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Great Lakes Geek Show!

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Happy Palindrome Week
Geek Fun

Check out the dates of this week - Palindrome Week. Monday is April 14, 2014 or 4-14-14. It's a palindrome!

Try it with the other days - 4-15-14, 4-16-14, 4-17-14, 4-18-14 and finally 4-19-14.

What fun

Tech Timeline
Geek History

The Great Lakes Geek has been working on a Tech Timeline of important dates in the region's tech history.

For example, Cindy and Jim Cookinham started a publication in late 1981 called IPCO INFO. It was the first publication for the IBM PC.

On May 19, 1997 programmer John Hill started Aztek.

And so on.

So if you have a milestone that should be added to the Tech Timeline, let us know.

 Featured Show
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson - Sister City relationships

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson met with leaders of various Asian communities at the office of Margaret Wong last Thursday to discuss issues of importance to them.

Dr. Fukuo Hashimoto, President of Japanese Association of Northern Ohio, JANO, asked a question concerned the establishment of a Sister City relationship with Japan. Mayor Jackson said that he wants Sister City relationships to be more than ceremonial - they need to have a real value and be between comparable cities.

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Other Current Items
Microsoft offers $100 gift card
Geek News

This isn't the same as those e-mails that claim Bill Gates will buy you something.

After April 8th Windows XP support is gone so Microsoft is offering Windows XP customers up to $100 in credit when they buy a new computer running Windows 8.1 from either its online store or its retail outlets. The deal includes 90 days of free technical support.

The $100 credit applies to computers and laptops ranging from $599 to $2,299. The promotion lasts through June 15 and is available only to customers who can verify that they are currently using a Windows XP machine.

Details at the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft releases Source Code
Geek News

Don't get too excited. It's the source code to MS DOS1.1 and 2.0 and Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a.

Microsoft partnered with the Computer History Museum in San Jose on the project and is releasing the code "to help future generations of technologists better understand the roots of personal computing."

For younger techies the idea that the entire DOS 1.1 operating system loaded and ran in only 12k bytes of memory is unbelievable. That's not a typo - 12k.

Tight code like that is one of the reasons for the famous quote (not really from him actually) by Bill Gates that "640K ought to be enough for anybody."

What the Great Lakes Geek is reading
Geek Book

The Great Lakes Geek just finished reading The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics

The author (cartoonist Grady Klein) wrote two volumes of The Cartoon Introduction to Economics with the intent to make a potentially dry topic, palatable and even fun. He tries it again here with The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics.

I would guess that the audience for the book is youngsters who are interested in math, science and learning beyond their age and school coursework or older students who are struggling with their Intro to Stats course and need the extra help.

Read the Great Lakes Geek review of The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics

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NASA Earthrise - 45th Anniversary
Geek Space

This video shows how the world's most famous photo actually got captured and how the 3 astronauts had to scramble to get color film in the camera and roll the module. Very cool.

Virtual Presence Device
Geek Gadget

If you think that Virtual Presence Devices are just for TV shows like the Big Bang (remember when Sheldon's VPD approached Steve Wozniak in the restaurant?) think again.

At the induction of the new officers for the Organization of Chinese American Cleveland Chapter on Saturday February 8, 2014 one of the officers could not be there. But Debbie Yue was able to attend and be sworn in via a VPD - basically a tablet on a rolling tripod with a Skype session loaded. It didn't move on its own (Johnny Wu pushed it) but it was still very cool.

Debbie Yue on the VPD

Debbie Yue on the VPD

Side view of the VPD

Side view of the VPD

Real and virtual OCAGC board members

Real and virtual OCAGC board members

Swearing in

Real Harold Hom and Virtual Debbie Yue

Real Harold Hom and Virtual Debbie Yue

Bill Gates Book List
Geek Reads

Several of you asked about the Bill Gates recommended reading list from Wired Magazine that was referenced below.

What I found interesting is that when I went to Amazon to order Feynman's Tips on Physics I noticed the section that Amazon calls "People who bought his book also bought…"

I expected to see other Physics books but what I saw was books from Gates' reading list such as Tap Dancing to Work and other books that had nothing to do with Physics. So obviously the Great Lakes Geek is not alone in trying to read what Bill Gates reads.

Here is the list that Bill Gates titled "Here Are the Books I Read When Out on the Road"

  1. Feynman's Tips on Physics - A short companion book to Richard Feynman's classic Lectures on Physics. Always worthwhile to return to the feet of the master.
  2. The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics - Bought this to use with one of my kids. Helpful in explaining a complicated subject to a teenager.
  3. Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel - I don't read a lot of fiction, but I thought this was an interesting study of the moral implications of technology. Will technology contribute to everyone's well-being or just make people more narcissistic?
  4. The Great Courses (DVD) - I left college early, but I'm probably the world's biggest consumer of academic courses online and on disc. Lately I've been enjoying Understanding the Secrets of Human Perception and Oceanography: Exploring Earth's Final Wilderness. Neil deGrasse Tyson's lectures on astrophysics, My Favorite Universe, are also really compelling.
  5. The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies? - I'm a big Jared Diamond fan; I invited people to read this with me last summer.
  6. Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffet on Practically Everything - Any compilation of Warren Buffett's wisdom should be kept close at all times. Financial journalist Carol Loomis gathers some of his best here.
  7. The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal - I read this to prepare for a family vacation to Panama. It's pure McCullough: epic drama, political intrigue, heartbreaking defeats, and eventual triumph.
  8. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined - One of the most important books I've read. Steven Pinker demonstrates how the world evolved to be far less violent. Counterintuitive, if you watch the news, but true.

Microsoft System Center
Geek Freebie

The second title in the new series of free ebooks from Microsoft Press on System Center 2012 is now available. Microsoft System Center: Configuration Manager Field Experience provides Configuration Manager administrators with helpful and tested real-world guidance from consultants and product experts at Microsoft.

The target audience for this book is administrators who have at least three years experienced working with previous versions of Configuration Manager and who have begun deploying and using Configuration Manager 2012 in their environment.

Download a pdf of the eBook for free

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Geek Domain Names

Order Domain Names, e-mail accounts, web hosting, SSL certs and the usual menu of Internet items for great prices at Great Lakes Geek Domains. Follow the link at the bottom of the nav bar (under search) or click to visit

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Certified Partner News
Magnum News

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This allows us to offer clients the best-of-breed products and services that Kroll Ontrack provides to recover your lost data.

NOTE: Tampering with media information may result in irreversible damage. Contact us right away when you have data loss to maximize the chances to recover your data.

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Desktops, Servers and Notebooks - Oh My!
Geek Store

Need new hardware? Why pay extra for those expensive name brands?

Check out our on-line hardware store and browse pre-configured systems or tweak the configuration options yourself and get instant pricing.

We'll ship the custom built system right to your door. Take a look at the Magnum Computers Webstore

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Dan Hanson, the Great Lakes Geek

Great Lakes Geek

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