This week I have been busy finishing up a project to clean up and reformat the archives of The Technical Geekery, a blog and website I maintained while I was in high school and through my early years of college. I’ve migrated from WordPress to Jekyll (the static blogging system that runs this site as well), cleaned up some posts with broken links and images, fixed line formatting, chose a more modern theme for the site, and upgraded the site to HTTPS. (Here’s why that’s important; as the US government says on that page, “Today, there is no such thing as non-sensitive web traffic.”)
The writing is tolerable but unsurprisingly not up to my present standards, and some of the posts are somewhat out of date (remember when you sometimes had to fine-tune your Google searches after typing them in to find things, rather than having the answer pop up before you even finished typing?), but many of the posts still hold some interest. There are about 100 pages and posts available for perusal. Here are some of the parts that stand out to me as largely up to date and still worth reading:
- The Records Project (A Study of Paper vs. Computers): An introduction to and some thoughts about my personal record-keeping system. This will make an appearance on Control-Alt-Backspace too sooner or later, but it may be a while yet.
- Learn to Write 25% of All Words Using Single Letters in 10 Minutes: An introduction to the shorthand language Dutton Speedwords.
- The Smartphone Manifesto: An exploration of the role my phone should have in my life, written when I got my first actual smartphone in 2013, and if anything more relevant than ever.
- YYYY-MM-DD: The Best Way to Write Dates: Why traditional date formats fall flat in the digital age and a better way to do it. (See also the chronological sorting section of the filesystem series on Control-Alt-Backspace.)
- The Art of Personal Indexing: The Complete Guide to Indexing Your Paper Notes: This is exactly what it sounds like. I’ve changed some of my specific practices since I wrote this article (for instance, in most cases I no longer try to subdivide entries by their second letter) but the basic foundations are still strong.
- A Week Without the Internet: As far as I’m aware, I did this before it was cool. I still think it’s a great idea, as long as you treat it as an educational and/or relaxing experience and don’t pretend that an Internet binge-cleanse cycle is a good way to manage your relationship with technology.
- The Weakest Link: “Forgot Your Password?”: This attack on accounts across the Web has become even more common since I wrote the article. Read and consider.
- Switching Quickly Between Windows: I haven’t covered the Alt+Tab/Command+Tab shortcut yet on Control-Alt-Backspace. You should learn it.
- Tips and Tricks for Filling Out Forms: Some tips for getting through obnoxious forms more quickly.
- How to Plug in a USB Cable the Right Way the First Time: USB-C will eventually be our savior (you can’t plug it in upside down because the contacts are on both sides and either direction works fine), but until the faraway day when all USB 2 and 3 devices are banished from your home, this tip is worth learning. (See also the quantum properties of USB connectors.)
- Slashes and Backslashes, Oh My: As far as I can tell, the world at large still doesn’t know the difference between forward slashes and backslashes, and it’s still a pet peeve of mine. Since I wrote this article, I even noticed a recording on the hotline of the Best Buy Geek Squad – which definitely should know better – say it wrong!
- The Dvorak Keyboard: Some information about the weirdo keyboard layout I use.
- NetHack Resources: A classic text-based game, labeled by some as “the greatest game of all time.” For a time I was probably among the top 50 active players in the world (though measuring that is complicated in a game with as many distinct challenges as NetHack).