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April 2019



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Odd Lots

  • Well, I got the Mallo-Ware bowls I bought from eBay, and they were in better shape than they looked in the listing, and Dash has clearly busted his last bowl. Which leads to a thought: I used to prowl garage sales for entertainment, halfheartedly hoping to find something useful. (I once got a completely functional early-50s tube tester for fifty cents.) Now I just decide what I consider useful and go to eBay or Craigslist.
  • Adobe's Flexnet copy protection system evidently writes to the MBR, and thus can make a system unbootable if it gets in a wrestling match with something else that also wants to be there. Flexnet, in fact, looks disturbingly like a rootkit from here. If I wasn't sanguine about moving up to Adobe CS before, I sure as hell don't intend to now.
  • Courtesy of Esther Schindler (who apparently was the editor who commissioned it) I give you a crackerjack tutorial by Tom Bunzel on how to do pivot tables in Excel.
  • From the Words-I-Didn't-Know-Until-Yesterday Department: A luthier is one who makes or repairs stringed instruments. From "lute," which is one of the most ancient instruments in its class.
  • Now that Apple has anointed the slate category, the usual suspects are coming up with their own surprisingly interesting takes on the concept. This is my favorite so far, and brings up the interesting question: Why not include both FM radio and TV tuners? If these things are to be travel toys, that's a must-have. (I also want real GPS, not just cell-tower interpolation.)
  • Here's a list of 100 resolutions (102, actually) that anyone aspiring to be an Evil Comic Book Overlord should make. Resolution #2 is particularly important: "My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through."
  • My daily spam count felll significantly (about 30%) a few days ago, and I wonder if this had anything to do with it.
  • Somebody told me about this years ago and I didn't pay attention. I have one of these in a drawer. Will attempt when time allows.
  • I used to call Hoag's Object the "Here's Looking At You, Kid" galaxy. I'm amazed that so few people have ever heard of it, or seen photos. You no longer have an excuse.
  • If the chemical elements played rock music (or if rock bands were set up like the Metal Men) this would be their periodic table.


lute = l’oud
Putting a TV and FM tuner on a modern tablet seems like a step backwards to me. It's like how I got an iPod so I would never have to listen to terrestrial radio ever again. I hate it so much, I dropped $250 (or whatever it was at the time) on a device that would give me music but without the morning shows. Or the irritating DJs. Or the commercials.

Krebs has also been credited with leading efforts to take down McColo, which hosted servers sending an estimated 2/3 of the world's spam.

Something else you may find interesting. Apple recently added ePub export capability to Pages, their word processor/desktop publishing program. I don't have the latest version, so I don't have firsthand knowledge of it, but I hear it works pretty well.