My Week Ending 2021-09-19

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. They’re posted to the blog daily under the title OTR Links.


  • Reports are that a lot of people turned to voting by mail this election
  • Lily Tomlins is an incredible musician and she really took on the telephone companies in her skits


  • It was an article, to be sure, but even I could have guessed what a green leaf means in Google Maps
  • Speeding tickets for the long weekend. I’m sure that I could do a bigger number if they gave me a cruiser


  • This is a sad and very serious story about the sexual assault allegations at the University of Western Ontario
  • Funny and clever teachers – sure, why not?


  • The University of Toronto has problems with physical distancing but let’s face it – no school was ever built with this is mind
  • This is an interesting piece about the Vivaldi web browser and the fact that it isn’t open source


  • The report is that the Ontario vaccine passport might have problems – the cynic in me can’t wonder if this isn’t by purpose
  • I feel sorry for these people and their wedding but how cool is it that Alan Doyle showed up?


  • This is pretty depressing. Ontario had a whack of money to spend on the defeat of the virus and elected not to spend it
  • The title is a bit misleading – if you knew that you had COVID, you could have voted in advance. Now, you can’t vote


  • A nice collection of web applications that can replace installing others on your computer
  • A top 5 list – this time introducing whiteboard applications that work with Microsoft Teams

Blog Posts on
doug — off the record

My daily contributions to this blog are linked below. If you’re looking for a week in review for doug–off the record, you came to the right place.

#FollowFriday – September 17, 2021

voicEd Radio

We had a special evening edition of This Week in Ontario Edublogs. Sue Bruyns, Jen Aston, and Cal Armstrong were able to join us.

Featured bloggers:

  • Pav Wander – @PavWander
  • Sue Bruyns – @sbruyns
  • Jen Aston – @mmejaston
  • Jonathan So – @mrsoclassroom
  • Cal Armstrong – @sig225
  • Terry Green – @greeneterry
  • Edugals – @Edugals

This week’s show:

Opening Song:

Closing Song:

All of the shows are archived here. The show is broadcast LIVE almost every Wednesday morning at 8:45 on voicEd Radio.

Technology Troubleshooting

I’m really good about plugging my phone in to let it charge over night.

The problem is that there is something with my cable. It only charges when inserted in one direction. There are times that I have been good about plugging it in and wake up to find that it was wrong and didn’t charge. This morning I had 9% of a battery left.

I think I need a new cable.

Video of the Week

As if the vaccine situation wasn’t strange enough, we decide to change their names.

Photo of the Week

On a walk along the dike near Lake Erie, I caught the sun going down in the west. If you look carefully, you can see a lake freighter, the Fermi II towers, and some sort of hair that was on the lens.

Thanks for reading.

Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting for you. I honestly and truthfully appreciate your few moments reading my thoughts. Time willing, this summary appears every Sunday afternoon.

Be safe.


This blog post was originally posted at:


Whatever happened to …

… shareware CD-ROMs?

Thanks to Peter Beens who reached out with this suggestion.

He could have stopped at “shareware”. He also could have stopped at “CDROMs”. But, he included both so that it narrows the field.

The last time I saw a shareware CD-ROM, I think, would have been at the Kmart on Huron Church Road in Windsor. That, in itself, dates things since that Kmart has been gone for a long time. Even using the dateline feature of Google Streetview doesn’t go back far enough in time to catch an image as a memory.

Photo by Mati Mango on

So, the whole concept goes so far back and is so foreign to what we’re used to today. If we want something now, we just go and download it. In the times that Peter is taking us to, the internet as we know it didn’t exist for most people. If anything, we had an extra phone line in the house and a modem and would dial into a service. If we found something we liked, we’d download it, seemingly taking forever! What was appealing about the offering that Peter is suggesting is that you didn’t have to worry about one program; you could get hundreds of them on your computer just by sticking the CD into your computer. Now, I’ll admit that my earliest computer didn’t come with this feature and I eventually bought an external one that connected via the parallel printer port and required its own power source.

Shareware was a terrific concept. You’d install the program and then run it. If you found it of use, then you were asked to send the author a usually small amount of money to show your appreciation. It’s unlike today where there might be a free program with limited features and you have to pay money to unlock all the features or download a completely different version of the program. Maybe we were more generous back then?

You can see from the link in Peter’s post that this wasn’t just a single unique concept; there were many options available. Would it fly today? Probably not since most new computers don’t come with CD-ROM or DVD-ROM players. Our media today comes mostly via the internet. If nothing else, it opens up desk space instead of having containers full of CD-ROM and DVD-ROMs.

For a Sunday, share your experience with Peter and me.

  • did you ever own a computer without a CD or DVD drive?
  • did you have an extra phone line and modem to get connected? How fast was your modem?
  • have you ever purchased a CD-ROM full of software like the ones that Peter suggests?
  • one of the dangers of accessing software from others is the chance of viruses or malware – are you good about checking everything you download?
  • what have you done with your own collection of CDs or DVDs? I’ve seen them make great sun catchers in the classroom

Please take the time to share your thoughts. It would be great to read them.

This is part of a regular Sunday routine around here. If you have an idea, please reach out with it like Peter did. I find it fun to reflect back, inspired by others.

All of the previous posts are available here.

OTR Links 09/19/2021

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