Tag Archives: technology

Weekly Linkage: The Long Edition

At some point in the last 2 weeks, I had 0 unread items in Google Reader.

It was a short-lived, joyous experience, but this is the result of my web branching:

On small houses:

I totally hadn’t realized that tiny houses are illegal/violate zoning. I knew they were tricky to place, but I figured if you buy a patch of land somewhere, you could put whatever kind of house on it you wanted.
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Weekly Linkage: Healthcare, Midnight Deployments, and Markov Chaining

I’ve been all over The Incidental Economist lately, and it’s really hard not to link to every one of their posts that I can make heads or tails of. They’re really prolific by my standards, though, which means it’s a struggle to keep their posts from falling off the 30-day cut-off in Google Reader.

Weekly Linkage: Stockholm Trolls

Um… it’ll make sense as you read.

3:25 per Envelope

I had one task last night: get sender and recipient addresses onto 35-ish non-standard envelopes. This turned into an exhausting, stressful 2-hour task.

My initial thought was to hand write them for a personal touch, but then Greg (or I? Are we blurring?) reminded me that we should be able to print them. …And there went an hour and a half of my evening.

The envelopes were an unusual size–about 4.125 inches by 8.125 inches–and my printer just couldn’t figure it out. I could set a custom size in Word and in the printer settings, but it didn’t seem to matter a fig. Gutters, margins, nothing was behaving right and stuff was all cut off. What’s the point of having a fancy printer if it doesn’t do fancy things?

I was on my last usage of the evaluation copy of MS Word that came with my netbook, so I couldn’t easily close and open documents to retry the mail merge, and I’d be damned if I tried to do the whole thing again in OpenOffice. I spent 45 minutes alone reformatting addresses from the master guest list into a mail mergeable form.

I feel like there’s a teaching moment here. A grumpy, sleep deprived one, but here it is:

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Spirits in the Wires: Mid-book Thoughts

I’m in the midst of reading Charles de Lint’s Spirits in the Wires, and what’s a really, really cool concept is choking me in the specifics. The book was published in 2003, the year I graduated high school. I don’t see any reference to dates that would place the novel’s setting as significantly before that, so my brain completely skipped the track when I saw the following statement:

I give the machine a quick look-over. It’s a 386–still running Windows 3.1, Geordie tells me–but it has a PCMCIA modem card so that I can get on the Internet and the processor should be plenty fast enough for what I need it to do. All I want to do is send some e-mail.

Even pushing the book back to 2000 doesn’t work here. Sticking with Windows, Windows 95/98 was the standard for non-power users, or–and don’t run screaming–Windows ME. Broadband was already fairly wide-spread. People wouldn’t have considered a 386 running Windows 3.1 “plenty fast enough”.

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