Monthly Archive for January, 2005

Review: The Rivals by The Huntington Theatre Company

I guess I enjoyed the Huntington's production of The Rivals about as
much as someone 250 years from now will enjoy watching one of our
sitcoms. Terry Byrne, who reviewed it for the Herald, hit it on the
head when she wrote

And really, who cares about the story line when
Martin is able to get his actors to create believable characters who
never descend to caricature, no matter how silly they may act? At the
head of this crowd are Will LeBow as the hot-tempered Sir Anthony
Absolute and Mary Louise Wilson as the elegantly nutty Mrs. Malaprop.

LeBow in particular is, as usual, pitch perfect in gesture, pitch, and
delivery. But there isn't a weak link in the cast. The set is
absolutely beautiful and the costumes are technicolor and brilliant
(except Julia's orange gloves and shoes just don't look right).

Yet, I still do care about the story line. Surely it's not too much to ask for both a good story and good acting.


I was just re-reading Kathleen Gilroy's excerpt of John Udell's column, The Network is the Blog and thinking about it in terms of the scale-free networks described in Linked, which I just finished reading.

In his chapter “Achilles' Heel” Barab├ísi describes the interplay
between robustness and vulnerability. What does robustness under
failure and vulnerability under attack mean for a blog network? It
means that the hubs are extremely important, especially when there are
very few of them. If we are cultivating a blog network, we need to be
especially encouraging and protective of the hubs.

Hard drive recovery

I was clearing comment spam off of Otter Group's blogs the other day
when I noticed one from Disaster Recovery Group advertising their
ability to rescue data from crashed hard drives. This reminded me that
my laptop's hard drive crashed last October and has been sitting on my
desk since then. I'd managed to rescue all of my Otter Group data
(because I back it up religiously) but I'm much more lax about backing
up my personal data and hadn't done it in about a month. This wouldn't
have been a major disaster but then I discovered that my backup CD was
unreadable and that years of personal data was gone – everything from
Abigail's first once-upon-a-time stories that she dictated from age 2
to spreadsheets of the electrical circuits in our house.

After spending hours on the phone running diagnostics and trying to get the drive to boot, Dell tech support told me it was futile and that I should just give up. They sent me a new drive the next day.

I was supposed to send the old one back to Dell but I had been trying
to decide whether to spend lots of money on a data recovery service or
just accept the loss. A local recovery service had quoted me $750

I was afraid to click through the comment spam to Disaster Recovery
Group but I did a web search and visited their web site and they seemed
completely legitimate. I requested a quote and they responded promptly
offering a free estimate and recovery fees of $250-$2500. I asked them
about the spam and they apologized and said they didn't know who sent
it but that it came from Russia or South America.

While waiting for the quote from Disaster Recovery Group I did some
more Googling and followed an ad at the top of the search results page
to Higher Ground Software. They sell a $70 piece of software called Hard Drive Mechanic:

Before you spend hundreds or even thousands of
dollars, try The Hard Drive Mechanic FIRST.
Since 1997 The Hard Drive Mechanic has been
making people like you an expert just long
enough to fix your crashed PC.

It offered a money back guarantee so I figured I had nothing to lose.
It took me about an hour to download, create a boot disk, swap the old
drive back in and run Hard Drive Mechanic following the brief but very
clear instructions and…it worked! Windows started and I recovered

Too bad Dell didn't recommend this or offer something like it. It's got
to be cheaper for them than hours of tech support and a new hard drive.

A look back at media history from 2014

Here's something thought provoking, a look back from 2014 at where google and amazon are headed


I downloaded iPodder (The Otter Group's Andrew Grumet is one of the develpers) and downloaded the first podcast to my iPod: Amy Gahran's Contentious podcast on

How Organizations can Get Human and Credible with Blogs, Podcasts, and Journalism

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