Ross Johnson's blog

Bring on the Jargon!

Technology is both a blessing and a curse, though I tend to usually be in the camp petitioning that it's more often the former. But lately I've been wondering if a lot of the problem isn't the technology, but the way we talk about it.

People sometimes accuse me of using jargon when I speak about technical matters. This is a necessity - I'm often talking about things and concepts that are not easily describable in everyday language. What people often misunderstand is that I'm not being overly technical when I talk - I'm being exactly as technical as I have to be. "Jargon" doesn't confuse things - quite the contrary. It makes things clearer.

When talking about (or to) machines, precision is required. Machines can't "do what we mean, not what we say." By my reckoning, this is the basis of probably 90% of people's frustration with machines.

What to do with an old laptop...

I had an old cruddy laptop laying around that I never used. I was always trying to find a use for it, too. Then I read an article in Computer Power User about creating a picture frame out of an old laptop. I decided to give it a go. Turns out it's not too tough....

The specs on my old laptop are: 15" screen running at 1024x768, PIII 450, 512 MB RAM, 12 GB hard drive. It was once a good machine but now it's pretty much a slug. So I first loaded it up with software: I installed a fresh copy of Windows XP Service Pack 2, and removed all the unnecessary garbage like Automatic Updates, prompts to upgrade security settings, etc. Then, I found a slideshow program that would generate an executable slideshow file and I put a shortcut to it in my Startup folder.

Why I Returned My PSP

Yes, I returned it.

Back in this thread I was pretty excited to have one, my head brimming with the possibilities! Within hours, I had figured out how to convert and play video on it, and then word started to spread about how to hack your home wireless network to allow you to surf the web. I even learned how to put e-books on it in a mostly-readble format.

Besides the hacks, the screen was gorgeous, and even the bundled Spider-Man 2, one of my favorite movies of the year, definitely added to device's value. I almost never got tired of watching Spidey and Doc Ock duke it out atop a Chicago elevated train (yes, Chicago - I saw Sam Raimi filming on the El with my own two eyes). But what about the games?


Connect With Techlore