Like so many others, I have found Twitter a simultaneously fantastic and mind-numbing portion of the internet. For every good thing (extremely rapid notifications for breaking news, lots of good links from friends), there’s an equal and opposite bad thing (inane trending topics, spam bots). While most of these are universally shared, there’s one particular quirk that is not common.
Twitter makes it easy to reference other users – sticking an @ symbol in front of their name is considered a “mention” and most clients will flag this as relevant to the interests of those mentioned. This is theoretically good, but in practice a number of things become clear:
- With characters at a premium, many people can’t be bothered to type out full user names.
- Because a lot of people are using cell phones to post to Twitter, the habit of heavy SMS users to shorthand text continues here.
- Because a lot of people don’t understand how mentions work, they tend to throw @ symbols wherever they feel like, or spaces in the middle of user names.
What this adds up to: if you were on the Twitter train early enough to get what could be called a stem username – one that might be used at the beginning of other user names – you may be subjected to mentions not intended for you.
There are a lot of Remy’s on Twitter, and I get a lot of mentions for them. I’ve taken to answering them on a Tumblr blog devoted specifically to such endeavors.
Sighing frustration + helpful cheerfulness + Twitter anthropology = Wrong Remy. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.
(This is one of two side projects I’ll be introducing this week.)
When we last spoke, I asked you WHAT CAUSED MY IMAC TO FAIL?
For the sake of compiling the responses (as some came in via other channels), they included:
Guesses: 1. Unseated memory (though they would have replaced that?) 2. Bad power supply 12V rail
Richard “PkerUNO” Whittaker:
I’m not replying until you specify how many Picarats this is worth.
And the fact that you didn’t mention matchsteeks is highly suspicious!
Hmm… I’m going to go with… SATA cable?
Adam “rampage” Meltzer:
So, multiple hard drives, multiple different media from multiple different sources. So, it’s not the CD drive, and not the hard drive.
We already have 12V rail and SATA cable as possibilities. What about the power cable for the HDD?
Sometimes it’s the simple things. I remember when I worked at Sun in the mid 1990s, the SPARC Stations of that vintage wouldn’t boot if there was no keyboard connected. Made for a troubleshooting nightmare when trying to figure out why the damn machine wouldn’t power on.
Ryan “Lee” Short:
I think Major Nelson snuck into your iMac through the combined power of Live Anywhere and magic…that, or something entirely too simple like a loose jumper or something…
My Sunday afternoons used to have a twisted chain of logic:
My family would pile into the back of the car and my parents would drive wherever they felt like around the Finger Lakes. This was done in the name of getting out of the house and exploring, I suppose.
As it was the only consistent programming across that region of New York – because there were multiple stations all airing the same program – NPR’s lineup would be the soundtrack of the day. This would mean Car Talk, followed by Prairie Home Companion, followed by Thistle & Shamrock. (These are generally not shows that pre-teens and teenagers enjoy.)
With this in mind, the only part of the radio I would not tune out was a short section of Car Talk entitled The Puzzler, where a riddle having nothing (or little) to do with cars would be thrown at the listeners. Being the sort of kid who thrived on logic puzzles and riddles (I purchased a copy of Raymond Smullyan’s WHAT IS THE NAME OF THIS BOOK? when I was 14), I enjoyed the chance to stretch my brain a little shortly before Garrison Keillor’s dulcet tones would shut it down.
As my mom has pointed out to me that it’s been over a month since my last blog post, I figured I would turn the major reason why I’ve been away from writing into a computer nerd version of The Puzzler. Feel free to take a stab at this in the comments or via email – I’ll reveal the answer once someone gets it correct. (If I’ve already told you the answer, don’t spoil it for everyone else.)