This Week, I Am Not a Writer

Writers write. This week I’m doing lots of things–cleaning my study, reconfiguring the home file server (again), and so on–but writing isn’t one of them. This week I am not a writer.

Double Your Memory, No Party Required

Adding memory to computers used to merit a party.

Many years ago, when I was at College, adding memory to computers was a Very Big Thing. There were only a handful of computers on campus. The two bigs ones had their own rooms. When we added a meg (256K of 36 bit words) of memory to our PDP-10, the memory arrived by truck in a box the size of a refrigerator, and took a week for two technicians to install (and we had to recompile the operating system). The new memory had its own box, with rows of blinking lights behind blackened glass. It looked cool. We had a party to celebrate.

Now, I click a few times and type in a credit card number, and two days later UPS delivers a small cardboard box with a half gigabyte of RAM. It takes five minutes to install, including rebooting. No party. It’s not that the fun has gone away; it’s just migrated to follow the bleeding edge.

No Jury Duty This Year

Did you know that the characteristic thump thump thump of a helicopter is caused the the leading edge of a propeller blade encountering the trailing wake vortex of the blade before it? I learned this nifty fact while serving on Jury Duty a few years ago. This year the Jury Duty summons was for the week after Christmas. A slow week. In the event I got called in, I was going to bring Forensics for Dummies to help pass the time.

WordPress, CVS, and Plumbing

My final act of 2004 was getting a fresh install of WordPress checked into CVS in a way that gives me full version control over all of the non-content pieces, and let me run a test blog against live content to test out template, style, and code changes. On the list for 2005 is to write down the steps. There are a few non-obvious kinks.

The first act of 2005 was dealing with clogged drains. Plumbing problems do not make for an auspicious start of the New Year.