I read a lot of tech jour­nal­ism. Not because I con­sume a lot of tech­nol­ogy, but because I cre­ate it–this is my world, and I feel obliged to know what’s going on. But most tech writ­ing is pretty bad.

So I was not very sur­prised that, since the announce­ment of the Apple Watch, every­one started writ­ing about it as if the smart­watch itself was a new tech­nol­ogy that will dis­rupt every­thing. Apple could release a new doorstop tomor­row and, though I’m sure it would be very nice and pack­aged in an attrac­tive box, it would be hailed as a rev­o­lu­tion­ary change in the his­tory of prop­ping doors.

What I did not expect is a flurry of sto­ries writ­ten as if the high-end wrist­watch itself has just been invented. What are the rel­a­tive mer­its of this band or that? How do they get it to be so shiny? Look how dif­fi­cult it is to man­u­fac­ture a com­pli­cated thing in such a small pack­age– I saw it myself in this flawlessly-illuminated indus­trial film!

Sorry, but these prob­lems were solved ele­gantly 100 years ago with gears, cre­ativ­ity, imag­i­na­tion, and mag­ni­fi­ca­tion. And for the record I’m no longer impressed by the for­mula of, “It’s like X, but with a com­puter inside.”

April 12, 2015 April 12, 2015 tech by Scott No Comments

Inves­ti­ga­tors announced today that the plane crash in the French Alps was an inten­tional act by the first offi­cer. It hap­pened while the cap­tain was locked out of the cock­pit and unable to regain entry.

After the ter­ror­ist attacks in 2001, hard­ened cock­pit doors were uni­ver­sally lauded as a sen­si­ble anti-terrorism mea­sure. It is clear from this inci­dent that there is at least one draw­back: they fun­da­men­tally under­mine one of the safety ben­e­fits of the 2-pilot sys­tem. I have to won­der, will any­one pub­licly revisit this discussion?

March 26, 2015 March 26, 2015 in-the-news by Scott No Comments

Madrian

From August!

February 24, 2015 February 24, 2015 photos by Scott 1 Comment

As if I needed more proof that 2015 will be a crazy year.

January 30, 2015 January 30, 2015 engineering by Scott 1 Comment

GoToMeeting fail

Things I am thank­ful for: con­fer­ence calls with slideshows. Because I love hav­ing to infect my com­puter with your shitty cor­po­rate soft­ware that can’t even upgrade itself like it’s 2014.

December 19, 2014 December 20, 2014 rants by Scott No Comments

I’ve been clear­ing out our base­ment on and off through­out the year. And by “clear­ing,” I mean that I have demol­ished pretty much every­thing that wasn’t hold­ing up the house. Some findings:

2014-11-08 18.11.35 Jars of fas­ten­ers, mostly attached to the ceil­ing. Already prov­ing use­ful. Given the num­ber of jars, I can safely con­clude that a pre­vi­ous owner had a seri­ous weak­ness for herring!


2014-11-08 18.13.22 Haz­ardous chem­i­cals and out­dated elec­tri­cal para­pher­na­lia. Inevitable.


2014-11-08 18.28.12 A giant bun­dle of col­or­ful cloth-braided tele­phone inter­con­nect wire. I can’t bring myself to throw it out. They don’t make wire this visu­ally inter­est­ing any­more. Back in the hey­day of cop­per phone ser­vice, Ma Bell had a com­pli­cated color cod­ing sys­tem to help dif­fer­en­ti­ate the hun­dreds or thou­sands of pairs found in cables and wiring plants. I’m more famil­iar with the major/minor 2-color scheme used today, but some of these wires have 3 col­ors. Good luck sort­ing that out!


2014-11-08 18.23.22 A lump of coal. Sav­ing it for Christmas.


2014-11-08 18.15.19 A wooden box for a David­son Patent Foun­tain Syringe, No. 16. Suit­able for use as “irri­ga­tor, vagi­nal, anal, childs, sprin­kler, and nasal.” I’d pre­fer not to think about it. The box is full of mis­matched iron hinges.


2014-11-08 18.22.45 From above the ceil­ing and behind the walls, a cor­nu­copia of tools. Every­thing from a tiny oiler to an arborist’s pole saw to a hefty axe marked “prop­erty of City of Boston, Sewer Divi­sion.” And a rusty cleaver (Halloween?).


2014-11-08 18.17.29 Ancient and mod­ern sand­pa­per from Minnesota’s favorite Min­ing and Man­u­fac­tur­ing company.


2014-11-08 18.26.34 2014-11-08 18.26.53 The “Win­ter Vaca­tion Sec­tion” from the Decem­ber 4, 1949 Boston Globe. I wish we could still travel to Florida on the only rail­road “stream­lined for stream­lin­ers.” Or get travel plan­ning help from Miss Hospitality.


2014-11-08 18.27.23 It was rolled into a tube bound with wire and used as pipe “insulation.”


2014-11-08 18.29.01 A bot­tle of booze hid­den in a secret crevice behind the work­bench. Because life was harder back in the day.

November 8, 2014 November 8, 2014 home by Scott 2 Comments

I like strange murals.

portsmouth, nh

waltham, ma

November 5, 2014 November 5, 2014 observations by Scott No Comments

Jeff and Helena

More than a year late, but who’s count­ing? A new gallery.

October 26, 2014 October 26, 2014 photos by Scott No Comments