V1: 2018-12-31; V2: 2019-03-25

Keywords previously found on this site, including the original text below, have been moved to: There, a new keyword will be posted on Sundays.

The meaning of words changes. This does not present any significant problems if everyone in a culture adapts simultaneously to these changes, and it reflects agreed upon changes in that culture. Unfortunately, this scenario never happens. Rather, elites, usurp particular words, and impose their definitions on others, notably the marginalized, but everyone else as well.

Raymond Williams (1921 – 1988) examined the changing meanings of sixty words used in cultural discussions, beginning with the word culture itself. He intended this to appear as an appendix to Culture and Society (1958). That didn’t happen, but an extended 110 word version, including notes and essays was published as Keywords in 1976. By 1983 a new version added 21 additional words.

Keywords is not an abridged Oxford English Dictionary. It doesn’t include philological or etymological considerations. Instead, its focus is on meanings and contexts.

Culture, published in 1981, continued this work, but focused on this single concept, defined as a realized signifying system” (p. 207). The work is especially concerned with cultural production, and reproduction (p. 206). What is a realized signifying system?

Chris Barker, Making Sense of Cultural Studies (2002), writes: “…a banknote signifies and constructs nationality while at the same time being used for purposes of exchange” (p. 34). Barker has difficulties understanding what an unrealized signifying system could be. Perhaps I can help him. It is best understood using a time machine. Lots of words have the potential to signify something, but do not yet do so. While the Han Dynasty introduced promissory notes in 118 BC, the first attempt to issue banknotes in Europe, occurred in Sweden in 1661. Before these dates, promissory notes and banknotes were unrealized signifying systems. In fact, for most of the world they were only realized much later.

Cultural materialism can best be described as a theoretical movement. Cultural materialists analyze how powerful elites use (historically) important texts to validate or inscribe certain values on the cultural imaginary, that is, that set of values, institutions, laws, and symbols common to a particular social group.

Political Shakespeare, edited by Jonathan Dollimore (1948 – ) and Alan Sinfield (1941 – 2017), is a seminal text of the cultural materialism movement, with four defining characteristics: Historical context, close textual analysis, political commitment and theoretical method. Most of us in the English-speaking world, have been required to read Shakespeare as part of our education and, in doing so, have adopted at least part of Shakespeare’s world view.

Neema Parvini (? – ) writes in Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory (2012) “… culture is irreducibly complex and made up at any given time by numerous cultures which are dynamically linked to each other. At any given time, there is not just one ‘culture’ but lots of different cultures with their own geneses in different epochal moments. Williams gives the examples of ‘feudal culture’, ‘bourgeois culture’ and ‘socialist culture’ which are all part of a cultural process. Culture is not static but processional and its different subcultures are in competition for hegemony. The status of a single subculture is liable to change over time. Williams identifies three different statuses: ‘residual’, ‘emergent’ and ‘dominant’. These are fairly self-explanatory. To use his examples: bourgeois culture is ‘dominant’ because it has hegemony; socialist culture is ‘emergent’, because it is still being created and perhaps may one day become dominant; and feudal culture is ‘residual’ because it is the remnant of a by-gone era, essentially an anachronism, but crucially it is still ‘active in the cultural process . . . as an effective element of the present’.” With reference to Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (1977) pp. 121 -2.

Fintan O’Toole (1958 – ), author and Irish Times journalist, notes, “Best thing that happened to me when I was young was that my father told me that everyone had read the complete works of Shakespeare by the time they were 14. It was life-transforming for me.”

Unfortunately, I have never found Shakespeare life-transforming. Yes, there are days when even I can appreciate Shakespeare, although not usually at the theatre or even in book form. Much of my understanding comes from Coles Notes/ CliffsNotes, and the odd Classic Comic Book. My preferences are for: Scotland, PA, directed and written by William (Billy) Morrissette (1962 – ), a reworked MacBeth dark comedy made in 2001 in Nova Scotia, but set in 1975 at “Duncan’s Cafe”, a fast-food eatery in Scotland, Pennsylvania; and, Julie Taymore’s (1952 – ) 1999 Italian-American-British film interpretation of Titus Andronicus.

