Scribbles, &c.

Some stuff is still amazing

I’ve been in tech for my entire life. I’m old enough to remember the Apple II rolled into the classroom on a cart for Computer Class. Professionally, I’ve been involved in it long enough to see some technologies reappear under new names, usually during sales presentations. “Workflow” showed up in the late 90s, then slipped off the radar screen long enough to become “Business Rules Engines” a decade or so later, a solution still very much in search of a problem. Most of the stuff I’ve seen has eventually failed to live up to its hype, even as the less attractive, less glamorous stuff continues to deliver day in and day out.

Even so, I’ve generally had a ball over the years, turning a hobby into an actual job that’s provided pretty well for me and my family. It would be easy to affect a sort of jaded Luddism, but frankly, there have been some things in the last year that leave me as slack-jawed as the the first day Mrs. Mingledorff. Here are five of them.

  1. Pihole, which scrubs so much crud from the average web-browsing experience that going without it is just a hard “no.” Like a bidet, once you’ve gotten used to it, there’s simply no going back.

  2. Alexa, Siri, LLMs, and generative AI are finally where the science fiction computers of my childhood and adolescence were supposed to be. Still waiting on the Orbital Marriott Hotel, though.

  3. Tailscale is one of the simplest things I’ve ever set up. I’m still looking at the config, wondering if I’ve gotten something wrong somehow, but no, it was really that easy to replace my wireguard setup for VPN connectivity.

  4. We’ve had a Chevy Bolt EUV for a couple of years, and it still sounds like the future every time I drive someplace. It’s a shame that GM is discontinuing Car Play in future models.

  5. Wireless charging is, let’s face it, pretty cool. it looks like magic. I wish everything supported it.