Saturday, November 30, 2019

Review: Audubon, On The Wings Of The World

Audubon, On The Wings Of The World Audubon, On The Wings Of The World by Fabien Grolleau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book offers some great illustrations and a fun telling of the "career" of John James Audubon. I recommend it, but for cover-to-cover readers I suggest reading the notes in the back before starting with the colorful narrative, as the context will help in what can get fairly scanty in terms of the subject's full story. I have known about Audubon for many decades and in those same textual notes at the end, the author (French) claims that for Americans JJ Audubon is the most well known historic Frenchman, next to Lafayette (I guess I might have thrown in Napoleon). I am trying to get a little bit engaged in the "Graphic Novels" department and this was a great start!

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Review: Stoner

Stoner Stoner by John Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First off, Stoner is the lead characters's name (William Stoner to be exact), and not something else! But getting by that, this was a wonderful read. I encountered a reference to it in The New Yorker from earlier this year, and my local library (yay) had a Kindle version. I was captivated by the life story of Stoner, and its timeline that starts in the very early 20th century and takes us into the 50's, offers a bit of a history lesson as well. The introduction in this version, btw, is very enlightening but is full of spoilers, so I am happy I read it last!

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Thursday, November 07, 2019

HP Inc to be acquired by Xerox?


To modify a favorite movie line, I picked a heck of a week to start blogging again!

The Wall Street Journal, followed by other outlets, reported on an offer by Xerox to acquire HP Inc, the printing and personal computing company that resulted from a split of the once mighty Hewlett Packard.

I am tracking the story and happy @rexcrum of the Mercury News is on top of it on Twitter!

Nearly 15 years after leaving HP, and a few years now no longer actively covering  the company and industry, I can only imagine. But I can bet that their (HP Inc's) world has been rocked!

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Our faithful technology servants...

My Archer Power Strip - working steadily for over four decades


It's not often we reflect on the long-lasting, steady performance of technology-based gadgets. More often, the steady drumbeat of obsolescence dominates that space, as we find ourselves lusting after the new with a little guilt on how we will responsibly dispose of the old.

However, today I am acknowledging a simple power strip that has been on duty for over 40 years! I believe the Archer 4-outlet Power Strip pictured here is one I acquired about 1978, part of my first purchase of a personal computer. That computer, some may know, was an early Radio Shack TRS80, and it served me admirably as well. It was disposed of, following a youth de-construction project, which hopefully offered a learning experience. (I am describing the time-honored tradition of youngsters taking apart "old crap" in the interest of seeing a bit more about how things work.)

Archer - a Tandy (Radio Shack) brand, along with Realistic and ...
Anyway, the related power strip has moved around but continued on in dependable service to this day, most recently powering our modest home entertainment setup. (I say modest but still a lot of plugs!) It is has been replaced by the "new and improved" 6-outlet strip that became surplus in some other tech setup.

So I encourage you to look around and show a little gratitude for the things in your life that work, and then work and work and work some more! 

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Review: Boston Blackie

Boston Blackie Boston Blackie by Jack Boyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OK - who didn't think first of "I wish I had a pencil-thin mustache..."? This has been a fun "slow read" written in very plain language, with lots of cigarettes, gold bars, capers, and prison breaks - what's not to like? (Adding - this is over 100 years old!)

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