Panning for bits of excellence in the river of my mind …

A Nostalgic Look at The Last Blockbuster

Browsing Netflix the other day for something a little different, I found a documentary about The Last Blockbuster video store which is located in Bend, Oregon and run by a lady named Sandi Harding who claims to have employed just about every teenager in town at one point or another.

The film gives a great overview of how Blockbuster came to be and eventually failed as the brick-and-mortar video rental market came and went. I think the one quote that made the movie for me was from Kevin Smith – “We got to see a corporation built up during our lifetime. We also got to see a corporation die.”

This is probably a rite of passage of some kind for every generation, or at least the ones in the last couple centuries. Technologies and trends come and go faster and faster with each generation and, at a certain age, you realize that things that weren’t even around when you were a kid are now obsolete.

My first experience with this was the fax machine. I remember the first commercials for them back around 1980 and thought they looked interesting. I used them quite a bit in one of my first jobs in the late 80s as we would fax daily records between offices in different parts of the country. Obsolescence does not mean that something has disappeared so they’re still around, especially in medical offices from what I understand, but they’re rapidly approaching the status that the old TELEX machine was at when I was at that job in ’89.

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More Access!

I’ve finally dusted off Camtasia and started making YouTube videos again. I actually put together a (more or less) complete Microsoft Access course last year and posted it on Udemy and Teachable. Then I got bogged down in some non-technical stuff and lost the momentum and some of my nerve.

It’s surprisingly hard for me to sit down and narrate a how-to video in the privacy of my own home and with the benefits of a full editing suite that actually makes me sound like a professional. There’s just a certain anxiety that pops up when I know that I have to sync intelligent commentary with the programming and design actions I’m performing on-screen. With practice, though, it gets easier … as long as I keep doing it regularly.

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The game I didn’t know I was looking for …

Back in November, I was flipping channels on YouTube and came across a video from Let’s Game it Out. This is a channel run by a guy named Josh who enjoys trying out new games, seeing how badly he can break the rules of the game (and often the frame-rate) and making videos about it with lots of snarky commentary. I see absolutely nothing but good things in that combination and, as a programmer, I have a healthy amount of grudging respect for the idea of testing software to destruction.

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Dude … ads? Really??

I know, it’s a brand new blog and I already have Amazon ads on here. All I can say is, it’s a habit. I’ve been an Amazon affiliate for many years now and the ads have not only paid for my hosting and domains, I’ve managed to eke out a decent profit each year. It’s nothing that would pay the bills but it’s better than I’ve gotten from any bank.

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Give me a minute while I get setup here …

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

For some reason, you pointed your browser at AndrewComeau.net. Maybe you have the same name as I do, you hoped the domain was free and found out it wasn’t. Sorry about that …

This is my latest writing project and the tagline, which might change by the time you read this, pretty much sums it up. A lot of people panned for gold over the years. Most came up empty …

… but a few got lucky.