Computers

Windows Update

Another, big batch (27) of security patches landed on my Windows 7 desktop. Since I’m likely to be running long, data-intensive jobs, I have it not apply them right away. Sensing this large group would necessitate a reboot, I avoided installation until lunch time today. The philosophy is simple: computing should not be about constantly …

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GoogleSoftwareUp clearing CS_VALID and Mac Freezes

PSA: In case someone else encounters similar symptoms where your MacBook freezes and the only indication is an error GoogleSoftwareUp clearing CS_VALID, I hope to save you a wasted evening of trying things and reading forums… Symptom: My heretofore reliable MacBook started going into “beach ball” mode.  The active application remained responsive to keyboard, mouse …

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Dolphin Kick

When I first heard someone mention the term dolphin kick, I thought it was a reference to the 1980s Patrick Duffy show, Man from Atlantis. The BBC says the dolphin kick “replaces a standard underwater leg kick with a whipping motion that minimizes water resistance.”[1] It’s a little easier to make sense of this if …

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Dates

I’ve been researching date/time formats for inclusion in a software product, and wanted to share some of the thought processes involved.Use case: an engineer or scientist wants to plot something over some time period. All time periods are possible, so we must provide years down to minutes. For example, a coastal engineer surveyed said he: …

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Why Not a Netbook

Late last fall, when I was first contemplating replacements for my four year-old Dell Inspiron laptop, Netbooks piqued my interest.  I gave them serious consideration as a replacement machine, but there were three major problems: 1. Screen sizes suck, especially the vertical. The most common (at the time) were 1024×576, which was a huge step …

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Mechanics

I have to agree with Elizabeth that the whole taking a phone call in the middle of a meeting is off-putting.  Some of my coworkers are notorious about this, often jumping to address a quadrant 4 domestic issue.  I do try to ignore any calls until after the meeting’s over.  One exception is if my spouse’s …

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Presentus Interuptus

For most of October, I was on the east coast attending conferences.  I saw a toxic number of PowerPoint presentations.  I was astounded how many times the presenter was interrupted by operating system over-zealousness. One guess as to which one. “Balloon tips,” sometimes also known as “What?!  I don’t care.  Let… me… aaaarrrrrrgggggghh. Just fucking …

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PHP-vil

All I wanted to do was migrate my work-related forum to a new host.  Here’s how it should have worked: Copy stuff over Edit configuration files Populate database rock on Here’s how it actually worked: Copy stuff over Edit configuration files Populate database Software was unable to connect to a database because php5’s developers do …

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