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The Cheapskate’s Guide to Phone Service and Mobile Data

I am a cheapskate. I, especially, don’t like overpaying for mobile phone and data service. The fees that carriers impose for on-contract smartphones are obscene. My recent iPhone service looked something like this before I cancelled it: $30 for 3G data + $20 for unlimited texts (more data) + $50 for a meager calling plan […]

Why I Only Buy Vinyl (and Don’t Buy Many E-Books)

In 1982 I bought my first LP: Echo and the Bunnymen’s Crocodiles. In 1986, I recorded the vinyl to tape so that I could listen to it in my car. In college (1990), I bought the same album on CD. In 2002 I converted that CD to MP3 and I am listening to it on […]

A Post About Classical Music and Blog Syndication

There are a number of blogging solutions at Columbia (CUIT and Pressible both offer personal blogs and CCNMTL offers course blogs via EdBlogs). One interesting use is to have students’ personal blogs (like this one) feed into several course blogs via a tag. As an example, I’m feeding this post into this fictitious Music […]

Halloween in the Slope

I live in Park Slope. Park Slope loves Halloween. In the past I made off-handed comments to friends and colleagues that “a lot” of trick-or-treaters come to our stoop every year (I’d claim wild numbers like 200+ kids). This year, we decided to be scientific about it and collect some real data.

There’s not much […]

Ecofont Uses 20% Less Ink

The claim is unverified, but it makes sense… the holes in this “eco font” should save ink. Maurice, what do you think? We could use this in the office. I’ll try it at home first. (via lifehacker)

‘Tis the Season Not to Have Enough Lights

I was putting up the christmas tree this evening and (surprise) all of last year’s light strands worked. However, when I string the lights each year, I realize that I have to continually readjust them until M approves of the light distribution. I thought, “self, there must be some calculus that could help me solve […]

t610 pwns razr

I had a trusty sony-ericsson t610 for about four years, but I gave it up last August for a Moto Razr v3. Initially I was impressed with the Razr’s reception and sound quality, but the user interface and battery life are so bad that I evetually had to switch back to the t610. The only […]

Tiny URLs (of my own)

I modified amfr’s short url scripts to roll my own tinyURL. I added a random name generator for when I’m lazy, but I also like that I can make my own target name. For an example, see

iPod Video (aka 5th gen iPod), We Hardly Knew Ye!

I have had a pretty, black, 60GB ipod “video” until this morning. As with any disk failure, the worst part isn’t losing the device, it’s losing the data. I was plugging it in so I could back up all the work I did last weekend, but spent most of the day re-doing it from an […]

IBM ThinkPad Transnote Sans “Note”

There wasn’t much I could do with Audrey in my network “closet”, so I retired the old girl this weekend. I figure that I’ve gotten my seventy dollar’s worth in the four years I’ve owned it, so it doesn’t hurt too bad.

In its place, I installed a 2001 vintage IBM ThinkPad Transnote. The […]