User Profile


Joined 10 months ago

Father, Husband, Teacher, Geek, Beer Sampler

Was both @MrWsTweets and @DigitalRob on the bird site, but now I'm just one on Mastodon:

EdTech #LEGO #Reader #bookstodon #Geek

Goodreads: Also, DigitalRob on TheStoryGraph:

I taught H.S. English for 10 years, moved to teacher support, then to the principalship. Now, I work with a small amazing team to keep our district's technology safe, current, and working.

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2024 Reading Goal

28% complete! DigitalRob has read 7 of 25 books.

Neal Shusterman: Scythe 5 stars

Compelling Concept - even on the second reading.

5 stars

I first read this novel in 2018 before the 3rd book had been released, “I really like this concept of a utopian future. The characters are easy to love and hate and to connect with. The conflict and political intrigue are realistic in this fantasy world. I can't wait for the 3rd book.”

I’ve thought about this story several times since then, and the concepts are still compelling. The idea that humanity overcomes natural death and has to create artificial administrators who work outside standard governing influences is the crux of the story and its political intrigue, but with this read I picked up more on those just living… endlessly.

It’s not the focus of the story, but Shusterman does touch on how life might be without the consideration of death. I think it would create a new paradigm for the living, new stages of life. The youthful stage being …

Scott J. Shapiro: Fancy Bear Goes Phishing (Hardcover, 2023, Farrar, Straus & Giroux) 4 stars

Fancy Bear Goes Phishing is an entertaining account of the philosophy and technology of hacking—and …

Great Education about Cybersecurity. A lot to digest.

3 stars

Don’t let the three stars fool you, this book is worth reading for anyone interested in computer/cybersecurity. And, it’s interesting. I’m not sure I would say I enjoyed reading this book though; it’s A LOT!

Shapiro does an excellent job taking us through the history of various hacks, the motivations as well as the methods. I found the analysis of upcode (personal morals, ethics, motivations and laws) more interesting than much of the technical analysis, but that could be the result of listening to the book instead of reading the page. (Narration of actual code is a bit silly.)

I think my favorite hack is the first one: “The Brilliant Project” by Robert Morris Jr, who in a frenzy to prove concepts accidentally broke the internet in 1988. Oops. It was definitely a wake up call but really didn’t move industry to improve security, which took a couple more decades. …

Robert McCammon: Seven Shades of Evil (2023, Lividian Publications) 5 stars

Seven Shades of Evil is the ninth volume in bestselling author Robert McCammon's acclaimed series …

An Amazing Collection that Builds the Supporting Characters

5 stars

Like all of the Corbett novels, I loved this. My reading of the novels is spread out over time, so I struggle at times to place specific incidents into specific novels, so I wish it was easier to figure out when each story takes place in relation to the novels. Even with the month and year given for each story, I’ve struggled with this.

For the most part each story focuses on one or two characters, giving some much appreciated insight into some of the support characters. My favorites are “The Scorpion’s Eye,” “Skeleton Crew,” “The Pale Pipe Smoker,” and “The Incident on the Lady Barbara” because they focus on the women, who are frequently background characters that wouldn’t pass the Bechdel Test if the novels were movies.

“Wandering Mary” is a solo Matthew story. It takes him to a town just outside of Boston to act as an outside …

Chris Van Tulleken: Ultra-Processed People (2023, Cornerstone Press Chicago) 5 stars

Eating Real Food is not as Easy as it Sounds

5 stars

Van Tulleken’s work here is an outstanding compilation and explanation of dozens of research studies, historical events, and personal observations tying the state of the current obesity epidemic to the growth of the ultra-processed food industry.

His conclusions are well supported with research making his commentary poignant and powerful. Unfortunately, while he tries to provide some hope with a few methods for change, the reality of our world, our government, and capitalism make it clear that we’ll likely never have any systemic change, so any change to how we eat must be ultimately personal.

Van Tulleken puts UPF on a spectrum. While avoiding all UPF is desirable, some are worse than others simply based on the quantity of non-kitchen ingredients. And, identifying UPF is difficult. Trying to follow the simple rule that an ingredient one would not find in a normal household kitchen denotes UPF is a nice start, but …

Stephen King: It (1987) 4 stars

Read It Again

5 stars

This is the third or fourth time I’ve read this novel over the years, so clearly I like it. I read this very slowly over the course of a year, and I think the pace of my reading got me bogged down in several sections, but I still enjoyed It.

This and The Stand are quintessential King novels, must reads for horror fans.