RogerBW's Blog

Dear 3D print customers, please just use OpenSCAD 24 March 2017 - 2 comments

My customers on 3dhubs use a variety of software packages to build the models they send me; in theory, anything that produces files in obj or stl format will work. Some are definitely better than others.

Farewell to systemd 22 May 2016 - 6 comments

I tried to give it a fair shake. Really I did. But systemd has now annoyed me to the point where I've been removing it from the systems for which I'm responsible and bringing back sysvinit.

More Internet of Things 09 April 2016 - 3 comments

A recent news item on Revolv home hubs made me want to revisit my feelings on the Internet of Things.

Why not a root shell? 09 February 2016 - 3 comments

Many modern Linux systems assume that you will never have a root shell. Instead, you are expected to prepend "sudo" to every root-type command.

Internet of Things 28 December 2015 - 4 comments

This has been a year when "Internet of Things" devices became relatively mainstream. Oh dear.

A utopian vision for electric cars 29 October 2015 - 2 comments

I have an idea for a relatively simple change which would remove some of my objections to the use of electric cars. This is less blatantly utopian than the last one.

A utopian vision for transport 19 September 2015 - 7 comments

Driverless cars, quite apart from privacy concerns, are solving the wrong problem. Here's what I want to build to replace the majority of transport infrastructure. It is unabashedly utopian.

The Tournament Mentality in Gaming 25 June 2015 - 4 comments

There's a certain mentality in games (particularly wargames, but others too) which seems to be associated with tournament play.

The Wreck of the Liberal Democrats 11 June 2015 - 3 comments

The obvious story of woe of the recent General Election in the UK is that of the Liberal Democrats, who lost 66% of their vote share and 85% of their parliamentary seats compared with five years ago, leaving them about as much of a political force as the DUP. What went wrong?

Does Free Content Drive Out Good? 28 May 2015 - 4 comments

Gresham's Law famously states that "bad money drives out good": if there are two currencies available, people will tend to hoard the one they trust and spend the one they don't. I think there's a different but allied process going on with items that are "good enough" driving out of the market ones that are good.

Who Is David Fitton? 07 May 2015 - 5 comments

The Wycombe parliamentary constituency has been Conservative since 1951. It has often had candidates from obscure parties, but since 2001 there's been an Independent: one David Fitton.

Ruining My Childhood 11 March 2015 - 5 comments

It has become fashionable to claim that a remake or reinvention of a favourite book, film or whatever from when one was young "ruined my childhood". And inevitably it has also become fashionable to dismiss such overblown nonsense. I think there is potential for a useful middle way.

A Modest Proposal About Numbers 12 February 2015 - 8 comments

A small change to our numbering system would make daily use of numbers remarkably easier.

The RogerBW Manifesto (2015 edition) 20 January 2015 - 13 comments

It's election season here in the UK – for the first time, since we've moved to fixed-term Parliaments, a protracted American-style election season rather than a few short weeks. These are the things I'd try to do if anyone were daft enough to put me in charge; they're also promises that would encourage me to vote for people who made them.

Thanks, Google! 20 December 2014 - 1 comment

It was really useful to be able to plot arbitrary data onto a zoomable map. The only service to offer this was Google Maps; indeed, it was the last thing for which I was using any Google service.

Why chain hotels don't need to try 19 December 2014 - 2 comments

Having recently had a truly appalling meal at a hotel that rhymes with Hark Hinn Hottingham, and heard more horror stories from people who were actually staying there, I thought about hotels' incentives to make things pleasant for their customers… and couldn't come up with any.

How accounting rules distort real life 22 November 2014

Accounting rules have perverse effects on real life. Here's an example dear to my heart.

Con Crud, Air Conditioning, and Legionnaire's Disease 16 October 2014 - 5 comments

Why does every large convention now seem to have an associated disease, the "con crud", generally a respiratory tract infection?

The Origins of Homœopathy 11 July 2014

Homœopathy has some very strange ideas. But where did it actually come from?

Why I have no smartphone 21 May 2014 - 4 comments

A reader expressed surprise that I don't use a smartphone.

Have you opted out of yet? 20 January 2014

(Readers not in England, if any, please ignore.)

Have you even heard of

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