Month: October 2009


One month from now I will be moving into the new house in Cambridge. The Halifax 31 day countdown is on.

A Little Too On Point

I’m sure that there has been a time in my life, and will again be a time in my life, when the skewering of tech industry management jargon done at Rands In Repose was/will be hilarious. But I’ve got to tell you, right at the moment, some of those things are just a little too on target for me to… Read more →

It just occurred to me that risk and entropy are the same thing

I have an amateur interest in economics that I indulge from time to time, primarily by reading economics-focused blogs. While I was doing that this week I was interested to see Brad DeLong (whose blog is definitely worth following) point to a discussion from the Economist about compensation for bankers and the relation between that and their ability to accurately… Read more →


I’m doing a little better with Jeff Ford’s current recommended reading list than I did with the last one–this time I’ve actually read some of the books (four of them, to be precise). Given that the theme this time seems to be “detective fiction at the boundaries of, or crossing into, other modes” it’s perhaps no surprise–I enjoy a little genre stretching and deconstruction. Of course the net result is five more books to put on the wishlist.


I have two immediate reactions to a story about someone constructing a box that will only open at specific coordinates as a wedding gift. First, I am forced to wonder why I have never been given such a thing–my friends are creative, fabulous, and on average pretty tech savvy. After I get over my jealousy though, it does make me think about those fantasy stories where the Maguffin had to be taken to a particular place, or the “lost technology of the Ancients” stories where it’s lost tech instead of magic that serves the same role, and how those are realizable now. Any sufficiently advanced technology, etc. Maybe we’re “the Ancients”, now.

CD Ripping: Done

I have finished1 the ridiculous project of ripping all my previously unripped CDs before the move. This has resulted in the addition of exactly 9175 new MP3 files to the collection–a bump of about 1/3 in the overall size. That seems like a lot. In celebration of that seemingly endless effort being completed allow me to present five tracks that… Read more →


You know, sometimes the right tool for the job makes problems remarkably simple to solve. For a lot of my small computer problems, the right tool is sed. I remember the first time I encountered it, and I estimate it’s saved me around an average of about an hour a week since then–which works out to something like 117 working days.

Making Excuses

I see that the people over at Rotten Tomatoes have compiled a list of the worst reviewed movies so far this millennium. I was pretty worried about how many of these I’d have seen–I’ve seen some pretty dodgy things this decade–but apparently I have only seen four of the 100 on the list. Here are my excuses for those: #79… Read more →


I note with some interest that the winner of this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards in the Stout category is the St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout from McAuslan. Not news to me. I’ll have to look into Hockley Valley Brewing, and that Imperial Stout from Grand River Brewing as well–more reasons to look forward to the Ontario move.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.