My Open Source Journey

Way back, in my late teens, when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, I had created myself a geek’s paradise in my basement. I had a chemistry lab, with equipment sourced through my high school, a microscope, a telescope, and an electronics lab built with equipment from Radio Shack. I was also starting to experiment with various computers and, in time, would have at least three different Commodore computers, a TRS-80, until eventually moving to a state of the art 286 IBM PC clone. Later, I’d expand the memory on that PC’s main board to a staggering 1 MB of RAM. …

Transformative Music and the Power of Radio

The first time I paid for a piece of music was back in 1972 which means I was either 12 years old or would, at some point in that year, be 12 years old. The music I bought was a 45 RPM record, a single, by one Sammy Davis Jr. The song, which I’d heard many times on the radio, was “The Candy Man”, and I still remember going to the store and handing over my hard-earned 99 cents to pay for it. I can’t remember the store but I do remember the experience. It was exciting in ways that …

The Old Woman. Work, Contribution, and Value.

There was a time when somebody might have observed that a stay at home mom didn't work. As a stay at home dad, I have first hand experience regarding with this concept. You do a lot, but you don't get paid for it. It's the job that's not really a job. That's not what this is about. I mention moms, and dads, because that's one place where work isn't valued, at least not financially. Most people will, sometimes grudgingly, accept that the work does, however, have a value you need to measure differently. You're still contributing. You're still working. To …

The Death of Capitalism

I've been listening to a fascinating discussion regarding the death of capitalism on CBC's "Ideas" program. I'm only about half way through it, but the subject matter is important and somewhat unsettling. Here's a quote from where I've paused in my podcast app. "Democracy was always a problem in a capitalist society. There's an enormous inherent tension between the two. Democracy is inherently egalitarian because every citizen has one vote. And the rich also have one vote but the rich are only five percent. Whereas in the market, every dollar has a vote. And the capitalist economy in particular functions …

Anonymous Trolls on the Rick Mercer Report

The right to post anonymously is a contentious one, made that much more difficult by the low-life scum whose entire purpose it to sow discord. They are a pox on the Internet and they are, as Rick Mercer rightly points out, ruining it for the rest of us. However, I can understand, and appreciate, that for some people, posting anonymously can be a matter of life and death. That fact makes RIck's rant on the Rick Mercer Report (scroll down for the video) more complicated than it might otherwise be. I do tend to believe that people should be accountable …

Cemeteries and Churches

Today was another day of summer camp for the boys. One was at soccer camp and the other at skateboard camp. That, however, is not really what this post is about.  After picking the boys up, we passed by a cemetery on the way home. My youngest, the 8 year old, looked out the winder and asked, "Dad, why are cemeteries often beside churches?" I told him that was a good question and built my explanation thusly. You see, my boy, churches are often thought of as God's house. What's happening then is that people are being buried next to …

Anthropomorphizing Spirit

This morning,  I  was telling Sally about an xkcd cartoon where the Spirit rover is doing its  work on Mars,  counting down the days until its mission is over. The rover is seen thinking about the day when it can come home, then starts to question what it did wrong as the days and months pass. Eventually, humans return to Mars, long after Spirit had “died”. In the final panel, there’s a domed city on Mars, and Spirit is in the middle of a park dedicated to the little robot. As I told her this, Sally was making fun of …