Stories by Frank McPherson Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:14:33 GMT Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:14:34 GMT en-us Fargo v1.71 @frankm frank.mcpherson It's Worse Than It Appears <p>Just how bad is it the United States? Consider this:</p> <p>Presidential and congressional elections are basically bought by an oligarchy of corporations and very rich people.</p> <p>Every decision by the supposedly non-partisan Supreme Court now falls along party lines. </p> <p>The fourth estate, aka the Press, is now owned by the oligarchs and rather than work elections to help the public elect the best candidates, they work elections to make money, and draw out elections to make even more money. </p> <p>Why are the presidential election "cycles" getting longer and longer? Do we <b>really </b>need two years to learn about the candidates? </p> <p>You do know who ends up with all that advertising money, right?</p> <p>If the oligarchs pay politicians so the politicians can get re-elected, and the politicians pay the media companies (aka the Press) for advertising so they can get elected, and the oligarchs own the Press, then the money keeps spinning around and around.</p> <p>All this means that the government of the United States now exists to serve the oligarchs, which are now their true constituents. </p> <p>Do you believe our government is functioning as intended? Do you know anyone who believes our government is functioning as intended?</p> <p>The reason is not because of entitlements, welfare, Social Security, gay rights, abortion, or too many taxes.</p> <p>The reason is not because of tax breaks to the wealthy, a shrinking middle class, unemployment, or poor education.</p> <p>All the above, while important issues, are simply tools of division, and diversion from what is really going on.</p> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:07:13 GMT Acting with Religious Freedom <p>The <a href=";ion=1&amp;espv=2&amp;ie=UTF-8#q=indiana+religious+freedom+restoration+act&amp;tbm=nws">Indiana Religious Freedom Act has dominated the U.S. news</a> the last two weeks, mainly due to concerns over how it enables discrimination. As a Christian, I think there is something even more troubling about this and similar acts, and that is <a href="">institutional Christianity’s participation in and support of</a> the acts. When considered in context of Holy Week, I think that institutional Christianity involvement in governmental legislation such as this is highly ironic. </p> <p>One can make the argument that the penultimate moment of Holy Week occurs on Monday with the event the Bible labels “Jesus cleanses the temple.” (<a href=";version=NRSV">Luke 19:45-48</a>) Jesus enters the Temple and causes a ruckus, overturning tables and chasing animals. The event was witnessed by ordinary people, the religious authorities, and the Roman political authorities, and it was taken by the religious authorities as a challenge to their practices and position. It is the catalyst that leads to Jesus’ arrest, conviction, and execution. </p> <p>The religious authorities, through their control of temple sacrifice, saw themselves as the gatekeepers of God’s forgiveness. Further, the religious authorities collaborated with the Roman authorities by keeping the people in line and collecting taxes for Rome so that they could retain their positions of power. The religious authorities where expected to prevent the very type of scene Jesus caused on that day, lest they lose their positions and most likely their lives. (<a href=";version=NRSV">John 11:45-53</a>) </p> <p>During Holy Week Christians remember the outcome of the collaboration between the religious and political authorities with the crucifixion of Jesus on what is called Good Friday. Let me say it again to be very clear, religious and political authorities worked together to execute Jesus, the person who Christians claim to follow. See the irony? </p> <p>History has shown that collaboration between religious institutions and empire leads to the corruption of the religious institution. </p> <p>Are you a member of <a href="">the church of Constantine</a> or the church of Christ? </p> <p>Members of the church of Christ, those who dare to declare Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not, know that in Jesus’s resurrection on Easter Sunday we gained freedom beyond what any earthly power or principality can provide. Freedom to follow The Way as Jesus taught and we learn in the gospels such as <a href=";version=NRSV">Matthew 25:31-46</a>. Rather than working with the empire of our day to enact laws so that Christian institutions do not have to do something, these institutions ought to be challenging the empire to feed the hungry, heal the sick, clothe the naked, and provide water to those who thirst.