Small code with powerful results, the occasional opinion … and beer.

14 Nov 2015
Technology is so SaaS-y, it’s not modeling the real world

“The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.”  — Steven Harris As a software developer, it is sometimes difficult for me to watch technology evolve into the current direction it has taken:  Software as a Service (SaaS).  I have been programming both […]

10 Nov 2015
The Beale Ciphers Solved! … or not?

When I was about 14 years old, I encountered one of the most fascinating puzzles in history: the Beale Ciphers. The Beale Ciphers are widely-known among treasure hunters. What are the Beale Ciphers?  It is a collection of three documents, each of which contained an encrypted message as a sequence of numbers.  The story goes that they were left by a […]

10 Nov 2015
The 26th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

I was lucky to be in the United States Air Force and stationed at Tempelhof Central Air Base in Berlin, on the day the Berlin Wall fell: Nov 9, 1989.  It occurred only one month after I married my wife, so the event is strongly etched in both of our minds.  I am occasionally asked where I was when […]

10 Nov 2014
The Third Man to credit for the fall of The Berlin Wall

The Fall of the Berlin Wall is an event that is very personal to me, since I was stationed at Tempelhof airbase in Berlin with the US Air Force when it happened.  As the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall is being celebrated in Germany, there are two key people being credited […]

14 Jul 2013
To Florida, or not to Florida: a quality of life question … maybe

I’ve been really amused over the last few months with some discussions about the best (or at least better) place to live. Currently it’s focused on the city of Pittsburgh or the Central Florida area. The debate between Florida and the rest of the country always seems to be a more heated, emotionally-intense debate.  It […]

20 Mar 2013
The French Taxi Driver Test

This analogy, which I heard long ago while living in Europe, is a very revealing exercise. The story goes as follows: “A Taxi Driver is driving his taxi down a city road at 2:30AM. The traffic light at the intersection he is approaching is red.  As he approaches the intersection, he brings the taxi to a […]

22 Feb 2013
Mimicing an old Dumb-Terminal in a Console, Putty or Powershell Session

For anyone who grew up using a dumb terminal connected to a remote mainframe or minicomputer, or even remembers the days of the monochrome screens on early DOS-based computers, here is a way to make your console screen look like one of those old monochromatic wonders we got rid of a long time ago. You […]