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Category Archives: Technology

The normal failure of CFL bulbs

Note that the top of the base is slightly brown from heat, which may have occurred when the CFL failed. This is normal. I happened to be standing right underneath a compact fluorescent bulb yesterday when it failed. It failed exactly according to the book: There was a quiet pop, about the volume of a […]

Ancient astronomy

An illustration from James Evans’ book on ancient astronomy I’ve mentioned that the sequel to Fugue in Ursa Major is going to involve time travel. The plot requires that I have an understanding of the state of the science of astronomy around 48 B.C. As a source for that, I am reading James Evans’ The […]

Software review: Scrivener for Macintosh

Scrivener is an application particularly designed for writers. It has templates for fiction, non-fiction, academic work with footnotes, screenplays, etc. It is available for Macintosh, Windows and Linux. I’m a nerd. I have been using Macintoshes since the 1980s. I use Adobe InDesign for publishing work, and I’m very happy with it. But InDesign isn’t […]

Macintosh memory management

This is a nerd post. Sorry, non-nerds… I have been using Macintoshes since the 1980s. The Macintosh operating system has gone through many changes in that time, and it’s one of the best computer operating systems in existence. Though my favorite all-time operating system was Solaris, the version of Unix produced by Sun Microsystems. A […]

Changing domains: Not for the faint of heart

About four months ago, I moved out of the domain into this domain — Not only is a domain change a tedious and challenging process, even for a nerd. There also is the risk of losing readers. Frankly, I didn’t do the best of all possible jobs. I went to quite a lot […]

Nerd post: Hewlett Packard 3456a digital multimeter

One of the tragedies of being a nerd is not being able to afford the toys one would like to have when those toys are new. But, thanks to eBay, we can go back in time and find bargains in some of the cool things we’d have liked to have many years ago. A recent […]

Keeping an eye on the FCC

President Roosevelt prepares for a fireside chat. A couple of days ago, I posted an item on the importance of keeping an eye on the FCC. The item was focused on the future of over-the-air television, which may not affect your world very much. Still, we all need to keep an eye on the FCC, […]


Source: Stephanie Mann, age 6, via Wikipedia Periodically I check out the web site of David Brin, a science fiction writer and futurist, to see what’s on his mind. Brin is the author of the brilliant and classic Startide Rising (1983), which won both the Nebula and Hugo awards the year it was published. But, […]

The future of over-the-air television

Hugh Jackman in “Oklahoma,” broadcast yesterday on WUNC-TV One of my regular themes on this blog is beating down the misconception that digital technologies have made radio obsolete. The opposite is true. Digital technologies have made radio more important than ever. I am, of course, using the broad definition of radio — the wireless transmission […]

Fire tower — like a lighthouse in the woods

I have long been fascinated by fire towers. Like lighthouses, they appeal to introverts because of their isolation and because they are found in appealing places — beside a coast, or in a forest. They have all the magic of promontories. Plus, fire towers have a certain nerdy appeal, because of the observation and communications […]