Will In-Person Comic Cons Return In 2021?

Many in-person comic cons last year postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Star Trek Las Vegas Con cancelled for last month and announced August 11-15, 2021, at the Rio Suites Hotel. SiliCon With Adam Savage announced August 27-29, 2021, at the San Jose Convention Center. BayCon postponed to 2021 but sent out an email last month that they are postponing until 2022. Will in-person comic cons return in 2021?

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Using VueScan As My Scanning Software for 15 Years

One of my most popular videos in 2020 was a simple fix for the Canon scanner. Many users may not have read the manual or noticed that there was a slide switch on the back of the scanner. If they plug everything in, the scanner appears to work. Until they try to scan something. Moving the slide switch from lock to unlock releases the scan head for normal operation. That video has gotten over 5,000 views in the past year. A viewer asked which scanning software I would recommend. I’ve been using VueScan from Hamrick Software for 15 years on my Mac and Windows systems. I only paid $100 USD for a professional license years ago.

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The 2020 Coronavirus Is The New 1918 Spanish Flu

Last year I made a video about 2020 being the beginning of a new decade or the end of an old decade. According to a YouGov survey from last year: 64% of Americans believe 2020 is a new decade, 17% believe 2021 is a new decade, and 19% don’t know. That video came out three months before the coronavirus became a U.S. problem—and I still needed a haircut.

I mentioned in that video that some people believe we are re-living the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Decades better known as the Roaring 20s, the Great Depression, and World War II. We are not yet re-living those decades. We are re-living the years before those decades. When the 1918 Spanish Flu killed more soldiers than all the soldiers who died fighting in World War I.

If the Spanish Flu offers any guidance about a post-pandemic future, it took the world five years to recover. Five years. Not the six months that everyone expects everything to return to normal, as if the coronavirus never existed. That’s not happening. We are one year into a five-year recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s not a popular message today.

I’ve gotten push back for comparing today’s pandemic with yesteryear’s pandemic. I’m told that today we have modern medicine, new vaccines, and idiots who don’t wear masks. Guess what? A hundred years ago they too had modern medicine, new vaccines, and idiots who don’t wear masks. The difference between then and now is that today’s idiots are not shot or taken to court by the police.

As for today’s new vaccines, they won’t protect you from getting infected and spreading the infection to others. The vaccines only reduce the severity of the symptoms you may experience while being sick. It will still take two to three years to vaccinate over 300 million people in the United States.

Keep in mind that the coronavirus was not the pandemic that experts were waiting to happen. A pandemic with a 50% or higher morality, that is, people dropping dead in the streets, could still come along.

Something to think about in 2021.

SiliCon With Adam Savage Website Redesign Review

SiliCon With Adam Savage has finally updated their website for the New Year. Out with the old content for Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019. In with the new content for SiliCon With Adam Savage 2020. Not that the in-person event took place this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. But there were virtual events to make up for it. I’m going to review the website redesign on the front page and explain the changes.

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Amazon 3-FOR-2 Black Friday Door Stoppers (Programming Books)

During Black Friday and CyberMonday 2020, I didn’t find any great tech deals at Newegg. Not that they had any of the newest CPUs and GPUs launched in the last three months in stock. But I did find an old school tech deal at Amazon: a 3-for-2 deal on doorstoppers. Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, many programming books were so thick that they could stop a door.

Here are the three “doorstoppers” I bought from Amazon last month.

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What If Elon Musk Sold Tesla to Microsoft?

Elon Musk tweeted that he wanted Apple to buy Tesla but Apple CEO Tim Cook refused to meet him. That was back in 2017 when Tesla was worth 1/10th of its current value today and Apple went quiet on building its own cars. But the tweet was in response to a report that Apple will start production of their own vehicles in 2024.

You know the old joke about Apple making cars?

Apple would make a car powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would run on only five per cent of the roads.

What if Elon Musk sold Tesla to Microsoft instead? Here are the Top 10 Microsoft car jokes from 1999 with updated commentary.

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Working From Home With A $75 Mobile Standing Desk

Four months before the pandemic shutdown, I started working from home. Which meant I missed the first coronavirus case that came through the office. My work from home desk for the past year was a pair of printer tables in the corner of my dining room. I recently replaced one of the printer stands with a $75 mobile standing desk from Amazon. I’ll talk about the standing desk, the set up for my work laptop, and my first week standing while working.

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Please “Mod Down” All My YouTube Videos

Photo by Daniel Páscoa on Unsplash

A troll posted the following anonymous comment on Slashdot, encouraging users to “mod down” all my YouTube videos.

Make sure to go to YouTube to mod him down, any kind of Google account will allow you to mod him down. I use my Gmail account. Don’t mod too many of his videos down at once since YouTube will shadow-ban and ignore your mods while still making you believe they count.

– I mod down 3 of his videos every day.
– I wait a bit and watch a few videos between modding each of his video down.
-Watch a minute or two before modding it down, then click next video.

Don’t bother to go to YouTube if you don’t have some type of Google account, it’s definitely not worth the time.

I want everyone from Slashdot (and Medium) to click the dislike button on all my videos. If the above steps were consistently applied, each person would add over six hours of watch time to my channel in 83 days. Watch time, not the like/dislike ratio, is the metric that that the YouTube algorithm cares the most about.

Read the rest of the essay on Medium.

Christmas In The Park Drive-Thru 2020 In 3 Minutes

The drive through for Christmas In The Park in the History Park (San Jose, CA) took 20 minutes. The line to get into the park was 30 minutes long. Recorded from the dashboard behind a fogged up windshield. No stopping. Bumper to bumper. Lots of flashing lights. This is probably how most people will experience the drive through. I added snarks to the video where appropriate. The “out of storage” error message on the iPhone came before exiting the park.

The Black Friday Cabbage Patch Doll Fight

Photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered how far a grandmother would go to get the hottest Christmas toy for her baby granddaughter? I didn’t until I witnessed how desperate my mother was to get a Cabbage Patch doll for my baby niece in 1983. A violent incident that changed my life forever.

We stood outside the Toy “R” Us store on a cold November morning, waiting for the doors to open early at 8:00AM. I don’t remember if this was Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the first official day of the holiday shopping season. If it was Black Friday, I was still comatose from all the deviled eggs I ate the night before. Nineteen other mothers with their sleepy kids stood around for the doors to open.

My father waited inside the car to smoke his cigarettes and listen to the radio. He never came into a store with my mother if he could avoid doing so. My mother took forever to look twice at everything in the store, even if she was buying only one or two items. Not yet a rebellious teenager, I had no choice but to go inside with her.

When the manager unlocked the sliding doors, every mother grabbed their kids by the hand and ran pell-mell into the store. We flew across the worn white floor tiles without our feet ever touching them. Everyone arrived at a mountainous display of Cabbage Patch dolls that sat in front of the wall of board games, between the sports and video games aisles.

An impressive sight considering how difficult it was to get a Cabbage Patch doll that holiday season. The Internet, eBay and online shopping didn’t exist back then. If you couldn’t take physical possession of a Cabbage Patch doll inside a store, you were so out of luck.

Read the rest of the essay at Medium.