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* Posts by pacmantoo

15 posts • joined 29 Jun 2012

Pine trees' scent 'could prevent climate change really being a problem'

pacmantoo

Re: Climate scientists

No they are real scientists and honest about their own failings...unlike the politicians

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pacmantoo

Re: The Earth is self healing

WITHIN LIMITS WHICH WE ARE PASSING!

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pacmantoo
FAIL

Re: It's the sun.

Collectively we have been changing the atmospheric balance since we started clearing the primordial forests at the end of the last ice age. And then for the last, say, 500 years burning lovely carbon rich fuels like they were going out of fashion (which they are). Yes nuclear might appear 'greener', then again - that's debatable once you add all the energy in the whole production and commissioning / de-commissioning chain (the calculations just too full of approximations to be reliable) and we know it is dirtier in a different way. It is because greens are concerned about people as much as the climate and fluffy animals that they say nuclear is not the answer. Do the math - enough sunlight falls the Earth each day for all our needs (actually if you covered the Arabian peninsular with PV panels you would get enough power for what our global power needs were in 1985 (that was the last time I did the calculation))...The problems are political - no state wants to share, and no start wants to be dependent.

So yes it's the Sun - that's where ultimate ALL energy sources originate (or in other stars). The challenge is harnessing it safely and cleanly - which excludes fission but not fusion! So until that happy day, lets just get on with renewables and try not to break the planet before we have learnt how it really works?

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pacmantoo

good news...maybe?

If this really will produce some global cooling then great. Maybe someone should tell the Canadians to stop ripping up so much of their arboreal forest to get at the tar sands beneath (gee thanks Uncle Sam) The question is to what extent this mechanism feeds back into the whole climate...and how much acreage of forest, at what density of planting is need to balance the warming effect per ton of CO2 released. Of course, never mind the fact that, presumably, as the aerosols seed more clouds, less sunlight falls on the trees, producing less aerosol...don't pin your hopes on this one...

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Planning to rob a Windows ATM? Ditch the sledgehammer and bring a USB STICK

pacmantoo
FAIL

ATM = machine = breaks down

Changing the focus - how many people have had similar experience of the ATM actually robbing you? On hols last summer in UK used an external ATM from a publicly subsidised bank - only to have a receipt and no cash! Went in to complain - only to see bank employer had the back off it's twin and loading notes into the hopper. Told that I would have to complain to my own bank - who investigated and we're told that there was no error with the machine. £50 down.

The lesson - don't try to withdraw more than you are willing to lose!

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Cloud backups: Where's my get out of jail card?

pacmantoo

Time for a new term?

cloudburst - when that reliable off site backup isn't

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Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you

pacmantoo
Headmaster

Don't forget the HNC!

Too much academic baggage is disguised as the rigour of thinking! When I did my HNC aged 40 I was asked to write essays about the different types of programming languages - furnctional, OO etc. Why - 'for academic rigour' ! Did that teach me to be a better coder - my @rse! But hey, my English and Philosophy degree really helped (as did my A level Maths, Eng & Physics) Flow charts & pseudo code - piece of piss after attending philosophical logic seminars pissed &| stoned. And Eng Lit gave me creative bullshit skills (and wrist ache from writing everything long hand - this was the 80s - nary a PC in sight!)

Doing a 12 hour, one day a week, day release HNC whilst still working full time proved I could still learn, focus and could still work till the wee small hours! My C++ skills are crap - but I'm a sysadmin / network tech - not a coder! I know a little bit about lots - usually just enough just to keep things running.

You've got to learn the theory - so you understand the practice - how else can you diagnose a problem, say with a web site, if you don't know the OSI model? If we don't teach theory properly and then rigourously test its application we are training people to become rapidly obsolete. Maybe that's fine for our commercialised universities - but bad news for society and the student!

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Crap computers in a crap box: Smart-meter blackouts risk to UK

pacmantoo

Smart meters help balance the generation load

Smart meters would only help a dumb person think about how much leccy they use (as if the continual rise in bills wouldn't do that) I hate to admit it, but renewables can make the grid less reliable - because their output fluctautes randomly with the sun / wind / rain. For every 1 MW of electricity generated by renewables, they need 1 MW on standby - just in case. They need to balance constantly varying levels of supply AND demand - to know how much brown power to use (hydro like Dinorwic that comes online at a flick of a switch aside). Smart metering helps measure demand side. Now if we had massive amounts of renewables scattered across the whole country this might balance itself out - ie when cloudy in the south, windy in the West, raining in the North and tidal regular as clock work.

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Any storm in a port

pacmantoo
Angel

Re: Also, Ethernet sockets & USB ports...

LOVE IT You made me spray my monior with mashed banana!!! (well it is lunch time)

Reminds me of the so called computer grad who called me when they couldn't boot a laptop as they'd forced the power jack into the ethernet port

Go figure....

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Psst, wanna block nuisance calls? BT'll do it... for a price

pacmantoo

the simple solution

my simple solution: sorry if already discussed: unless you know the caller (needs caller display on the line & a handset with a display) just leave it to the answer phone. The diallers recognise it's an answerphone &just call off. TPS helps but doesn't stop the cheats working their way through the phone book or international calls. Our other trick: the BT phone book entry is in the wife's name - different my surname - so when they ask for Mr X I honestly say 'No one here with that name' That shuts them up!

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The hoarder's dilemma, or 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

pacmantoo

no trouble throwing out...

Vista in a Nutshell (actually it burnt well on the log burner - is that green?)

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BT broadband packs up again - second big outage in a fortnight

pacmantoo

Re: multiple lines down nationwide

So some PFY typo'd 1pm instead of 1am. Hence the 24hr clock!

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pacmantoo
FAIL

Re: multiple lines down nationwide

Ditto for us. Just like to tell BT that Swansea ISN'T anywhare near London - but then if they couldn't check on google maps...

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Sysadmins: Your best tale of woe wins a PRIZE

pacmantoo

Have you paid the bill...?

My first, very humble job as a grunt working part time doing everything for a small charity. After a couple of weeks got a call from one office that the 'internet wasn't working'. Toddled over - checked the obvious - power on, network switch on, can I ping the router (cheapy BT thing), have any cables fallen out the back of your PC, can I ping something on the net...er, no...Looked at said cheapy ADSL plastic box - local LAN activity but no ADSL light. Ho -hum. Spend an hour getting the work experience girl to find the account details. Phone them up. "Yes sir, you've been disconnected as you haven't paid the bill..."

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