My Week Ending 2019-03-10

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, with commentary, from the past week.

  • Have any of your passwords been caught up in a data breach?  This extension will keep an eye on them for you.
  • If you’re a fan of The Lord of the Rings, then you’ll really enjoy these watercolours inspired by the writings of JRR Tolkien.
  • 25 resources to lighten up your mathematics classroom.
  • If it’s under warranty, take it back.  If it’s not under warranty, Apple does its best to get you to pay through the nose for repairs.
  • My fascination with eCampusOntario and its open initiatives continues with the announcement of this Open Library initiative.  (Yeah, I know I used the word initiative twice here; I’ll see if anyone notices.)
  • Peter Beens got me back to playing around with the Brave browser.  It had been a while since I updated it but it was worth the update.  I like the TOR network access.
  • Do you think the government will listen or rely on self-regulation to solve all the challenges with students with autism.  They need to stop watching “The Good Doctor”.
  • Road signs guaranteed to at least generate a smile.
  • That phishing is on the rise shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.  Or, if it is, you need to take a class.  Here are some statistics.
  • I wonder how long before Linux 5.0 appears on Linux Mint.
  • This was sad news.  Yes, King Kong Bundy was a “villain” in wrestling but you’d always look forward to matches with him featured.  61 is way too young.
  • I hate reading stories like this.  Yet, we know that some students and parents are exactly like this.  It strikes home when you know of teachers who have been forced to transfer school.
  • It really was a shame.  Chromebooks have come a long way in their short career.  I’ve worked with both an iPad (bought a Bluetooth keyboard) and a Chromebook.  I’ll take the Chromebook any day of the week. 
  • This would be a great reason to fly to Singapore.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog.


Here’s who I tagged as “Active” last Friday morning.


voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found here.  

Opening song this week:

The latest #TWIOE show features blog posts from:

Technology Troubleshooting 

Digital is so good.

I woke up this morning and my phone and computers had all flipped over to Daylight Saving Time.  (note the lack of an S)  The problem is that I couldn’t see them; I don’t sleep with them!

But, as I rolled over and looked at my alarm clock, I had to do some memory searching and mathematics calculations.  Had I changed the clock before I went to bed like I was supposed to?  If I did, what time is it really with my biological clock?  If I didn’t, what time is it supposed to be?

Then, it was off to change all the other analogue clocks in the house, including the one that slid down the wall during my voicEd show. 

But, I know that I’ve missed some clocks.  Twice a year, I realize just how many clocks there are around here.

It will probably be a week or so before I get them all.

Video of the Week

If you think setting the clocks in your house was a challenge …

My Favourite Photo of the Week

This was funny and sad at the same time.  We took the dog to one of our favourite walking spots – the pier at Colchester where all kinds of ice, very thick ice, had been piled up because of the recent wind storms.  Unfortunately, this poor guy got caught up in an ice chunk.



Thanks for reading.


This blog post was originally posted at:

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

Whatever happened to …

… Sound Blaster cards?

Last week, writing about displays also brought back something that’s changed over the years and that’s how sounds, noise, and music are generated by the computers that I’ve owned.

To date myself, my first computer didn’t do music or play videos.  In fact, the only noise that came from the computer was a beep when I made a mistake or something.  There were memory locations where you could poke values in them to change the type of beep that was generated by the computer and that was about it.  If you worked at it long enough, you might be able to get a bit of a tune.  It was very tedious work.  It was actually better done if you understood the machine language of the computer.

Eventually, I was able to afford an MS-DOS computer that was certainly more powerful but still had limitations when it came to playing music or create the advanced sounds needed for game playing.  That’s where I first got interested in and bought my first Sound Blaster card.

It wasn’t cheap, but it turned the computer into a real power house capable of doing everything, it seemed.  This truly was a rabbit hole!  There wasn’t just one product from Creative Labs but so, so many.  You bought the best you could and your computer rocked.  Literally!  The products continue to be developed.

In addition to being a terrific product, it also spawned competitors that were “Sound Blaster Compatible”.

Yet, despite all this, there was another important piece of the puzzle.  The Sound Blaster Card needed speakers to shake the house.  I bought myself a cheap set of speakers and thought I had the world in my hands.  That is, until I upgraded to a pair of Bose desktop speakers.  At the same time, at work, I had a computer with a JBL three piece stereo system because we were getting very serious about connecting MIDI devices and making music.

Today, I don’t have a desktop computer but rather connect my mouse, tablet, and keyboard to a laptop computer which comes with terrific internal sound capabilities itself.  But, I still have those Bose speakers connected to get the best sound from whatever I’m doing/watching.  Without my first foray into the Sound Blaster world, I don’t know where I’d be with things today.

For a Sunday, your thoughts…

  • Was your first computer capable of doing something more than beep at you?
  • Did you or do you own a computer with a separate sound card like the Sound Blaster?
  • Have you ever connected a MIDI device to your computer and made beautiful music?
  • Are you happy with the speakers that came with your computer or do you attach  something else?
  • Are you a bluetooth connector or do you still have that precious piece of cable to connect everything and make it all happen?

Please share your thoughts via comment below.

This post originally appeared on:

If you read it anywhere else, it’s a ripoff and not the original.


OTR Links 03/10/2019

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