Background Noise (v 1.0)

A page for scholars and losers alike

Printers [ Monday, 28 Aug 2017 11:41 AM ]

Does anyone at work even use printers for business-related documents anymore? I mean, everything is all online nowadays. I find it hard to come up with a reason to print anything at work that is actually business related. My last several jobs, I just carry my company laptop around with me everywhere I go. So does everybody else. So when I wind up at meetings, we all just view document X on our screen or on the projector.

Oh but this doesn't mean that the printers at work aren't being used anymore. They still get plenty of use, it's just all for personal stuff. It's because we are all too cheap to go to Kinko's* and print stuff there. I mean, a color-laser printer at my hands right by the water cooler? Sign me up! Ticketmaster tickets, here we go. Decorations for my daughter's birthday party, coming right up. Those annoying medical forms they always need before each doctors visit, in a jiffy. Basically the last 20 things I printed were at my work printer (shh! don't tell anybody).

*By the way, Kinko's hasn't existed for almost 10 years now. It's FedEx Office now FYI.

The 90's [ Thursday, 24 Aug 2017 3:55 PM ]

Can you name a single decade better than the 1990's? Okay, yes, that would be the 1980's (which is the decade that I was born in). If you can forget about the awesomeness of the 1980's and focus on the coolness of the 1990's, you may realize that the 90's brought us a ton of cool stuff. Nirvana's Nevermind, plaid flannel shirts, and the .COM bubble. It was because of this new thing called the Internet (I think Al Gore invented it) that I was able to learn how to program computers — thank you chat rooms and GeoCities.

But one of the worst things to come out of the 90's was... 90's websites! Oh man, those things were so ugly! I guess it was just because we were all just so used to doing things in print that we hadn't quite figured out the right ways to show information on a computer screen. Every once in a while I still come across a 90's style website, optimized for IE4, and my mind just barfs. All that considered, welcome to my 90's style website. Maybe an early 2000's style website at best. I launched this 4 years ago hoping to get to version 2.0. Well, I'm still at my 90's-style version 1.0, and maybe one day I'll upgrade it to be more ... less-dumb. Until then, pardon my lack of graphic designer appeal and enjoy some background noise.

Apple [ Sunday, 28 Apr 2013 11:40 AM ]

So I've used apple computers since I was probably ten years old, and I remember using the Apple Macintosh IIe. I thought it was funny that they called it a Macintosh, after an apple, but after all, they are Apple. The Mac, after kinda suffering in the 90's, has really taken off though, with the iMac, and the Macbook, everything Mac.

Well Apple, why does it all have to be about the Macintosh apple? You know, there are all sorts of other great varieties of apples to name your computers after. We could start with the Apple Delicious, how about the Granny Smith Apple? And my personal favorite, the Fuji Apple. For some reason, Apple has put all of their apples in one basket, named Macintosh, and have yet forgone the opportunity to make millions more by capitalizing on other apples. Come on Apple, keep your head in the game?

Hacking [ Wednesday, 24 Apr 2013 5:04 PM ]

I'm not much of a hacker, so if your looking for a guy to log into your bank and give you money, or even your friend's facebook and make him say that he is a terrorist, then I'm not your guy. I do like to take stuff apart though and figure out how it works. Lately this has been websites. Sometimes if there is a dialog that says you must click I accept the terms to continue, I'll just issue some JavaScript and make the dialog disappear. That way, if they ever try to pin me for something, I'll say, I never accepted your terms... it's not my fault your website doesn't work correctly.

After all, I wouldn't know how to make a website like this if it weren't for taking other websites apart. But I will warn you, if you want your computer to keep working properly after visiting this site, then do not click here.

Earth Day [ Monday, 22 Apr 2013 5:50 PM ]

Happy earth day! First of all, all of the other planets are capitalized. Venus, Mars, Jupiter, to name a few. Why is Earth not always capitalized? I think people take Earth for granted. I should say Happy Earth day! With a capital E.

Also, I'm pretty sure the only people that care about Earth day are hippies, who often fit into the category of drug users. So, pretty much Earth day for them is just a repeat of 4/20 day, which is just two days before this day. Looks like stoners get two holidays in a row. I celebrate Earth day - okay maybe I just recognize Earth day because I read a book on it in fourth grade, and I knew about this "obscure" holiday long before my similiarly aged classmates. Maybe one day I'll do the Earth a favor and celebrate its day. And also, I think the Earth should have some say in when its day is, since it has basically been here longer than we have.

Welcome [ Sunday, 21 Apr 2013 10:40 PM ]

Welcome to background! It's the page where I get to tell you about me, about my life, about my latest endeavors, and most importantly, my valued opinions. You may ask, who is "me", who is "you", and who are "they"? Well "me" is me, Michael Plautz, and you can read more about me on the about page (when I finally get it up). "You" is you, who come from all around the world to read about me, my latest endeavors, and my valued opinions. And of course, "they" is somewhat ambiguous, but typically just refers to the government (you know, as in are "they" watching us? Or, what are "they" gonna do if "they" catch me?).

You are now witnessing version 1.0. Background is in its youngest stages, as I now host this site out of a tiny embedded system from my house using a lightwieght http service called lighttpd. While lighttpd (pronounced "lighty", according to its website) is easy to use and install, I have not yet figured out how to configure it for CGI on my system. Basically, this just means that once I get it to work, you will be able to do things like post comments to my valued opinions, but until I get it to work, you'll just have to read what I have to say. When will I get it to work, you may ask? When I get some more spare time. In case you have an idea of how to help me get it to work, you can email me at I am running Angstrom Linux on a BeagleBone.

Finally, some of you may ask, where did you get background noise from? It was actually my wife's suggestion. A good suggestion at that too. I thought it was fitting, since you can regard this chatter as background noise, not really worthy of actually paying attention to. So, I will periodically post my opinions, so I hope you will keep reading in the mean time!