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Month: December 2004 (Page 1 of 2)

The Graphing Calculator Story.

Ron Avitzur got laid off from his job as a software consultant at Apple in 1993. But he refused to give up on his project, so he just kept coming in and working on it. Eventually he got the software–Apple’s Graphing Calculator–QA’d, translated into 20 languages, and bundled into shipping Macs, all without actually being on the Apple payroll.… Read the rest

Snowflake museum.

Wm. A. Bentley snowflakeWilliam Alwyn Bentley spent four decades around the turn of the century — the last century — photographing snowflakes. He worked in snowstorms, collecting flakes on a blackboard and then carefully transferring them to microscope slides with a splinter of wood, holding his breath while photographing so as not to melt the flake.… Read the rest


U. Pittsburgh Linguist Scott Kiesling has researched how young Americans use the word “dude:”

… the four-letter word has many uses: in greetings (“What’s up, dude?”); as an exclamation (“Whoa, Dude!”); commiseration (“Dude, I’m so sorry.”); to one-up someone (“That’s so lame, dude.”);

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Baggertransport 2001.

Scot’s blog turned me on to the Baggertransport 2001, an enormous, countryside-devouring, strip-mining behemoth. The photo gallery is awesome–picture after picture of the metal monster roaming the German countryside, terrorizing highways and houses and attracting throngs of awed peasants Germans. [updated 10/2/2009 with new photo gallery link]… Read the rest

Mr. Leatherman.

Yesterday I interviewed Tim Leatherman, the guy who invented Leatherman tools. Yes, there really is a Mr. Leatherman! He is still running his company, based in Portland, OR. He’s a very down to earth guy, and a really determined inventor–it took him 3 years to build the first prototype and another 5 years to get the first customer.… Read the rest

Fisher FVD-C1 Pocket CameraCorder

The Fisher FVD-C1 Pocket CameraCorder’s unusual shape tips you off that something went terribly wrong in the design studio at Sanyo (Fisher’s parent company). The concept is good: Pair a decent 3.2-megapixel still camera with the ability to take MPEG-4 compressed videos, add sound recording and a friendly female voice to tell you what’s going on.… Read the rest

Panasonic SV-AV100 D-snap

Panasonic SV-AV100 D-snapA little thicker than a box of Altoids, the D-snap packs video recording and still-photo capabilities into a package small enough to fit in a pants pocket or behind a potted plant. Despite its size, the D-snap takes remarkably good videos — comparable to, or even slightly better than, the full-size DVD camcorders here — and its LCD is actually no smaller than that of most full-size camcorders.… Read the rest

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