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 20:44:12 GMT A Legacy of Fear <p>Here is the American caucasian legacy. Invade a continent on the other side of the world because it is our God given right, exterminate most of natives, who happen have different skin color and don't speak our language, and exile the rest far away from their home. </p> <p>Enter yet another continent inhabited by people who have a different skin color and speak a different language. Acquire these people by any means possible, put them in the hull of a ship, transport them across the oceans to the continent you just colonized and make them your slaves. </p> <p>Spend each successive century in fear of these others, worrying that some day they will rise up. </p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:06:12 GMT Autumn Restores Fading Memories <p>Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice, if you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you, is the motto of the state of Michigan. At no time of the year is that motto more true than in autumn. </p> <p>As a life long resident of Michigan, I have grown to appreciate the changing weather for which the state is known. I love sunshine and warmth as much as anyone, but continued days of the same blue sky, sun, and heat does not seem right to my Michigan-trained senses.</p> <p>Of the four seasons, autumn is the one that I most equate to my home town and the Upper Peninsula. I know that for some, autumn brings with it depression both real and imagined as it preludes winter, but for me the changing colors of leaves, the crisp, cool air, and the smells transport me back to a younger, less complicated time in my life.</p> <p>Excitement for a new school year and seeing friends again, football, marching band practices, bomb fires, camp fires, walks through the woods, leaf piles, and jumping into leaf piles. </p> <p>As the temperatures creep slowly towards freezing, the fall leaves stiffen and walking through them produces a distinct crunch. While spring has its delightful fragrances and beauty, autumn engages all the senses, sight, sound, smell, and with hot apple cider and donuts, yes, even taste. </p> <p>The smell is what to me sets autumn apart from all other times of the year. It's as if as each amber and red leaf tumbles towards the ground, its fragrance is released into the air. </p> <p>Are you struggling to remember long past and perhaps happier times? If you are fortunate enough like me to have grown up in and currently in the U.P. or anywhere else that has the signs of fall, go outside right now, close your eyes and inhale deeply. Listen to the sounds around and let the winds bring back the smile to your face.</p> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 15:08:40 GMT More Than My Stomach Was Shaking <p>Twenty five years ago today, I was busy preparing to go on a trip and trying really hard to not think about the purpose for the trip and how I was going to travel. In twenty four hours I would be driving to a small, regional airport to get on an airplane for the first time in my life and travel to Warren, Michigan for a hiring interview with EDS.</p> <p>I was to fly in a small airplane from Kingsford, Michigan to the world's busiest airport in O'Hare, Illinois, board a large jumble jet to fly to Detroit, Michigan, get a rental car, drive to the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan for an interview after which I knew I would either get a job offer or be told thanks for coming.</p> <p>My first "real" job after graduating college, one that would cause me to move to the "big city." The interview would change my life, and given all that I had to do for the first time in my life, it's a miracle I even made it to the interview on time, let alone get the job.</p> <p>I don't know why I expected to be able to sleep the night before the trip, but it wasn't going to happen. I had settled in my bedroom that evening to watch the World Series before going to bed when <a href="">the earth shook in San Francisco and Al Michaels transitioned</a> from baseball play-by-play man to <a href="">the primary on the scene reporter</a> for a huge natural disaster.</p> <p>I stayed up all night watching <a href=";list=PLF6AE2E7782BE0FDD">reports about the earthquake</a>, I might have got an hour or two of sleep, but it wasn't much.</p> <p>Adrenaline carried me through the airports, planes, cars, an interview that lasted hours, a rush to a clinic to pee in a cup for a drug test, check into a hotel, a phone call to my grandma, and a celebratory dinner at Denny's before crashing in my hotel bed.</p> <p>Too tired to think about where I was, too tired to think about what had just happened, and too tired to remember to turn off the lights to my rental car.</p> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 19:21:52 GMT The Apple October 2014 Event <p>Here be my notes while watching Apple's October 2014 event via <a href=""></a>. </p> <p>Hey, I payed for my lunch at McDonalds today with Google Wallet. Apple Pay launches on Monday.</p> <p>Developers, developers, developers... go get Watch Kit! </p> <p>Yada, yada, yada... never mind we have told you all this stuff before. Lots of fill going on here with rehash of stuff Apple has already told us. </p> <p>Put your photos on iCloud so they can be available on every device and for anyone who might ever want them. Even people who you might not want to have them. </p> <p>Thirty six minutes later... we learn that Yosemite is available today. They couldn't have done this in a blog post?