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{ Category Archives } Computers

All of the stuff that makes computers work, how they work, and what we know that makes it all possible.

Mob recruitment and leading: Python development

He says they are ‘hiring’ … and it’s an ad hoc group of volunteers trying to make Python better. The problem is significant: how do you encourage and motivate volunteers to join in and add to, rather than detract from, a project such as Python. Hettinger has some rather harsh words about the need to […]

The Z80 Membership Card

Last month, it was Wes putting together a retro-Pi project to run classic games from days past using emulation on the Raspberry Pi. This time it’s A Classic Retrocomputer Kit from the 1980’s. The idea is to build a classic Z80 computer to fit into an Altoids tin and call it a Z80 Membership Card. Then […]

The hidden elephant with the crypto currency fad

Some claim it is the Next Big Thing and going to overturn civilization. It sounds so wonderful with peace, love, and all that: technology is going to solve all human ills and whatnot. Technology dreams seem to invite a blindness. Luboš Motl gets to the key issue with Bitcoin: Decentralized blockchain and subjectivity of the […]

Secure the pi

Good article at Make: Take These Steps to Secure Your Raspberry Pi Against Attackers. Pretty much standard stuff but good stuff well worth considering even on a project SBC [single board computer]. Why is the SBC a target? Make suggests it might be used for distributed computing to aid Bitcoin miners, as a host for I’net […]

Android updates and maturing technologies

Android is a Java based system running on a Linux Kernel. The inter-tangling between these parts is a conflict of the philosophies behind them and practical realities. That has meant that product evolution has been somewhat hampered and cell phones are static devices rather than living technology expressions.  ArsTechnica has Android 8.0 Oreo, thoroughly reviewed […]

The system file API

Python libraries use the system API for fundamental file operations and I encountered one example of subtlety in this with the program to scan for duplicate files that had been merged by Fslint using links. A restored tarball had symbolic links that were no longer valid. That caused problems. OSError: [Errno 2] No such file […]

Eclipse fallout

Zach Sutton has pictures of Rental Camera Gear Destroyed by the Solar Eclipse of 2017.  With all of our rentals leading up to this event, we warned everyone to view the event with appropriate eyewear and to attach a solar filter to the end of their lenses to protect the lens elements and camera sensor. But […]

Six Fresh Ways to Think About Retirement Savings

Trent Hamm has a good summary in his Six Fresh Ways to Think About Retirement Savings at the Simple Dollar. From the social security network to retirement fund withdrawal rules of thumb and from basic subsistence levels to choosing a location for cost of living reasons, he provides a good over-view of issues that many don’t […]

Gnome approaches majority (legal age to vote and drink!)

Alan Day ponders The Gnome Way and that gains a special interest as Canonical is folding up Unity and its dreams of integration of the user interface across all platforms. Day notes that the Gnome project has been able to maintain its core identity, expressed in fundamental principles, for 20 years. When I first got […]

Nostalgia: 40 years on in a new era of the Take Home Computer

40 years ago: the take home computer. 30 years ago: it gets a full fledged operating system. 20 years ago: an audio codec for take home computer hardware is standardized. 10 years ago: the smart phone. 1977. 1987. 1997. 2007. 2017?? The August 3 birthday brings back memories. Harry McCracken notes the 40th anniversary and […]