338 posts • joined 8 Sep 2006
Re: Excellent article
Don't mention loco engines - or he'll be doing a Bentley Deltic next.
I like it! Running up your engine in the back of a Sankey trailer is an 'interesting' way to get first-smoke.
On a much-more-micro scale I once conspired with the owner of a Heinkel bubble-car to replace the seized single-cylinder sub-200cc engine with a 3-cylinder Klockner-Humbolt-Deutz marine Diesel engine of about 1.5 Litres, and a centrifugal clutch. The usable rev-ranges of the two engines didn't coincide too well so some obscure shaft was turned-round in the gearbox. The KHD had so much torque a gearbox was unnecessary except for starting on the steepest of (Dutch) hills. 0-135KM/h in 2nd gear was fun. Eventually it caught fire catastrophically while stuck in a traffic-jam somewhere between Breda and Doordrecht.
Isn't this somewhat like the Doodson-Lege tidal-prediction engine?
[I have seen this particular machine in action. All things considered, it's surprisingly silent!]
I don't really class any of them as ~Vintage~ they've all got LCD screens!
[My first cellular mobile-phone was a "BT Steel" with a big carrier/recharger frame which bolted to the car transmission-tunnel. Before that, we had Pye Westminsters on the old BT System-4 VHF mobile network. ]
Oh look! A squadron of pigs just flew by.....
I'll believe it when it happens. Rather than the ICO/DCMS pocketing the cash I think the fines levied should be distributed amongst the complainants - to me that's "restorative justice" and if people realised nuisance-calls could be converted into a steady stream of additional income it might cause more people to complain aggressively/take legal action against the nuisance callers.
Me? I have been known to reply to nuisance-callers by breathing heavily and asking them what colour bra and panties they are wearing today. This tends to shut them up quickly, specially the male ones.
DAB, whether in a phone or not, is intrinsically power-inefficient: to receive a single stream you still have to receive the entire MUX and decode the 1536 subcarriers [oh, all those lovely compute-intensive FFTs!] - only to then throw away the vast majority of the recovered bits because they're not part of the stream you want to listen to.
The continued obsession by the Beeb/Ofcom with forcing DAB upon an unwilling public is nothing short of criminal abuse-of-power.
The only real heist is the one perpetrated against the-rest-of-us who are expected to fund this whole racket in 'carbon credits' through higher prices and higher taxes.
The very idea is akin to the Papal Indulgences that were traded in the middle-ages: someone in power invents a sin, while at the same time selling doctrinally-approved permits-to-sin and pocketing the cash.
What we have with 'carbon credits' is, so to speak, a "Sin of Emission".
Re: Not just once @Stoneshop
Agreed: there's a lot to be said for thermal-inertia once you get your house temperature up to the desired set-point: even if I let the woodstove go out there's still enough heat stored in a couple of hundred Kg of cast-iron-and-firebrick to keep the house warm for a day or so. [foot-thick internal masonry-walls help a bit too].
I defy anyone to successfully hack my stove via WiFi.
Re: OnePlus One
The FM radio uses the headphone-wire as the antenna.
Re: Still missing critical feature
Here at Scrotum Towers cleaning duties are performed by a German-made "Sebo". It was bought after a quick chat with my machine-room contract-cleaning provider-of-the-month. I weorked on the basis that if you're paid a fixed amount to do a job you'll want tools that let you complete it in the shortest-possible time so you can pay your minimum-wage cleandroids the least-possible.
So far the Sebo's been brilliant.
[His other cleaner suggestion was a Nilfisk-Advance - which I have to admit looked truly impressive in a kind of Android-brothel-meets-LEXX-shiny-stainless-steel-machine-porn-fantasy-sense but I just couldn't justify spending £1500 on something that would spend 99% of its life unseen and shut away in the cellar].
I wonder if it's smart enough to survive an attack from a sexually-frustrated Jack Russell Terrier?
Re: nokia carriers...
And with a Nokia it'll still be working well enough to let you call the Fuzz to report the crime after you've used it to beat the mugger unconscious.
Re: Get your own toys
Aren't the EU trying to do it with their "Galileo" GPS-alike, which project seems to be going oh-so-well?