Not all commentators of Shakespeare are Marxist. The right-leaning, Foundation for Constitutional Government, Inc. notes his political importance in these terms, “… Shakespeare seems to have understood the concept of the regime (Greek: politeia) as developed by Plato and Aristotle—the idea that different forms of political organization encourage different forms of human development. Not every human possibility is equally available under every regime; it is difficult to be a Christian saint in pagan Rome (and as Hamlet shows, it is equally difficult to be a classical hero in Christian Europe). A monarchy will inevitably discourage certain forms of political activity (particularly those that challenge monarchy), while a republic may cause the very same activities to flourish. Shakespeare is generally praised for the immense variety of human types he portrays in his plays. Perhaps one of the keys to this success is the variety of regimes Shakespeare covers in his plays—from ancient pagan republics to modern Christian monarchies.”

Words continue to be important in political discussions. A Raymond Williams Society was established in 1989 to promote related work. Since 1998 it has published Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism. Tony Bennett, Lawrence Grossberg and Meaghan Morris have edited, New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society. In addition, New York University Press has published several related books.

Keywords forAuthor(s)/ Editor(s)
American Cultural Studies (2014)Bruce Burgett, Glenn Hendlerr
Asian American Studies (2015)Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Linda Trinh Võ, K. Scott Wong
Disability Studies (2015)Rachael Adams, Benjamin Reiss, David Serlin
Children’s Literature (2015)Philip Nel, Lissa Paul
Environmental Studies (2016)Joni Adamson, William A. Gleason, David N. Pellow
Media Studies (2017)Jonathan Gray, Laurie Ouellette
Latina/o Studies (2017)Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, Nancy Raquel Mirabal, Deborah R. Vargas
African American Studies (2018)Erica R. Edwards, Roderick A. Ferguson, Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar

Most recently, in 2018, John Patrick Leary, in Keywords: The New Language of Capitalism, wrote: A keyword, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (hereafer the OED), is “a word serving as a key to a cipher or the like.” In his 1976 classic Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, the Welsh literary critic Raymond Williams laid out the foundational vocabulary of modern British society in a wide-ranging project of critical historical semantics. He defined keywords as “binding words in certain activities and their interpretation,” elements of a living vocabulary that shape and reflect a society in movement. Keywords show what knowledge ties this society together, and how this common knowledge changes over time. As both Williams and the OED make clear, keywords are therefore “key” in a double sense: they are important, and they unlock something hidden.

Where should we be using keywords?

On Monday 2018-11-26, GM CEO Mary Barra announced cuts, explaining them as: “The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient, and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future, …” This transformation involves the discontinuance of six models, closure of five factories, and the lay-off of up to 14 000 workers in North America. This figure includes 3 300 blue-collar workers in USA, and 2 600 in Canada, in addition to 8 000 white-collar workers.

John Patrick Leary responded to this by tweeting, “Language was pronounced dead at the scene.” Resilient and flexible are two of Leary’s 47 keyword topics.

I have just started reading Leary’s Keywords. They are being read as published, in alphabetical order, except where a topic is too tempting to resist. DIY (Do-It-Yourself), is one such seductress. It begins with, “In a 2014 column in the New York Times, architecture critic Jayne Merkel argued that the underfunded New York City Housing Authority could address its vast backlog of unfinished repairs by training residents to make their own repairs.” and ends with “DIY’s present mixture of autonomous self-determination with entrepreneurial self-reliance is what makes propositions like Merkel’s so insidious. Rent-paying tenants of public housing have every right to expect their landlord to “do it” for them; in this case, the enthusiastic voluntarism of “do it yourself” has become more like an indifferent invitation to “do it your damn self.” Is the prospect of student debt preventing you from pursuing higher education? Find a cheaper alternative with “DIY education” in the form of free online classes and Project Gutenberg. Can’t afford a home mortgage? Buy some land and build yourself a tiny house. DIY celebrates individualistic substitutes for state obligations or political solutions, like free public education or affordable housing. In this way, DIY can become, like the more politicized versions of artisanal and maker culture, a practice of consumption masquerading as a practice of citizenship.”

