Book Report – Hamlet’s Blackberry

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**Title**: Hamlet's Blackberry **Author**: William Powers I've been trying to get this book read for about the last 18 months. It had come highly recommended by a friend who found the book to be a good look into the technological overload of our modern times, and the inherent constant connectivity to the crowds provided by the Internet. It took me quite a while to get into this book. Powers' continual assertion that the technology that we have come to rely on is disconnecting us from ourselves, and our reality. The same technology that we use to keep us connected and allow us to collaborate and communicate with people all around the globe was, in turn, not allowing us to actually experience and enjoy that connection because it's giving us the…
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Creating Spaces in MacOS

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[Virtual desktops][1] are an extremely useful feature of modern operating systems. It's a feature that provides some of the benefits of multiple monitors without the extra space or expense of adding more displays to your computer. Generally speaking the feature allows you to group together windows on one or more additional logical desktops without the need for multiple monitors. ![Preference pane for Mission Control][preference-pane]On the Mac this feature is known as "Spaces" and was [originally introduced][2] way back in OS X 10.5 "Leopard", and was integrated into the [Mission Control][3] preference pane a couple of years later. This merge into Mission Control works very well, as long as you know where to look — because the preference pane doesn't really tell you where it is or how to find it.…
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Grand Plans

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I have a habit of coming up with (grandiose) ideas for things I want to do. Be they small things or large things, or amorphous life goals, I talk a lot and tend to be rather stingy on the follow through. Sometimes these goals are stopped by other projects, sometimes they're stopped by my "better judgement" when I talk myself out of them, sometimes is exhaustion, sometimes it's pure laziness. Whatever the reason or excuse I don't do nearly as much doing as I feel that I should, or that I want to. Tonight I was mulling these things over as I proceeded about my cleaning and folding of laundry and had a minor brainwave about a couple of the projects that seem, on the surface, to be complementary but…
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Intentionality and the Struggle with Perfectionism

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Wow. It's been a while since I posted something. Not the first time there's been a big gap, and probably not the last, so let's not dwell on that. Something that's been on my mind for a while now and kind of relates to me not getting blog posts written is the idea of not being organized to get done what you want to get done when you want to get it done. Part of it is organization and part of it is motivation. However in my case another part of it is my constant struggle with perfectionism and over-planning. This may sound surprising to anyone who's ever seen my office (or my car) but it's a real challenge for me on anything that I'm trying to create. I tend…
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Ctrl-Alt-Delete – Rebooting Me

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I sit here staring at a blank screen, a blinking cursor, and I wonder what I'm going to write about. There are a great many topics to choose from over the last year. Technical topics, personal topics, gadget topics, relationship topics, job topics the list seems almost endless. In a way that's been part of the challenge for me getting content to post. Every time I come up with what seems like a good topic idea, I come up with 10 more that seem more important, or better in some way. Ultimately, if I'm going to write, I need to write; I need to put the fingers to the keyboard and [make the clackety noise](http://www.kungfugrippe.com/post/169873399/clackity-noise). ### Reboot? I've been lazy. There's no other way to look at it. I've been…
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My Journey to Linux & OSS for Hacker Public Radio

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I recently recorded and submitted my first podcast for [Hacker Public Radio](http://hackerpublicradio.org/), which is something I've been planning to do for several months. I figured I might as well dump the transcript to the blog as well for those who don't subscribe to HPR and/or are allergic to audio. Telling the tale of how you came to be an active user of Linux or open source software has become the de facto first show topic, so here's my story. ### Early Years The first computer I ever owned was purchased second-hand from a local company who had recently upgraded their systems. It was a second-generation Intel Pentium system with precious few system resources. But it was mine... all mine. I played with it for a few months trying out different…
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The Problem to Be Solved

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Before working on any new project it's important to have a good grasp on just what ends you are trying to achieve. Accomplished podcaster and all-around good egg [Allison Sherridan](https://twitter.com/podfeet/) of the [Nosillacast](https://podfeet.com/) has a policy for product reviewers on her show: _first, start with the problem to be solved_. Since I believe this is a wise and logical course of action, the second post in the home technology series will do just that. Let me just start with the caveat that I'm going to throw the word **need** around rather loosely for this post. I realize these are toys, for the most part. I could certainly survive without them, but these are toys and tools that I use in my day-to-day life pretty extensively, and a number of my…
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Taking Stock

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Quite some time ago I started a series of posts on setting up your own home server from scratch using a desktop PC running Ubuntu. The series was fairly popular and provided a good detailed look at just what it takes to get a home server going. Well the server I built is going away and I find myself planning, once again, how best to address the computing needs of my household. It seems obvious to me that I **need** a server. I've had one for the past few years and it's been very beneficial for a number of reasons. But times change, people change and computing needs do, in fact, change. This series of posts is going to be as much for me as anything else. I figure if…
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The Winding Road of Procrastination

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I sat down tonight to do some more learning about Ruby. I thought that I'd spend an hour or so and build something trivial, but useful. Well 90 minutes later and I have had an enjoyable evening, but I have yet to write a single line of Ruby code. It started out with a [Ruby tutorial](http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/documentation/quickstart/3/) which had a header on the first line with the standard directive pointing to the executable for the Ruby interpreter. That led me to realize I wasn't 100% sure where that executable was on a Mac. I remembered that there was some kind of command to find these exectuables so off I went to [Google](http://www.google.ca/search?sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&site=&source=hp&q=where%20is%20perl&btnG=Search). My search results led mt to a Perl primer describing the use of the [which](http://htmlfixit.com/cgi-tutes/tutorial_Perl_Primer_002_-_where_to_get_it_-_basic_layout_-_shebang_line.shtml) command. Having used the…
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Bad Decisions

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As someone who considers himself a technology enthusiast I take pride in my ability to know how best to apply technological solutions to everyday problems. Part of knowing how to do this is the ability to know what the options are and when to choose which option. Few decisions in technology demonstrate this abundance of options better than the selection process for a new computer. I have had a MacBook as my primary computer for the past 6 years. In that time, my first Mac has helped me to accomplish a number of goals. It has been my main machine for all of my technological pursuits. Pretty much Avery blog post and podcast episode I've produced was conceived of, written recorded and released on that machine. I has travelled with…
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