My Week Ending 2019-06-23

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.  Below are a selected few, with commentary, from the past week.

  • I can remember years ago, a web browser was just something that you used to browse the web.  Now, things have completely changed.  One person’s roundup.
  • In my observations, definitely yes, when used properly.  There has been such an explosion though that the complaints about it being just passive screen time are really valid. 
  • So, if Microsoft releases Linux for Windows, what’s the point of Windows going forward?  If nothing else, Microsoft can learn how to send out patches from the Linux system.
  • If you manage anyone, even students, there are some tips in here how not to kill morale.
  • I think this is a great marketing scheme on the part of McDonald’s.  I almost feel bad that it exploded on them!
  • I agree absolutely.  This is not how to modernize education.  What does that even mean though?
  • Hindsight is always 100%.  It could easily have headed in the other direction.  The big winners would be those who got stock as bonuses.  No risk taken there.
  • Whoops.  But imagine all the bonus miles.
  • I thought that Flash was gone from my life.  But then I tried to watch a livestream and nothing appeared.  I thought my browser was broken because there were actually no instructions that you had to use Flash to see things.  Looking at you, Western Fair Raceway.
  • Just in time for ISTE, I supposed.  The Google fanatics will be all over this set of enhancements, demoing them like crazy.  The proof will be if people actually use these features or if they’re grounded in what they already know.
  • The education portfolio has a change in leadership.  Details from the political district that just lost its Minister of Education.
  • The problem with crowdsourcing, at times, is the crowd.  How much resources will be used fixing this?
  • It’s too bad since Android devices were so much more affordable than iPads.
  • Could this be your next smart watch?

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog.

#FollowFriday – June 21, 2019

voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found here.  

Opening song this week:

Stephen Hurley was on assignment this week so there was no show.  We’ll be ending out the school year.  What the heck?  Of course, this will be our opening song.

Technology Troubleshooting

I had the opportunity to take in some harness racing this past week.  On Wednesday, I went to the Grand River Raceway in Elora and on Thursday to Mohawk Raceway in Campbellville.

There a marked difference between the two racetracks.  Grand River is a 1/2 mile track whereas Mohawk is 7/8 of a mile.  During my university days, it was a 5/8 mile track.  What’s the difference?  The size of the track means that at Grand River they have to do two laps to do a mile.  At Mohawk, it’s a lap and a bit.  The turns make a big difference as horses tend to run slower with increased number of turns.

The bottom line is that some tracks are faster than others.  A staple that used to be in every harness racing program was a comparison of speed rating of the track.  But, that hasn’t been around for years. 

Except on Wednesday, I was so pleased to see that Grand River had a list of them in its program.

Now, the number of turns has one effect on speed but there are many others.  If only horses stayed and raced on one track, things would be equal.  But, they tend to go from track to track and, in the case of Ontario Sires Stakes, they follow the money!  On Thursday at Mohawk, they had three year old fillies Grassroots Stakes.  I had the chance to see a friend of mine’s father’s horse race and a guy I used to babysit years ago had a horse that won its race.

But, the keeper was the speed ratings so I’m going to keep this program.  What’s the difference between the tracks in minutes and seconds?

  • Grand River – 1:59.1
  • Mohawk – 1:54.4

So, the million dollar, er $2 question is – can a horse run 5 seconds faster or slower just by switching tracks?

If I get this post written on time, my afternoon will be spent at Dresden where its speed rating is 2:00.4.

Video of the Week

Since we’re talking harness racing, this week Captain Crunch won the 2019 Pepsi North American Cup setting a Canadian speed record.

Photo of the Week

I love good things when I see them.  So often, you read about the neat things that some libraries due.  I witnessed one of these in Acton this past week.

Please join me daily and I hope that you check in next Sunday for a summary of my week.Thanks for reading.


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


Whatever happened to …

… Commodore PET?

In my line of personal computers that I’ve used, this one would be placed between the Radio Shack TRS-80 and the IBM PS/2.

It wasn’t a computer that I personally owned but rather was purchased at the recommendation of our computer consultant at the time.  We ended up with a bunch of 8032s – the business line of the product.

They weren’t portable by today’s standards but they could be placed in a seat in the car to take home to learn its ins and outs.

For us in Computer Science, it was used for programming.  BASIC came on the machine in ROM and a couple of the earlier models had a tape recorder for storing programs from one day to the next.  Later on, we had a floppy disk drive that we were able to network to a number of the computers.

Since every school in the Essex County Board and the Windsor Board has PETs, it was a common computer to bring to our computer league competitions.  Each team brought their own computer and the playing field was relatively level.  Some schools brought 4032s and so the problems were created with that computer’s settings in mind.

The computer was also terrific for teaching about the innards of a computer as well.  Unlike today’s fascination for miniaturization, when you looked inside, you could easily point out the various components.  The computer itself actually came with a metal rod that would let you tip it open to poke around inside.  Speaking of POKEing, this was another feature which allowed for easy access to memory locations by POKEing content directly into them.   And, it was kind of neat to be able to PEEK at a location and see what was stored there.

For a Sunday, your thoughts…

  • do you remember using a Commodore 8032?
  • in addition to the 8032, there was a 4032 and a 4016.  Do you know the significance of the numbers?
  • what does ROM mean?
  • could you imagine storing software on cassette today?
  • the Commodore 8032 wasn’t exactly colourful.  How would you describe the screen?
  • if you had access to a Commodore 8032, did you buy any commercial software to run on it?

As always, I’m looking for people who have fond memories of these things.  Please let me know in the comments.

This post originally appeared on:

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

OTR Links 06/23/2019

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