Finished: Callahan’s Con

Light, fun. I never go into Spider Robinson’s “Callahan’s” series with high plot expectations. Rather, much like the folks in the story itself, it’s good enough simply to rejoin characters that I’ve enjoyed in previous books. The story’s light and enjoyable, and a fine summer read.

A (Pre) Microsoft Story

Back in the days BM (Before Microsoft), I worked for a small company in Seattle called International Entry Systems, Inc, or IESI. They manufactured Z-80 based data entry terminals that were, basically, a single line display, a keyboard and a data cassette recorder. All software was loaded from tape. (This was 1980, after all.)

One of the software packages they had available was a copy of Microsoft Basic. I won’t go into the machinations you might go through to have a working Basic interpreter that uses a single line (40 character line, at that) display and a single cassette deck for all storage, but they did. It was in place, though underutilized, when I showed up.

Read more

Finished: Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time, Book 10)

The Amazon reviews are scathing. I can understand. I started the series when I expected only 10 installments. There’s going to be more? Yikes. But I do think I need to see how the story ends. Sigh. Finishing 10 implies that I finished this one earlier: (Aside: rather than try to keep this previous post … Read more

The Questions You Didn’t See

A sampling of some of the funny, odd or not-so-technical questions I’ve received in the last year on Ask Leo!. All questions are complete and unedited – this is exactly the way I get ’em, folks.

The “answers” here are what I wish I could reply with. (I typically do not respond to these types of questions at all.)

I have a 14′ v shape boat. It has a crack in the front, along the seam in the middle. Would HTS 2000 brazing work or is there something else that i should be using?

Two words: Duct Tape (Hey, you ask a computer guy about boat repair, you get what you get, ok?)

Read more

Gnomedex 5.0 Thoughts

Spent the last two days at Chris Pirillo’s Gnomedex. Yes, even though my comments last year might have indicated otherwise, I did attend. Chris was nice enough to move it to Seattle for me, so how could I not go? Some of the speakers, in my very subjective order of value/quality/excitement included: Julie Leung on … Read more

What I’ve Been Reading

On my home page you’ll see what I’m reading (or listening to via audio books) right now. All well and good, as far as a snapshot goes, but I figured it would make some small sense to record here what I’ve read. Dates underneath, if present, are the dates I finished the book, mostly for … Read more

Podcasts I listen to

Podcasts: Adam Curry The Chris Pirillo Show Contentious David Lawrence’s Personal Netcast The Dawn and Drew Show Future Tense Leo Laporte Morning Stories on WGBH The Roadhouse: “The finest blues you’ve never heard.” Speechless: Instrumental Music Staccato a Creative Commons music show Though not technically “podcasts” I grab these shows also, using Replay Radio for … Read more

Leo’s World

A couple of people asked what I was up to lately, so here’s a snapshot. Not surprisingly, most can be found on the web… Ask Leo!: besides almost daily posts answering people’s questions, a new initiative to “link to Leo!”, and a new weekly podcast. Dolls and Friends: various bits of work such as an … Read more

What’s on my Treo?

A friend just got a Treo 650, and asked what additional software might be useful. Well, I’m incredibly happy with my Treo 600 (via Verizon), so here’s a list of what’s on my Treo:

Read more

It’s Not the End of the World

But, sadly, apparently many people believe it is. After a particularly divisive campaign, it’s all come down to this: George W. Bush is our president for four more years. Prior to the election I heard people say that they would be scared, should Bush win. I took that to be common political rhetoric and assumed … Read more

Gnomedex Thoughts

I just returned from the two day Gnomedex, a geek conference / gathering / networking session put on by Chris Pirillo, aka LockerGnome. Chris is a friend I came to know through an internet entrepreneurs group we both belong to. (I could name the group, but then I’d have to hurt you into silence.) This … Read more

Ask me WHAT?

On this first anniversary of my Ask Leo! service, I present this sampling of some of the funny, odd or not-so-technical questions I’ve received. All questions are complete and unedited. All answers are what a part of me wishes I could reply with. (I typically do not respond to these types of questions at all.) … Read more

What’s on your bookshelf?

I recently asked some collegues what one book they would recommend to help others understand what they do, or get better at it themselves. I picked one, out of five that came to mind. Here are the five: Computer Related Risks: Based on actual incidents, this book examines the risks associated with technology. It’s loosely … Read more

That’ll be $0.01 per double-click, please.

The United States Patent Office recently awarded patent #6,727,830 to Microsoft. For double clicking. Yep. Double clicking. Now, I’ve never been enamored with the patent process. I actually have two of Microsoft’s oldest patents, 4,955,066 and 5,109,433, and collaborated on a third. When I went into the process for the first one, my thought was … Read more

What do you do for a living?

I was asked that question a while back, and to be honest, I was stumped. You see, technically I’m retired. But the problem is that I can’t stay away from this stuff. Computers and software have always been not only my profession, but my passion as well. When I had real job I was doing … Read more

I’m Not Him

The movie Colossus: The Forbin Project had a big impact on me, even before I’d ever touched a computer. I bring that up now, because there’s a line in the movie when the U.S. super-computer discovers there’s another, equivalent super-computer in the U.S.S.R.. It displays a message “There Is Another System”. That came to mind … Read more

Yes, it’s a blog

What does it mean when what I want to say is “yes, I’m creating a good old-fashioned blog”. Old fashioned? Is blogging old-fashioned already? Whatever. Ask Leo! has a fairly fixed format, and I want it to be about getting tech information out. I limit my opinions there to the issues at hand, and even … Read more

Lurch’s Story

Lurch came to us in August of 1996, and we’ve had many questions about him since. Lurch was part of a feral litter, found by our veterinarian’s daughter in an empty lot. The mother was taken by animal control, but the litter was left behind. One by one, all were adopted to friends and clientele, … Read more