Big Picture: Remembering September 11th

Yesterday was Friday, September the 11th. Prior to 2001, this was just another day. Some people celebrated their birthdays on this day. Just like a good friend of ours with whom we shared a great evening and dinner last night to celebrate his birthday, on September the 11th.

As I said, before 2001 this was, for most, just another day of the 365 days we go through from one year to the next. But on that fateful day of September the 11th back in 2001 the world changed. Not just the world but the world of many people’s lives and those of the families they left behind.

It was a day I won’t forget, as many others, even though I didn’t lose anyone close to me or someone I knew. It’s amazing how a traumatic experience can go either one of two ways. You either build up a mental block about the event and never conciously recall the event or any details thereof, or you remember the details vividly, like it just happened.

I still remember I was working at home, in London, and I happened to have Sky News on  and there was a sudden panic in the news room with breaking news and it turned to footage of one of the World Trade centre towers billowing with smoke. Then there was replayed footage of a passenger airliner crashing right into one of the towers.

Without skipping a beat Boston.com’s Big Picture reminds us with striking photographs of that fateful day. Take a look and remember with me.

Eight years after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, we remember and here, take a look back, and a look at the present. This year’s remembrance is emphasizing volunteerism and service, honoring the private citizens that volunteered after the attacks and encouraging the observance of the anniversary to be a day of service. Construction at Ground Zero, the site of the former twin towers, is years behind because of construction delays, design disputes and litigation involving developers, state and local officials and insurance companies. At this point, One World Trade Center (formerly the Freedom Tower), the 120-story anchor building on the site, is scheduled for a 2013 completion. (38 photos total) – source Boston.com Big Picture

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The south tower of New York's World Trade Center collapses Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

VOTD: 10 drugs not to do while driving

Here’s a funny German video about the 10 drugs not to do while driving. It’s all in German, but you should be able to get the message. Here’s the list anyway:

  1. Heroin
  2. Hashish
  3. LSD
  4. Cocaine
  5. Alcohol
  6. Valium
  7. Ecstacy
  8. Glue
  9. Absinthe
  10. All of them

Well, okay, it wasn’t 10 different drugs, just go with it, okay? While the video is funny – drugs are a serious thing – don’t get involved. [via Baldricman]

Happy Birthday Google Chrome

It seems to be a week for birthdays this week. First the Internet turned 40, and now the Google Chrome browser, which I’ve blogged about a number of times already, is a year old. I raved about it when it was just released and today it’s still my default browser of choice, at home and at work.

The team at Lifehacker have put together a nice little roadmap of the last year from Google Chrome’s release to the public and where it stands today.

Happy Birthday, Google Chrome!

Happy 40th, Internet!

Forty years ago, today the first bits of data were sent between a computer and what we today know as a router, over a data cable. One month after that the “Internet” uttered it’s first words, well, word since only the letters L and O (part of the intended LOGIN message) were sent before the system FAILed.

That was the Internet’s “big bang” that started it all. Had they not been successful on that day, would we have such an inter-connected world as we do today? The way the Internet has grown today and the multitude of things that happen we forget (or some simply just don’t know) that it’s all down to tiny little “gates” opening and closing letting through electricity or not, representing the 1’s and 0’s of the data we send and receive.

UCLA’s Leonard Kleinrock explains, in the video below, what they did on September 2nd, 1969 and in the following 3 months thereafter. [via Boing Boing]

Computer Troubleshooting Guide

So, down under, here in the Southern hemisphere, it’s the first day of Spring, although looking outside the office windows at the dark and gloomy day and remembering the drive into work this morning through rain, one wonders if the powers that be are playing a cruel joke on us.

Anyway, I digress, but sometimes on days just like this one things go wrong, with either your own or a family member’s computer and since you’re probably (like me) one of those in the family or circle of friends that knows more about computers than the rest, you’re the one they come to.

I’ve been working with computers for about 24 years now and yet you still find times where you’re completely stumped as to what the problem could be and either give up, throw it out, or find an even smarter tech-savvy person to help you out.

As long as the computer boots into the operating system and has an Internet connection (or you have another Internet enabled and working machine to use) you can probably find helpful answers by Googling the problem, as demonstrated by the following XKCD comic.

tech_support_cheat_sheet

But sometimes you don’t have a separate machine or Internet connectivity or Google just doesn’t come up with the right answer. Or maybe you’re fed up at reinstalling the OS over and over again, to no avail.

Well, today on Boing Boing they posted a diagnostic flowchart (well, a set of 8 of them) to help you fault-find computer hardware/software related problems. For most of us who’ve been working with computers for so long a lot of these are part of our own fault-finding processes but it’s still a handy guide to keep and refer to.

video-thumb-flowchart

Foner Books has a set of interactive flowcharts that can be found here which allow you to click on the various steps to take you to the correct next step/flowchart to help guide you through the process of troubleshooting. There’s even a 30″ x 30″ printable poster you can download here. Or a handy PDF e-Book for you to download and keep here.