Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest
If the type is too small, Ctrl+ is your friend

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Panhard Dynamic

Panhard Levassor Dynamic 1938

I'm still on an Alan Furst kick. This week I'm reading Mission to Paris. Early on, an American actor sails to Europe. When he arrives, the studio's agent picks him up in a 1938 Panhard Dynamic. France was in the middle of changing over from right hand drive cars to left hand drive. As a compromise, the Panhard's steering wheel was in the center.

Friday, April 28, 2023

The Diplomat - Netflix Series

The Diplomat | Official Trailer | Netflix

Got a bunch of people running around being very serious, splitting hairs over who should say what to the public. I don't know how you could maintain that much intensity for more than a couple of hours, but apparently this is what these people run on. The best part is the new US ambassador to the UK is apparently bipolar in regard to her husband, who is also a career diplomat.

We get to visit Winfield House, the Ambassador's residence:

Winfield House

Barbara Woolworth Hutton (1912 - 1979)

Winfield House was built in 1936 for Barbara Hutton, granddaughter of Frank Winfield Woolworth. Yes, that Woolworth. She gave it to the US Government in 1955.

Winfield House in London

The building sits on a 12 acre private park.

We also get to visit the new US Embassy building:

US Embassy London UK
Also Known As The Sugar Cube


The Death of Jane McCrea (1804) by John Vanderlyn

IAman picked up a book at the swim center free-library.

[It] is the short journal of a young woman traversing the Oregon trail with her family 1870s.  May to November, 7 months.  Striking how matter of fact she is.  And how there is an expectation of proper behaviour, even scallywags are tame compared to what we see on TV these days.  People acting  outside these norms (Indians) are termed savages, and not to be trusted.


Low Life Criminals go Upscale

Maserati-driving suspects fail to steal catalytic converter in Berkeley, threaten witness with guns by Harry Harris

BERKELEY — Two men driving a Maserati SUV failed to steal a catalytic converter from a vehicle Thursday morning and pointed guns at a man walking his dog before fleeing, police said.

Normally I don't post anything about everyday crime because that's just what it is - everyday kind of bullshit, but this one got my attention. There are more rich people than ever before, and they are richer than ever, and they go through luxury goods like Jackie Chan through an army of thugs. Some, possibly even most, rich people are prudent and take care of their material possessions, but some, especially the nouveau rich, are profligate. They cast off valuable goods as fast they acquire them and when that happens there are scavengers just waiting to swoop in and scarf it up. So, yeah, I can see how a couple of talented thieves could manage to latch onto a Maserati. Doubtful that they will have it for long, longevity is probably not a big concern with people who are looking to make their daily quota on $100 transactions.

Via California Bob and IAman

Hotel Ještěd

Czechia's Incredible 1960s Supervillain-Lair Hotel (And Why Its Architect Got Banned By The Regime)
The Tim Traveller

I've been re-reading Alan Furst's espionage novels set in Europe during the onset of WW2, so the subjects of freedom and tyranny are on my mind these days. I like special buildings and I like Tim, so this video hits a sweet spot.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

YouTube Shorts

Most days  I spend some time watching YouTube Shorts. Some are silly, some are entertaining, some are garbage, but ever now and then something very good pops up. I've been trying to figure out how to share them, just in case anybody might be interested. I tried posting them on Twitter for a bit, but I seldom found anything of interest there so eventually I quit going. I do see Twitter posts quoted almost daily somewhere in Feedly. In order to come up with those gems, somebody must be spending a heck of a lot of time on Twitter.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out what to about these YouTube Shorts. What I would like would be to just add them to a playlist, but that doesn't seem to be an option unless you are willing to jump through some hoops. So right now I am just going to try embedding links to a few.

That's all I got for now.

Fearless Leader

The leader is the epitome of the core values of his people. He can flail his arms and scream and shout as much as he likes as long as he protects the core value of his tribe. The core value of his tribe is survival of the tribe. So all this noise about whatever the thing of the day is just that noise. The big question is - is the defense budget going up? As long as the defense budget keeps going up, all is well. Well, as well as can be expected given the annoying noise makers who are running the country these days.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Paper Drawings

I'm sitting outside on my backyard patio in my shirtsleeves, drinking a beer, listening to some tunes and just generally enjoying life when my wife appears bearing a sheaf of house plans. We've been on a tear, well, she's been on a tear and I am a willing accomplice, so what's to be done with these plans? Well, they're all plans for the house we spent three years remodeling in Portland. We sold that house in January and we have been trying to purge it from our lives, so we probably ought to just throw them in the recycling bin. I mean, a lot of good paper there. You know, the high quality shit, not that effin newsprint. On the other hand we did spend three frickin' years on that project, so maybe we ought to take look, see if there is anything spectacular in there that might be worth saving. So I spend a couple of minutes paging through them, they're big, D size sheets, two minutes longer than my wife thought they were worth. So I page through them while she stands there fuming.

