And not a day too soon. Holy cow, after literally years of waiting and begging the IKEA in South Denver is finally opening on July 27th. I predict massive traffic jams. I plan to go there and sell tiny meatballs with tiny swedish flags in them accompanied by iced-lingonberry-juice-like-beverage.
I am an early adopter, packrat. When people need an extra phone charger or connector cable they come to me.
So if I throw something out, that means it must be old as dirt. Here is a list of things I threw away today.
- A Dell PS2 keyboard I got for free with my computer in 1997
- Palmrests for two keyboards I'm not even sure I own any more
- A Belkin vga/ps2 KVM switch I purchased in 2004
- A IEEE1394 (Firewire) PCMCIA card I purchased so I could connect my first generation ipod to my Windows XP powered 2003 HP laptop (I'm keeping the laptop)
- A PCI E-Sata connector - I think I got this with a 2.5" hard drive enclosure that ran on USB2.0 or E-sata (actually, I'm so keeping this if I can just find the e-sata cable!)
- 2 RJ11 (yes, 11!) cords - one approximately 10 feet, one 20 feet. Wired telephones??!?! Ha!
- A 6 foot long USB extension cable (i.e. male to female) that we bought in 2002 so we could put the computer behind the couch and the monitor on the side table like a TV
- A serial to ps2 connecter that I got for free from upenn.forfree so I could plug in a serial mouse I got somewhere...I don't even remember how this story ends
- A plug that goes from UK to standard power supply - WTF did I need this?
- A USB to Sony Ericcson T-9(?)00? connector cable I purchased in 2004. The software it came with sucked
- A PCMCIA adapter for compact flash I bought in 2000. This was awesome. But, it turns out that compactflash is the biggest kind of flash. Also, I have another 9 way flash adapter that has compactflash in it! :)
- Not one, but TWO power chargers for mini USB phones. Too bad the industry just standardized on micro USB.
- An adapter that takes USB/PS2 power and uses that to give energy to an external 2.5" hard drive enclosure just in case your USB1.1 doesn't give the drive enough power. (Yes, USB 1.1!). I bought this in ~2005.
- A PS2 mouse from a computer I bought in ~2005
We moved to a new house about a year ago. In the process we left our TV in the old house for "staging" which meant it was there for 6 months (it's hard to sell a house now, apparently). In the mean time we watched a ton of Hulu and Netflix instant shows on our 15" computer. This has been relatively glorious.
Cutting the Cable TV cord
With the TV in the old house and our computers in the new we moved our high-speed-internet service (delivered by Comcast over cable) to the new house but shut off the TV service. Luckily Hulu and Netflix ably filled in the gap. We're watching weird and great shows, documentaries, and even adver-tainment like the Ford Focus Rally (although having to endure commercials in the middle of adver-tainment grated on our nerves enough that we stopped).
Hulu has a rolling schedule where they drop content. We can't see old episodes of the Chicago Code (our favorite new show). In a year or two, though, they should be on Netflix. It seems like every day Netflix gets more and more instant content. Amazon's got some instant offering, but we haven't run out of content on Netflix+Hulu enough to worry about what Amazon might have for us. I would love for the BBC's Junkyard Wars to be opened up on Hulu or Netflix. Right now it's making zero money from the American market - why not let it out? So it seems like our TV watching needs will be fulfilled by on-demand media delivered by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and companies like them.
So long, physical media
We have several bookshelves and boxes full physical media: books, journals, magazines, CDs, DVDs. Our TV is currently used primarily to watch DVDs. But the transition is clear: even though high def TV with surround sound is fun, the immediacy of on-demand video media wins. If nothing else it means we can eliminate about one quarter of the furniture in our house since it is designed strictly for holding and showcasing our physical media!
The Denver Library is checking out these "power meter" kits. You can buy one for about $30 on amazon.com or get it from the library for free.
I feel items like this show off one purpose of libraries in a digital age: sharing physical items that a single house needs for a short time. I need a power meter to do tests on one day, not many days. I need a book only as long as I read it. etc.
So, I'm a Drupal fanboy. Naturally. But there's been some amazing work recently by the Drupal Accessibility Team that I wanted to highlight.
Accessible CMS: Drupal!
According to Drupal's Statement on Accessibility:
Well, here we are. Drupal 7's release is imminent and once again here are some statistics for folks to review. This is a truly amazing feat: over 950 people were credited in the commit messages as a contributor to Drupal 7. There were, of course, several thousand people involved in the issue queue but a mention in the commit message is reserved for people who did a serious amount of work whether that was writing code, design, reviewing, creating tests, writing text (i.e. documentation), or some other form.
Analysis of the Drupal Commit Data
Here are some items I noticed.
- There were 954 people mentioned.
- A total of 10,091 mentions in 6,117 patches means that there were about 1.6 people per patch
- The top 10 people were mentioned in 30% of the commits
- The top 20% were mentioned in 85%
- People with 3 or fewer mentions form a group that are responsible for almost 10% of the mentions; we can't discount that long tail!
If we group people together into 9 somewhat logical groupings we can see this classic distribution.
|Mentions||People at that level|
The top 10 Drupal 7 Contributors (as measured by this method)
Every Christmas we wonder "what do we get for people." For a lot of our friends and family the answer is really hard: We may know their interests but not well enough to have meaningful suggestions. Ultimately, though, we feel like we want to give people more time and maybe a little motivation. Time is the one thing that we all need more of.
Fortunately there is a way to do that this year that is compatible with last minute shopping: Gift Certificates to Lilly's Table.
Lilly's Table: Cook seasonally. Eat consciously. Live well.
For about 2 months now we've been using Lilly's Table to help us plan our meals. Every Sunday we wake up, open our computer, and look at what new items Lilly has sent us. The week's recipes are always seasonal and delicious. The interface shows us general nutrition information and some data on how long it will take to make the item.
The weekly menu has an introductory description from Lilly that gets you excited to make the dishes. You read about ingredients that are in season, which meals should come first or second to take advantage of leftover ingredients, and general foody advice.
We go through looking at the recipes and the beautiful accompanying photos and pick out the items we want. At the top of each recipe are buttons to "add to shopping list" and "add/remove from my recipe book"
On the bottom right of the recipe is a spot to indicate things we've made and provide our own notes.
The recipes are mostly private to paying site members and it costs $12 per month.