</p> <p>iPad Air 2.... thinner. 6.1 mm. Less reflective screen, will need a sun test. Lots faster than previous generation iPads. 8 mega pixel camera. Pushing the video and camera capabilities of the iPad. Touch id, supports Apple Pay but sounds like it will only be useful for online payments. Same prices, but no 32 GB model, 64 GB for $599. Basically a spec upgrade here, nothing revolutionary.</p> <p>So, the reason to buy an iPad is for image and video capture and editing, right? I guess it is easier to do that on a larger screen than on an iPhone 6 Plus.</p> <p>Original iPad Air still being sold for as low as $399; Original iPad mini for $249. iPod Touch starts at $200, not sure I would by a touch, you might as well get the original mini for $249. Preorders start tomorrow. </p> <p>I wonder if Apple is going to keep manufacturing the older iPads or if they are just going to sell out remaining inventory at these prices? </p> <p>iMac with Retina, world's highest resolution display, greater than 4K displays; Retina 5K. </p> <p>Spec upgrade for the Mac Mini, starts at $499. </p> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:57:48 GMT Battery Life Is The Last Frontier in Mobile <p>How much is left to change in mobile user interfaces and functionality? Not much, I say, but none of those functions mean anything if the device you use doesn't have power. Battery life is the last, great, competitive advantage to the moble manufacturer that gets it right. </p> <p>Unfortunately, I don't think there is a battery life silver bullet. End users will see the most battery life through improvements in hardware and software. </p> <p>Consequently, I think the most important part of any mobile announcement is, how does it benefit battery life? Here are some things to look for.</p> <p>Google has just announced a new major version of Android, Android 5.0 Lollipop. Ever since the Google I/O conference earlier this year, Google had been referring to this as Android L. At that conference Google presented something they called Project Volta, which are the battery improvements in Lollipop. In upcoming weeks we will see reviews of Android 5.o, I recommend zeroing in on reviews of it on existing hardware like the "original" Moto X to see how it really improves battery life.</p> <p>Apparently we all like smartphones with bigger screens, as every smartphone company is selling a phone with five inch screens and larger. What comes along with the larger phones is longer battery life, simply because they accommodate larger batteries. </p> <p>If you want the iPhone that has the longest battery life, buy the iPhone 6 Plus. The trade off is not between how comfortable one phone is to hold over another, or how well one phone fits in a pocket over another, but that comfort versus longer battery life. If you want more battery life, get a bigger phone.</p> <p>The other half to battery life is charging, and right now there are two emerging ideas on charging batteries. One idea is wireless charging, if all one has to do is place their phone on a pad to top it off, and the pads are readily available, it is more convenient to charge up your phone throughout the day, and the result is having a charged phone when you are out and about.</p> <p>Another idea to improve battery charging is to shorten the time it takes to charge a battery. Imagine adding hours of battery life in a matter of minutes. Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 technology is in the new Moto X, and Motorola claims you can add 8 hours to battery life in 15 minutes by using <a href="">the Motorola Turbo Charger</a> with the new Moto X. The phone and the charger have to support Qualcomm's technology.</p> <p>If you are in the market for a new phone, I personally recommend looking at the battery life features I describe above. Even though I like a smaller phone, if I were buying an iPhone, I would buy the 6 Plus due to the longer battery life. If you are looking at Android phones, there are several large screen and bigger battery phones to choose from, but also look for support for Android 5.0 and either the Qualcomm Quick Charging technology or Qi wireless charging.</p> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 16:48:57 GMT Thanks Dave! <p>Dave Winer is celebrating <a href="">20 years of blogging</a> today. <a href="">I've written before</a> about how I started blogging after discovering, I've been blogging along with Dave for 14 years using the tools that he developed, just as I am doing to write this post. </p> <p>Dave reminds me most of how the early days of personal computing were done, when people wrote their own software to make computing meet their needs, and happily shared that software with others just in case they found it useful. I think most great pieces of software were crafted first to meet their author's needs, because the person writing the software is very intimate with its requirements.