[I guess their satellites just want to break free?]
ISM band allocation.
I do hope that Ozzie 900MHz radio is actually type-approved for use in ITU "Region 1" [Europe, Africa, the Middle East west of the Persian Gulf including Iraq, the former Soviet Union and Mongolia].
I remember some years ago being at a Gartner presentation where the guy said, in essence " any business that doesn't have a high-profile presence on Second Life is doomed to irrelevance in the next year "
I think we can all name a few businesses who took this advice to little benefit, and likewise plenty of businesses who didn't hear the message but for whom the Gartner-predicted doom is somehow taking longer to materialise than first predicted.
Re: Not only on planes
And there was the Meteor - basically a poorer-production-quality version of the Merlin, minus the superchargers and with a lower compression-ratio so it would run OK on commercial-grade petrol rather than AVGAS - which was used in quite a few WWII-era tanks.
One of the benefits of living somewhere distinctly non-Inner-City is the ease-of-access to a rather conveniently civilised place calling itself 'Waitrose', and their free-coffee-for-regular-customers.
[Claims that their car-parking spaces are also larger than Lidl's/Aldi's - to better accomodate clients' Range-Rovers - are unsubstantiated].
At the beginning of this year I borrowed a set of energy-meters from a client for a weekend. Stuck them on pretty much every appliance in the house, gathered the data into a spreadsheet... and discovered that I was spending something like £3 a day on electricity. Part of which was a standing-charge.
Remember - this was in winter. In summer it's probably half that (though the dehumidifier occasionally gets intensive use).
Honestly, even if through the use of a 'smart' meter I cut my electricity utilisation to *zero* then the saving is well down in the noise - there's at least three times that amount of daily variance in the cost of my wine-consumption.
Fretting about whether your fridge is costing you 20p or 22p a day to run - well, get over it and get a life.
Forget this whole idea of a "TV" whether 'smart' or dumb - what I would love is a decently-priced mid-size (28-inch max) 4K *monitor* that I could then connect to the local content-source of my choice (which will rarely-if-ever include 'broadcast media').
Personally, I don't want big screens - they're obtrusive and take up space which some of us would rather have occupied by that rather-more-traditional viewing technology known as "windows" - through which I can watch the outdoor-wildlife in real-time without any cheesy soundtack or narration.
[Last night there were three fox-cubs playing who-dares-get-closest-to-the-hose].
Bet you could have made some serious chicken-nuggets out of that !
[I, for one, welcome our new feathery-lizard overlords.]
I'm continually narked by travel-companies who seem to want a whole slew of irrelevant data about you (name, address, date-of-birth, height, weight, brother's inside-leg measurement, pet's star-sign and the colour of the last car you bought) before they will even *try* to give you a price for a flight/ticket/holiday.
[I've taken to giving them the cat's name, age, inside-leg measurement and height/weight just to confuse them]
Essentially, Paracetamol _is_ being used as a placebo in this case. Same goes for that other dish-it-out-to-get-the-patient-out-of-the-surgery-when-you-dont-know-whats-wrong-with-them offering, Ibuprofen.
Given the state of the pharmaceutical industry I wonder how long it will be before someone brings out "Placebo Extra™" - the proven power of Placebo™ you know and trust, now in a new double-strength formula. Available in easy-to-swallow caplets, suppositories*, or soluble formula.
*For all the good they'll do you you might as well shove them up your...
Placebo™ - so effective all other drugs are tested against it!
They moved to this in the Swindon branch a few months back. Allegedly.
It must be about a year since I went into a physical bank-branch of any flavour. IMHO the whole idea of high-street-type bank branches is today dead on its feet - they're never open when you need them for a start. Let them - along with post-offices - go the same way as yellow-pages, fax-machines and red telephone-kiosks: quaint reminders of slower, kinder, gentler times but totally irrelevant to the current millennium.
Ferrets In Spaaaaaace!
There's a part of me who's now pondering the extent to which the reduced-atmospheric-pressure-induced 'boiling' would have selectively distilled-off the alcohol from the beer, and what effect the lower temperature would have had on the relative vapour-pressures of alcohol vs water.
