Ah, but... will it run Crysis, or do I have to go back to mini- Doom?
52 posts • joined 19 Aug 2011
Watt's next for batteries? It'll be more of the same, not longer life, because physics and chemistry are hard
Re: Sodium Sulphur
I attended a Faraday lecture some decades ago on electric cars (when the only electric vehicle was a milk float) and the sodium/ sulphur battery was discussed. When 300 degrees was mentioned, the lecturer responded with the calculation of the potential energy in petrol, expressed as how many miles up the road a gallon of petrol would propel the average car. Silence from heckler.
Much like the British on holiday, NHS COVID-19 app refuses to work with phones using unsupported languages
A steady job
A relative worked at Fylingdales early warning system in the 70s. He had a steady job replacing American transformers, as our US friends tested by plugging in and switching on. Some amazing kit passed through his hands. I remember a record deck with a motorised threaded shaft which carried the arm and needle from right to left so there was no distortion. Usless fact of the day- because of the Yorkshire winters they couldn't get out often so they built the biggest Scalextric track in the county/ country / world to keep themselves occupied.
As one who was in the business, there is a well- trodden path to go down. FATS for factory acceptance tests, i.e. is it painted the right colour, is the red light on the left, etc. Then we move onto HATS, harbour acceptance trials i.e. does it float the right way up, does the radar work, DOES IT LEAK, are there sufficient sockets for kettles. Finally, SATS ( as above but at sea). Does it roll over, can it go back and forward, does it make a good "thrum" at full speed ahead. Who signed off Harbour Acceptance?
What did he do?
When I was an apprentice a mate rebuilt a Land Rover using the facilities of the material stores and replaced every bit of aluminium. His conversion to run it on Calor gas needed my assistance, as he was drawing off the gas so fast that the gas bottle was freezing. My solution- get a reel of 23/0076 wire, wind the cable round the gas cylinder and slap it across the battery. Eventually we worked out a control system (a switch) to stop the battery going flat.
I worked at a big Marconi site and every Monday morning, the main breaker had tripped out. It was traced back to my desk and an explanation was required. Me? Innocent! It turned out my kettle had a very slow leak to earth, when the kettle was unused over the weekend. It was enough current to trip out the main breaker. I had to buy another kettle myself.
Mines bigger than yours!
Not the biggest by a long way; in the 70s Fylingdales in Yorkshire was isolated by snow in winter so to amuse the UK and US staff had the biggest Scalextric layout. (Well they would, wouldnt they). A friend of a friend made a fortune fixing US kit that had been plugged into our mains.
It continuously evolves, improving every time. One long-awaited change I want, though is the change from 4/3 to 16/9 aspect ratio to get rid of the wasted space down each side of the screen. Perhaps its still 4/3 for ancient monitors but couldn't a bit of script read the aspect and squeeze to 4/3 if required?
Who is it for?
Make it clear who the review is aimed for; Blackberrys have good security (rumor 1) but are a fashion item down the local pub. NAS boxes are creeping further from business users down to domestic (rumor 2), so make it clear whether your review is aimed at the dolly-bird on the street corner or the sys admin stuck in the basement. Your "Best 10" are good, though.
Those were the days..
In the 70s HP computers came with a 5 1/4 demo disk that had Pac-Man and a op-amp circuit on it. One could vary the components round the op-amp and see the frequency response on a split-screen (wow!) underneath in real time. That was used once then it was Pac-Man all the way. The designers at HP had put some cunning anti-piracy on the floppy; it had 42 tracks instead of the regular 40, and if tracks 41 and 42 weren't there it wouldn't play. Sods!
You youngsters got it easy- O level geography maps had to learnt twice, in case we got a map in inches per mile or centimetres per kilometre. When I got to college for HNC, we had to learn valves/transistors and thyratrons/thyristors because we were in another changeover.
At least electricity goes at a sensible speed; 1 nanosecond per foot, which was fine for a starting point for signal delays across pcbs.
Don't forget the bloody Euro lot do fuel consumption upside down as well as metric, its litres per 100km over there.
Coat, fold-out walking stick, stomps off stage left.
When I were a lad...
In West Germany in the v early 60's they had it solved; in many towns, inductive sensors measured traffic flow, a box with transistors (or valves?) did the maths and a speed indicator on each lamp post told you the speed to do to hit the next light at green. Ok, it might have been only 20, but it was green all the way. Peace, calm, with no smoking tyres or brakes.
Good old days...
When I worked at the British United Shoe Machinery Company (yes, it was a mouthful) we hired computer time down a phone line in London and fed punched tape in at night; the result came back the next day. I still have my BBC Advanced User Guide in the attic, but dare not switch the BBC on in case capacitors have leaked and it goes bang! My clock is a few cycles out by now, it must be beer time.
Don't matter to me..
Crystal Palace is the one I can't get .. My aerial (in Leicestershire) points at the local East Midlands aerial at Waltham, about 25 miles away, but I get South Yorkshire / Lincs and Granada as well. Central Tonight, Calendar News or Granada Reports (in HD) are my choices. The auto-tune defaults to South Yorkshire!
The defence company I worked for ordered about 200 for staff at a reduced price. We paid for them over 12 months deduction from pre-tax salary. After delivery, there was a long queue in the stores corridor. After that, things went quiet as roms were copied to eproms, additional PCBs with eprom sockets designed to fit just above the keyboard. One could switch betwen Elite, the word processor and a clover bod wrote something like a spreadsheet. Another wrote a program that kept the BBC churning over all night generating a simple fractal image. Still got tapes, advanced users manual etc in the attic, but I daren't power it up in case the capacitors all go bang since it was last used 25 years ago.
Got a car?
You can cut your bills there too! Pump your tyres up to the "full of passengers" pressure, drive at maximum torque (efficiency) speed, don't use too much gas until the water is 88 degrees (most efficient for heat transfer), look ahead so you never brake and don't wear the tyres out driving over cats eyes. Before you ask, yes, my old man hailed from Scotland. In the home, after boiling the kettle, put the surplus in a Thermos flask and use that as a starter for the next cup.
Its all very well having a class A house, but you need class A occupants as well!
Sinclair's IC12 Audio amp started life as a Plessey low-wattage audio output chip. Seconds were sold off to Radiospares, who sold it as a 6 watt audio amp; their seconds were passed to Sinclair, who stuck the big finned heatsink on top and passed it off as 12 watts. Can't for the life of me remember whether it was RMS, peak or "music power", though. I had a Sinclair FM radio, which was also matchbox size; it ran on 2 mercury button cells. His calculators were RPN, just like the early HP calculators, I think. Can anyone confirm?
I'm out of phase now
So all we need is out-of-phase appliances and we'll be laughing all the way to the bank, as the utilities can't read what they really use. Don't get me going on CFLs, we either pollute the planet with mercury, or carbon if we don't switch to them. My Maplin plug-in wattmeter (about a tenner 5 years ago) is reading 25 as I type this on an HPG70 laptop, and wanders between 0.5 and 1 when nothing is plugged into it.