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The 2016 Kia Sorento

So-called budget brands continue to ascend into territory previously dominated by higher-end marques, so I wasn’t entirely surprised by how pleasing a week I spent with the Kia Sorento 2.0L SX AWD.

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The speed value of an empty desktop

It’s common for people to replace their computers every three or four years. They seem to believe performance degrades so much that they need new machines to gain speed increases. Sometimes that’s true. Hard disk drives,for instance, can wear over time. Inexpensive machines aren’t usually built to be upgraded. But if you want to keep working with your […]

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Lexus heads to the races in the RC F

Every automaker, no matter how environmentally attuned, has a “no replacement for displacement” crowd in its ranks. Lexus let their NRFD bunch have some fun, so they shoehorned a 5.0L V8 into a “cutting-edge” rear-wheel-drive two-door coupe. You can now buy it as the 2016 Lexus RC F.

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Inbox Zero: tips to clear your inbox (and your mind)

On June 11, 2016, I had the pleasure of presenting tips on how to empty your inbox at the Editors Canada national conference in Vancouver. Despite mine being the final time slot of the day, I think I managed to keep too many people from yawning. I presume my passion for the topic – this habit does […]

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The fun runabout: 2016 Kia Soul

Call them mini-crossovers. Call them tall wagons. Call them increasingly common, members of a vehicle segment that’s exploding with new arrivals. Among all the flashy new segment entries competing for market share, older models like the 2016 Kia Soul are raising their game. Kia leant me a red/black two-tone Special Edition-Sport for a week, and I’m happy to report this sporty […]

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Troubleshooting a Mac: Beware of Third-Party Utilities

In early June, I gave a one-hour workshop at the Vancouver Editors Canada conference. I spoke about Inbox Zero, the lack of which can be a drag on productivity. Two things happened at this conference that triggered my dreaming up a series of blog posts, the first of which you’re now reading. Sometime after the halfway point of this session, […]

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2016 Ford Focus Titanium

Upgrades to economical runabouts appeal to many car buyers, and that’s the field Ford plays in with the 2016 Ford Focus Titanium. First impressions Ford’s current design language includes its take on the trendy but handsome vertical grill that makes me think of the gaping mouth of a whale. Headlights seem to want to move to the sides of the vehicle, […]

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Improving automakers’ owner manuals

Do you know anybody who reads auto manuals? If you know me, you do. Why do I do this? I review cars (one review appears on this blog every second week) and I like to get my own answers to questions on the technology I’m using. I’m a longtime technical writer. I both produce documentation and scan […]

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The 2016 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T TSI

Over the last ten years, automakers have disposed not just of models but entire nameplates (thank you, Great Recession). That’s why it was a pleasure to drive a model that carries the same name as a car I owned more than two decades ago: the 2016 Jetta 1.4 TSI Trendline+. (Well, mine wasn’t a Trendline, but it was a […]

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Why writers should use mind maps

I don’t experience writer’s block. That isn’t a boast. I’ve developed tactics that enable me to write a decent first draft without much difficulty. The main tactic: I use a mind map. About mind maps Rather than discuss the method, I’d rather explain why I use it. (There’s an example towards the end of this blog post, if […]

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