Last updateFri, 10 Aug 2018 3pm

Buying computers: Can you pay little and get a lot?

A quote often attributed to John Ruskin says, “There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.  The person who buys on price alone is this man’s lawful prey.”  It astounds me to realize this far-sighted 19th century English author, poet, art and social critic knew so much about the 21st century computer industry.

Datacenters: the heart of the Internet that Google et al prefer to keep secret

I really do love some of the questions thrown at me by friends, clients, and readers of this column.  A good one I recently fielded is “Where is the Internet actually located?”  Some people might be inclined to respond to that with a religious analogy, because it seems like the internet is everywhere at once; but that answer really does not work for me.  The internet is a physical reality made up of computer hardware in our world.

Facebook & death: ‘memorialized profiles’

This is the week Mexico celebrates Day of the Dead, that most colorful of all holidays.  And every year about this time I always seem to notice some news article reported on the computer/technical news sites I follow that is at least tangentially related to death and dying. This year will be no exception.

Computer needs a nap? Sleep, hibernation dilemmas

My Aunt Rose, no longer an octogenarian because she proudly points out as of this summer she is a nonagenarian, asks this week’s question as she familiarizes herself with her new laptop and its newer version of Windows.  “On the computer, what is the difference between hibernate and sleep?” she emails me to ask.

The Internet of Things: Convenience & savings but security headache too?

There is a new acronym to add to the bottomless bowl of alphabet soup that makes up the world of Information Technology.  IoT is short for the “Internet of Things.”  In the beginning, the only things connected to computer networks were … well, computers.  This is no longer the case, with more “things” being connected to the net and so we now have the Internet of Things.

Coffee shop, restaurant Wi-fi connectivity: a quick primer

Recently, all the major news networks repeated the story of an anonymous New York City restaurant owner whining about how wireless internet access was causing food to get cold and waiters to perform their jobs less efficiently, leading to more customer complaints and costing the restaurant owner money.  To read more than I have room to quote here, just point your browser to any internet search engine and search for “Restaurant Figures Out Surprising Reason for Customer Complaints.”