Will Computers Ever Become a Key Kitchen Tool?

With the holidays fast approaching, I can’t help but be paying a little more attention to what’s been going on in my kitchen, where mostly low-tech options reign.  I enjoy cooking and with that comes my very basic way of organizing recipes – in binders, sorted by category.  It’s simple and it works for me. 

I have a couple cookbooks on my Kindle and while I’m really happy with the Kindle for regular reading, it just hasn’t made its way into the kitchen as a viable way to store and access recipes.  I don’t want to get it messy during food preparation and I want to be able to move it around and view it from various places while I’m working on a meal.  A recipe card or magazine clipping in a small plastic sleeve always seems to work for me – I can tape it to a cabinet, slide it around on the counter and can wipe it off if I get greasy prints on it.  Plus, the screen saver never kicks on.

Still, the desire to bring computing to the kitchen has never been far from the minds of people who work with technology.  Starting in 1969, Honeywell introduced the first “kitchen computer”, the H316 pedestal model, offered by Nieman Marcus.

The need to take a two week programming course and the ability to be able to read the binary display was probably a few of the reasons there is no record of one ever being sold. 

Still, ideas for computing in the kitchen still rise to the surface.  Check out this article in the San Francisco Chronicle today, covering the ideas of a smart countertop, where cameras and a computer work together to identify food items and suggest recipe ideas that use the ingredients available.

Maybe this will entice my husband to don an apron and practice his knife skills.  Or not.


Happy 10th Anniversary to Active Directory

Time sure flies when you are busy keeping up with Active Directory, which has been around since it’s release on February 17, 2000 with Windows Server 2000.

I remember the first time I was part of an upgrade from NT 4.0 to Windows 2000 Active Directory. I was the sole IT person in the branch office and was working on a project to upgrading my branch office to be a child domain in the headquarters’ “new” Windows 2000 Active Directory forest.

The NT 4.0 PDC in my office had a DNS suffix defined in the network settings, and unknown to us at the time, caused my domain to end up with a disjointed namespace. Once we realized we had an issue, I got to be part of my first upgrade and my first rollback – all in the same evening.

Because I had taken my backup domain controller offline, it was pretty easy for me to bring NT 4.0 back to life. It was far more work for my colleagues at headquarters, who had to call support services for details on using NTDSUTIL to remove the remnants of the child domain controller out of AD forest so we could perform the upgrade again.

Several years, and several domain controller demotions later, I’m quite comfortable with the process I first saw happen back in that little closet of a server room. Active Directory, it’s certainly been fun 10 years!