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Don’t look now, but the 90s are back

The 90s are back. A few examples that came up yesterday in an office Slack channel: AOL and Yahoo are in the news. Pokemon is a new fad. People are wearing digital watches. New Blink 182 and new-ish The Prodigy. People are preordering Harry Potter. The Hi-C Ecto-Cooler is available in stores. And finally: Clinton is running for president. Posted … Continue reading Don’t look now, but the 90s are back

A Fire TV in an Apple Household

A few months back I picked up an Amazon Fire TV. I’ve had an Apple-centric household for many years and have been a strong supporter of the Apple ecosystem, but a couple of things changed that caused me to evaluate the Fire TV. First, iTunes is where all my media lived. This used to be great. Everything … Continue reading A Fire TV in an Apple Household

Designing Game Show Buzzers

At my workplace, we have all-company Friday lunches. Often we will have a speaker giving a presentation — either someone from within the company or someone from the local community. Once, we had a silly game show. It was successful enough that we brought it back a second time, but this time with a little more … Continue reading Designing Game Show Buzzers

Designing Amazon Web Services Playing Cards

I have used a few of Amazon’s more popular web services, both on the job and on my own. I’ve deployed code to EC2 and Lambda. I’ve synced files and stored backups on S3 and Glacier. I’ve experimented with a few others. But what is WAF? SNS? CloudTrail? I wasn’t even sure I could tell you what those acronyms … Continue reading Designing Amazon Web Services Playing Cards

Building an Unusual Video Game Controller

Every so often I visit OMSI After Dark. These are occasional adults-only evenings that the local science museum puts on. A few months ago the specific After Dark event was about the history of video games. They had (and still do have, for a little while longer) a full exhibit, including some free-play games from Ground … Continue reading Building an Unusual Video Game Controller

Developing For Alexa

I got a new Amazon Alexa a few weeks ago. [Full disclosure: I work for a company that’s owned by Amazon Web Services.] I find the technology a fun novelty, but I’m not sure it’s mature enough to be promoted to a central part of my home life beyond a music player and todo-list maker. That … Continue reading Developing For Alexa

Free Paper Cowboy Hats

You may recall my in-real-life trolling stickers and signs — the voice activated paper towel dispenser, the fake power outlet, and the baby changing station — from a previous blog post: I have some new stickers now that are less of a troll and more of a chuckle. Like the previous stickers, I cannot take credit … Continue reading Free Paper Cowboy Hats

Walk to Work Day 2016

Several years ago, a local Portland organization — I think they were called the Portland Pedestrian Coalition at the time but are now Oregon Walks — put together a Walk to Work day. They designated meetup spots in each of the quadrants of town, each about three or four miles from downtown. You’d walk, drive, or … Continue reading Walk to Work Day 2016

Amsterdam: Selfies, Aided by a Professional

I have friends who recently took a trip to Paris. When talking about their trip, they had some wonderful photos of an afternoon, on cobblestone streets and at monuments, taken by a professional photographer. It turns out that there’s a service called Flytographer that works as a sort of broker between people vacationing abroad who want … Continue reading Amsterdam: Selfies, Aided by a Professional