Blog of Blog Entry

There are 275 blog entries within the category of Blog Entry

One does not simply...
February 11th, 2012 | View Post
I made this little ditty for Evan on our ski trip after his difficulty on the platter lift at Vail.

One does not simply ride the T-bar on a fucking snowboard

Bill Burr at the Paramount
January 22nd, 2012 | View Post

Bill Burr on the Paramount marquee
If you like standup and have either never heard of Bill Burr, or never taken the time to see him, look him up. I met the guy a couple of years ago while living out in Los Angeles. He had a podcast he'd been working on and wanted to get it going up on iTunes so I did a bunch of work for him. I put a little custom program together for him over a weekend and started hosting what he calls his "Monday Morning Podcast".

I looked up the traffic on it a couple of weeks later and was blown away to see that we were already up to several terabytes of transfer in less than a month!

Anyway, he's on tour right now and performed at the Paramount in downtown Austin the other night. He was able to get me 6 guest-list tickets and it was awesome.

Here's a clip of his I came across on YouTube:

Why Do I Archive?
January 19th, 2012 | View Post

The back of my childhood house in Manalapan, NJ - August of 1981 (that's me standing next to it)

The back of my childhood house in Manalapan, NJ - June of 2006 (notice the addition over the back room my dad built)
I've had a number of people ask me over the years why I am so interested in collecting and cataloging my life. And second to that is why I am so interested in making it all public. The best I can offer these people is that it brings me great pleasure to see how things change over time, and I am not in any way ashamed or embarrassed to share my life with anyone who is interested to learn about it.

Having spent many years now working in data collection, data aggregation, and various social medias, is that most people really seem to enjoy looking back into their past. In fact, the entirety of the new Facebook model "Timeline" is based on this idea. Obviously there are unbelievable financial incentives for getting people to post an entire history of themselves to Facebook, but that's never really been my goal with this sort of thing.

The reality of the situation for those of us born prior to the late 90s is that there is simply no good way to view our family photos given that nothing was digitized. I've noticed over the years how photo albums are getting corrupted, pictures are fading, and a myriad of other chemical processes are eating away at the photos that I do have. That idea alone has provided me with a significant incentive to have my entire print collection scanned and cataloged on my site as I'd hate to not be able to share that data with future generations.

15 Terabytes: New Servers Up and Running!
January 16th, 2012 | View Post

Installing one of my new 3TB drives into the Synology RS-411
I've been waiting years for this little treat, but the new installation finally has a huge disk array available for consumption. In all, there is about 15 terabytes of usable space. For the time being I've only dedicated a few TB specifically to this site, but it's very easy to scale it now. Of course I do still have a business to run, so that does take some priority.

In addition to the new disk space has come all sorts of redundancy, which quite frankly is much more important to me. Not that a disk failure wouldn't still be a huge pain in the ass, but at least I am no longer worried about data loss. There would have to be a pretty cataclysmic failure at this point to lose anything. Many thanks to Dave G. for all of his help in picking out equipment and helping to get things setup. Hopefully his Amazon coffers are a bit better padded now. Over the coming weeks I'll be working on solidifying the new site layout and getting everything online that I want to. It will be several more months before I have all of my new content fully displayed, but I'll get there. Hopefully I can start keeping things updated at a much more rapid pace from here on out.

I'll post some pictures of the new setup just as soon as I have some time.
Naked and Crying
January 11th, 2012 | View Post
Since so many people on reddit were posting the "multiple person" meme, I thought we could give it a go. For the record, the title comes from the Alanis Morisette album in Southpark the movie.

EDIT: For those who have asked, yes I'm aware it's in Comic Sans (aka: the Jar Jar Binks of font choices)

Exploring Ancestry Dot Com
December 31st, 2011 | View Post

The cover to my grandfather's 1939 DeWitt Clinton high school yearbook
This is definitely NOT an endorsement for the website, namely because they traditionally spammed the hell out of people for business, however my dad recently signed up for their system and started building all sorts of artifacts pertinent to my grandparents. Suffices to say it has some pretty phenomenal digitized records available on it. While the hand-written census tract data is cool enough (it's all been scanned), they even had pages from my grandfather's yearbook at DeWitt Clinton High School and other similar types of documents. I don't know exactly where they get some of their data from and I'm guessing that one of the benefits to ancestral research is that the population was significantly smaller a century ago. That might not seem significant, but it makes fuzzy data matching much easier to do. Incidentally, they got his date of death wrong despite that fact that such records are readily available in this day in age. Again, I suspect it's due to having TOO MUCH data vs. the limited record-keeping we did a century ago.

Their overall UI/UX is lacking quite a bit for my personal taste (to non developers, this just means it's not especially convenient to navigate), but the information and records available for digital consumption are excellent. I will definitely be using their site to gather additional information for my own family philanthropy work and to anybody especially interested in this type of research, would at least recommend you check them out on a trial basis - if for no other reason than to grab the documents and images they've collected for you.