I backed the AP80 on Kickstarter, and it arrived on schedule. During the campaign, the manufacturer’s representative promised explicit podcast and audiobook support would arrive in a firmware update. There’s no indication that this will ever actually happen, since they have never mentioned it since the campaign ended. Just understand that what ships might be exactly what you will have for the life of the player.

Database Mode

Seems to work much as previous non-touch Hiby OS versions. The Genre menu remains a useless wasteland, since it has no hierarchy beyond Genre, then ALL songs in that genre. Artist still seems to…


I had the latest and greatest version of Facebook’s interface force-updated recently. Like so many recent website updates, it appears that the intended audience either can’t see very well, or is using the website with a touch screen. Here’s my standard home screen under the old theme:

This is what it looks like on a 1080p monitor if I maximize the browser. Obviously, I never maximize the browser for Facebook — it wastes half the width of the screen. But, you can see over a dozen links on the left, including my curated list of shortcuts, and you can see…


The Mixtape Generation Runs Out of Options

Photo by Oleg Sergeichik on Unsplash

Once upon a time, I had a record player and a cassette recorder. I used these, as so many of my generation did, to listen to music and to make mix tapes. Some of those mix tapes were literally just two albums on two sides of a long-playing cassette. One of my favorites to listen to during my first job in high school was INXS “Listen Like Thieves” backed with ABC’s “How to be a Zillionaire.” Do not judge me — those were two very popular albums of 1985, and I think they mostly stand up today. …


Photo by Carl Nenzen Loven on Unsplash

This is a favorite anecdote that I share with folks I know. Back in 1992, I was in the Army at Fort Ord, based in lovely Monterey California. There was a junior enlisted fellow that worked in the supply room, and he had been working there before I arrived at the unit. After a few months, I found out his story, and it was a doozy.

This soldier, who I’ll call PV2 Smith, was not a supply specialist, but a communications specialist. Since we had no commo section in the battalion (they had been moved to higher headquarters two years…


There’s a bit of a controversy within the tabletop gaming world about whether “paid reviews” are ethical or not. This leads to a lot of consideration about the place of reviewers in society, and how to ensure they are as unbiased as possible.

In the traditional entertainment reviewing world, or even food reviews, there is a publication that hires someone to review things. This reviewer has a financial interest in being respected by the audience, and the audience is the greater community of consumers who are interested in whatever is being reviewed. Think of how much effort the most prominent…


I’m nearly fifty years old, and have no idea how to make friends. Looking back, I’m not sure if I’ve ever made a friend after high school. There are plenty of people who will talk to me, and even act like we are chummy. None of them call me to come out, and none of them do I feel comfortable calling. This feels like an abnormal state of being, or at least that’s the impression I get from my Facebook feed, filled with acquaintances (most of whom live several states away) who are sharing their collective experiences. …


People are increasingly amazed and sometimes aghast that I do not carry a cell phone and do not own a smartphone. “Gary, you’re such a massive geek, how do you not have a pocket computer welded to you at all times?” Well, let me tell you a tale of technology and pragmatism when living where I do and working where I do.

I live in a small city which is about 100 miles from the nearest slightly-larger city, and hundreds of miles from a real metropolis. I’m trying to pay down long-term debt and build up some savings so that…


It’s been twenty years since the first post on this blog, the still-topical Rude Online Bastards piece. While I have one of the oldest blogs still extant among my acquaintances (John Scalzi has me beat by a few months), the traffic definitely dropped some years back. The rise of LiveJournal and MySpace didn’t change things much, and in fact helped to drive traffic around the entire web. But, Facebook has really crushed the standalone web log (as it was once known). I did eventually learn to not cringe at the neologism “blog,” and now it’s essentially a relic. Ah, well.

Meanwhile, there are still trolls and jerks online, and twenty years of progress has not reduced their numbers in the slightest.

Originally published at BunkBlog.


There have been a number of articles written over the years about the relative size of different generations, and their respective power dynamics and interest in change.

The Baby Boom Generation (born 1946–1964) is about 29% of the US population. They were more numerous than the generation before, and once they rose to positions of authority in the business and political spheres, seem to have little to no interest in ever letting go. They are known for a lot of protesting and fostering some large changes in society, and then as they grew older, resisting any further changes. Also called…


Once upon a time, there was a U.S. President who campaigned on reforming immigration laws, in an attempt to make them more compassionate and humane, as well as addressing the practical issues of dealing with the millions of undocumented folks already in the country. He proposed a guest worker program, increased border security, and a path to citizenship for many of the (otherwise) law-abiding undocumented immigrants living in the USA. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act passed the Senate but died in the House (both houses were controlled by his own party). The President tried again the following year, and that…

Gary Bunker

Random mind-drippings about society, technology, entertainment, and whatever else falls out

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