Matthew's blog

The environmental case for multiple cars and insurance reform

There is a strong case to be made, from an environmental perspective, in favour of owning multiple cars.

Wait, what?

Conventional wisdom is that the environmentally friendly thing to do is to not have a car, or if you depend on cars, to have as few as possible. In many cases (indeed, in any case where you can get by without a car), the conventional wisdom is right.

It turns out, though, that if two conditions are true- (1) you depend on cars and have no public transit options, and (2) you need a large vehicle often enough that renting a van on occasion doesn't make sense- the environmentally preferable option may be to own more vehicles, not fewer. Sharing the largest of these vehicles (something that's very difficult under current insurance rules, but could be encouraged with insurance reforms) would make the benefits easier to achieve.

I can fix your computer, but you should know that....

People seem to think that I'm that guy who "knows computers". They're probably right, considering the unholy amount of time I spend building, fixing, programming, cursing at and occasionally using such devices. Maybe you, too, are "that guy", in which case the rest of this article will be face-palmingly familiar.

Or maybe you're looking for such a character, a Wizard of the Order of X86-64 who can help you with "a few little problems" your favourite laptop has developed. The answer is yes, we can (probably) put your hopelessly borked, slower-than-a-tortoise-on-Nyquil, late Paleolithic era Windows machine into a somewhat more usable state. But there are caveats, and you should know that:

Splitting up the website

If you're a regular reader of our blogs, you'll discover this week that things aren't where they used to be.

The site was simply getting too diverse to run as a single entity. The photography side was getting mixed up with the marine side, and our crusing logs (which we like to keep strictly non-commercial) needed some distance from our marine business.

So we've split it up. Photo.marsh-design.com will host our professional photography business, while the boat design side moves to Marine.marsh-design.com. The "ramblings of a techie" and sustainable development sections are now at Tech.marsh-design.com and, for the on-the-water crowd, our cruising logs are at Boating.marsh-design.com.

Math on the Web: Still flaky

Sometimes, much to the chagrin of my non-scientific readers, one of my articles hits on a concept that really needs a bit of math to be properly explored. One or two good equations (explained, of course) can be far more useful to the reader than a dense paragraph of math-as-English-sentences.

Math on Web pages, though, is still really flaky. Despite worldwide efforts to standardize on a math markup format that will work anywhere on the Web, support in certain browsers remains bad enough that we're still stuck with ugly hacks.

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