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April 20, 2012

Turning off the baby monitors

Our baby monitors beep annoyingly when they can’t establish a connection to the base units in the girls’ rooms. Sometimes turning them off and back on again will re-establish a connection, but last night I turned off the one for the yellow room because it wouldn’t pick the connection back up.

This morning I discovered the reason: the cord for the base unit runs under the crib and plugs into an outlet in the wall the crib sits against. The plug had been pulled out just enough to shut off the base unit.

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t intentionally unplugged, but it reminded me of all the questions I would see in security forums about how to limit kids’ internet access. The conventional wisdom was that when the kids were smart enough to get around your filter, you should just shut it down rather than escalate. Now I’m wondering if it’s time to turn off the baby monitors now that at least one of the girls is capable of shutting hers off on her own, or if I should just plug it in to a socket she can’t reach from the crib.

Posted by pjm at 2:25 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2012

Found money 2012

(If you’re interested in previous reports: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006.)

As I suggested two years ago, found money has been way down since we moved. So much so that last year I didn’t bother to count the bin. This year’s tally represents two years and is still the lowest since I started: $17.47.

  • Four dollar bills. I don’t remember where I found these, but they were all together, new and crisp and very tightly folded together.
  • 21 quarters ($5.25), 50 dimes, 23 nickels, 207 pennies. Needless to say this is the lowest counts of all of these since I started keeping track.
  • 0.32 CDN (not included in the total), including three dimes. Given that the two-year span included over a week spent in Moncton, this is unsurprising.
  • 5 centavos from Argentina. No idea where this came from.
  • One very unidentified slug with two deep parallel (but off-center) grooves in one otherwise-blank side, and a baseball batter on the other side. Probably a token from some kind of arcade.

I’m still collecting, but I must admit the numbers here are discouraging.

Posted by pjm at 1:25 PM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2012

"Performant" is not a word

It’s common in the tech sector to come across people who don’t write terribly well. In many cases, it’s because English isn’t their first language, and they should be congratulated for writing it as well as they do, but over and over I find people without that excuse who still can’t effectively explain what they do. (Hint: this is useful when it comes time to convince other people to pay them to do it.)

My favorite example in recent years has been the fake word “performant”. This word is used as an adjective applied to something which performs well, i.e. runs quickly or efficiently. But it’s not a word; it’s just jargon, most often used either by people who want to sound knowledgeable or people who simply don’t know any better. In fact, because it usually forces the sentence into a less active form (“The framework is performant” rather than “The framework performs well”) it actually makes the point weaker.

If you want to say something performs well, say it, don’t obscure it with silly jargon.

Posted by pjm at 7:49 AM | Comments (0)