Year of Done

Year of Done

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Done. It's a word that conjures up finality. Following in the footsteps of 2017's "[Year of Less][less]" I have christened 2018 my "Year of Done". I'm not a big fan of resolutions, be they New Year's or otherwise. I do however like the idea of a theme for the year. After some soul-searching, add some cognitive down-time in the month of December, I have decided that "done" will be my theme for 2018. I've told this to a couple of people over the last few days, and the most common question I get back is: "what do you mean by '*done*'"? For me, and for the purposes of the theme, I have two specific meanings of the word done. The first one is the most common sense of the word…
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Book Report – Little Brother

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Set in mid-2000s San Francisco, [Cory Doctorow][craphound]'s Little Brother brings a tale of what can go wrong when yuo have a society that values compliance over independence. A story of technology innovation, [hacker culture][wiki-hackerculture], information sharing and data freedom all set against the backdrop of a modern-day terrorism nightmare. Cory Doctorow highlights a number of different things in our everyday world that allow other people to learn more about you, to track you and build a profile about you. These are extended to the next level in Little Brother talking about some of the what-ifs and could-bes that today's technology could allow. You can get a copy of the book [online for free][book-download], that's how the author has always released his material. Doctorow has been a strong believer in the…
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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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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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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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Steve Jobs’ Impact on the World of Technology

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This afternoon Apple released the sad news that co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs had finally succumbed to his fight with cancer. With that the world lost a man whose vision led Apple from the depths of irrelevancy to the forefront of day-to-day mind-share. ## Revived Apple Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer in the late 1970's. The company has had its ups and downs over the years and Jobs was ousted from his leadership position only to be hired back on in the 1990's when Apple was bordering on irrelevancy. Starting with the iPod and iMac in the early 2000's Jobs and his leadership team helped make Apple one of the most recognized and relevant brands in the world. ## Reinvented home computing The early Apple II computers were some of…
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Mac vs. PC :: Will my next computer be a Mac?

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It's been about two and a half years since I made the switch from being a dedicated Windows user to [buying my first Mac](//kdmurray.com/2006/09/macbook-day-1/). I have really enjoyed my MacBook and wanted to take a few moments to discuss some of the differences and similarities I've found with the Mac ownership experience, compared to my earlier (and ongoing) experiences with the Windows platform. **Marketing and Markets** Both [Windows](http://blogs.computerworld.com/five_reasons_why_vista_beats_mac_os_x) and [Mac](http://www.tuaw.com/2008/03/24/why-the-mac-is-better-than-the-pc-crapware/) [enthusiasts](http://apcmag.com/15_reasons_macs_are_still_better_than_windows.htm) love to [evangelize](http://mac.elated.com/2008/12/12/10-ways-that-windows-is-better-than-mac-os/) their platform of choice.  It's human nature, we all want people to know how smart we are for choosing the best of what's available. As is often the case with most of these "[holy wars](https://www.google.ca/search?q=mac windows holy war)" the smaller market tends to be more vocal, and more likely to point out all the flaws in…
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AnkhSVN and Visual Studio 2008

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[![ankhsvn](http://kdmurray.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/ankhsvn11.gif "ankhsvn")](http://kdmurray.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/ankhsvn11.gif)Source control is one of those things that developers get really polarized about.  Most agree that having source control on projects is a necessity, but that's typically were the similarities end.  Some folks are of the mind that every line of code, however insignificant, [should be under source control](http://stackoverflow.com/questions/132520/good-excuses-not-to-use-version-control).  This provides records of what was written, and a reference for things that were done in the past.  Others believe that source control should be reserved for "real" projects, things that are deliverables for customers, or products to be released to real-world environments.  I really don't want to get into this debate tonight, so I'm going to stick to the technology. I was wanting to get some source control in place for a few of my personal projects.  I chose…
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Technological Dependence

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At what point did I become completely dependent on my technology?  I mean, I can remember a time when I didn't carry  a cell phone.  Sure my life was simpler back then, but even doing some simple tasks today seems all to difficult without the phone. As these devices have made their way into our lives, the concept of convergence has helped them stick.  Two hundred years ago, the only way to communicate with someone was either in person, or by post.  Then came the invention of the [telegraph](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telegraph).  This would allow someone to send a text-message to someone in another city by way of an electrical current.  Really, this was the predecessor to email, fax and text messaging. Seventy years later, Alexander Graham Bell was busy working on a…
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