The paper is being difficult, the sheets won't separate. My fingers are too dry and they just slip on the paper, but I persist (in spite of the steam) and I eventually get through them. Of the two dozen sheets I save three B-size floor plans. During the three years we spent on this project we probably went through a couple hundred sheets of D-size plans, and a similar number of C and B-size drawings. All these plans cost money, some I ordered from Office Depot and some came from design firms. Some came from microfilm. The city used to collect actual paper plans, but a long while ago they started microfilming the plans. Probably mounted the microfilm in IBM cards. The next step was to run them through an automatic scanner and upload a digital version of the image into the great cloud of network servers in the sky. So when I came around and wanted the original plans, I got digital images from the city and sent them to Office Depot.

Used to be there were multiple grades of paper. Things like blueprints didn't get very hi-grade paper, after all they didn't need to last very long. But now you want a print of a digital image, Office Depot will do it for you, but the base grade of paper is like premium paper from before the digital revolution. Now-a-days, printing serves a different purpose than it did before. Anybody can print anything now, but the base service is like what premium service used to be for high volume shops.

I read a story some time ago and someone in the story mentions that he spent the war (WW2 in the UK) at a drafting table, drawing the same bracket over and over again. I was thinking he should have gotten a template printed up that included all the parts of the bracket that weren't subject to change. But then you look at the setup charge, and how big a print run do you want to make? Cheaper by far to just have him draw the whole thing over again. They probably already have a template that included the border and the title box, so that didn't have to be drawn. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Puzzle of the Day

Science Fiction Street Scene by Mad Dog Jones

The mouse emblems refer to EDM (Electronic Dance Music) star Deadmau5. I dialed up one of his tunes, it didn't do anything for me. 200 piece puzzles are just about right for me with the screen I've got. This one took about an hour.

I need to work on the format for this blog. 'Extra large' images are 640 x 480 which was great when the screen width was 1,000 pixels, but my monitor now is nearly double that. Of course, as always, you can click to embiggenate to see the image full size.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

New Desk

New Desk with Chromebox and Sceptre display

My wife helped me purge my paper files last weekend. It's something I had been meaning to do for years, but somehow I never got a round toit. I had two file drawers in Steelcase desk crammed full of important papers. We went through and funny enough, most of those important papers were useless. I am left with maybe a foot of files. We're going to need to make second pass through that. I imagine we will cut it in half. 

Cleaned out the bottom shelf of my bookcase, too. It held a bunch of 3-ring binders full of technical notes from my time at Intel. Most of that stuff is obsolete. No doubt there are still places that are using old Multibus computer equipment, but those that are, probably have all the information they need. When I started at Intel, I was big on filing every bit of technical information that came my way. No internet back then. After a while, I realize that filing something was like dropping it in a black hole. I never saw it again, so I start making notebooks, one for each particular subject / product / system, and kept those notebooks on a bookshelf in my office. That worked much better, especially since the notebooks had clear, legible labels. Never made that change at home, probably because I didn't access those files every day, I only opened them up maybe once or twice a month. 

This weekend we're clearing out old furniture in preparation for the big remodeling project. Wonderful, big, old oak desk is going to the garage sale, my old steelcase desk went to younger son, and I got my wife's  fancy basement table. See how shiny it is!

Previous iterations of my office PC here.


It's the Matrix, but for locusts.
Tom Scott

I don't see how this research is going to help, but I guess that's what science is about. You go digging into something, trying to understand how it works and maybe you learn something useful. Maybe you don't, but you don't know unless you try.

If you've got your tinfoil hat on, you might notice that bugs 'marching in unison' is basically herd behavior, something that happens with many (all?) animals including humans. So this research into locust behavior is just the first step on the journey toward total mind control of all humans. Bwaa ha ha ha ha hah!

On the downside, there are bug farms now in operation that are growing zillions of bugs to feed any critter willing to eat them. I wonder how long it will be until one of these bug farms has a major breach and an escaped swarm devastates the surrounding area. Unlikely to be as devastating as a real swarm, but it will be enough to make the news and panic the easily panicked, which is the main goal of all media.

Via Ross and Harvard

Saturday, April 22, 2023


Thu Vu Trong

A slightly different take on the Cold War space race. Tune by Leslie Fish.

IAman sent me this the other day. I've seen it before. Thought I posted it on this here blog, but after rooting through the archives I came up empty, so here we are.