On Gratitude, and Worry

10 years ago this morning my mom died. This morning as I was meditating – sitting outside listening to the plethora of different birds that populate our area, feeling the light breeze on my face and the warmth of the morning sun – I was filled with a deep sense of gratitude. Gratitude for where […]

How it began … and ended

At the risk of assuming anyone actually cares, here’s a peek into: How it all began… From late 1979 to 1983 I was working for a small company in Seattle writing software for a Z-80 based data entry terminal, and eventually a CP/M based computer. The problem was that they were small….and getting smaller. They […]

Preparing for “the big one”

On Saturday (April 27) I participated in an exercise with the local RACES arm of ESCA – the Emergency services organization for which I volunteer my amateur radio “skills”. The point of this exercise was to simulate a major event that rendered our EOCs (Emergency Operations Centers) inaccessible, and to then pass message traffic from CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) […]

I have to do WHAT to replace the battery?

A friend gave me an older Kenwood TM-701A mobile unit that had been sitting around unused for many years. I’d been looking for a second unit to leave at home so I wouldn’ t need to swap out my Yaesu from the car as often, and it seemed like a perfect fit. Worked great, except […]

My Reading List

While on my sabbatical I did a lot of reading. Some targeted at the sabbatical proper, some leisure reading, and some that fell somewhere in between. These are the two that when I described my sabbatical to some friends were the ones that I took the time to call out as having had special impact. […]

What Language!

Some years ago I was chastised by a reader for using the word “sucks”, as in “networking sucks”. He took pains to point out that its origins were pornographic …

A Big What and a Little Why become What I Do

As I’ve mentioned before I don’t have a specific “Big Why” that drives me. There’s no tangible goal I’m driven to accomplish with my life, no dream that I’m aware of that I’m heading towards. Rather, I’ve identified what I’ve come to call my “Big What” – the characteristics of how I want to live, […]

Why Technology Excites Me

In my recent sabbatical/reboot I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it is I want to do, and why I want to do it. What I enjoy doing is actually pretty simple: playing with technology. As I once put it long ago, I enjoy making personal computers and related technologies “dance”. […]

Base Race

St. Benedict’s Seattle, Grade 7 Class Photo circa 1969 (I’m in the middle row, 4th from right.) Looking back I think it was in 7th grade that I got my first clear indication of what my future career might become. We were being taught about number bases. Because we have 10 fingers our numbering system […]

On Dreams, Goals, the Big Why … and Serendipity

As part of my two month sabbatical this year I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’m headed. I’ve jokingly referred to this as figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, because in many ways I’m so very fortunate to have such a large palette of possibilities to choose from. It’s […]

Toyota Sequoia Radio Installation

I drive a 2010 Toyota Sequoia that we got for towing our 26′ travel trailer. Not long after I got my ham license I decided that the thing to do was to put a mobile radio in it. I did a fair amount of research beforehand, and what follows is what I ended up doing. […]

How fast is Netflix? No, not streaming, I mean the DVD service.

A recent post on the (wonderful) “What If?” website entitled FedEx Bandwidth got me to thinking about a calculation I did some time ago, that for the life of me I can’t find, so I’ll have to re-generate. What’s the equivalent download bandwidth of a Netflix DVD subscription? You know, the option Netflix actually started […]

All My Base

I started in ham radio with a Wouxun HT (Handie-Talkie or handheld radio). It’s funny, because a) it seems like everyone starts with an HT of some sort, especially lately since there are several comparatively inexpensive models available, and b) so many of the more experienced hams say you shouldn’t start with an HT. Oh […]

Borrowed Property

That soldering iron doesn’t really belong to me. Back in “the day” (1983, to be exact), when I joined Microsoft it was truly a small company. 360 people small. It was also not networked. Instead, each office was connected to shared servers by one or more RS-232 serial port connections – think dialup modem technology, […]

Helen’s Journey

Helen was a special dog, in more ways than most people imagine. Not long after birth in 1999 Helen was diagnosed as completely blind. As she grew that evaluation turned out not to be 100% accurate as her vision appeared to improve as she got a little older. In fact, as an adult most people […]

Y2K wasn’t going to be a problem, but …

Back in 1999 I was in Microsoft’s Developer Division, the folks who bring you developer tools like Microsoft Visual Studio and the like. Y2K was coming, but we weren’t particularly concerned. Most PC software would handle the “problem”, such as it was, just fine. It was really only older mainframe based software that really raised […]

The Ninth Year of “What the … ???”

August 10, 2012 marks the 9th anniversary of Ask Leo!. As is my tradition I give you a peek at some of the real, honest, unedited questions I get but could not answer – at least not on Ask Leo!. So: * This would be an exact, complete question or comment exactly as I got […]

On Gratitude … and Luck

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] couple of business-related things, ultimately inconsequential, conspired to have me decide that I needed to spend some time simply being thankful. A few days ago I devoted my morning’s meditation to gratitude, and the longer I thought the longer my list became. Then later in the day the topic of luck came up. It’s […]

A 9/11 thought…

The best way to honor those that lost their lives 10 years ago today is not to ruminate on the horrors, but rather perhaps pause briefly & remember … and then move forward; live a full and happy life, and every day be thankful that you are able to do so. I’ll probably avoid most […]

Fighting with Dragon

No, the title is correct, I’m not fighting with dragons I’m fighting with Dragon. Specifically I just had a nightmare scenario with Dragon NaturallySpeaking that I wanted to document. I do want to be clear however that I think Dragon NaturallySpeaking is fantastic technology. Speech recognition dictation is just magical to me. In fact I’m […]