February 29, 2024


via Jay Pinkerton's Superman Origin Comics
(the comics are hilarious but juvenile and a tad foul-mouthed so clicker beware.)

So I sometimes like to start the day reading in bed a bit... and I sometimes like to juggle 2 or 3 books at once. But man, both books I started are kind of rough. One is "Welcome To Your World: How the built environment shapes our lives" - the author is an architecture critic, snobby as hell, but he's not wrong about many aspects of how as a species we've gone for expediency instead of more thoughtful design, and you can point to many detrimental effects, and so I can fill up bits of my helpless-rage-or-depression meter about that. And then I pivoted to "The Diagnosis" by Alan Lightman (who wrote two of my favorite books, Einstein's Dreams and Mr. g (the latter is a delightful creation myth compatible with science that I'll be going over for my UUSS reading group tonight)) - I grabbed "The Diagnosis" because of the author and because he throws in a lot of details of late 90s Boston, but honestly reading about a middle aged guy going through some major dementia-ish neurological episode on his Red Line commute isn't a delight.
Some hidden history of the iPod. My boss digs Steve Jobs' attitudes about excellence - and an aptitude for taking resources at hand (in the case of the iPod, a new small Toshiba hard drive) and applying them in novel ways.

Two things I hadn't heard much about:
1. the signature click wheel has heavily drawn from a phone, the Bang & Olufsen BeoCom 6000
2. Part of the secret sauce was a large 32Mb "skip buffer" - advertised as "20 minute skip protection" (remember this is an age of jostled portable CD players leading to poor experience) its true purpose was buffering of songs, so the device could load a few songs at once rather than have the little hard drive constantly spinning, and so tripling the battery life to meet critical performance metrics.
I think Mojo Nixon was wrong - there's at least a bit of Elvis in Michael J. Fox. (Though not in Alex P. Keaton)
I liked seeing what edits wikipedia editors are tired of undoing.