</p> <p>Most software authored today is written by a person who gets its requirements from another person, and in those instances the soul of the idea is lost in the translation. </p> <p>Dave is a Mets fan and has written that he believes <a href="">the Mets have philosophy</a>. I would say that the software that Dave authors has philosophy too, and I know that I have benefited from it.</p> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 00:47:13 GMT What Playing Music and Tennis Say About Me <p>Twenty five years ago this month I had my first interview for the company that I still work for today. The interview was pretty much as you would expect, with questions about my education and work experiences. Noting that I listed as hobbies that I play french horn and tennis, the interviewer asked me what these two hobbies say about Frank McPherson.</p> <p>My answer was roughly as follows.</p> <p>Playing french horn in a band shows my experience working with others, contributing my part towards playing a song well. As a singles tennis player I have shown an ability to work and compete individually. The two show that I excel both individually and in a team.</p> <p>The interviewer was clearly impressed by my answer, he asked if I had been given that question before. I had not, this was my first interview ever for a real job, but I would not have been to provided it if it wasn't my sincere understanding of the value both played in my life. </p> <p>So much is gained by those who have music education in high school. I went to college with some of the smartest people I have ever met, many who played in <a href="">the various music ensembles</a> at Michigan Tech. When you <a href="">compare the actual costs of providing music education</a> against the other extra curricular activities schools provide, it is a "no brainer" of which ought to be getting funding.</p> <p>For me personally, my best friends and my best memories of high school and college are all tied to music. I haven't been on a tennis court in twenty years, but I still play my french horn at church whenever needed. </p> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:03:53 GMT <p>Due to Apple's event last week, there is currently much discussion about the viability of the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is the first new product category from Apple since the iPad, and the first since Tim Cook became CEO of Apple. Reaction to it is mixed, torn between those who have faith in a company who has successfully convinced us in the past that we really do need a product, such as the iPad, and those who see the Apple Watch with its complicated looking home screen and multiple buttons as very "un-Apple." </p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:28:08 GMT SmartWatches Integrate With Too Few Devices <p>I think the real problem that Apple and Google have to overcome for their watches to succeed is convincing people that they don't replace wristwatches, instead they are smartphone accessories. People have long given up wearing wristwatches and aren't looking to simply replace them with something else. The Apple and Google watches are really smartphone accessories, and the question to be answered is, do people want or need a smartphone accessory?</p> <p>My belief is that watches need to be more than accessories for smartphones, and to achieve that they need to communicate with as many other devices and services as possible. The watches need to be accessories for desktop and laptop computers, appliances, cars, web browsers and more. </p> <p>Note that right now Apple Watch needs an iPhone to work and Android Wear needs an Android phone to work. I don't think that watches need to be complete stand-alone devices, but I do think they need to communicate with more than just smartphones to be of the best use for enough people. Put another way, right now the potential market size for these watches is at most the same size as the respective smartphone markets. Do you want to be selling devices that have a market cap right from the beginning? </p> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:44:36 GMT Dave Winer Says Apple Pay Is The Big Deal <p><a href="">Dave Winer thinks that Apple Pay is the big deal</a> in the announcements yesterday, and I think he is right. At the very least, the problem Apple Pay is trying to solve is much more significant and needed by all of us more than what Apple Watch or iPhone solves. What is needed to improve how we pay for things is open standards supported by all the significant players in the market at the same level as local area networking standards have been implemented in the past. We do not want payment processing standards to be like mobile broadband standards in the United States. At least Apple has adopted NFC for communication with Point Of Sale terminals. </p> <p>It shouldn't take much for Google Wallet and all other wallets to implement the same one-time-use credit card numbers as Apple Pay will use. Hopefully that intellectual property is owned by the payment processors, who have incentive to see the same process used across wallets, than by Apple, who might prefer lock-in. Apple needs to advocate a standard