Sunday, May 13, 2012

you never forget how to ride a bike nor do you forget trying to learn to ride a bike

Nice article about navigating the challenges of how to learn to ride a bike. Two things you have to learn to ride a bike, pedaling and balance. Pedaling is easy, balance not so much. Funny balance isn't easy in other parts of life too... enjoy!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Revisiting "Saving Private Router"

Today the press was alive with stories about consumer electronics and how they die and get resurrected. Katherine Boehret on All things D had a really well researched, keep as a reference article on the recycling policies of the different computer and electronic retailers. It's really amazing how short the life of a digital doo-dad is these days despite the fact that there is still utility. When I think about the computing power available in a basic cell phone (not even a smart phone) as compared to what I had in my first Apple II computer, it saddens me that these are all left to the dumpster.

The willingness to dispose instead of repair is the focus of a New York Times article on repair cafes in Amsterdam, Netherlands where people can bring broken appliances to an informal place where people are willing to try to repair the item for free or a nominal cost. Countering the habit of just throwing away an old item and buying a new one instead of fixing it. They even have a guide book on creating one's own repair cafe. And it's not limited to electronics, clothes are often repaired as well.

 It's good to see the value of "second life" spreading, I wrote about my own repair projects in Saving Private Router and Saving Private Router - the next generation about restoring electronics from a hardware and software perspective. So next time something is broken, try to fix it. You might learn something.

Saturday, May 05, 2012


Ahhh, you might be old enough to remember the delightful show "Connections" by James Burke that followed the impact of one invention to the creation of a modern one through different modifications and applications. He would start with something like a pendulum and end up putting man on the moon (I'm making up the example, but you get the idea). NPR has a whimsical story about why hats disappeared from the heads of men in American and it lays blame on cars or more accurately, the interstate highway system which made cars the preferred mode of transport. He highlighted the casualty of hats because cars are not street cars and buses. The highway system has changed the fabric of our society, and apparently the fabric of our clothes too.