Showing posts from September, 2012

Time to Let Go?

Image I was introduced to computing in the 5th grade. My first computer class was in the school's brand-new Apple IIe computer lab. On that first day we had no idea what to expect. Our teacher held up a 5¼" floppy disk and proceeded to demonstrate how not to treat it. He threw the disk across the room, he crumpled it in his fist, tossed it on the floor and jumped on it. He then attempted to rip the disk open with his bare hands. He let loose on the disk with a pair of scissors, dropped it into a metal waste-paper-basket and set it on fire. The folks at Verbatim would have been horrified; we thought it was funny. And from that moment on, the teacher had our attention. I probably still have a bunch of floppys sitting in a box somewhere. I used floppy disks all through university, so I still may have some assignments I wrote using Zardax , an Apple IIc word processor. Alas, the floppy disk is a relic of a bygone era. File sizes have far surpassed the capabilitie

Yesterday's Champion

After quite some time in an irrationally self-inflicted exile on the bench, I started jogging again. No, really, it's true. Over the last two years it's been an on-again, off-again affair, but I think I'm jogging consistently enough to consider myself back on track. I recently read through my Jerusalem marathon training blogs from 2009 and 2010. They were very inspiring. I read how I started off on the treadmill at the gym and then progressed to running on the street. I read of how I completed my first 5 km run, my first 10 km run and ultimately how I smashed my PB in the marathon by about 4 minutes. I didn't blog about this, but in September 2010 I took a leisurely 20 km jog around Ramat Beit Shemesh, just for the fun of it. Since then I lost momentum and added weight. Now I'm back at the beginning - I have to do it all over again. For the last few weeks I've been schlepping myself around Ramat Beit Shemesh, trying to recapture my former glory. I'm w

It Would Take an Action Hero to Save Music

When I was growing up, an afternoon at the library, browsing through a seemingly infinite number of books, was a common Sunday activity. Mostly, the library was a quiet, air-conditioned sanctuary where everyone had equal access to as many books as they could poke a library card at. St. Kilda Public Library, Melbourne, Australia (Click to enlarge) Considering the number of librarians employed at the local library, it doesn't take much to realize that to own all those books would be an expensive undertaking and an organizational nightmare. My father once built a huge floor-to-ceiling bookshelf and my mother cataloged all of our books, Dewey Decimal System -style. Alas, with the rest of us kids running (around) the house, maintaining this private library was nigh on impossible. But it was a valiant attempt. Today, e-books are cheap and sometimes even free . One hand-held device can contain thousands of books, easily sorted according to title, author, genre, subject, date or