User Input

User Input: Finite Longevity

Like this, only not real.

For Christmas one year, my parents finally fulfilled a wish I had stubbornly repeated for several years, and bought me the remote-control car I had longed for. Interestingly, I had never requested any specific car, which they told me was a bit surprising for me. I simply wanted […]

User Input

User Input: The Power of Control

Last night, while sitting in a coffee shop, I realized that we had missed a TV show we regularly watch. Rather than puzzle over whether we had properly programmed the PVR to catch it, I opted instead to pull out my phone, remotely connect to my computer, and start the show downloading. Then, […]

User Input

User Input: Untethered Control

This fellow built a way to water his lawn through wireless remote control. Well done, sir.

On today’s date in 1900, the German steamship SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse sent the first wireless signal from a ship to land. Now, this might not seem like all that momentous an occasion, but it’s rather amazing when […]


Startup: Universal Remote

Before I bought my Harmony, this is basically what my universal remote looked like. If you’re not feeling spendy enough for a Harmony Touch or Harmony 1100, I’ve heard Acoustic Research makes some reliable and less expensive competition. There: every minute of your life wasted on Atomic Toasters was worth it for that […]


Startup: Too Good To Be True or Too Bad To Be Fake

In 2002, prankster Andy Bichlebaum got invited to present in Finland on behalf of the World Trade Organization. What the conference organizers failed to notice was that his web site,, was a spoof of the WTO and not the actual WTO. At the conference, he gave a stunning lecture outlining the WTO’s stance […]

User Input

User Input: Fond Memories of Materialism

A scaled-up version of my remote-control car.

When I was just a little Deartháirling, my parents surprised me on one Christmas morning with a present I was only barely able to comprehend, never mind fully appreciate. It was a remote-controlled Porsche 944 race car, and it was almost as big as I was. […]