Knowing Where to Put The X

There was a large company, with many complex machines. Bob, the senior engineer, retired. They gave him a retirement party and allowed him to purchase a gold watch. (Companies used to give a gold watch at retirement, but they don't any longer.)

Six months after Bob retired, one of the old machines broke. None of the new engineers could fix it. They all said, "Only Bob can fix this generation of machine."

OneNote 2016 Quick Notes Is Empty and Shows Loading Please Wait

I upgraded from OneNote 2013 to 2016. The "Quick Notes" pseudo-notebook (the Quick Notes icon at the bottom of the list of open notebooks) came up empty, showing "Loading... Please Wait" -- forever. Bummer.

Ubuntu Guest With Mouse Latency Under VMware Player

Mouse performance is poor when I'm running an Ubuntu 16.4 guest in a VMware Player VM. The mouse periodically hangs for a second or two when I move it around the guest. The latency is a major annoyance.

I found this to be relevant.

What I Do for a Living

I'm often asked, "What's your job?" The short answer is that I fix things for AT&T. The longer answer is:

I'm like a prosecuting attorney and a judge, for complex computer systems.

For complex IT systems, involving load balancers, web servers, application servers, inter-application communication via sockets/web services/message queues, databases, SANs, proxy servers, security appliances:

The Monte Hall Problem

I was struggling to understand the Monte Hall problem. This explanation helped.

I think the confusion is between dependent and independent probability. Ironically, I dropped my first course in Statistics because the prof was confusing the two.

Here's the explanation that makes sense to me:

LaTeX Crib Notes

Description Markup Example
newline \\
exponent ^ \( x^2 \)
union \cup \( \cup \)
intersection \cap \( \cap \)
space ~
tilde '\sim' \( \sim \)

Why I Switched to Notepad++

I had a million Notepad files open, with unsaved to-do items, meeting notes, etc.

My employer pushed a mandatory update with a mandatory reboot, while I was out of the room. I lost all those Notepads.

Notepad++ with the auto-save plugin can be configured to restore all those not-yet-saved files.


You can make Notepad++ really replace Notepad (pervasively) by setting up Notepad++ as a debugger for Notepad! See

FoldingText Cheat Sheet

My cheat sheet for using the Atom editor with the FoldingText package. See official doc at


  • Must choose File >> New Outline and save as .ftml, to create an outline.


Use Crashplan on Ubuntu With Encrypted Volume

I use an encrypted volume with LUKS on my Ubuntu server. First, I mount the encrypted volume, then I mount a zfs file system from it.

CrashPlan was getting confused because when CrashPlan started, the /data volume I'm backing up was empty because the volume isn't mounted until after I login and enter the password. So I needed to delay CrashPlan startup until after the encrypted volume is mounted. (i.e. I need a delayed CrashPlan start.)

Windows Not Hibernating / Windows Not Sleeping

I have a Windows 10 computer that was failing to hibernate after inactivity and it was waking immediately after hibernating AND the mouse would wake it up, even though I'd told Device Manager that the mouse should NOT wake the computer. It seems to behave better now. Here are some changes I made and techniques I tried.


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