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December 17, 2012

February 29, 1900

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Don’t bother looking it up. Nothing significant happened on February 29, 1900. No one was born, no one died. While that may seem extraordinary, it’s true because there was no February 29, 1900. That is, unless you use Microsoft Excel.

December 16, 2012

TV Watches You!

Filed under: News — admin @ 4:37 pm

The old Yackov Smearnov line was, “In Soviet Russia, TV watches you!” That’s actually kind of true in the 21st Century, although it’s not the government watching you through your HDTV, it’s the hackers!


December 14, 2012

Below 500

Filed under: News — admin @ 8:13 am

Apple computer’s stock has taken a nose-dive since mid-September. It’s down from an all-time high of just a hair over 700 to just a hair over 500 this morning. What are the reasons?

First, you could blame the “fiscal cliff.” Capital gains taxes here in the US are set to rise next month. So a lot of stockholders may be taking their profits before those taxes go up. But if that were true, don’t you think that the entire market would be down just as much?

Second, it could be the reckoning that no one will ever replace Steve Jobs. I doubt that. Apple has a lot of the same people working there, and Jobs doubtless had projects in the pipeline. Still, stock trading is emotional, so that may play a small role.

Third, it could just be that Apple hasn’t done anything amazing in a while. That could be tied to my second reason, but I think it’s the big one here. People expected wiz-bang from Apple and we just haven’t seen it in a few years. So the thrill is gone.

Historically, Apple stock does tend to peak and valley, followed by a long, slow climb back into the stratosphere. I do, however, believe that the stock will dip below the magic $500/share line and then dip some more. Then it will recover. In fact, if they announce Apple iTV next year — and it’s wiz-bang — you may see the stock jump 60 or 70 points in a day.

Apple Stock Quote

Random Files Go There

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

I’m big on file organization, making folders and subfolders to keep all my various files organized. Part of the problem of that approach is to have a place to put things before you know where they’ll eventually end up. I call it my sto folder, but other applicable names include temp and junk. Everyone should have such a folder!

December 12, 2012

Computer Encounters of the First Kind, Part II

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

I had several friends in college who were into computers. They encouraged me to take the intro course on programming. I’m glad I didn’t. If I did, I would have had to switch majors, probably end up at school for another three years, and probably had a different career. That’s because it turns out that I really understand computers. They’re natural to me.

December 10, 2012

Computer Encounters of the First Kind, Part I

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

My High School had a computer lab and, naturally, I avoided it. At the time, I thought that computers were all about math. Having my Algebra II teacher as the computer science teacher didn’t help ease that perception. Even so, I was drawn to the lab.

December 7, 2012

My First Computer Job

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Sure, I worked during school and after I graduated, but my first job in “the industry” was working at a computer book publishing house. I think I started in 1985 or so, then left in 1987 to go it on my own. But my career began back then, working as a “technical writer” for CompuSoft publishing in El Cajon, California.

December 6, 2012

Microsoft Surface: Ffffft

Filed under: News — admin @ 7:02 am

That clunk sound you hear is the drop of the public’s interest in Microsoft’s once-hot tablet, the Microsoft Surface. Apparently consumers aren’t fired up about the unit, which has sold less than one million units in the fourth quarter. That officially makes the once-killer gizmo a flop.

It’s odd, too: I figured the surface would showcase Windows 8. After all, Windows 8 is geared by Microsoft into converting all desktop Windows users into tablet users, specifically the Surface and other Windows 8 tablets. I suppose that’s just not going to happen.


December 5, 2012

Notification Light Widget Available

Filed under: News — Tags: — admin @ 10:36 am

Tired of your phone’s notification light blinking incessantly? Especially when your phone may have a larger-than-normal blinking lamp? I once got an email from a reader who just couldn’t stand the blinking light because it was keeping her up at night. Well! Get some sleep with the new Motorola Notification Light Toggle widget:

Google Play Link

Install Phone Apps From Your Computer

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

Many of my Android books feature QR Code icons in the margins. The QR Codes can be scanned by the phone’s camera, and the results read and used to do various things. For example, you can visit a web site or pick up an app at the Google Play Store. There is, however, a more convenient way.

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