architecture that all parties, including their competitors, can use, while adding value by making the process simpler and most secure on their devices. </p> <p>The biggest risk for mobile payments is fragmentation caused by the mobile carriers. We can't have AT&amp;T, Verizon, and T-Mobile implementing different payment methods and blocking the use of any other payment methods. The carriers have blocked the use of different wallets in the past, for example AT&amp;T initially did not allow Google Wallet to work on their phones. </p> <p><a href=";uprof=82&amp;dr=1">Here is an example</a> of where payment processing can go off the rails for consumers if companies like Google buy companies like Mastercard. We need separation between the back end and front end infrastructures to insure there is a standard back end that benefits all of us.</p> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:02:49 GMT Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should <p>If I had my way, I would declare that in this technological era we live by the maxim, "Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it." Technological advances, and perhaps more importantly the low cost of those advances, enable much more to be done today than ever before, but all too often we see things being done simply because we can.</p> <p>The latest demonstration of this lack of self restraint is the police response to <a href=";gws_rd=ssl#q=Ferguson+Missouri&amp;tbm=nws">the public protests in Ferguson Missouri</a>. Police in Ferguson have <a href="">military grade equipment that actually rivals that which our troops in Iraq have</a> and appear eager to use that equipment.</p> <p><img src="" width="240" height="135" style="float: right;">Clearly, police officers should wear body armor to protect themselves, but do they need <a href="">vehicles built to withstand mines</a>? Do police need to train <a href="">machine guns</a> at unarmed protesters? The Marine Corp MARPAT camouflage doesn't seem effective on asphalt streets.</p> <p>Psychologically, if you are carrying large weapons and body armor that makes you feel invincible, how can you not be more aggressive? The primary difference between the police and the military is the difference between restraint and aggression. </p> <p><img src="" width="240" height="135" style="float: left;">Police officers may actually have training similar to the military, but are taught to only use as much force as necessary to keep the peace. Military are taught use a maximum amount of force to quickly conquer the enemy. </p> <p>In my opinion, a clear example of the aggressive posture taken by police in military garb is in <a href="">the video taken by Washington Post journalist Wesley Lowery</a> as he was arrested while working in McDonalds and apparently not complying fast enough to the officer's liking. </p> <p>Who is being confrontational in that video? </p> <p>Here is another problem I have with what I see in the video. Do you see any personal identification on the officer? What I see are officers attempting to use anonymity to protect themselves from their own actions. If the police are in uniform, and what is being worn in that video is a uniform, they ought to be wearing clearly visible identification, particularly if a police action is being taken. </p> <p>For the moment part of <a href=";gws_rd=ssl#q=militarization+of+police&amp;tbm=nws">the discussion about Ferguson will be about the militarization of our police</a>. We might even talk about whether or not police actually need some of the military gear they now possess. However, what the police did in Ferguson is part of a bigger issue we need to be addressing.</p> <p>How are the actions that I describe above by the Ferguson police different from <a href="">the NSA collection of data</a>? The NSA is collecting vast amounts of data from the Internet and storing it just in case they need it in the future, just because they can because the technology that enables them to collect and store that data is so cheap. </p> <p>The principle at work here is, "we have the technology, so we can do whatever we want," but the United States government is founded on the opposite principle. The U.S. Constitution creates a government restrained from using power against its citizens. </p> <p>Put another way, the Constitution sets up a government that requires that officials seek permission before taking action. The Constitution is antithetical to the now pervasive attitude of "Beg for forgiveness rather than ask for permission." </p> <p>The Constitution does not create an efficient government. I think the framers intuitively knew of man's lack of self restraint, particularly when it comes to power, and therefore intentionally made our government inefficient. If the framers were alive today I think they would be shocked by the NSA's actions, shocked by the actions of the police in Ferguson, and absolutely appalled by the excuses for those actions. Excuses that put safety and power over liberty, excuses if accepted that erode the democracy we all claim to cherish.