The importance of keywords, by whatever author that attracts a person, is that it encourages everyone to examine how words are being used to manipulate thought processes. We have a duty to ourselves to be critical of everything that we are fed, intellectually, emotionally as well as physically. Some products are nutritious, but increasingly many are simply empty calories.


When I talk with people about my life as a prison teacher, I like to start off with information that makes them doubt that their tax money has been well spent. For example, I usually lie and say that the most important characteristic of a prison teacher is the ability to drink large quantities of coffee. That really isn’t true. Coffee drinking is actually only the second most important ability. It is necessary, because it adds to a relaxed atmosphere, that is conducive to learning. More important is an ability to listen.

I try to keep up this deception, until my audience is totally dismayed. Then I typically end by saying that only about 20% of the inmates at our prison ever end up in prison again (recidivism). This contrasts with 52% in USA. The incarceration rate per 100 000 is 75 in Norway, 707 in USA. Of course, we pay more for each inmate. It Norway it is about USD 90 000 per inmate per year. In USA it is between USD 35 000 and 65 000 (depending on state) per inmate per year.

A typical inmate has experienced an abusive childhood. S/he (for we have all varieties of sexes at our prison) may also be abusive, at least outside of prison. So lots of time is spent on anger management. This costs money, as does education.

The reason I am bringing this up is to mention one specific inmate, and one of the small percent who had numerous stays in prisons. I can’t remember the precise details now, but he had attended something like fourteen different schools in a period of six years, before he somehow managed to escape the oversight of the educational authorities.

He was failed, not only by his parents, but by the entire social welfare system. It was my job to teach him math, science and related practical skills. It was with him that tobors were born. Tobors are very simple machines. They are so simple, that even people without an elementary school education, can make them. Making and operating a tobor involves six different jobs.

However, before one can actually make a tobor, one needs a client – somebody, anybody, who needs a tobor to do something. It was usually very convenient for me to take on that role myself.

To work with tobors, the students (yes, there was usually more than one, most frequently six) and I would leave the prison and head off to a place called a Newton Room, at the local science centre. Here we would work with Mindstorm kits, and lego blocks, for a day.

Job 1: Designer.

The first job of the tobor designer was to find out what the client needed. This can be provocative. Because, one is trying to look beyond what the client wants, or says he wants. This was usually done by having the designer ask questions and sketch solutions. So yes, drawing, was one of the practical skills that had to be learned. In fact, this job was so important, it was usually started a week or more before I even mentioned tobors.

Kurt Hanks and Larry Belliston have written Rapid Viz: A New Method for the Rapid Visualization of Ideas, Third Edition. It would be an exaggeration to say that I actually used the text-book in the classroom. As many people know, books can be daunting, if not frightening. So, while I might leave the book lying around in the off-chance that someone might actually pick it up, I almost always presented its content orally, along with a few strategically photocopied pages.

One characteristic of a tobor, is that it needs to sense its environment. So it usually is equipped with one or more sensors. Then, again, it has to actually do something when something is sensed, so it needs parts that could actually do things, like move. These parts are called actuators. Deciding which parts to include, and where they go, is all part of the designer’s job.

Job 2: Builder

The first tobors were made using lego blocks, and all sorts of other components found in Lego Mindstorm kits. Some of the components were sensors, others were actuators, but most were just mechanical/ structural components.

Usually there was some sort of deviation between what was drawn, and what was made. This is normal. In building a prototype, a drawing is just an approximation to a solution. It needs real world input to transform itself from a concept into a meaningful product. A prototype is just another waypoint, leading to a product that can be manufactured. Even then, that product will be continuously improved.

