Six Car Consist

Dear J—

The conductor just came through, proudly proclaiming that Monday they start running six-car consists. Many stations are long enough to accommodate them – definitely for the four I use most, Burlingame, San Mateo, Mountain View and Sunnyvale – and it should relieve some of the overcrowding we’ve had on afternoon trains, since no one’s quite mad enough to get on the early train. Later on today I get to give a seismic presentation and hopefully it won’t catch too many yawns; we’ll see, I suppose. The subject is interesting and not terribly difficult to apply in your personal life, so that’s that. I went around and illustrated the presentation with folks hiding under desks which may have been presumptuous but hopefully not too much so.

My favorite part of work – at my last place of work – was going into the main administration building and seeing all the faces I missed from the warehouse. Edison had hired a professional photographer to take pictures of warehouse people doing warehouse jobs, possibly with some nicer backgrounds but between the lights and you and me, the results were great and I wish I’d had access to those photos now. I miss people more than work; thankfully in most cases they don’t mind if you take their photograph which is helpful for my memories and chosen hobby.

Of all the competing flash memory form factors it appears the Secure Digital (SD) card has won out but I always liked the shape and name of Sony’s MemoryStick. The whole concept of flash memory seemed impossibly futuristic fifteen years ago: solid-state, nonvolatile storage instead of rust on a platter, but the prices were on the order of US$1/megabyte; I still remember getting a 128MB card for $50 and thinking it was a bargain. Memory capacity and train capacity, growing every day. Six car consist, rolling into the gathering light; we take these marvels to be everyday, regular occurrences.

Mike

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