Category Archives: recollection

My or someone else’s memory of some thing of the distant or recent past. History, but not scholarly reporting of it.

A day I didn’t think could be: Legitimate cheating

I first lived in a house built in ~1900. Then my parents moved to a place much newer (8os), but I still visited my grand parents’ places, which were a Sears Roebuck house and a DIY from the forties. Both had really iffy old electrical wiring (you can probably guess what the title means now) that more often than not did not have grounding.

Both of them had recourse to “cheater plugs”, that allowed you to plug a 3 prong (grounded) plug into a 2 prong (ungrounded) outlet and had a little tab or wire that you would then screw to the faceplate of the outlet or connect to a ground. Riiiight… I don’t think I’ve ever seen that done.

An aside: a school I went to for two years had 3 main buildings, 1 built in the 50s or 60s, and the other two in the 1860s maybe. In a class room that was way too small, like many of them, there was the only power outlet on the wall, about 6 feet up, in the middle of the wall. Why? That’s (most likely) where the gas jet was at first. When it was replaced by wires, they used the existing conduit. I don’t remember where the light switch was, or if that room had cieling lights or not. Anyway the outlet was ungrounded, and I think unpolarized, with a cheater plug supporting (literally!) the power strip hanging down about 4 feet, which an old IBM PS/2 486 was plugged into on the teacher’s desk, or next to it.

This day, though, I used one that I had to provide a path to ground for a UPS that powers my medical equipment and an old Clock of great value. The thing had its “wiring fault detected” LED lit ever since I moved to this apartment, and now it has a ground through the radiator pipe in my bedroom. Improvement!

Versioning is getting out of hand

I know the tendency these days is for rapid release of software, but I prefer the older, slower incrementing software. Consider that (MS) DOS went from 1.x to 6.x in over 10 years, while Firefox (for example) has gone up to 52 (!) in that time.

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First so-called blogging

When I was maybe 10 or so I tried to write a journal. Unfortunately my sister found it about 5 years or so later. I remember writing and also her reading to my parents the one I had written that was mostly illegible (my handwriting has always been terrible) except for the phrases “massive pile of FECES” and “I was greatly relieved”. You can imagine how we both laughed at this (despite my being put out at it) it being stupid-seeming to her and I was around 5th grade then.

This was the first time I tried to maintain any species of regular writing.