A decades-old computer programer habit, when packaging up multiple files together in a folder, is to add a very simple .txt file named ‘read me’ or similar.
Anything the buyer or user needs to know, in order to make the software function, i.e. which of the other enclosed files to click on first, is explained in the read me.txt file.
Simple, but effective. Assuming people read the ‘read me’ file, which I’m guessing that most of us don’t.
Incidentally, the file to click on first is probably the one ending in .exe, which is a file format that will actually DO something, rather than, say, contain graphic elements or styling information.
Wikipedia puts it like this “.exe is a common filename extension denoting an executable file (the main execution point of a computer program) for Microsoft Windows.”
And not so incidentally, whenever I visit Wikipedia these days I get a message like this one:
We ask you, humbly: don’t scroll away.
Hi reader, this Friday, for the 8th time recently, we ask you to defend Wikipedia’s independence. Thanks to the 2% of readers who donate, Wikipedia remains open to all. If Wikipedia has given you €2 worth of knowledge, take a minute to donate to keep it thriving for years. Show the editors that their work matters. If you are one of our rare donors, we warmly thank you.
For the eighth time? Oh wow. They keep asking me for money, yet I manage to ignore them, despite actually thinking that Wikipedia is a great cause, and even having access to a company credit card so not having to dig deep into my own pocket.
Either I am extremely lazy, then, very mean (though as it wouldn’t be my money, it’s probably not that), rather busy, or… and it probably IS this, it’s the ‘humbly’ in the title that is putting me off. Along with the paltry €2 being asked for. I betcha Donald Trump would never ask for $2, and certainly not humbly. I betcha also that he gets more donations than Wikipedia does, poverini. Is there justice in the world? OF COURSE NOT.
OK, here’s what we’ll do.
For every club member that leaves a comment on this article saying how Wikipedia has helped or informed them, I’ll send a €5 donation, up to a maxiumum of €100, or £, or whatever.
If none of you can be bothered to leave a comment (visit the website, find this article, scroll down to the end, your email address is required but won’t be published), then I’ll make no donation, on the grounds that you guys are just as lazy as I am. At least until the Wikipedia people get themselves a copywriter with some balls, anyway.
And in the unlikely event that there are more than 20 comments (from different club members, mind) I’ll consider upping the maximum donation. It’s the club’s money, and probably tax-deductible.
N.b. Emailing me doesn’t count. I get enough emails already. I want COMMENTS on the website, in return for the donation (visit the website, find this article, scroll down to the end, your email address is required but won’t be published). OK?
Why? Because comments show the world that the club website is still alive, that there are people who value it, whereas emails to me simply add to the pile of stuff I have to get through today, or over the weekend.
Where were we? Ah yes, ‘read me’.
So anyway, I was short of ideas this morning and thought I’d try out something that I’ve been mulling over for a while. That I occasionally, or perhaps regularly, post a link to something on another website, and suggest that club members have a go at reading it (in Italian, obviously).
Why? Because many of you won’t, otherwise. But if I can encourage just a few of you to give reading authentic articles a try, who knows, you might make it a habit. And then your learning will be accelerated, and then we will all feel good.
Here we go then: one of the websites I look at on my phone before getting out of bed in the morning is RaiNews.it. It’s free, with no registration required, and is reasonably reliable and unbiased, unlike most of Italy’s ‘proper’ newspaper sites, which are over-expensive and often hard to make head or tail of.
There are lots of articles on RaiNews.it that I’d read if I had time today, and so may or may not have suggested that you do, too. However, because I am rather pushed this morning, I’ve gone for something short, with pictures:
Read me. Or at least look at the pictures.
Animal mums with their spring newborns – what’s not to like?
A lunedì, allora.
On Wednesday I was so busy ranting I completely forgot to try to flog this week’s half-price ‘eBook of the Week’ offer. Sorry. Here’s a cut and paste from Monday’s article, to make ammends:
Giacomo works as an electrician for the municipality in a small Italian city. He had dreamed of becoming an astronomer but is now happy to devote himself to his family and especially to his young son, Tommaso. Then one day, the boy asks his father why there are so few stars to be seen in the night sky…
Customer reviews, unfortunately everyone seems to have loved it, are here.
Thursday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news should also be on your ‘read me’ list today.
While I haven’t had time for this one yet, I suspect there are probably no baby camels.