficked sex slaves cost $1,910.” … (Read More)

Recommended Reading 13

Taking the Table to the Farm: Portraits of Radical Off-the-Grid Living “Beginning in 2006, photographer Lucas Foglia spent four years photographing people who chose to reject modern urban living, opting instead for an “off the grid” lifestyle in rural communities around the southeastern United States. Foglia turned the series, A Natural Order, into a book, published earlier this year by Nazraeli Press.” … (Read More)

Recommended Reading 12

Warning: This particular post is full of some dark stuff, mostly serial killers, so be forewarned. Sometimes I get on a true crime kick, & this was one of those times. … (Read More)

How to disable Google’s click tracking & crapification of search result URLs

I copy a lot of URLs to send to students, friends, & co-workers. Heck, I copy a lot of URLs for myself & things I write. So when I search at Google for something simple like, oh, my name & then right-click on the first result Google gives back, select Copy Link Address, & then paste the result in, I get really annoyed when I get this sort of crap back: … (Read More)

Recommended Reading 11

County Will Pay $15.5 Million To Man Who Spent 22 Months In Solitary Confinement “When he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and other charges in 2005, Stephen Slevin had no way of knowing that an opinion about his mental state would put him on a path to spend more than 22 months of solitary confinement in a New Mexico county jail, despite never having his day in court. This week, he reached a $15.5 million settlement with Dona Ana County.” … (Read More)

Setting up iTunes to rip MP3s

I just had an old friend message me to ask about the optimal settings to rip CDs using iTunes. This is a question I’ve received from a lot of people. Here’s what I wrote up in response. … (Read More)