It is at this point that I try to expand the student’s vocabulary with the term iteration. One dictionary defines it as “a procedure in which repetition of a sequence of operations yields results successively closer to a desired result.” Unfortunately, the numerous big words used in dictionary definitions, quite often get in the way of someone actually understanding something.

Job 3: Electrician

Being a tobor electrician is very simple, especially if one is using a Mindstorm kit. There are a few wires that have to be put in place between a central control unit, and a sensor or actuator. These are idiot proof, in that it is impossible to put them in incorrectly.

Job 4: Programmer

Programming a mindstorm kit is easy. It is almost impossible to do something wrong, because one is following a template. Programming a tobor typically takes a few minutes.

Job 5: Tester

The last job of the day, before the real fun begins, is to test out the tobor, to make sure that it works as designed. Most often this involves making adjustments to the program. Sometimes, mechanical components may need to be assembled differently. The term iteration, is used more and more frequently, and the performance of the tobor becomes progressively better.

Job 6: Operator

This job involved using the tobor to actually do the job it was designed, and made for. Since it was tested before this, it usually works – except when it doesn’t.

With up to six inmates each working on their own tobor, there is a lot of opportunity for people to co-operate. One person might have a good idea, and within a few minutes that idea has diffused to the entire group. I am reminded of the Men’s Shed movement. Men are most comfortable talking not face to face, but shoulder to shoulder. See:

A tobor ready for action.


Abuse dulls, and a childhood filled with abuse dulls so intensely, that it makes living almost meaningless. What I always hope for, in the inmates I am working with, is that they will become passionate about something, anything. It might not be a tobor, or robot, as many people call them, but that is not important.

When someone becomes passionate, they can begin to dream. In a nutshell, that was my job. No, not teaching math or helping them build tobors, but helping people to become passionate dreamers!


The Old Colossus

Colossus was the world’s first digital, electronic, programmable computer, although it was programmed by switches and plugs and not by a stored program. It was constructed at Bletchley Park, England in 1943-4.  It was designed by research telephone engineer Tommy Flowers (1905-1998), assisted by William Chandler, Sidney Broadhurst and Allen Coombs; with Erie Speight and Arnold Lynch developing the photoelectric reading mechanism.. Twelve machines were built, which were used for military (decryption) purposes during World War II.

Colossus, the world’s first electronic, digital, programmable computer build 1943-4, and on display at The National Museum of Computing, at Bletchley Park, England.

A colossus machine used massive amounts of electrical energy (8.5 kW) compared with a today’s devices (sometimes less than 50 W), but it was able to undertake massive amounts of computation – for its day, the value of which far exceeded its electrical consumption. 272 women (Wrens) and 27 men were needed to operate ten machines.

Fast forward to today. My aspiration for the Internet (and computing in general), is that it will (help) transform the World, by allowing everyone, including the poorest, access to vital information on numerous topics, including but not limited to: weather and climate, health, nutrition, education, appropriate technology, assorted innovations, ethics and art. We must treat all people as equal citizens with dignity, welcome in a digital world that is still in the process of being created. We must forge peace, not wage war!

The New Colossus

The world anno 2019 does not need an old colossus. Big data, and the information that derives from it, fuels the world. A new colossus is needed, server farms, that can provide data and information to everyone. Unfortunately, the major technological firms are less interested in supplying data, than they are in collecting it, especially personal data.

The new colossus has an energy challenge. For every watt needed to run a server, half a watt is needed to cool it. Selecting a location for a server farm can be as important as selecting a processor, to achieve energy efficiency. Iceland is a preferred location, not just because of its cold climate all, but also because of its cheap and carbon-neutral geothermal electricity.  Fibre optic cables connect it to North America and Europe.  Other prime locations are in Canada, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. At the most well regulated sites, waste heat from servers warms residential, commercial and even factory buildings, compensating their computing usage.