</p> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 19:43:06 GMT Welcome To FrankNet <p>I have been publishing <a href="">my writing on the Internet</a> for 14 years, mostly using software and web sites owned by other companies. During the last 6 months I've been slowly consolidating some of that writing and associating it to domains that I own.</p> <p>The majority of the sites, which have similar appearances but are dedicated to different topics, are associated to, or what I lovingly refer to as FrankNet. If you look at the menu bar at the top of this page, you will see the FrankNet menu that points to following sites:</p> <p><a href="">Real Personal Computing</a> is where I write about my experiences and opinions about personal computing. On the site I promote two ideas, first that personal computing is no longer about a single device but instead an experience across multiple devices, and second that smartphones and tablets are really the first personal computers and what we have been calling PCs all these years are not at all personal.</p> <p><a href="">Sports Beat</a> is where I write about sports. My first, for pay, writing gig was for small town weekly newspaper called The Current. I covered high school sports and wrote a weekly column, Sports Beat with Frank McPherson.</p> <p><a href="">The Narthex</a> is where I write about my faith. As an aspiring follower of Jesus, my faith is a life long growing process. All too often faith and belief are used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same. Faith is a verb. Jesus calls us to follow him. To love God by loving our neighbor. </p> <p>Just about everything that I write about is associated with something that I have learned. Learning is a process that includes taking notes and some of those notes I publish in my <a href="">Work Notes</a> site for later reference. What is there is mostly for me, but you might find it useful too.</p> <p><a href="">Books Notes</a> is where I write about the books that I have read. Many of these books are about religion and the notes you see here are mostly outlines that I use for facilitating a book group that I lead at my church. </p> <p><a href="">Web Notes</a> is my weblog, or blog. You can think of it as my hub on the Internet, with links to my writing, along other things that I find interesting on the Internet.</p> <p>You don't need to keep checking all those sites to read my writing, just come back to <a href=""></a>, which will bring you to my blog where I will link to my other writing. If you use RSS, you cal also <a href="">subscribe to my feed</a> and have the lastest FrankNet updates pushed to you. </p> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 21:28:11 GMT Why Microsoft Has Failed With Smartphones <p>Ultimately, I don't think Microsoft's failure in smartphones has anything to do with <a href="">consumer vs. enterprise</a>. I knew the Windows CE/Windows Mobile folks and they got consumers. The real problem is that back then (and maybe still today) marketing ran Microsoft and the mantra was preserve the Windows brand at all costs. The Microsoft phone UI must be the same as the Windows desktop UI because that was the way Windows remained relevant. </p> <p>I think the Modern UI (the UI formerly known as Metro) is clear evidence of this thinking. When Windows Phone and its new UI first was released, and had modest success, Microsoft was faced with the old issue of maintaining Window's relevance. </p> <p>Finally, having come to the decision that the old Windows UI doesn't work on small screens, Microsoft did the only thing they could do and that was to change the Windows desktop UI to match the Windows Phone UI so that they could still call it Windows and keep it relevant. </p> <p>The difference at Apple is that they are not about preserving crown jewels, they just build great products and if iOS ends up relegating OS X to the discount bin, so be it. Microsoft could never, ever, allow Windows to go to the discount bin. If Windows fails, Microsoft fails because they were one and the same. </p> <p>Had Microsoft, back in the late 90s, not let marketers drive their strategy and accepted the fact that they could, in fact should, have different user interfaces for different device types, and further accepted that if that means Windows some day goes away, they may have stayed in the race rather than falling so far back that they could never catch up.</p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:42:26 GMT A Personal History About Writing On The Internet <p>It has been a while in coming, but I have recently consolidated my writing on the Internet to a domain that I own and hosting services under my control. I've been publishing my writing on the Internet since the fall of 1999 when I started blogging using a service called </p> <p>Over those 14 years I have had to move my writing from one service to another as each has gone out of business. From to to to and now to, or what I am calling FrankNet.