Category Archives: computing

Pushed

PointCast was one of those Internet services that was far ahead of its time. At its root, it was a lot like the news readers we use on our smartphones and tablets today, pushing information to computers during off-peak Internet usage, and its screensaver was far more useful and engaging than those shipping with Windows 98 at the time (or those shipping with Windows 10 today). In an age where 56k dial-up modems were the height of speed for most Internet users, though, PointCast was…

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Disappearing Act

The .org will become old enough to legally buy alcohol in the United States next month. I haven’t given much thought to this, mainly because of the chaos that’s erupted in my life over the past couple of months, but even if next month’s anniversary pales in comparison to this website turning the big two-oh last year, this is still a significant milestone. As drastically as the .org has changed over these twenty-one years, in keeping with all the changes in my life during that…

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Switch Off

[The following blog contains mentions of bullying.] My gullibility in my earliest years knew no bounds. I don’t even want to think about how often I fell for the old trick of someone holding out something nice to me (like a piece of candy), cajoling me to grab it, and then taking it away at the last second. (My lack of physical coordination probably made me a prime target for that sort of thing.) No matter how often I got tricked, I couldn’t stop myself…

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Decimating Design

I’m part of the generation that grew up on the first wave of cyberpunk, from movies like Blade Runner and television shows like Max Headroom, to countless books and graphic novels. There’s a lot to be said about how this work may have influenced our attitudes and philosophies, but one of the things that always caught my eye, probably because I was so young, was the visual motif of television/computer screens everywhere. The idea of being able to walk someplace and literally be unable to…

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Making Planned Obsolescence Obsolete

Apple Faces A Pair Of Lawsuits After Admitting That They Slow Older iPhones (uproxx.com) My maternal grandfather was a big believer in making things on his own. Although my maternal grandmother’s vintage exercise bike is the one item I remember most from the basement of the house where Mom grew up, her father’s workshop was a very close second. I don’t have any memories of him actually making things down there, but I only visited the house for the winter holidays, and even if he’d…

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