My computer setup

I don't blog about technology tools too often, but I thought I'd share my computer setup at home (my setup at work is quite similar):

I have no data files on my tablet PC, just software. The key to my system is my portable hard drive, which contains all of my data files. It's just 3.1 in (8 cm) x 5 in (12.6 cm) x 0.6 in (1.5 cm) and weighs 0.4 lbs (180 g). It comes with a USB 2.0 cable and a drawstring bag.

Every time I plug in my portable hard drive, it automatically backs itself up to a larger external hard drive. It also automatically backs up files on the fly as I edit them.

Basically, my computer-driven life fits in my pocket. I can carry around the portable hard drive, plug it into any other computer, and work with my files. It requires no power cord, instead drawing its power from the USB port. This is the same idea as a flash key, only the portable hard drive holds more files.

In addition to my tablet PC, I also have a second desktop computer (Dell Dimension 9200) that I use for digital audio and video.

What's your setup?

[I use Launchy for everything. What are the four icons on my desktop? Well, one's my curriculum vitae; it's amazing to me how often I need it. The other three are my department's electronic letterhead file, Computer, and the Recycle Bin.]

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less