Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Net is magic

In a class for repairing PC's we were instructed to never "let the magic blue smoke out." It is like unto voodoo; when you consider it. Being able to communicate in what amounts to real time or to collaborate with anyone anywhere. And everyone is catching on to what the latest applet is. A word that AFAIK didn't even exist 20 years ago.

It didn't come with a warning label. However it should have. That's a warning to you the user. ;-) Maintain your PC. And remember if it crashes you have to restore the data. If it is critical you must rebuild it. And that should have been tested and shown to work. Shutdown and disconnect your computer and blow the dust out. I do it twice a year. Consider it's environment and adjust to suit. Carefully remove the front panel and remove any collected dust and also the side panel and holding the fan gently but firmly with a finger tip I blow out the heatsink with canned air.

Heat is energy and we wish to conserve the latter. Today's processors are monstrously powerful at even low wattage rates; far outpacing what was the latest and most expensive of computers even 3 years ago. When purchasing a computer common sense choices can save energy and still provide a powerful home or business computer.

An example. Tiffanj is a box built for other users here. It has a 7500 rpm 250GB SATA HDD. The motherboard is a Gigabyte MA78GM-S2HP, Athlon Dual Core 4850e and 2 GB's of DDR2-800 RAM. You could likely find those parts near a $120 today. CPU is rated to 45 watts which is minuscule for the processing power. Though today I would choose perhaps the 705e triple core with 6MB of level 3 cache. A 65 watt cpu and a board with an AMD 785G chipset like the 'Guru of 3D' reviews here. Further if you install a version of linux ..you don't have to buy Windows 7 or any other OS. And most viruses and worms won't work on your system. ;-) How's that for magic?

Maintenance will give you a faster PC that runs cooler and lasts longer; while saving energy.

AFAIK- as far as I know
YMMV- your mileage may vary

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Astronomical Data Site

Previously I reported an awesome event in which the sunset and moonrise were opposite and simultaneous..well mostly. It is possible to download a table with a calculated set of times for your US city or with appropriate longitude and latitude the data for anywhere it seems. Coutesy of the new portal by the Naval Observatory. Thank you ladies and gentlemen.

There are directions to import your data into an Excel spreadsheet if you like. Probably quite similar for someone using OpenOffice.

If you should happen to make use of the data and find a special event to watch. Well then you'd have something to blog about too. ;) Feel free to comment.

Monday, September 14, 2009

It works!!

HAHA!! DVD's and Youtube play just fine now. Gentoo is awesome right now.

I had not yet managed to play movies in Linux till recently. Well the ATI 3200 IGP hardware talks to DRM and:

[drm] Initialized drm 1.1.0 20060810
pci 0000:01:05.0: setting latency timer to 64
[drm] Initialized radeon 1.30.0 20080528 for 0000:01:05.0 on minor 0
[drm] Setting GART location based on new memory map
[drm] Loading RS780 CP Microcode
[drm] Loading RS780 PFP Microcode
[drm] Resetting GPU
[drm] writeback test succeeded in 1 usecs
eth0: no IPv6 routers present
seahorse-agent[16993]: segfault at 0 ip 000000000043622f sp 00007fff6b9be780 error 4 in seahorse-agent[400000+52000]
UDF-fs: Partition marked readonly; forcing readonly mount
UDF-fs INFO UDF: Mounting volume 'THE_LAND_BEFORE_TIME', timestamp 2003/10/10 20:58 (1f10)
[drm] Resetting GPU
mtrr: MTRR 4 not used
[drm] Setting GART location based on new memory map
[drm] Loading RS780 CP Microcode
[drm] Loading RS780 PFP Microcode
[drm] Resetting GPU
[drm] writeback test succeeded in 1 usecs
seahorse-agent[22896]: segfault at 0 ip 000000000043622f sp 00007fffd3665cf0 error 4 in seahorse-agent[400000+52000]
ahh blast...not so quick it seems. there is a problem with this seahorse agent. (Goes off to investigate)
About not writing for 2 weeks; cut my hand at work and had a tough time. Was saving my hands for work.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

two horizons

Is it custom elsewhere? Along the beach people gathered on the edge of the sand to watch the sunset as they often did and salute the end of the day with the sea breeze and perhaps a beverage. Watching the light of the parting sun play upon the clouds as the gentle wash of the waves soothingly lapped upon the land.

This day was special though. April 22 1997. Today as the sun set the moon would rise huge and full upon the other end of the island. Note that the moon is fully above or on the horizon 3 minutes after sunset.

Estero Island is a 7 mile long sand bar in the shape of a shallow cresent. The southern end is trailing east by southeast a bit. The sun sets often in spring just over the west by northwest tip at the other end. The name estero I am to understand means oyster in Spanish. And the island is also called Ft. Myers Beach.

Here is a cut and paste of the days moonrise and sunset times.

U.S. Naval Observatory
Astronomical Applications Department

Sun and Moon Data for One Day

The following information is provided for Fort Myers Beach, Lee County, Florida (longitude W81.9, latitude N26.4):

22 April 1997 Eastern Daylight Time

Begin civil twilight 6:34 a.m.
Sunrise 6:58 a.m.
Sun transit 1:26 p.m.
Sunset 7:55 p.m.
End civil twilight 8:19 p.m.

Moonrise 7:04 p.m. on preceding day
Moon transit 1:01 a.m.
Moonset 6:55 a.m.
Moonrise 7:58 p.m.
Moonset 7:35 a.m. on following day

Full Moon on 22 April 1997 at 4:33 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

I would be interested in predicting these events and hearing of them. The best for viewing would likely be a half moon and a setting sun. At least you could watch both without mirrors.

Anyway...we applauded that sunset. Is this a beach custom elsewhere?