Rick Steele

playing by the blackberry playbook

Several weeks back, I got a call from an old associate of mine who now works for Latitude Wireless, telling me that they had just taken delivery on a box full of new Blackberry Playbooks, and asking me if I might be interested in taking one out for a test

On Horse Heaven Hills

A long, spectacular rank of towering, grey wind turbines lines the northeast-facing slope of the Horse Heaven Hills, as they march south-easterly below the town of Kennewick, Washington.

Terrorists, telephones and yo yos

On the morning of September 11, 2001, after the Twin Towers collapsed, and while people in Whitehorse were scrambling around in a panic to grab their kids and run for the hills, I was out of communication on the Dome in Dawson City, polishing up my rock-t

the technology of burning stuff

Over the past several months, in both my professional and private capacities, I have been involved in the area of alternate energy, and particularly in what is now fashionably called "biofuel.

April 1: The end of cellphone fools’ days

Two summers ago, I was walking northward up Fourth Avenue toward the lights on Main Street on an early Saturday morning.

Should we make Yukon Energy obsolete?

I spent the lion's share of last week up at Mt. McIntyre attending Yukon Energy's charette.

Nortel: Discovering the obvious on Discovery Street

Last Friday, I found myself on an Ottawa City Transpo bus at eight in the morning, passing, in dreary, winter-morning light, through the all but deserted Nortel Carling Campus in Kanata, Ontario.

On being minus a CD Plus

I spent a disconsolate 20 minutes or so this week wandering among the half-empty shelves of the CD Plus store on Main Street. The place is closing down, and at the tail end, now, of its liquidation sale.

Internet, logic, and the Middle East

At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I am going to use this space to bellyache, I hope concisely, about the presumptuousness of all those information-age enthusiasts who are haling the current revolutionary developments in Yemen and Egypt as evidence of

How I got a wife for Christmas

This past holiday season, in a long-anticipated but still remarkable turn of events, I got a wife for Christmas. Well, strictly speaking, I have had a wife for more than four years, by now.

Wikigate: Walk carefully in Cyberland

At the risk of throwing yet more verbiage at a subject already shamefully and tiresomely belabored, I am going to have my own, frankly opinionated say on the subject of the ongoing Wikileaks media event.

the freedom to be or to bsd

This week I attended - well, really kind of co-hosted - a morning-long seminar for the local software development community on the subject of the complexities surrounding open-source software licensing.

high tech low tech tech

This week, in the course of my duties at the Technology Innovation Centre, I was going through a progress report with one of my inventor clients.

What’s in a thermos, and what’s in a name

When the winter finally comes again, I will revert to one of my favourite seasonal pleasures - taking a break on one of my woodland walks or snowshoe hikes for a swig of hot, sugary tea from my thermos.

Info tech and attention deficit … whatever

At a recent conference I attended in Halifax, the organizers came up with a way of distributing their conference program that was novel, but very ill-advised: They gave all the attendees Apple iPods with the program installed as a mobile application, with

when geeks take wing

When I take to the air, this coming Thanksgiving Monday, on a conference trip to Halifax, I will once again be a geek in the air with lots of techno-toys: an iPod touch in one pocket, a Blackberry Storm smart phone in the other; and, in my carry on should

meeting the great canadian tech daddy

This week, I had the unexpected thrill of meeting the ultimate Canadian alpha geek - the man commonly acknowledged to be the father of Canadian computing, Calvin (Kelly) Gotlieb.

too much green for big green

This past week, I somehow stumbled into the reflected glare of the spotlight being trained on Northwestel because of the three internet failures it had suffered in the course of two weeks.

apping up the yukon

Twice in my life, before the advent of smart phones and mobile applications, I managed to arrive as a newcomer to a foreign city with almost complete knowledge of what I wanted to see there, and what streets to walk to see those things.

a geek in the woods

About nine years ago, I rediscovered the pleasures of the extended nature walk, something I had taken for granted during my years as a land surveyor, but lost track of in my new, sedentary career as a computer geek.