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Three Books I Enjoyed in 2018

The coming end of this year usually brings ponderings of the past and predictions for an unknown future; but screw that. Books are where it’s at. I love to read. As a fellow reader, you’re probably looking for books to add to the “want to read” bookshelf. I’m here to recommend three more that you should check out. These aren’t in any particular order or limited to being published this year, they’re just books I’ve read and loved.

What about the food?

vegetables
Photo Credit

As a person who’s been in the technology field for more years than anyone should be, I’ve seen my fair share of dark places. These forlorn, apocalyptic and forgotten corners of buildings aren’t shooting locations of the next horror movie but where those of our ilk work day in an day out. Often these spaces will be small, will contain nothing even resembling creature comforts like tables and chairs, and will feature the incessant humming of today’s computerization. You office workers have it so easy with you Steelcase chairs and cubicle walls. Despite the pains of this work (I know there are far worse places to work), I have come to wonder about the food we eat.

Adding “Writer” To The Stack

Last month I attended a very informal “Meet the Writer” event at my local library. Speaking there was Susanna Kearsley, an author of a number of great fiction books and bestsellers at that. I thought it would be amazing to meet an honest-to-goodness writer and see what she might offer about the writing process, getting published, and all things novel-related. Sure, she’s a fiction writer and I’m writing non-fiction, but I’ll keep that little tidbit to myself while there. Hopefully no one will notice I don’t fit, right?

A problem like Gary Vaynerchuk

via Wikimedia

Which is to say, this isn’t a big problem. If I hadn’t gotten into this more deeply, I wouldn’t have even pondered it at all. I’d have continued to build the business I still run now, 20 years later. Yes, I know something about starting a business, and I know this from a time before it was as cool and sexy as it is today. Then, I was just like many of the eager young people I see in Gary’s videos – looking for something – an answer, an idea, a vision, some direction that makes this stuff make sense. I was that 20-something year old too. Listless and and looking for anything that takes me to the next level. Hell, if there was a Gary Vaynerchuk back then, I’d have probably watch all of his videos like my niece watches “Graveyard Girl” videos on Youtube.

On WordPress’ New Gutenberg Editor

The Gutenberg editor. WordPress has decided that its current editor won’t do, and that it was time to update the “Classic” text editor into something more utilitarian called “Gutenberg”. I thought “Ok, I’ll try it”. Then, immediately it did not work. And, I think many out there are facing the exact same thing. This is all feeling like WordPress is trying to empty Lake Ontario with a bucket. It’s a futile gesture, but maybe it’s the gesture that counts? It’s like the world is craving no more sequels to movies, but when you give them something original, they don’t show up. WordPress, you’ve got a fight ahead of you.

The Internet is an Evil Place

Today, the tectonic rumblings of what Donald Trump might have done to whom probably drowned out a interesting news from a celebrity. He’s Pete Davidson, a funny guy who’s known for his SNL performances and currently being engaged to Ariana Grande. He quit the internet, and left a great message while signing off (emphasis mine):

“No nothing happened. No there’s nothing cryptic about anything. I just don’t wanna be on Instagram anymore. Or on any social media platform. The internet is an evil place and it doesn’t make me feel good,” the comedian said. “Why should I spend any time on negative energy when my real life is f***ing lit. The fact that I even have to say this proves my point. I love you all and I’m sure I’ll be back at some point. :) your neighborhood goon, Pete.”

This was probably something you didn’t know or track in the cacophony of celebrity news, but Davidson has signalled something that few have done. He’s at the beginning of the end of public figures on the Internet, and frankly, the Internet is an evil place.

Basics: How To Find Your IP Address

IPv4-Address

Internet Protocol (IP) is the general basis for all communications on local and Internet networks. These communications rely on some basic numbers that identify you to other computers on the local network, and to the world. Those numbers put together are what’s commonly called an IP Address. On occasion, someone in you IT department or support might ask you to provide this number format, and  I’ll show you how to find it.

The Strange Case of Dell VRTX Hard Disk Compatibility [Solved]

Dell 8TB

Early June of this year, I ordered five more drives for a client’s Dell PowerEdge VRTX server enclosure, This in addition to the currently installed seven 2TB drives that were humming along just fine. My only request from Dell is that these drives be the biggest we can get, and that they be compatible with the running VRTX enclosure. Simple, right? So we ordered the $8,000 in hard drives, and waited. The drives themselves would kick off a strange saga of failure and support that I can’t recall since working on another blade system, one made by IBM.

Book Review: Think Like a Freak

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Lately I’ve been utterly fascinated with books that detail alternative ways of thinking and successful mindsets. I’ve become a student of social sciences, so something like Levitt and Dubner’s Think Like a Freak is right in my sweet spot. My first introduction to this world came by way of the Freakonomics podcast, and it’s a great start if you’re curious about how these guys think. It’s just a great listen in general. Once you into this bool, you’ll be very pleased. Let me explain.