Keys arranged to spell out Control-Alt-Backspace.

Welcome to Control-Alt-Backspace, a place for collecting ideas on regaining control in an increasingly complex world. Check out the manifesto to learn more about the purpose of this site or the sitemap for an overview of series and topics, or jump right in with recent posts below.

Control-Alt-Backspace updates every Monday. Got questions about something you read or suggestions for new posts? I love hearing from people – shoot me an email!

Recent posts

Managing Temporary Files

9 minute read

So you’ve followed the tips in the design section of this series, and you have a nicely laid out, organized filesystem. That’s great when you know where ...

Why and How to Follow Websites with RSS

9 minute read

How do you get most of the news and other material you read nowadays? If you’re like most people, a lot of it comes from social media of one type or anot...

Scripting as Effective Communication

11 minute read

Take a moment right now to recognize how amazing a device a computer is. That little hunk of metal on your desk or in your pocket or in a vast se...

Spaced Repetition From The Ground Up

17 minute read

Last week we looked at three principles that combine to create an extraordinarily effective, scientific study method called spaced repetition. You ce...

Spaced Repetition

6 minute read

In today’s fast-paced, information-driven world, everyone must constantly learn new things. While learning itself can be challenging at times, rememb...

Why and How to Focus on Requirements

6 minute read

I got in an argument at work during a meeting last week. It was one of those annoying arguments where you’re sure you actually agree with your opponent, ...

Human Memory by Example: Weaknesses

13 minute read

This is part two of “Human Memory By Example.” Last week we focused on strengths of human memory; this week we’ll look at weaknesses with an eye towards how ...

The 2018 Concentration Project: A Review

12 minute read

Over the course of 2018, I’ve been undertaking an extended project which I’ve titled the 2018 Concentration Project. The goal was to improve my ability to co...

Starting Off with a Backup

12 minute read

What would happen to your digital life if your house suddenly burned down tomorrow? Would you be all right, or would you have yet another nasty problem piled...

Why Keep a Local Filesystem?

8 minute read

I like to start out my series here on Control-Alt-Backspace by discussing why you should care about the topic. After all, if I can’t convincingly answer that...

Why You Still Need To Know Things

11 minute read

It’s hard to learn things, and it’s even harder to remember them after you learn them if you’re not using them constantly. Humanity has had this problem sinc...

An Introduction to Keyboard Shortcuts

7 minute read

The computer mouse is a fabulous invention. It makes many things that would be extraordinarily frustrating without one (editing images and videos, finding op...