A modern server farm, at Visa Data Centre, Baskingstoke, England

An Aside

It is in this spirit that the words of Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) are repeated. She wrote them in 1883 to raise money for the construction of a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. In 1903, her sonnet was cast onto a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal’s lower level:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Computer is an inappropriate term to describe personal devices used to access and manipulate data.  These devices seldom compute! Several equipment manufacturers produce devices for the poor of this world. Often, these are referred to as phones, but larger devices, such as tablets, laptops and desktop machines, are also provided. One of the most important device categories was the netbook, that emerged in 2007 and died in 2012. The netbook did not simply appear, but was part of an evolution that had a past and has a future.


Miniaturization has always been important for computer development, and I have always been attracted to small computers. One of the first of these was the Apple eMate 300. It had a 172 mm diagonal screen ( with 480 x 320 pixel resolution),  16-shade grayscale display with a backlight, stylus pen, keyboard with about 85% the size of a standard keyboard, infrared port and standard Macintosh serial/LocalTalk ports. Its rechargeable batteries lasted up to 28 hours on full charge. It used a 25 MHz ARM 710a RISC processor. It was first introduced on 1997-03-07. While I waited patiently for it to come to Norway, it was discontinued less than a year later, 1998-02-27.

The eMate was not a netbook, but an inspiration. While the Internet existed, it was nothing like it is today. Public and commercial use of the Internet began in mid-1989. By the end of 1990, Tim Berners-Lee had created WorldWideWeb, the first web browser,  and had built all the tools necessary for a working Web: the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), tHTTP server software, the first web server and the first Web pages (they described the project). By 1995 many of the components that characterize the current concept of the Internet had been developed, including near instant communication by email, instant messaging, telephony (Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP), two-way interactive video calls,  discussion forums, blogs, social networking, and online shopping sites. Increasing amounts of data are transmitted at higher and higher speeds over fiber optic networks operating at 1-Gbit/s, 10-Gbit/s, or more. About the only thing missing were ordinary people, and internet speeds beyond what a dial-up modem could provide.

While ADSL was available in Norway from about 1998, we were only able to obtain it in 2004. Norway was a rich country at this time, so one can only imagine what was happening (or more correctly, not happening) in the poorer regions of the world. Even then, we lived almost at the limit of what could be provided through the copper wires of the telephone system. After using it for fourteen years, we have now progressed to fiber broadband. We have chosen 50 Mbps, but could have chosen anything up to 1 Gbps, if we had wanted to pay for it. We didn’t.

Apple Newton eMate 300. Photograph: Ryan Schultz 2005-03-19


The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is known for its innovation in producing a durable, cost- and power-efficient netbook for developing countries, it is regarded as one of the major efforts to encourage computer hardware manufacturers to create low-cost netbooks for the consumer market. Seymour Papert (1928 – 2016) provided the pedagogical inspiration with his version of constructionism, encouraged the use of computers by young children, to enable full digital literacy. Nicholas Negroponte (1943-) was chief promoter of the project, starting in 2005 at the World Economic Forum, at Davos, Switzerland.

OLPC  XO-1 original design proposal


A netbook is a category of small, lightweight, inexpensive laptop computers. These are legacy-free, meaning that they use USB ports to replace bulky components such as floppy drives and device-specific ports. This allows machines to be more compact.

The first real netbook was a Asus EEE PC 700. Originally designed for emerging markets, the 225 × 165 x  35 mm device weighed 922 g. By today’s standards it was very primitive, with a 178 mm diagonal display (800 x 480 pixels), a keyboard approximately 85% the size of a normal keyboard (yes, the same as an eMate 300), a 2, 4 or 8 GB solid-state drive  and Linux with a simplified user interface.

I was immediately attracted to the Asus EEE PC 700, the world’s first netbook, launched 2007-10-16.