Hmmmm.. I would suugest that your research-team seeks liquid sponsorship from breweries for a future re-run or twenty, if only to ensure that the experimental results are repeatable and statistically-significant.
My suggestion would be to send aloft some Fursty Ferret or maybe some Dog's Bollocks.
They sell this as an improvement?
I think I'll be sticking with my late-1970s homebrewed four push-pull ultralinear KT66s feeding similar-era battered-but-heavy homebrewed speakers made from inch-thick MDF [I hand-wound the coils in the crossovers, measuring and matching the resultant inductances and capacitances to within 0.1% in the University physics lab], and my mid-1990s Philips CD-player, if you don't mind.
No "oxygen-free copper, directioonal" speaker-cables for me either - I find 4mm twin&earth mains-cable works just fine.
[Now, if someone could find me a pair of Quad electrostatics at a sane price....]
I wonder how these things will deal with a "call-for-heat" being issued somewhere but the stove's already consumed all the last fill of logs?
What we need is for someone to develop a Robotic Allen-Scythe!
It sounds horribly expensive and over-complicated: I have a vision of it toppling over and rolling down one of my 45-degree grassy slopes, to lie distressed at the bottom like an upturned turtle - or it fighting a losing battle with a coil of garden hose, or drowning itself in the pond.
Far better (and cheaper) to get an orphan spring lamb from the local farmer to crop your grass - this also has the advantage that at the end of the season you have something to go in the freezer.
So, this "Smart Fridge" will expect me to attach a food-specific tag to the unused bits of the lettuce I plucked from the kitchen-garden, the fresh haunch of Venison acquired from a friend, the wedge of Stilton or the Gloucester-Old-Spots-and-Bramley-Apple Sausages from the farmer's market before I put them in the aforementioned sapient appliance?
Sounds a hell of a lot of trouble to go to if you ask me.
And even if said fridge were to become conscious of the fact that I'm running dangerously low on Cucumbers, how will it know whether there are any available in the market (whether for ready money or not)? I guess I'll just have to risk offending Lady Bracknell.
First serious computer I ever programmed (batch FORTRAN) was the UMRCC CDC7600, with an ICL1906 (under GEORGE3) as the RJE terminal. As others have mentioned, it used 60-bit words - meaning if you used BCD encoding you could store ten characters per word and then do some evil masking/bit-shuffling.
I developed a hate/hate relationship with the method the thing used to request tape-mounts: often it took rather longer for the ops to retrieve and mount a tape than the OS was prepared to wait before timing out and killing the requesting job. I got used to programming save/restore points throughout large runs.
I find it useful to deploy phrases like:
"Tell me the contract details of your support-partner and I'll raise a service-call with them for you"
"You need to speak to one of my consultants - let me have your phone number and I'll get them to call you to arrange an appointment. You *are* VAT-registered, aren't you?"
"Would you ask the chief-executive of British Aerospace to book you a package-holiday? No - so why are you asking me about your iToy?"
Cattle-prods, rubber hoses and Etherkillers are occasionally useful but when called in to do things at short notice I also like the magic piece of paper bearing the text which reads:
" I [legal owner of business X] hereby absolve [Y] from all legal liability for actions he/she undertakes while working on computer hardware/software located at premises [Z] and operated or owned by business [X]".
You get the business-owner to sign this before you start work, in order to prevent subsequent nastiness.
Only once have I needed to use my other line: "If we do this the way you want and we're caught then both of us could go to jail; do it my way and if caught only you go to jail. I think we're going to do it my way".
There is, alas, no convenient piece of paper that can get a small [or large for that matter] business out of an Anton Piller order at short notice.
I think you need a "Made from Badger's Paws and Silly String" in there somewhere.
W.C. Fields got it right:
"I never drink water: Fish fornicate in it".
It's not just the oldies who like this sort of thing.
A feature-phone with seriously-long battery-life coupled with buttons that are large enough to still let you use the thing while wearing gloves is just what some of us outdoorsy-types like.
Ever tried using a touchscreen outdoors in the middle of a hailstorm, or while riding a horse?
Re: So sad.
