Posts

Y2K + 20

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I have made a habit of posting on December 31, if for no other reason to ensure that I've posted at least yearly on this blog since 2001. I found an old post titled " Y2K + 10 " that I wrote 10 years ago, so the logical title for this post must be "Y2K + 20." I only have a few hours before the year, and the decade, comes to a close, so I'll try to pick a highlight from each month to show what I'll remember most from 2019. January Midwinter skies from the new apartment A year ago I was closing the door on my old apartment at CU Boulder, bringing to a final close my long tenure there as a graduate student. And what a wonderful tenure it was! That meant I spent a lot of January trying to get settled into a new apartment. In hindsight, it's been a really good move for me. I do miss aspects of Boulder, but I have a more comfortable living space here and it's cut my commute by about 15 minutes. February I was on the road quite a bit for w

My heart is in Boulder but my brain is needed in Denver, so I'm putting my body in Broomfield

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I wasn't really joking when I told people the university hands you an eviction notice with your diploma. "Congrats! Now get out." The university doesn't do this for everyone, of course, just those of us who live in student housing. I lived in Smiley Court for more than 9 years, longer than I've lived anywhere other than the house I grew up in. It was home, and home can be hard to leave. Admittedly, the apartment had gotten a bit cramped. It was tight from the start, since I was downsizing from a two-bedroom apartment into a one-bedroom. Adding an extra bicycle and a few hundred books along the way didn't help. The apartment was also miserably hot in the summer, with south- and west-facing brick walls and a location on the top floor. Even with a small air conditioner wedged in the too-small windows, running all day, the temperatures could get over 85 degrees and stay that way past midnight. So it wasn't perfect. But then again, it had this view:

Hibernation

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The star above Boulder as seen from Pearl Street, Christmas night It's the last half-hour of 2017 and I'm pushing out a post to keep my blogging streak alive. I can't imagine this is interesting to anyone else, but that's never really been what this blog is for. I could write more, and maybe I should write more, but the only goal I've had for this blog for a while is to write at least once a year. The last week of the year has become what I call my period of "hibernation." Between Christmas and the New Year, I stay home, do whatever I want on whatever schedule I want. This year, that meant a lot of nights staying up until 4 am and sleeping until 10 or 11. Other than trips to get food, I pretty much had no social interaction for the week. I don't know that I purposely take this time as a mental vacation, but that's sort of what it is. I had several goals for this year's hibernation, but the one I've done best to stick to is physi

The 15-Year Blogoversary

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15 years and 1,213 posts! My first experience with the World Wide Web came in 1995, and by 1997 I had my own web page. The first web authoring tool I remember using was Composer, an HTML editor built into the Netscape Communicator suite. That helped me learn some HTML, and later I used Microsoft Word 97 and then FrontPage 98 and later Macromedia Dreamweaver to design more elaborate pages. Some of my FrontPage-built sites are still on the web. As I learned more about HTML standards and validation I wrote more HTML by hand, but I still wanted a way to make publishing to the web easier. By 2001 I understood that (a) sites should be updated regularly and (b) FTP'ing sites and pages from my desktop to a server was a bit of a pain. I had heard about some early blogging platforms and chose one, Blogger , to try out. As you can see, I'm still here. My receipt from Pyra Labs for Blogger Pro My first post using Blogger came on December 8, 2001. A few months later I paid fo

Last.fm and Ten Years of Web 2.0

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Ten years ago yesterday I scrobbled my first tracks to last.fm . What's scrobbling? On last.fm, scrobbling refers to automatic music track logging to the internet. For me, uploading a record of my music listening habits was my first real experience with "Web 2.0." Remember Web 2.0? It referred to websites of user-generated content that enabled virtual communities and interoperability. Now such sites are too ubiquitous on the web to warrant a special designation — they're just the web . But that wasn't true in 2006, and even though I'd been putting content on the internet since 1996, at the time it was enough to make me a little nervous. What did these strangers want with my data, and what was in it for me? Ten years and 24,941 scrobbles later, I have my answer: I have a really cool record of all the music I've listened to the past 10 years! Well, not "all," technically: I've certainly listened to music in places and on devices that didn'