Category Archives: update

first experiment follow-up

I’ve been attempting a “reactive”/”consumptive” reading experiment recently.

The first book I tried it on was the Henry Petroski’s horrid To Engineer is Human (my review). That turned into a failure as I couldn’t stomach his writing, and so “reacting” to it was going to pretty much be an exercise in futility.

So I’ve ditched that book – maybe someone else will not find it so poor a read.

Many of the books I read (and review) I get from my local library. All of which, therefore, are poor candidates for consumptive reading in the sense Ryan Holiday used the term in his blog post.

But as I dove through his writing a bit more, I saw his mention of a “commonplace book“.

“A commonplace book is a central resource or depository for ideas, quotes, anecdotes, observations and information you come across during your life and didactic pursuits. The purpose of the book is to record and organize these gems for later use in your life, in your business, in your writing, speaking or whatever it is that you do.”

Specifically, he was taught how to do one by Robert Greene (author of Mastery, The 48 Laws of Power, etc), and he cites various individuals in history who have maintained them. It’s also something that Roald Dahl mentioned obliquely in his book The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More (one of my favorites by him (PDF)) in “Lucky Break” – namely, that he always keeps something on which to write nearby (a notebook, a scrap of envelope – even the dust on his car bumper) so that whenever an idea strikes him, he can jot it down in case it was good enough to actually write about:

“Sometimes, these little scribbles will stay unused in the notebook for five or even ten years. But the promising ones are always used in the end. And if they show nothing else, they do, I think, demonstrate from what slender threads a children’s book or short story must ultimately be woven. The story builds and expands while you are writing it.”

This got me to thinking about how I might integrate the idea myself – though, of course, in a slightly different way. And that’s where I am progressing to now: instead of “consuming” all the books I read, ones I find interesting I’m taking notes on in a composition book (specifically a quad-ruled one, as those are my favorite). I’ve found so far it’s helped form better reviews. It’s also not the only place I’ll keep those notes – many will end up on this blog. Others will end up on Twitter. Others maybe in email signatures, or Facebook posts, or wherever.

In our amazingly digitized world, writing by hand seems, well, old-fashioned and trite. Or hipster-ish and cool. (Depends on who sees you doing it, I think.) Sometimes I’ve already found my notes being done electronically – via SMS to myself, or draft blog posts, or just a quick Notes session on my laptop.

Anyways, where I’m going with all this is instead of always being a mere passive consumer of writing, I’m trying to be a bit more “thoughtful” about it 🙂

pxe works differently in hpsa 10.x

2 years ago I wrote-up how you can change the default choice for the PXE menu in HP Server Automation. Found out this week that those instructions are not valid if you are running 10.0 (release this past summer).

HP changed how they present their PXE menu with 10.x, and I have filed an RFE (on 18 Dec 2013) with them to get this fixed back to how it was (or provide a solid alternative).

This is one of the times when I’ve ever seen a vendor remove functionality in a product (at least, removed without providing an alternative).

Thanks, HP 😐

thanksgiving 2013

There is much to be thankful for in the Myers family this year. Some of the highlights:

  • movement on the Waiting List
    • we started the year at 67, and are at 31 now
  • work
    • still not thrilled about having be bought-out by a much larger company, but I have a job, it’s a good one, and one I’m still good at
  • church
    • my wife and I aren’t doing Awana full-time this school year, but I have been teaching a Sunday School LIFE Group since April
  • health
    • excepting the passing of one of Christina’s aunts earlier this year after a multi-year battle with cancer, all of our family has been in good health this year

seamless is now avnet

As mentioned a couple weeks ago, Avnet has finalized the purchase of my former employer, Seamless Technologies.

All of STI was brought over “intact” – ie, we’re still a unit, and Avnet purchased us for the people – but it’s very weird to go from such a small company (about 60 people) to such a large one (about 17000).

The last time I rode through an acquisition, it was very bad (HP’s overtake of Opsware in 2007). So far, this one looks a lot better – but, of course, only time will tell.

Hi Avnet 🙂