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* Posts by edward wright

40 posts • joined 22 Aug 2007

Revealed: The Brit-built GRAVITY-powered light that costs $5

edward wright
Boffin

Re: Nice idea but sack the sub-editor

I guess all kerosene comes from biomass, the question being whether it took millions of years and some refining to get there...

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Apple hardware fixer Bob Mansfield retires from Cupertino

edward wright
Coat

Re: Bloody hell...

I didn't know they used nickels in Canada and Mexico too...

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US secret spaceplane will come back to Earth sometime soon

edward wright
Coat

Purpose

"The X-37B is a mysterious, black-funded robot shuttle that no-one knows the purpose of" - surely the people who run the project know what it's for?

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Charge of the Metro brigade: Did Microsoft execs plan to take a hit?

edward wright
Thumb Up

Best analysis to date

Well done.

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Nasa rocketeers probe aurora borealis solar interference

edward wright
Boffin

The rocket landed

... like with a parachute, so it can be reused or examined? Or like made a small crater?

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El Reg takes man for romantic weekend for two at Intel chip factory

edward wright
Pint

$0.5M

I thought if you held a wafer with your bare hands in a normal room, it was by definition ruined and worthless. Those shiny things they show off are just the duds I reckon.

Pint due to the location, of course.

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Virtual cloud monkeys go bananas writing Shakespeare

edward wright
Stop

Random sequences

I reckon monkeys don't type randomly. I mean, the chance of getting SSSSSSSSS is rather more likely than getting ABCDEFGHI or hello there. Not all 9 character sequences are statistically equal, but if this experiment is using a pseudo-random number generator without any additional logic, to me, it's not sufficiently monkey-like in behaviour.

I don't have first experience of monkeys, though my brother once did when an escaped circus money locked himself in my brother's hotel room bathroom. Explaining that to reception was, er, interesting. I digress.

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Satellite gives better picture of solar flares' effects on Earth

edward wright
Boffin

@Dave UV radiation

Ok...so it's UV, it doesn't reach the surface. Where does it go? Either it's reflected into space, or transformed into another form of energy.... such as heat? One reason the thermosphere is toasty.

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Ford unwraps Evos cloud-connected concept car

edward wright

Coins, keys etc.

Don't drop them on those seats...

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Naked at 30: Osborne 1 stripped to its chips

edward wright
Boffin

Unknown B8229 DRAM chip

You've got 16Kbits of this:

http://www.alldatasheet.com/view.jsp?Searchword=5290N-2

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edward wright
Boffin

Logic chips near the RAM

It's the 74LS** chip numbers you should be looking at.

The K8241 = 74LS00 contains four 2-input NAND gates.

The K8243 = 74LS04 contains six inverters (NOT gates).

These are 5V TTL (transister transistor logic) lower-power Schottky chips. I used to play with them as a kid. Happy days, when some chips contained < 100 transistors!

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edward wright

Cooling fan

The 11" MacBook Air does have a cooling fan:

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook-Air-11-Inch-Model-A1370-Teardown/3745/1

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Sinclair ZX81: 30 years old

edward wright
Pint

Sir Clive, we owe you

Started at the age of 10 with an '81, followed by a ZX-Spectrum (the "big" one, 48K) a year later which I then used for six years.

This thing started my IT career and radically changed my life and those of many others. In a parallel universe someone else would have made the first popular UK low-cost machine, but Sir Clive actually did it in ours. Bravo.

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Apple Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server

edward wright

Power draw

Note the 85W power draw is the absolute maximum, with loads of external hard disks etc. hanging off the ports. On average the machine will take much less.

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Twitter on a ZX Spectrum

edward wright
Go

Joy

Started with a 16KB ZX81 - yes I had a wobbly RAM-pack which we secured with a bit of wood and glue! Followed by 6 great years with a 48KB rubber-keyboard ZX Spectrum and Microdrive (90KB tape thing, not those IBM tiny hard disks, don't be silly).

Happy times indeed.

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Physicist unmasks 99-year-old mistake in English dictionaries

edward wright
Joke

@Richard Tobin

Oh how I wish gravity was a source of energy, no need to burn nuclear or fossil fuels, it'd be just great!

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edward wright
Boffin

@John Robson

Sorry, Mercury would either boil or freeze on the Moon, liquids are a no-go without atmospheric pressure.

So much as I'd like to vote for gravity, I go with atmospheric pressure, for without it you have no liquids, thus no syphon!

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edward wright
Boffin

@Steve X

Try it within a centrifuge on the ISS and it'd work :)

Might be a tad tricky to set up, mind.

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Confirmed: Apple's MacBook Pros not primed with Optimus

edward wright
Jobs Halo

Other power savings

I imagine feeding the data from the GPU to the IGP in the Optimus solution also draws some power, I can't imagine DMI (being general purpose) is as efficient as a display port link.

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Intel's 'Tukwila' Itaniums - hot n' pricey

edward wright
Alert

X5570 L3 cache

The X5570's 8MB cache is a L3 cache, it has 4 x 256MB L2 caches plus smaller L1 caches.

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Prysm pitches ultra-green laser telly tech

edward wright
Go

100W?