Between 2009 and 2011, netbooks grew in size and features, and converged with smaller, lighter laptops. At this point, the netbook’s popularity fizzled as manufacturers tried to add features to prevent netbooks from cannibalizing their more profitable laptops. Peak Netbook,  at about 20% of the portable computer market, was reached in early 2010. After that, netbooks started to lose market share. In 2011 tablet sales overtook netbooks. The netbook era ended in 2012 when netbook sales fell by 25 percent, year-on-year. Asus, Acer and MSI announced they would stop manufacturing their most popular netbooks in September 2012. At the same time, Asus announced a focus on their Transformer line.


Chromebooks are in many ways the new netbooks. They are  laptops and tablets running Linux-based Chrome OS, used to perform a variety of tasks using a browser, with most applications and data residing in the cloud (read: servers run by major corporations) rather than on the machine. They were first introduced by Acer and Samsung in June 2011.

In 2013, Chromebooks became the fastest-growing segment of the PC market. While current Chromebooks function better offline than before, they are still dependent on an Internet connection  to function optimally.

Netbook sized computers, including Chromebooks, offer several distinct advantages. First, their compact size and weight make them appropriate in compact work areas, such as cafes and classrooms. Second, the size makes them easy to carry and transport. Third, they are low priced. They are fully capable of accomplishing general tasks: word processing, presentations, Internet access and multimedia playback.

In North America, especially, schools have limited budget to provide computing resources. This has led to a rise of tablets, including iPads. Yet, Chromebooks provide a more complete hardware solution, such as a full-size keyboard. There has been a transition away from tablets to Chromebooks, so that almost 60% of school computers are Chromebooks. However, the most important factor for success in education, has little to do with the physical machine, it has to do with the human resources need for large-scale deployment. Chromebooks save IT (information technology) workers time!

An Acer Chromebook 11. This is the same type of machine that was purchased 2018-11-16.

Our Computers

It is not my job to support computer manufacturing companies so that they can reward executives with excessive salaries and bonuses. Thus, I want to avoid purchasing expensive computer equipment, and stick to minimal products. For example, much of our server equipment is purchased used, and I am a proponent of single board computers, such as the Raspberry Pi.

Here is a history of our netbook related computers since 2010, with comments.

An Asus EEEbox 1501p was purchased 2012-10-28 as a media centre. It ran assorted versions of Linux Mint, through its life. Unfortunately, it always ran hot, and developed heating issues that required repair. It was replaced by an Asus Tinkerboard, a Raspberry Pi clone, that was purchased 2017-03-31.

Since my employer supplied me with a laptop, I never felt that I needed a second one. Thus, I used an 2010 Acer Aspire tower for 6.5 years, until it was replaced with an Asus VivoMini VC65 desktop in 2017. Both of these were used at a height adjustable desk.

When I retired at the end of 2016, and handed in my workplace laptop, I used Trish’s retired Asus, a U31F 13.3″ laptop originally purchased 2011-02-13 with an i3 core, 4 GB RAM, a 500 GB HDD, running Windows 7, before it was modified to run Linux Mint. Trish retired this machine because it was running hot, and the battery needed replacement. On 2017-05-15, I decided not to replace the battery, but instead bought an Asus Vivobook E402SA. This was not a good decision. While this new machine came with Windows 10, it was a direct decendent of the Asus EEEbook. Linux Mint was installed on the machine, but it never worked correctly. The screen would freeze, and the machine would have to be powered off and restarted. This could happen up to several times a day. It stopped working entirely in September 2018. Undoubtedly my worst computer purchase ever.

An Acer Chromebook 11 was acquired on 2018-11-16. This version allows Linux apps, such as LibreOffice (for word processing, presentations and spreadsheets), Mozilla Firefox web browser and Thunderbird mail server to be installed. In addition to its role as a workhorse, it was also purchased so that I could gain hands-on experience of Chromebooks, as a concept. The main problem with the machine is that the currently installed version of Firefox, ESR (Extended Support Release), will not play audio, although it will display video.  It will be uninstalled, and replaced with other versions, to see if there is one that works.

