Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Dr. Blip follows Jinx the Cat's example of "hating meeces to pieces" as he continues his experiments with a three-by-four-foot Fresnel lens. This second installment in the series of “Will it Burn” videos brings a mouse (the pointing device kind) to a dramatic and fiery end.
What will Dr. Blip “focus” on next? A ubiquitous product of a very large company that many users hate more than meeces, and an all-American symbol of summer. Be sure to check back regularly!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I'm separating my personal blog from PC-Doctor's blog. This isn't an uncommon thing to do, but I suspect that some people will wonder if something went wrong. Nothing did. Instead, I expect this to benefit everyone.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Ever use a magnifying glass to smoke something? Ever wonder what a really, really big lens could do? Dr. Blip wondered too, and when he saw a three-by-four-foot Fresnel lens offered by American Science and Surplus, he just had to see what it would do to a hard drive. Here are the results, in the first of a series of “Will it Burn” videos, wherein we explore the combustibility of various items in the safety of the Nevada desert. Yes this is a knock-off of –er-- inspired by “Will it Blend” – and it’s much, much more fun (and more dangerous, as you will see in the out-take).
Enjoy this first installment, and please post your comments. We’re interested in your feedback, including ideas about what to “focus” on next.
Please note: no live PC components were harmed in the making of this film.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
This morning, I came across Brian White's blog post praising Best Buy for their efforts to connect their customers with a Geek Squad branded http://fixya.com site. It is a model built upon the backs of thousands of technical support evangelists operating under web 2.0 do-goodisms and according to fixya.com since 2006, their site has grown to over 700,000 pages.
While I find it quite interesting, I just don't get it. What motivates these do-gooder techs to spend their evenings and weekends helping strangers?
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Technology presents new challenges in raising well rounded kids. I think technology has always been challenging for parents even back to my grandparents days. Kids will always want to do the new and exciting things rather than what they are supposed to be doing and what is good for them. Homework and chores are always challenged by technology.
Horses and books got my grandpa in trouble. My Dad's generation was the first to have cars. When I was growing up, my parents had to deal with TV and early video games. Now my wife and I are dealing with computers, the internet, and cell phones.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
For a few hours last nite, you likely were surprised if you visited our blog. It seems someone thought it would be funny to hijack our site, and redirect traffic to an inappropriate and unrelated site.
Frankly, it's pretty un-funny to us. We want our site to be a place were people like you can find interesting technical and topical information.
If any of you were offended, our apologies.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Gibson's suit against Activision for patent infringement would be laughable if it wasn't such a crystal clear example of how the patent process is being abused.
Briefly, Gibson says that Activision stole its patented idea that lets guitar players inject their licks and chops into some larger score as part of a virtual reality program. Back in the mid 90s, I actually had a program on an old Mac that let me do something like this with my old guitar (a Martin, not a Gibson); I don't remember the name of the app, but it was fun even though the pre-mixed music was pretty hokey.
But really; Guitar Heroes as a VR concert? Yes, I've seen folks pretend they are Slash, The Edge, or Keith Richards while in the throes of Guitar Heroes. In fact, I could probably embarrass (but won't) at least one of my PC-Doctor colleagues who does a great Pete Townsend impression.
But here's the point: Not one of them has actually played a power chord or plucked a note. Why? Because the Gibsonesque guitar (that Activision licenses from Gibson, oh by the way) is a game controller, not a musical instrument. At the risk of bursting a few bubbles, the people playing Guitar Hero aren't playing music at all.
Here's hoping that cooler heads will prevail and this patent harassment is stopped sooner rather than later.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
I found this Netflix article just fascinating - Netflix has found a way to extract value from knowledge experts thousands of miles away who are giving the company value before ever getting paid.
We at PC-Doctor have our own software development challenges and we sure should look closely at the way Netflix is innovating. To sum up the problem. Netflix is trying to improve upon Cinematch, its movie recommending software, in an effort to increase and retain subscribers. To do so, it didn't hire more developers, it outsourced the work . . . sort of . . . or at least their model seems to work like outsourcing. Yet, their model is many times better.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
It's been six months since my purchase of a 17" Toshiba Satellite P100. Before purchasing this laptop I spent many months researching the different manufacturers and quizzing the guys in our QA lab. They get to see lots of hardware, as well as complete systems, and are a great resource for info when purchasing a new system and/or hardware. I looked at all the major players (in no particular order); Lenovo, Dell, Gateway, HP, IBM, Sony, and Compaq. I even looked at a few of the smaller manufacturers like Acer and Alienware.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I read a lot of programming books. However, I haven't read many that all programmers should read. Programmers do a lot of different things, and it's pretty darn hard to write something for all of them.
In fact, I can only think of two books. If you know of another, I'd love to hear about it.
How to Write Code
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