My Week Ending 2019-03-17

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.

  • After last week’s interview with Carol Koechlin, you might find this interesting as you concern yourself with the transformation of secondary school libraries.
  • Anything that makes the game more exciting works for me.  All of the kicking game has taken the excitement from the game except for the field goal to win at the end of the game.
  • TVDSB shares its plans for a revised educational system in Ontario.  Who will pick up the slack?  It’s got to be principals – can they handle more tasks?
  • I wish that they would use the word “technique” rather than “trick”.  One person’s trick is another person’s way of doing things.  Still, a good read if you’re a user of GSuite.
  • It seems kind of cute when I first read it.  Given what’s happened recently, it should serve as an example of what everyone should be doing…challenging these simple minded rationales.
  • Who hasn’t asked Dr. Google for advice?  The sheer number of people makes you wonder.  Who determines if the answer is of value?  Probably your own doctor when you make an appointment to talk over things.
  • This isn’t a bad idea at all.  Microsoft engineers partnering with the Chromium and Google team to make the browser run smoother.
  • For most people, yes.  The Chromebook has evolved worlds past the early flimsy models.  Of course, you can still buy the cheaper models but you do get what you pay for.  The trick now becomes one of not paying too much.
  • After first not taking to Inbox, it became my way of doing email.  Now, it’s going away.  Read this post to see what else from Google is going away.
  • Amiga computer users really were among the first fanboys.   Now, they can relive the good old days, if they wish.
  • Can you really make a distinction between education and politics anymore?  Especially right now in Ontario.
  • You always good switch to this privacy aware search engine in Chrome.  Now, it’s even easier to use DuckDuckgo.  Or, as we now say in the business!
  • We’re Number 2!  You’re going to have to try harder, Toronto.
  • The only people that think that banning cellphones is a good idea are people that really don’t realize what that $1000 computing device can actually do.  Or the fact that all of the things that they’re concerned about can be done in different ways.  Perhaps something good will come from this – we’ll see a return to literacy as students turn to their computers instead for sending messages!

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 

When updates mess things up…

On my MacBook Pro, I use a dark mode and I use the graphite highlighter. 

What that does is make the red, amber, and green dots on the Macintosh window turn to grey.  I find it less distractive.

But a recent update to the Google Chrome browser has broken this.  I now have those annoying colours stuck in the browser.  It’s only a problem with Chrome; every other application that I use follows the rules.

While at it, I had one of the Chinese Zodiac themes installed but it was affected by the upgrade as well.  When I’d click in the URL window, the text would all just go away.  It can be a real annoyance when you have all the links I have in a post like this one.  The text was actually still there; I just couldn’t see it.  I think all the links in this post should work.  I’m hoping.   Let me know if there’s one that doesn’t work.

In the meantime, I’m back to Chrome’s default dark theme.  After a postful of frustration trying to get the links to work, I probably should have done this earlier.

Waiting for an update.

Video of the Week

Stephen Hurley asked for “new to you” songs for his Saturday night music show.  I shared this with him and it’s now an earworm for me.  I hope it becomes one for you.

My Favourite Photo of the Week

I recently pulled a hamstring muscle which makes walking really difficult.  Of course, you know who’s really suffering from reduced walks.  Here he is planking by the front door.  A dog’s got to get some exercise somehow.


Thanks for reading.


This blog post was originally posted at:

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

Whatever happened to …

… parallel printer ribbon cables?

Guess what I found recently when trying to do a little cleaning up around here?

No machine-readable author provided. Shaddack assumed (based on copyright claims). [Public domain]

In the good old days, these things were crucial for that all-important connection between your computer and a parallel printer.  The parallel printer was far faster than its serial cousin so it worked out nicely as a standalone printer but also a networked printer connected to the Icon fileserver.

My first personal parallel printer was a Radio Shack electrostatic printer that actually printed on a metallic foil.  At school, we had a “real” printer that printed on actual paper.  It was a Panasonic 1091 printer.

The cable had two distinct ends to it so you couldn’t mis-connect it.  From an electronics point of view, the pins that connected the devices were individually programmable should you desire.

There were a couple of downsides though.  The ribbon itself was easily “broken” by crimping it and breaking the connection of just one pin.  Or, if you look at the ends of the connector above, they were easily lost from the end of the cable and it was important that all of the pins were connected for it to work.   A little wiggle and you were disconnected.

In terms of ease and reliability, the slower serial cables were much better.

The whole setup for the printer was different then.  It actually had to be connected to a computer or computer acting as a server to work.  Things are certainly much different today when something that prints is just another device on the network.

For a Sunday, your thoughts…

  • do you remember the first printer your ever used?
  • did you once own a parallel printer?
  • if you had to demo a parallel printer today, would you know where to find one?
  • did you once or still own a serial printer?
  • at your printing place, is your current printer just another device on the network?  (i.e. dedicated printer or photocopier or …)
  • do you even print to paper anymore or have you embraced paperless?

I’d be interested in reading your thoughts.  Please share them in the comments below.

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If you read it anywhere else, it’s not original.  Please don’t support them.

OTR Links 03/17/2019

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