November 2021

Does it matter if amateur radio dies out?

In this age of instant, world-wide communications, does it matter if a hundred year-old radio culture fades away?

Categories: science and technology

Why the Linux console is so awesome

We've all gotten so used to graphical desktops that we're losing sight of how much can be accomplished on Linux using only a console. This is a shame, because efficient console-only operation is possible on a computer that would otherwise be fit only for landfill, and on modern high-efficiency devices with limited computing power.

Categories: Linux

Samsung DeX -- the good, the bad, and the ugly

The advantages and disadvantages of Samsung DeX on an Android cellphone, compared with a desktop or laptop computer.

Categories: general computing

An overview of finite fields

This article describes the concepts of finite fields, from the ground up, to a level at which it is possible to understand modern encryption algorithms. I assume only a high-school understanding of math.

Categories: mathematics

Homeopathy: flushing science down the lavatory

My purpose in this article is not to explain that homeopathy doesn't work -- for all I know it might -- but that widespread acceptance of homeopathy is damaging to the scientific enterprise, and ultimately to society. I will also make the suggestion that the increased interest in homeopathy, and in other forms of alternative medicine, is a reaction to a dissatisfaction with modern medical practice, rather than a conviction that homeopathy is actually efficacious.

Categories: science and technology, snake oil

A very brief overview of Kotlin for Java developers

Kotlin is a Java-compatible programming language that has increased in popularity very quickly over the last few years. This article provides the briefest of overviews, for experienced Java developers who might be considering using Kotlin.

Categories: software development, Java

Making an 8x32 LED auxiliary display with a USB interface, from an LED matrix and a Raspberry Pi pico

A specific application of the Pico7219 library that I described in an earlier article.

Categories: embedded computing, Pico, electronics