Jun 162014

Why when I push the power-on button does my Dell XPS 1530 display nothing on the screen, make a noise of the HDD going, have the caps lock and scroll lock lights on and the num lock flashing – and then not do anything but hum at me ?


(Yes, I have tried pushing F12 on startup, and power-on plus Function, and toggling the media-centre button, and asking Aunty Google)

Jun 152014

A farmer has to cross a river. She has on her side a fox, a hen and a bucket of corn. She has a boat that will only take herself and one other item. If she leaves the fox with the hen, the fox will eat the hen. If she leaves the hen with the corn, the hen will eat the corn.

How many variations of this puzzle are circulating, with each person telling it being bewildered by the other versions ?

One of my kid’s friends told me it is a goat, a wolf and a cabbage. I always thought the hen was a goose. And the bucket of corn was a sack of wheat. Wikipedia thinks they are a fox, goose and a bag of beans . Beans????

Personally, I like Randall Monroe’s solution:



Munroe, R. (n.d.). xkcd: Logic Boat. xkcd:a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language. Retrieved from http://xkcd.com/1134/


Jun 142014

I have long contended that a room full of books is simply a closet but an empty room with a librarian in it is a library


Lankes, R. D. (2011). The atlas of new librarianship. Cambridge (Mass.); London; [Chicago]: MIT Press ; Association of College & Research Libraries. p.14



Jun 132014

Given the cost of textbooks, would it be too costly or superfluous if I made students in my tech unit buy a Kano, assemble it and then do some of the coding exercises ?

(Mine ships in the first lot, leaving the warehouse on 27 June. I’m looking forward to putting it all together)


Jun 112014

What do physicist Stephen Hawking and director of engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil, have in common ?


˙ 2-2-4 ɟo sɹǝqɯnu ɥʇɐqqɐs-uoɔɐq-sopɹǝ ǝʌɐɥ ɥʇoq ʎǝɥʇ :ɹǝʍsuɐ


For more  (and the factette about Hawking and Kurzeil) see the Wikipedia entry on Erdos numbers or the Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath site .

Jun 092014

I’ve been a loyal customer of bluehost.com for eight years now.

If I renew my account hosting with them for one year, then it will cost me USD9.99 per month. For 3 years that would be USD6.99 per annum.

New accounts can get hosting for USD4.95 per year.

If I take advantage of a special members’ offer then I can get a second account for USD1.67 per month.

Here is the kicker. I could very easily take advantage of either the new account or member’s offer and set up a new account with a dummy domain, move my files from my current account to the new account, point my current domains to the new account, close my existing account and carry on as usual…. Which would take an afternoon that I do not have and collywobbles about whether it would all work that I do not want…

Where is the customer service in that ?