Thankfully we still have Jan Švankmajer.
Re: Delicately put
What happens with "Directional" speaker cables if you wire them *the wrong way round* ??
Re: I am sticking with Sennheiser and Walkman
You will only get your hands on my Clement-Clarke Airlite-62s over my cold, dead body.
A fool and his money are easily parted.
You only have to look at some of the rank stupidities sold to the audiophool community - gold-plated 13-amp mains plugs, oxygen-free-copper 'directional' speaker-cables, cryogenically-treated valves - to understand the gullibility of that sector.
Looks like Apple have been taken for the fools in this case, just as they've been taking their customers for fools for a while.
I wonder how much Apple would have to pay to buy Bose?
Re: Traffic lights should be *more* vulnerable as the system benefits from central control.
In some parts of South Africa, the traffic-lights are remotely managed using embedded cellphone-data terminals: thieves targeted them for the SIM-cards and then ran up large bills !
So long as they only use this to report faults to "head office" it seems OK, but if these things can also be reprogrammed over a 3G data-link it becomes more interesting.
I wonder how long it'll be before someone works out how to display their Twitter timeline onthe big motorway matrix-signs?
Speaking of which, I recall the first appearance of the rear-window-mounted LED message-panels in police-cars a couple of decdes back. Though issued with the messages pre-programmed from 'head office' it wasn't long before the local DTELS guys discovered that these things had essentially no security and the text could be reprogrammed via a 9-pin RS232 cable and a suitably-equipped Psion organiser.
Which led to at least one big white Vauxhall Senator patrolling the motorways where instead of the message panel displaying "STOP POLICE" when activated, it flashed up "HELLO SAILOR".
Re: Free food...
Ther urban types will just have to eat each-other then. Perhaps we could rekindle the idea behind "A Modest Proposal" ?
Learn to scavenge: on my drive to/from work each day there's always casserole-tastic roadkill pheasants and rabbits on offer - sometimes a Hare or even a Deer. [I draw the line at stopping for Badgers].
The River Cottage website has recipes for Grey Tree-Rats: it's entirely legal to trap them.. There's also wild garlic available in the woods right now; soon the riverbanks will be bursting with watercress, and a few weeks back I harvested a good crop of "Jew's Ear" fungi which though looking - well, like a withered human ear - do add body and flavour to a stew.
It's also the season for harvesting both dandelion-flowers and nettle-tops: flash fry them in a pan with a bit of oil and they make an excellent, nutritious Spinach-substitute.
Re: I'm disappointed
I was more thinking of a quick shot of Ether followed by 'cashing in' the blackmailers' bodies at Nurse Nightingale's Body-Bank.
Does anyone remember the horror movie "The Hands of Orlac"?
Could have been worse - it could have undergone an "Uncontrolled hyper-energetic disassembly" - better known as an 'explosion'.
I always used to taunt a homeophile [is that the correct term for a devotee of homeopathy?] by asking her what the homeopathic treatment for multiple gunshot-wounds would be.
Re: Am I the only one when they see EE
If I could get a Lightning from EE then I'd be happy - though I think the cellular-tower-handoff issues might be a bit tricky at Mach.2
Re: A little thing that bugs me...
A semi-relative spent the summer uni-vacations working at a local store as a member of their "Out-of-Hours Ambient Replenishment team" - better known as a night-time shelf-stacker in the tinned/dried food aisles..
[Seems that in the world of food "ambient" is used as the opposite of chilled or refrigerated].
Alternative electronics retailers are available.
I only ever use Maplin for 'distress purchases' - like when it's 15:00 on a Sunday, you're miles from home, and the ferret's just played tug-of-war with the TOSLink cable.
Thankfully for most things there are other proper components/goodies providers available via that new thing called "The Interwebs" - allegedly made from string and Badger's paws - that I hear talked about.
Farnell, CPC, Digi-Key, Mouser... the first two of them even do free shipping to UK addresses if your order's valued at anything more than trivial.
Alas the *proper* electronics surplus stores - A.H. Supplies, GWM Radio down in Hove, Thacker's in Cheslyn Hay - where you bought stuff by weight and needed a sack-truck to move it - are no more.
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