Cringely, like Milton, is blind. But Milton was a better writer.

Maybe you’ve wondered, “What happened to Cringely?” Nothing serious: I just stepped being able to read or write. Cataracts in my family hit like a hurricane, coming on suddenly and wth great force. It happened to my handsomer older brother two years ago and now to me. My medical care is through Kaiser, which does great work on such conditions, but it’s a bit like being in the army. First I wasn’t blind enough and then I was suddenly too blind, kicking me up to a slower level of service. I know, it makes no sense at all. In another 10 days I’m told it will all be behind me and I’ll have perfect vision […]

Mineserver Update: We’re not dead yet!

Readers have been clamoring — nay demanding — a Mineserver update, so here it is. The gist of customer complaints is that they feel cheated and under-informed and we’re sorry for that, but please read-on.

This is our 25th update on the Mineserver project. That’s a lot of updates for people who don’t do enough updates. We’ve detailed so far every step and misstep in the project except one, which is coming in the next paragraph. Nothing about those earlier updates has changed or is  incorrect. We’ve learned a lot and we’ve done what we had to do to get to this point.

The major change that has been, to […]

Can Amazon’s Echo Dot Make a Good SIDS Alarm?

It was 15 years ago this week that my son Chase Cringely died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at age 74 days. I wrote about it at the time and there was a great outpouring of support from readers. Back then, before the advent of social media, parents didn’t get a chance to grieve in print the way Mary Alyce and I did. We shed a light on SIDS and, for a couple years, even led to some progress in combating the condition, which still kills about 4,000 American babies each year.

When you lose a child, especially one who dies in your lap, as Chase did with me, […]

My first Seeking Alpha post ran today

IMG_0826 (1)I know many readers are tired of my (too) many columns about IBM. So I won’t be posting the latest one here at all. It’s over on the Seeking Alpha investor blog. You can read it here. I mention the post simply because some readers do care about such things.

The Seeking Alpha post is about IBM earnings and how the company is using old business to prop-up new business and not being at all upfront about what’s really happening.

The Seeking Alpha column is also a complaint about blog posts related to earnings in general because they are often written by people who think they know a lot about financial numbers but clearly know […]

$99 Mineserver: The Devil is in the Details

IMG_0734You may recall my three sons ran a successful Kickstarter campaign last fall for their $99 Mineserver, a multiuser Minecraft server the size of a pack (not a carton) of cigarettes. On the eve of their product finally shipping here’s an update with some lessons for any complex technical project.

At the time we shot the Kickstarter video my kids already had in hand a functional prototype. Everything seen in the video was real and the boys felt that only producing custom cases really stood in the way of shipping. How wrong they were!

First we needed a mobile app to administer the server so we hired an experienced […]