Thursday, September 22, 2005

My disk

Remember "My disk?" That is, your floppy disk, the one that you stored everything on? If you're about my age (I'm 34) and you used computers in the 80s and very early 90s, you probably had a "my disk" disk. I was talking to my sister today and she was telling me about her disk. "It had the OS [probably Mac OS 6.0.x], my copy of WriteNow (awesome word processor from olden days) and all my files on it," she pointed out, "and it wasn't even an HD disk! It was a regular old DD 800K disk!"

I think we need to get back to the days of my disk. Instead of a floppy, my disk will now be a flash memory card. And instead of 800K, my disk should be about . . . well, a terabyte would be ideal but maybe that's a little ambitious. I've heard they're talking about 32Gb flash memory cards now.

One of the advantages of my disk is that I never have to worry, "Oh, which computer did I leave that file on?" I carry my disk around with me in my phone most of the time. When I'm on a computer, I simply pull my disk out of my phone and plug it into the computer I want to work on. I boot from my disk, not from the machine's internal hard drive. My disk can boot from any OS I want to use. In my case, those are some flavor of GNU/Linux, Mac OS 10.x, and, if absolutely necessary, Windows. My disk also contains any software I want to use, plus all of my files. It can be backed up seamlessly and quickly (automatically when I plug it into my home machine, perhaps) so if I lose my disk, I don't lose all my stuff.

Alas, my disk is not yet a reality. But I'm looking forward to the triumphant, imminent return of my disk.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Conversation with my sister

Here's part of an IM session from this morning, edited for punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and grammar.

John: Subscribing to feeds makes it look like you're everywhere at once.
John: Yeah.
Amy: I thought you were everywhere at once!
John: No, I'm just on the Internets.
Amy: So, when I subscribe to feeds on Firefox, it makes a separate bookmark for each one. I find that a little annoying, I'd like to see them scrolling on one page.
John: Why not use Bloglines?
Amy: Yeah. I know, but I have to actually *go* to Bloglines. I want pull-style feeds. I want them in my e-mail.
John: Want, want, want.
John: You're so demanding.
John: What e-mail client do you use?
Amy: [Mac] Mail
John: Is there a plugin or something?
Amy: I think there is once I upgrade to Tigrrrrrrrr.
John: What's wrong with the bookmark thing?
John: I don't understand
John: If you have more than, say, 5 feeds, you wouldn't want each post as a separate bookmark.
John: You know what would be cool?
John: Some kind of GUI for tag clouds.
John: What if it was 3-D and they were really cloudlike?
John: You could be, like, "OK. I want the union between this tag cloud over here." Grabs tag cloud.
John: "And this one over here." Grabs tag cloud.
John: Pushes clouds together.
John: Splorch!
John: Out come the RSS feeds that match the two tags, right into your brain.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Do blogs degrade?

I subscribe to a large number of blogs. You can see them over on the side of this blog's home page. Usually I subscribe to a blog when I have read some (more than one) interesting, amusing, useful, or inspiring posts there. Few are consistently good. In fact, when I scroll through my blogroll, I frequently hit just a few of my favorites and just mark the rest as "read." If I do read the non-favorites, I often think to myself, "Well, that's more of the same from so-and-so." I have grown accustomed to, and therefore bored by, that person's way of expression.

So my question is, are the blogs themselves getting worse over time or am I just becoming over-familiar with certain bloggers' styles? I have noticed a similar phenomenon with newspaper comics. Only a few stay good for years and years.