My Week Ending December 30, 2018

Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.


(You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Here are a selected few from the past week.)

  • This is an interesting guide if you’re a bit older and yet still want to go back to college. Of course, your mileage may vary.
  • Google did indeed win in 2018. Especially in education. What will Apple and Microsoft do in 2019? We’ve seen experiments, particularly with Microsoft, of a stripped down version of Windows but that doesn’t fool anyone. With Google’s direction, you know they have the best operating system they can have based on Linux. It will be a challenge for the other two. Most people are happy with working in a good browser.
  • There was no shortage of advice about how to take advantage of your new devices received at Christmas. This is one of them. It’s also good advice for your older devices too.
  • Huawei certainly has its detractors but they’re doing well selling smartphones.
  • This report confirms that Santa Claus lives in Canada and pays taxes. I’m curious about the deductibles though.
  • A computer monitor of this size is intriguing but where would I put it? My 15 inch monitor is elevated behind the 17 inch screen on this laptop and there’s no room left.
  • Another upgrade is in the future if you live and die by wifi.
  • This is the greatest war story of history, bar none. It did bring a tear to my eye, I’ll confess.
  • This is absolutely wonderful news to support the Truth and Reconciliation cause. Now, if only it would be supported by our premier.
  • If you’re a Christmas baby, then this article should make you feel extra special.
  • I think this is an interesting concept. A rolling Daily Double!
  • People” need to suck it up. It’s not the end of the world.
  • This is an inspiring story from a new pilot. I wish her the best of luck and hope that her modelling inspires other.
  • Again, “People“, suck it up.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found hereThe latest edition features blog posts from:

There was no voicEd Radio show this week due to it being Boxing Day. But that didn’t stop the regular Friday blog post featuring post from…

Opening song …

Technology Trouble Shooting 

After taking my wife’s Jeep to the dealer three times for a slow leak in the tire, it finally went completely flat over the past week.

Presumably to save weight?, it doesn’t come with a spare tire. Instead, it had one of those pumps that also pumps a sealant into the tire. So, the concept is to have the sealant patch the puncture from the inside.

I was a little nervous because I’ve heard varying experiences with devices like this. But, it did come with the Jeep and I could at least try before getting the vehicle towed.

I don’t typically have success with stuff like this but, guess what? It worked beautifully; the puncture was actually visible from where it had been parked so I could watch the sealant bubble out a bit before it stopped and then inflated the tire.

Following instructions, I drove it for about 10 minutes to make sure that enough sealant was in place and it was still full the next morning. This time, we took it to a place that specializes in tires and $25 later, we’re back on the road again.

Since the pump is well buried in the back, I took the time with the wonderfully warm weather yesterday to also vacuum dog hair. That, I was less successful with.

Video of the Week

My Favourite Photo of the Week

I don’t want to that badly.

Thanks for reading.


This blog post was originally posted at:

If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.


Whatever happened to …

… .arc files?

I was thinking about this the other day while watching the upgrade to Tessa 19.1 on my computer.

It took me back; way back. Back to the days when we all used modems to dial up to connect to services. And, people like me ran a Bulletin Board Service (BBS) just as a hobby. In the beginning, at least. It turned out to be a way for some of my students to hand in assignments electronically.

There’s a lot of technical stuff that goes behind the story and the Wikipedia does it justice.

Essentially, in my case, there were two really important reasons to use files in .arc format.

  • often I’d want to sent two or more files to the recipient. In my students’ case, it was their program along with their test data
  • since connections speeds were so slow 300, 1200, 2400, 9600 baud, I’d like to be able to use the fact that .arc files were compressed so that it didn’t take so long to transfer the file. And, curse you wet phone lines

The whole process was anything but seamless. It was all done at the command line (we didn’t need no stinking GUIs back then) so you had to make sure that the program you were using was either in the directory where you were doing the deed or that it was in your search path. What you really needed to do though was to make sure that the file/files were in that directory so that you could make your .arc file.

Once created, it was a matter of sending it wherever it was intended. Oh, and the recipient needed to know what to do with a .arc file. If they couldn’t unarchive it, it was just a worthless collection of bits!

For a Sunday, date your own self and chime in…

  • did you ever use a utility to send and receive .arc files? (there were lots of them)
  • did you ever use .arc to compress a bunch of files for backup purposes?
  • did you ever use .arc to compress files so that they’d fit on a floppy disk?
  • did you ever host your own or be a subscriber to Bulletin Board System?

Please don’t make me feel like I’m the only oldie here and share your thoughts about .arc files – even if it’s to say you’ve never heard of them.

This is part of a regular Sunday series of posts. You can access them all here.

This blog post was originally posted at:

If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.

OTR Links 12/30/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.