Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cargo Cult Business

I was talking to my brother last night and the term "Cargo Cult" came up. I
don't know why. But it sure rang a bell with me. I haven't heard this term
for thirty years. During WWII the US military sent Seabees into the South
Pacific to build wharves and airstrips to receive ships and planes. Natives
of the area saw this activity and then saw the ships and airplanes arrived
and concluded, incorrectly, that the building of the airstrips and wharves
caused the arrival of the ships and planes. So they set out to build their
own airstrips in hope of attracting aircraft with cargo.

Wikipedia has a good short description:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

Richard Feynman (famous physicist) has a commencement address on the
subject: http://www.physics.brocku.ca/etc/cargo_cult_science.html

This guy has some interesting things to say about Cargo Cults and business
http://www.coolth.com/cargo.htm

Some people want to make a Cargo Cult business, i.e. they want to make a
business by setting up all the trappings of a business without any
understanding of why that business works. Some businesses, like retail, you
might be able to do that. I don't think you can do that with a business like
ours.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

a little idea - computer box with front access only

I want a computer case where everything could be accessed from the front. I always hated having to crawl around and behind and underneath in order to hook up all the cables to a new computer.

Everything would be accessed from the front. Power cord, switches, cable connections, air flow in and out, removable media. The sides, top, bottom and back would all be solid. A bunch of machines like this could be stacked up against a wall and you could still have access to everything.

For repairs, all of the internal components could be mounted to some kind of chassis that would slide out of the case making it possible to add or replace components.

You would want any switches, lights and/or drives with removable media mounted high up on the panel so that hanging cables would not interfere with them.

You could add a removable cover for the front and the machine could be it's own shipping case. Putting some shock absorbers between the internal chassis and the box it is housed in means you could put the cover on and check it as luggage on an airliner. This would eliminate all the hassle of having to keep a shipping container and its' attendant foam packaging on hand, and having to pack and unpack the computer every time it was moved. Could be a big advantage for LAN parties.

I am thinking that a box about one foot wide by one foot deep by about a foot and a half tall would do.

I think a computer box like this would be very popular with some groups. Maybe with everyone. Space is getting more constrained all the time. Setup and hookup would be easier and the time required would be greatly reduced with this box. Some people won't like having fans blowing at them, but some kind of half cover/baffle that would cover everything up but still allow airflow and cable access could make this kind of box acceptable for desktop use.

I would like a computer box like this. I have thought about building one, but I haven't found the time. Perhaps you might be interested in building such a box. If you every get around to it, I might even buy one.

If this idea interests you, please give me a call. I would be happy to talk about this idea, because right now, that is all it is, an idea.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Day off

Took the day off from work today. Went to the doctor Tuesday, the fifth time since Thanksgiving, trying to get my sinusitis under control. Started me on my third course of Prednisone. When I first started taking it, it didn't affect me much, mentally. But now it really jacks me up. Makes me an aggressive driver. Didn't like the way I was driving yesterday, so I decided I wouldn't drive today. Stayed home and took care of a couple of things that needed doing.

Anne got me some sheepskin seat covers for Christmas for the Sebring. So all jacked up on Prednisone, and nobody here to hear me cursing seemed like a good time to get them installed. Got one cover installed on the drivers seat. Took two hours. Pulled the seat out and carried it into the kitchen and set it on the cardboard covered kitchen table. Kind of like "War Of The Worlds" (I really liked the scene in the kitchen with the engine on a stand next to the kitchen table. Man had his priorities straight.)


It is a power seat so there were two cables connected to it. One for the motors and one for the seat belt. I like the Chrysler electrical connectors better than I like the Ford's. They both have a little clip that has to be pressed or pried before the connectors will come apart. They latches on the Ford are much more difficult to operate, and unless you are careful they will break off, and without the latches the connectors don't stay together very well. The latches on the Chrysler are easier to operate, but it can be a trick to figure just which part of the connector is the latch and whether it needs to be pushed or pulled. But I figured these out and got them apart. Removed the switch panel from the side of the seat and stretched the cover over the seat. I wasn't real happy about the way it fit, but after some tugging it seemed okay. Putting the switch panel back on meant driving the screws right through the side panel of the seat cover. So they are mine now, no taking them back at this point. Put the seat back in the car and start bolting it in. One bolt goes in really easy and then it won't tighten up. Pull all the bolts back out and lift up the seat to inspect. The clip nut for the bad bolt has slipped out of position so I wrestle it back to where it goes. All goes together smoothly.

When I get in the car this evening to go see Dad, something is wrong with the seat. Oh, Anne has been driving it and has moved the seat all katty-wampus. Takes seconds, seconds I say, to get it back to somewhere where it should be. Never does seem to be right. I'll sort it out.