Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   four ideas in ideas.txt
Wednesday, November 12 2014
My Lightroom Webapp client came over for a meeting today (this time with a big check), though much of what we talked about was his need for a website redesign. He'd recently hired a millennial student at Bard College to help him with marketing his main application (which is based on Filemaker; my Lightroom Module/Webapp is a port of that program). The student had taken one look at the site, which was redesigned at considerable expense back in 2010, and had declared that it looked like it was from the 1980s. She had then proceeded to extoll the virtues of WordPress above all other web platforms and frameworks. She had perhaps even confidently (if naïvely) asked the question, "Why didn't you just build it with WordPress?" The thing about young people just starting out in their careers is that they have no idea how little they actually know. If WordPress had worked for her in some earlier project and it's all she knew of web frameworks, it would be easy for her to get into the mindset that it is the solution to every problem with the web. In the end, though, really all she was advocating were things like banners that don't scroll away with the page, content areas that move and refresh, and (and this is actually a legitimate one) pages that render well on small mobile devices. I don't think this particular site looks too bad or old fashioned; it's just that the design (which was never especially good to begin with) has been somewhat crushed and deformed by subsequent changes ordered by the client without the benefit of a designer. But if his whippersnapper marketing consultant wants there to be anchored banners and dynamic badges, I can do that. For the time being, there isn't even a design to work with; the client just waved his hand at some websites he likes.
Meanwhile Gretchen had driven down to the City and would be spending the night. This afternoon, I spent a surprisingly long time changing out my very dependable Zyxek 550N WiFi router with a new one called a Buffalo WZR-600DHP2D, which actually ships pre-loaded with the DD-WRT open source firmware. The reason for the change was that the new router came with a USB 3.0 port and could be made to work as a Network Attached Storage file server. As you know, I've already got such a system working with the Verizon DSL router in the basement, but that router does not have gigabit ethernet ports on it, which limits file transfer speeds to 1 or 2 megabytes per second. I've also successfully set up PogoPlug NAS servers and could use one of those, but that would be another device I'd have to keep on all the time. It would be better to have it be another function of the WiFi router, one equipped with a USB 3.0 port and gigabit ethernet. I can use the old Zyxel router to replace the non-gigabit DD-WRT-based router down in the greenhouse.
But in experiments with the new Buffalo router, I found it couldn't detect a nice 2 terabyte 2.5 inch USB 3.0 hard drive I've been using as a NAS drive attached to the Verizon router. So I hooked up a 1 terabyte 3.5 inch USB 2.0 hard drive instead. This was still a huge improvement over a drive attached to a non-gigabit router. I was getting speeds of about 12 or 13 megabytes per second (speeds with a USB 3.0 memory stick seemed to be in the vicinity of 20 megabytes per second). I'd thought for some reason that USB 2.0 was a similar bottleneck to non-gigabit ethernet, but clearly it's not.

I spent the evening smoking pot and drinking booze the way I always do when Gretchen is away. The pot filled my mind with ideas and distorted the passage of time. I keep a file called ideas.txt on my desktop, and I add dated lines to it every time I have a good idea. Tonight I wrote down four new ideas. I won't tell you all of them, but I will tell you two. One was for a story about the life of "Jimmy," an unheralded guy who had, like Noah, survived Noah's flood in a boat. Another was for a website designed to find jobs for convicted sex offenders. Such people have an unusually difficult time finding work even in fields having nothing to do with children. Sometimes their talents (such as those of this oncologist) are squandered completely. It's a shame to see these skills go to waste. Surely, if there were a sex offender discount, there would be someone willing to hire these people and take advantage of their talents.
I was surprised to look up at some point and see that it was only 5:30PM; it felt more like 2:00AM. So I went to bed early.

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