Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Pergelator

Silicon Forest

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Globe

Babson Geophysical Globe. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Schuyler Otis Bland Memorial Library. Kings Point, New York.

I have a globe. It is slightly larger than normal with a diameter of 16 inches. It is nowhere near as large as the Babson Globe shown above, but I like it. I'm thinking I should make some kind of mounting for it, and I got to thinking that maybe I should fill it with concrete so as to give it a more realistic feel. Set something like that to spinning on good bearings and it might be days before it came to a stop.
    Then I got to wondering just how much a scale globe should weigh, so I did some checking. Here's what I found:
  • density of granite:   170 pounds per cubic foot
  • density of steel:     500 pounds per cubic foot
  • density of the Earth: 345 pounds per cubic foot
So the density of the Earth is midway between that of granite and steel. That makes a certain amount of sense. So how much would a scale model globe weigh with the same density as the Earth?
  • typical 12" globe:                   180 pounds
  • my extra large 16" globe:            425 pounds
  • Babson globe (7' 6" in diameter): 76,000 pounds
Then I got to thinking about the biosphere, the portion of the Earth where there is life, and I realize it's like the skin of a balloon, pretty damn thin, and fairly insubstantial. There are also some fairly sizable holes in it, like deserts, high mountain ranges and the polar regions. Our small size gives us a limited view, and gravity keeps us glued to the surface. Even though some of us have our eyes on the stars we are really all flatlanders.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Numbrix Three-fer Friday

I found a solution to today's Numbrix puzzle, but it was not the "correct" solution. I marched through all 81 squares in order and did not find any mistakes. When I checked the comments I found that several other people had run into the same problem.
edfix says "Today, we see a rare three-fer, with a record length (15) between the end points of the ambiguous string. . . . Either 30, 32 or 34 can go to the right of 29 to produce a valid solution."
james.adkinson says: "there are at least 3 different paths between 29 and 45".

Girls with Guns

ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 13, 2014) Airman Kiana Winbush fires an M-240B machine gun during a live fire exercise aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge.U.S. Navy photo by Travis DiPerna.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Acting is Work

Irba reports:
I am still in the office at 8 pm because this multi-billion dollar company cannot devise a backup for 3 Unix servers.

I restored 14G of data to each of them from my LAPTOP via FTP.

Businesses are predicated on dividing work into little bitty pieces, each of which are simple and obvious.

Working with computers requires a higher level of abstract thinking. This is something most businessmen do not understand and do not know how to handle.

It's kind of like making movies. You have legions of drones to do all the grunt work, all to support the small group of actors who constitute the 'talent'.

It's kind of not like the movies, because the 'talent' in movies is one of the main features that helps sell the product.

Computer geeks that keep the virtual gears turning smoothly have no such visible value. If things are working smoothly, well, we must not need the computer geeks.

I think the key is to manufacture a crisis every so often and then make a big show of having to work extremely hard to put things right. In other words, display your talent as an 'actor'.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mini-ITX Motherboard Computer Case

I am trying to resurrect my son's hackintosh. Everything was fine and then a pop-up told him an update was available and, without thinking, he said yes, and that was the end of that.
    He has it setup in a cardboard box, which is fine as long as the none of the power supply lines develop a short. I'm thinking there could be a better arrangement so I started looking around to see what was available. The Mini-ITX motherboard is about 6.7 inches square (that's six point seven) and even with the cooling fan on the CPU it is only a couple of inches tall, so I'm thinking that with a power supply and a hard disk drive I should be able to stuff this thing in an eight inch cube. If I can find one, which I can't.
    I'm looking around and I stumble over this cool time lapse video of  the installation of a large injection molding machine (that's for some values of 'cool'. Your mileage may vary.)


Kind of makes those Science Fiction movies with all their mysterious hoses and do-dads look simplistic, but it doesn't really help me with my problem. Then I stumble over this video. Normally I don't like to give bad examples any press, but this one is exceptional as a technology demonstrator.


We have a synthetic voice narrating and computerized speech recognition generating the subtitles, at least that's what I surmise. Presumably they fed their speech program a script to read. If you have the text, why wouldn't you use that for the subtitles? Perhaps they were enamored of the technology. Why enter the subtitles when you can simply press the 'automatically add subtitles' button?
     There's also the purpose of the video, which is to show you the best compact cases, but then they proceed to show you the biggest cases made for this form-factor, ones that will accommodate multiple hard disks, extra large video cards, extra large power supplies and even water cooling. I thought the whole point was to be compact. While these boxes are smaller than a conventional tower, they are not compact.