Most people do not need high-end devices. By opting for machines with modest specifications, modest machines will continue to be made.

Appendix: Asus

Former Asus CEO Jerry Shen attracted my attention in 2007 when he created (what I regard as) the first netbook, the Eee PC, in 2007. Shen is now off to lead a new AIoT (AI = artificial intelligence; IoT = internet of things, often referring to smart home applications) startup, iFast.

Wikipedia describes Asus as “a Taiwanese multinational computer and phone hardware and electronics company headquartered in Beitou District, Taipei, Taiwan. Its products include desktops, laptops, netbooks, mobile phones, networking equipment, monitors, WIFI routers, projectors, motherboards, graphics cards, optical storage, multimedia products, peripherals, wearables, servers, workstations, and tablet PCs. The company is also an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Asus is the world’s 5th-largest PC vendor by 2017 unit sales.”

On 2018-12-13, wrote about Asus chairman Jonney Shih announcing a comprehensive corporate transformation involving the resignation of CEO Jerry Shen, a new co-CEO structure, and a shift in mobile strategy to focus on gamers and power users. There will be more ROG Phones and fewer ZenFones. During his 11 years as CEO, Shen oversaw the launch of the PadFone series, Transformer series, ZenBook series and ZenFone series. It may seem a worrisome development, but the place abandoned by Asus will undoubtedly be taken over by other companies who see the merits of supplying devices to people with lower incomes.

The McLellans have a history of buying Asus technology including numerous laptops, NAS (Asustor = Network Attached Storage), home theatre desktop (EEEBox), Tinkerboard single board computers, repeaters, etc. Of course, we also have family members who use Apple products exclusively, and another family member who uses Chinese developed products such as Lenovo computers and Huawei phones. Even I am forced to admit that my latest purchase was an Acer, after a difficult year of owning a Asus Vivobook.



The Charm of Skarnsund

Skarnsund is a Norwegian strait connecting the Beitstadfjorden with the outer section of the Trondheimsfjorden. It is 5-kilometres long and 0.5-kilometres wide, located in its entirety in the municipality of Inderøy. It is most noted its strong tidal current and maelstrom. Recreationally, it is world-famous in Norway, for its fishing and scuba diving.

The beach is located in the small beige area near the top right side of the map on Skarnsund. Cliff Cottage is located towards the bottom (perhaps 1/5 of the way up) on the right side of the map just where the road to Vangshylla bends to the right. Our driveway is also featured on the map at this point.
Today’s walk took us to a beach on the eastern shore of Skarnsund, about three kilometers walking from our house. There are three cottages at this beach front location. If supplies are to be brought in, the only practical way is by boat. The walk is far too steep and narrow to be of much use. With temperatures just below zero, it was cold enough for any mud on the pathway to freeze, which actually improved the grip, compared to mud that can be experienced when the temperature is above zero.

The first half of the walk features a path is more than wide enough for two people to walk beside each other.

Then the pathway becomes narrower, and steeper. This photo is taken looking backwards and upwards. A rope provides psychological comfort.

There is a bridge, for lack of a better word, near the bottom of the trail. The black line provides potable water, hopefully.

Depending on perspective, this is the first or last tree one encounters on the trail.

The beach at low tide, with markers showing where boats can be brought ashore.

Foundation walls of a Naust – a Norwegian boathouse.

The wood could do with a bit of paint, and the hinges probably could use some oil. The corrugated steel roof is good for another century of hard use.

Oak leaves indicate the presence of an oak tree,

It is Sunday, 2018-12-02 at 12:50. Sunrise was at 9:32, sunset at 14:37. This is almost as high as the sun gets in the winter. Skarnsund bridge, with Ytterøy in the backgroud. Ytterøy means outer island, in contrast with Inderøy which means inner island.