I’m finally making some good progress sorting through all my old computer hardware for donation or recycling. My collection of old laptops, desktops and computer cables are finally out of my garage and donated to my local Goodwill. This mostly went quickly except for a brief nostalgic time spent with my old workhorse, a Dell Precision Workstation 410MT.
Newer versions of Microsoft Word (in particular, Office 365) will no longer open older .DOC files. If you want to convert these to the current supported .DOCX format (especially if you have a batch of files to convert), LibreOffice is a good option. LibreOffice is free open-source software and you’ll get the benefit of doing everything on your computer. There are a lot of online services which advertise converting these files, but for anything personal or confidential I prefer keeping everything local.
In past years I’ve listed a few favorite tech advent calendars, each focusing on a different technology and revealing some new content each day from December 1st through 25th. Each year I also have great plans to follow along with each as the days go by, but it’s not easy to keep up. Even though Christmas has passed, here’s my roundup of interesting technical advent calendars, which I’ll hopefully spend some time reading through over New Year’s!
Website monitoring (or uptime monitoring) is essential for any commercial website or service and there are plenty of commercial vendors that provide these services. With the recent rollout of GitHub Actions, I’ve put together a simple lightweight website monitor you can implement for free, perfect for side projects and personal websites. In addition to this WordPress blog I’m using it to watch my parked domains and Tweetfave project, making sure they are alive and well.
I recently fixed my Weather by Text mini project to get it working again (since Yahoo shut down YQL) and to update with a few improvements. This service is a simple Twilio-based service which delivers the current weather for the location you send via text message.