</p> <p><b>In The Beginning,</b></p> <p> and both ran on software called <a href="">Manilla</a> that did not render static HTML. While tools were made available for backing up and exporting data, I never was able to convert that to HTML. Consequently, the only place where some of that early writing is still accessible is on <a href="">the Internet Archive</a>, some times referred to as the Wayback Machine. </p> <p>The earliest writing of mine from that you can find <a href="">is from May 20, 2000.</a> On that site I kept an index of some of the <a href="">writing I did for some other sites</a>, and some of that is in the Internet Archive. </p> <p><b> And 9/11</b></p> <p>By the end of 2000 the site was becoming increasingly unstable, and therefore I moved my writing to, which also ran Manilla and therefore made the migration simple. Unlike that was free, I payed to host my content on and with that came the expectation the service was more reliable. I used until 2008 when the company hosting it apparently went out of business. Suddenly one day I could no longer access the site, at which point I moved to </p> <p>The earliest of my writing on that is in the Internet archive is <a href="">on March 31, 2001</a>. Perhaps the most significant of what I wrote during this time occurred after 9/11, the first of which was on <a href="">September 13, 2001</a>. Then on <a href="">September 15, 2001</a>, and then one final one on <a href="">September 22, 2001</a> after which I apparently moved on. </p> <p><b>Wordpress Sanctuary</b></p> <p>As I said, I've been using Wordpress to host my original blog, Notes From The Cave <a href="">since 2008</a>. Wordpress is a much larger brand and company than either of the others that I used in the past, and I am using their free service to host that blog. </p> <p>I've actually been really pleased with Wordpress, and I am using it to host <a href=""></a>, which is where I am writing my more "professional" online content on personal computing. About six months ago <a href="">Dave Winer</a>, who created the Manilla software released a product called <a href="">Fargo</a>.</p> <p><b>Fargo</b></p> <p>Fargo is an outliner that runs in a web browser, written by <a href="">Dave Winer</a>, the father of <a href="">outliners</a>. In many ways Fargo is the merger of the products, <a href="">Frontier</a>, Manilla, EditThisPage, and the <a href="">OPML Editor</a>, that Dave created prior running almost entirely within the web browser. </p> <p>Fargo exists due to the maturation of web applications and the existence of robust web services like Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, and node.js, and I think it is a testament of how far we have come.</p> <p>For example, back when I used I had several painful experiences of losing what I wrote when the web browser accidentally refreshed. I learned the safest thing to do was to use Notepad to write and then copy and paste my writing in the web form. </p> <p>I have yet to lose significant content in Fargo mostly because what I write is automatically saved to Dropbox as I write, a feature you used to only find with desktop apps like Microsoft Word. However, because Fargo is entirely on the web, I can use it to write using any computing device connected to the Internet.</p> <p><b>Blogging Again</b></p> <p>As an outlining tool, Fargo is a powerful organizational and productivity tool that people use it to maintain to-do lists and write programs, but it also includes powerful web publishing tools. </p> <p>The web publishing part of Fargo is capable of rendering sites in a handful of different formats, such as the "blogHome" type that this site uses. Earlier this year Dave added a blog type format called "stream" that in reality is a return to blogging.</p> <p>Somewhere along the way blogging <a href="">moved from a date oriented format</a> to <a href="">a title oriented format</a>, and I honestly think that with the change blogging stopped. For me the change occurred when I moved my blog from to, which emphasizes the title oriented format. <a href="">Dave Winer attributes the change to Google Reader</a>, which forced RSS items to have titles. </p> <p>If you go back and look at the version of my blog on you will see that the "title" for each page is a date. In the beginning, blogging was literally a daily log of items one found on the Internet which you either wanted to share with others or store for later retrieval. Along with a link to another web page, you may find a sentence or two about the link, perhaps an comment about why one found the item worth reading.</p> <p>The creation of my own stream type blog in Fargo made me recall how I used to write back then, and how similar it was to the sharing that occurs on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, but with the benefit of being stored on a server in your control. </p> <p>So, I am happy to say I am now blogging again, on my new <a href="">Webnotes</a> site, but there is still room for stories (or articles) or essays and for that I have a few other sites, a few of which are dedicated to a specific topic. I've also redirected to point to the Webnotes site as my primary location on the Internet, previously I had it pointing to my Google Plus profile.</p> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 19:27:28 GMT