Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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February 2016 Archives

Televangelist streak, for the Internet Archive

I've occasionally served as a sort of evangelist. Getting revved up in front of people, weighing the connection potential in the moment and aiming quickly for maximum.

It helps to have something to rave about. I haven't yet found the book of a true god to wave around. There's no living or dead mortal I would recommend for everything.

Instead have raved about the potential for us to use our fabulous tools to better know each other. One incarnation is the Internet Archive. When they invited me to participate in their first-ever Internet Archive Telethon, I was honored for the chance to do right by this bulging bargain bin of human creation.

20 December 2015 I showed up before 6am, over 18 hours deep into the proceedings. Michelle Krasowski, an expert archivist and eccentric, offered to first screen my film overshare before our conversation. I suggested we should instead aim for the live. Michelle and I then commenced to discourse on the virtues of this digital library and our potential to educate the young artificial intelligences of tomorrow through our contributions today. For a moment, I imagined a perfect perpetual permalink.

It was a fun ramble, followed by an archivist dance party. All of it broadcast live to 54 people, and then video footage was posted on the Internet Archive in a Telethon wrap up post.

I decided to edit down the whole telethon into just our conversation:

YouTube and Facebook and The Internet Archive and Patreon.

Whilst fast-forwarding through the footage, I noticed home many times I was extolling the virtues of the Internet Archive, like I was daring myself to speak even more convincingly of its critical role in our shared human literacy. It was a good time, for what I felt was a good cause - donations to the Internet Archive. Fun to exercise my televangelist muscles! Next year maybe I can read aloud from Ecclesiastes.

Two Many Gmail Accounts? A Chrome Tip

tl;dr: new video explains a useful way to manage multiple Gmail accounts in Google Chrome:

YouTube: "Two Many Gmail Accounts? A Chrome Tip"


I got my first job in 1988 at 14 years old. I sold computer software at a retail software store in the basement of a bookstore called "Software Etc." Soon customers began hiring me to install software for them, at about 7x my hourly wage ($3.91 an hour, versus $20 an hour). My fondness for computers lead me to a lifetime of translating technology to other people.

Ten years later, I was an on-air TV host explaining the web with ZDTV's "Call for Help" with Leo Laporte:

That web explaining TV gig didn't last long, and I don't do much computer consulting these days. But I still get a deep thrill from helping people use these tools.

Recently I realized that many of my friends have multiple Gmail accounts, like I do. And I realized they mostly used Google Chrome, like I do. And many of them were signing out from one Gmail account each time they wanted to sign into their other Gmail! Or frequently using Incognito windows on their own personal computers. That isn't necessary - as it turns out, the Google Chromemakers have fashioned a useful system of "user profiles" and here's a short video that explains how it might be useful to you:

This kind of technology suggestion video is not a timeless truth - someday like Netscape, and Microsoft, Google will no longer dominate our online lives. But for now, if it does, you might find this tip useful. And then this will be a time capsule to 2016 browsing & online identity history. Perhaps I accentuated the rate of decay on this video by filming in 640x480 using a 2003 iSight web camera. Shooting a tech tip, in my glasses, at my desk, using an old webcam, felt like a nice change of pace from my typical greenscreen productions! Produced with the now-typical level of subtitle saturation (thorough).

email I get these days

I have a 22 year old web site. People email me sometimes about it. I often get emails from people offering me content! A sign of the full blossoming of online attention commerce:

"I am part of the team at XYZ, a site focused on [happiness / love / relationships / standing desks / startups / mobile apps / video games / sexual disfunction drugs]. I came across your site and really liked it! You have some great content, and I think there's a big opportunity here for us to grow our audiences together."

In spite of the rote quality of many of these inquiries, I prefer to take this interaction at face value, and treat these folks like potential collaborators:

"Let's make content together! Based on the overall theme of, maybe you could write content about my life for me?"

I haven't yet gotten anyone to take me up on my offer :-/ I'm curious what someone else might do with this source material!

Today I got a more nuanced email I'd like to share: "Just came across you"

Hi, I'm just a girl who was looking up A.C. Shoulder separation and stumbled across your article about your shoulder surgery. Which led me to your bio, and I watched your full video on your life. I found it so interesting and inspiring. I'm nothing like you, in terms of knowing so much about computers, I'm sure that really was a catalyst for your interesting life. Anyways I'll keep it short. Thanks for sharing yourself and your life. Thanks for your thoughts and ideas on protecting people from big businesses that want to control us all. Very exciting to see such passion. Have a great day!

Your fan,

I'm not sure I'm the best protector from big businesses that want to control us all - I'm a bit of a tech booster, and social technology is a gateway drug to participation in 21st century global capitalism. But I am someone who shares all kinds of stories hoping they might be useful to someone and so I was chuffed to have successfully captured this person's attention, and maybe to have left them happier at the end.


Thanks Steve Rhodes - from @tigerbeat on Instagram
June 2012 dancing in the streets of San Francisco with Ilyse Magy, photo thanks Steve Rhodes on instagram!

Hi, I'm Justin Hall and this here is a personal web site I've used to chronicle my time on earth since 1994. The content on the front page is relatively recent; if you search through the archives, you'll find old pieces of Justin. Some folks have indexed my doings on Wikipedia.

Twitter: jah
Facebook: Justinreach

eBooks by Justin Hall

I've published books for sale, somewhere else online! Behold:

Now available for the Kindle: A Story of GameLayers. My experience being CEO of a tech company, 2007-2009:

"A tell-all story of a startup from the very beginning, with lots of info about real-world fundraising. A more intimate look than you'll find in other business reads." says Irene Polnyi in a 5-star review on

A Story of GameLayers, for the Amazon Kindle.