Square is holding my wife’s money hostage

Posted on March 19th, 2014 by John Stewart

This has been painful enough to collect and write all out that I certainly wouldn’t intentionally inflict on anyone else to actually read. However, I felt it was necessary to publish this information as a warning to others.

My wife (of nine years tomorrow!) is an esteemed, award-winning novelist, and as of this past year, also now a small business owner: along with another author, she started a writing workshop, the Madison Writers’ Studio.

They still take paper checks, which is a pain on multiple levels, so after reading Walter Mossberg’s glowing review of Square Cash (originally in the Wall Street Journal), I recommended she check it out. I also knew they had some cool tech with on-premise card readers, and some buzz around them from the nerd circles.

We actually first used it to pay our babysitter. Her linked debit card was … Read More »

SanDisk is holding my disk hostage

Posted on January 8th, 2014 by John Stewart

June 3, 2013 – I ordered from Amazon a SanDisk Extreme SSD for Susanna’s iMac.

November, 2013 – The iMac died. It wouldn’t even get into any sort of diagnostic mode or boot from CD. I finally cracked open the iMac to remove the disk (no easy task), and lo and behold, it worked with the old disk fine. Something about the failure mode of the SanDisk SSD prevented the iMac from getting anywhere.

I checked the warranty – awesome; 5 years!

Dec 2, 2013 – Case 131203-001083 opened with SanDisk. Justin P asked that I try to update the firmware, which I attempted by installing in an old Windows 7 PC, but it wouldn’t even detect at the BIOS. Dead parrot dead. I replied to Justin P with my info.

Dec 3, 2013 – I contacted SanDisk again since Justin P didn’t respond. … Read More »


Posted on October 10th, 2013 by John Stewart

My latest iOS app was just approved and is now available in the app store.

The gist of it is that your iPhone can point your way back to a particular spot on our planet.

It’s pretty amazing the technology we carry in our pockets every day. Even for an IT geek and technophile since I was a kid, who is inured to the relentless march of miniaturization and power, it amazes me.

Your phone, if outside and given a few seconds to lock GPS, can tell you your exact location on the planet within (as of this post) about five meters. Sixteen feet. So, inspired somewhat by this, I started by noodling around with the Apple API to access location data on the phone, and this app popped out.

I think it’s pretty cool. I used some iOS7-only API, such as SpriteKit. I tried … Read More »

Not Another War, Please

Posted on September 10th, 2013 by John Stewart


“When I first saw the president speak in 2008…

… in a youtube clip posted to my Facebook page, I knew that he was going to be right all the time. So I support World War III. And IV. And any Moon War the president may want to start.”

The entire mainstream media seems to be of the mind that the United States is, and should be, the world police. Furthermore, they seem to be of the mind that if we don’t retaliate, we are going to lose our status as such. Why is being the world’s police force considered an admirable place for our country?

Yes, it’s awful that Assad is gassing his own people. How are some cruise missiles going to help? What is the plausible scenario in which bombing actually improves the situation for anyone?

It’s not like in Kosovo, where … Read More »

Three Cheers for MUFA’s Swiss System

Posted on August 14th, 2013 by John Stewart

I’ve captained a team, DiscGrace, in the MUFA summer league, since 2001.

The summer league is an ultimate frisbee league where you sign up as a team based on your team strength, ranging from competitive down to recreational (with many divisions thereof).

One of the historical problems with the league has been the fact that even within a given division, skill levels can vary a lot, since the team strength is all based on self-rating. This often results in blowouts… and blowouts are something you rarely have fun playing in, no matter which side of it you’re on.

As of the 2012 season, MUFA combined the B and C rec leagues and implemented a swiss system*. In 2012, there were 54 teams the swiss division, and this year, there were 72. The idea of a swiss system is that you pair up teams … Read More »