Archive for March, 2012

Emma Willard

Posted in default on March 31st, 2012 at 07:43:23

Untitled My daughter was recently accepted to the Emma Willard School. I’m glad for her getting the opportunity to be in a welcoming, academically rigorous all-girls environment, with what seems to be a huge dedication to fine arts. I think that it will be an excellent environment for her, and I look forward to the opportunities this will afford her, now and later in life.

That said: holy crap, this kid is going to live in a *frickin’ castle with gargoyles*. I hope that she appreciates it!

“Top sliced” hot dog buns

Posted in default on March 25th, 2012 at 13:54:38

One thing I never knew was different between the Midwest and the East Coast until I moved here: the slicing of hot dog buns.

Where I grew up, hot dogs had smooth sides — like the outside of a loaf of bread. The slice was cut in what I think of as the ‘top’ of the bun — the bun was rounded on three sides, and looked like a loaf, except on the bottom, which was white, bread-like material.

In the midwest, they’re sliced (or made entirely) a different way — the sides that you put your hand on are not smooth, outside-of-load like material, but instead bread-filler-like white material, with the loaf-like stuff on top — looking more like two pieces of bread.

The words for these appear to be “side-sliced” (which is what I grew up with):

Side sliced hot dog bun

and “top-sliced”:

I just never knew that hot dog buns could be sliced a different way.

Happy Birthday

Posted in default on March 19th, 2012 at 08:41:01

Last night, at my weekly Drink With Geeks event at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, I enjoyed the start of my birthday with a lively argument about whether the Open Source development model is fundamentally superior for most use cases to proprietary software. (I’d shorten it here, but I realize that it really deserves a full post.)

I finished it off with a free shot of the Bartender’s choice — which happened to be Jameson. So far, in my 28th year, I have learned one thing only: Holy crap do I not like Jameson. (But hey, gotta try new things!)

Happy Birthday to me!

Long Read: Steve Jobs Playboy Interview

Posted in default on March 17th, 2012 at 10:16:30

Most of my reading on the internet is quick; 6 paragraph news articles, compressing down into something I can read in less than 5 minutes, because I seldom have the time to spend longer than that. I do read in my spare time, but it’s usually 1950s-1970s sci-fi — not non-fiction news articles.

This morning though, I was linked to this Slate article about some of the best stories about the early computer industry which led me to a 1983 Playboy interview with Steve Jobs — and I’m amazed at some of what is said there.

I wasn’t one of the mourners at Steve Jobs’ death — I just didn’t have a lot of interaction with Jobs as anything other than a marketing personality. I got into computers in the mid 90s — my first home computer was Christmas of ‘93, and the Mac, although ever-present in my early educational career, was always a slightly dated concept at best. It was never a core part of my life, and although I’ve been using Apple for my laptop hardware for the past 7 years, I never really bought into the Cult of Mac the way some people did.

Reading the Playboy interview though, I was struck by how much, in 1983, Jobs’ role and interactions in Apple played out exactly as he thought they would. His idea that IBM PCs, if they succeeded, would limit innovation in hardware for a “Dark Age” of 20 years, though not exactly spot on, is probably something that he would say came true — and that Apple, with OS X and later with the iPhone/iPad revolution, was really exactly the kind of thing I can see as being a fulfilled vision there.

To the rest of the world, the hardware revolution stopped mattering for a long time in personal computing — or at least, I think of it that way. Comparing the computers of today to the computers of 2000 — hell, even the computers of 1995 — didn’t innovate very much in changing user interactions. The “smartphone” started to make that change in early 2000s, a bit, but I think that the iPhone and iPad have really changed computing in a fundamental way for a lot of people. (Out of that has come other technology — like the Kindle — that is also changing the way that people interact with computers, in my mind.)

There were also a number of other things he talked about — like weaving in and out of Apple as he continued his life, or like predicting the death of what I guess were the other significant computer manufacturers then (Radio Shack, Wang, TI, Xerox, etc.) — a fact which shocked the interviewer.

It really changes my perspective on Jobs, and to a lesser extent, on Apple as a whole, to see that 30 years ago, Jobs could see pretty much exactly the way things worked out. It’s a pretty weird thing to read to me.

Personal Weakness: Discovery Channel ‘reality’ TV

Posted in default on March 4th, 2012 at 21:55:05

ХудожникI don’t know why it is, but man, do I love Discovery Channel’s (and History Channel’s) “reality” TV. Storage Wars, Pawn Stars, Ice Road Truckers, etc.

This weekend’s guilty pleasure is “Gold Rush: Alaska”; I started yesterday night, and I’m now partway through Season 2.

I expect most people wouldn’t like it, but I certainly do, and I don’t even really know why.