From their website:

"For a single display panel or tile of 55 inch size the system consumes less than a single light bulb"

Even if that's 100W, it's not bad... note they say 'tile', so you can mosaic these things together. It would be a bit dishonest if they were talking about some 1kW halogen bulb :)

I doubt lasers need a vacuum, light travels better in air than free electrons!

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NASA panel: Human spaceflight in 'unsustainable trajectory'

edward wright
Boffin

@D@v3

Yes, it costs a lot to keep afloat. The orbit degrades due to air friction, even at that altitude, and if left to its' own devices it would impact... somewhere. Now 300 tonnes could well hurt if it impacted in the wrong place (much of it will survive re-entry), so when the day comes (hopefully not in 2015/16), it needs to be de-orbited in a controlled manner. Just like Mir was.

I don't understand why when it needs to be de-orbited that operation costs a lot, can't a Soyuz do the job?

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edward wright

A second option would be to extend the lifespan of the ISS until 2010...

Surely not?

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Apple hunts down Win and Mac flavoured Safari flaws

edward wright
Jobs Halo

Typo

"Windows malware strains dwarf Mac virus variants by several orders of magnitude"

- er nope, the other way around :)

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Apple MacBook Pro 13in June 2009 release

edward wright

Mini DVI?

This machine doesn't have a Mini DVI port, it has a mini DisplayPort - if you need DVI you need an adapter.

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Intel pushes Nehalem EXs into 2010

edward wright

Comparing systems

Surely what matters when comparing systems is the performance for given required load, and the total cost i.e. hardware cost, software and support costs, energy consumption etc. Details like core count, amount of memory, disk etc. - who cares*? If system A performs twice as well as system B, it doesn't matter if it has 2x as much disk or half as much. Unless of course disk space is part of your performance criteria.

* ok I care, but I'm just interested, I'm not in purchasing :)

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Intel shows glimpse of 32-core Larrabee beast

edward wright
Thumb Up

No Atoms here

Nope, Larrabee is based on the good ol' Pentium P54C with some nice mods:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-larrabee-graphics,2253-4.html

Still, take an old Pentium chip, add some nice 512 bit vector stuff, clock it at... who knows, but more than 233MHz... then 32+ of them in parallel... it'll be nice.

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Google blames cheeseburgers for destroying the planet

edward wright
Thumb Up

New el Reg units

I second the call to add this to the standard el Reg weights and measures system.

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Intel 'Nehalem' Xeon 5500 series

edward wright
Jobs Halo

Pounds, dollars

Is the X5550 really £958 and not $958? :)

Steve because he shipped them 1st.

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Azure, Windows 7 and it's OK for MS to hate Vista, too

edward wright
Jobs Halo

Are you sure?

"Windows 7, the planned predecessor to Windows Vista" - you really sure you mean predecessor? :) That could explain a lot...

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Mac OS X Tiger out, Leopard back in

edward wright
Jobs Halo

@Tony, repartitioning

I'm a happy iPartition user, it does the job without needing to buy a new external disk. I have no affiliation btw other than being a happy punter.

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Male pattern boldness

edward wright
Go

Java

Why was I not surprised that you work with Java? Been developing in Java for 12 years, seen it all. Ick.

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Apple to roll out Mac OS X 10.5 next week

edward wright
Paris Hilton

Nope, not a 40% discount

Tiger was $129, as is Leopard. Tiger family pack (5 licenses) was $199, same as the Leopard family pack.

Even OS X Server is the same price, at least in dollars.

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MP warns against Microsoft monopoly in e-gov services

edward wright
Thumb Down

Riiiiigh

So they're using open source infrastructure, web-servers etc, but the results only work (more or less) on Internet Explorer. So I guess that's ok then?

I dispair.

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NASA gives Beagle 2 another shot at glory

edward wright

Solar energy?

So, Beagle "1" used* four solar panels for energy. These cold spots on the lunar pole are in permanent darkness.

Am I the only one to spot a little problem here?

(* ok, would have used, had it worked!)

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ClearSpeed plots 1 TeraFlop floating point pizza box

edward wright

Or Windows 2000

Based on NT Technology.

I'll get my coat.

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AMD to try to take on Intel Core 2 with tri-core Phenom

edward wright

So AMD should compete with a 5-core CPU?

I'll get my coat.

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Apple iPod Classic

edward wright

160GB better value

Well, you'd expect the 160GB model to cost less per GB. There's a fixed cost + hard drive equation going on here.

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Tidal power project fails to start on schedule

edward wright

Energy storage in reservoirs

I visited this place a while ago: http://www.fhc.co.uk/dinorwig.htm

They were proud to claim 40% efficiency, much more than coal fired power stations. Except when you realise they are storing energy (40% efficiency = they're losing 60% of the energy pumping the water back) vs creating energy (ok, converting to electricity for those pedants!).

That said, I agree with the above comments about ecomomy of scale and the fact it'll reduce demand elsewhere in the system. Storage is only really needed if we (fat chance) go 80% renewable soon or peak demands, yes, the end of Eastenders.

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Intel shows off X7900 CPU

edward wright

Shipping now

... in an iMac near you.

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