sailing the NorSea


WEEK 12 2011

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First Post, 17 March 2002
Nine Years Ago, This Week, 2002 Eight Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Seven Years Ago, this week, 2004 Six Years Ago, this week, 2005 Five Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Four Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Three Years Ago, This Week, 2008
Two Years Ago, This Week, 2009
One Year Ago, This Week, 2010

Saturday 26 March 2011
Saturday - Hey, it's the Blogs 9th anniversary. Congrats to me!

I didn't see anything that I really wanted at the swap meet. There were things that caught my eye, but nothing that I desperately needed. I picked up a copy of what I think might be Eric Hiscock's first book, for $2.

The boss and I worked at the office until early afternoon, then I headed north to Lancaster for the weekend. I've been feeling very tired - hopefully I'm not coming down with anything.

President Obama has decided to attack Libya, for some reason. Bizarre.

Friday 25 March 2011
Friday -  still in Ventura, working.

There is a boaters swap meet here tomorrow, so I want to see what for sale. Maybe a nice ocean kayak, or some gizmo's for the boat that I just can't live without.

I've been getting back to the boat at dark, which is a bit frustrating, as I'd like to do some sanding/varnishing/painting on the interior, but it just isn't possible in a small, enclosed & poorly lit space with no ventilation. Ah well, the desire to do it just has to stay long enough for this patch of rough weather to pass and then it'll be done. The interior is pretty small, after all, the size of a walk-in closet (only not as high a roof!).

Book #29
was The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet: Tools of Scientific Revolutions, by Freeman Dyson. This is a short book, 144 pages, but, like anything from Dyson there is a lot to think about. He talks a bit about studying with G. H. Hardy, the pure mathematician, in the early days of WWII, and how he ended up in "applied" math and physics (with a Nobel!), and what he sees as the big areas for innovation in the future - solar energy, understanding the genetic code, and the rise of the internet.

Thursday 24 March 2011

Thursday - in Ventura, working. Trying to remember how to do certain things in Manifold GIS, and to learn how to do new things (maps, projections, etc). Every time I start to get comfortable some annoying weirdness gets in my way. An example: importing KML only works in 32 bit mode, not the native 64 bit I was using.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Wednesday - still in Ventura, working.

Book #28 was The Clones of Mawcett, by Thomas DePrima. Third in the bad as the rest. It's like eating Doritos, hard to stop with just one. And the Kindle makes it so easy to indulge.

Not that there is a lot else to do on a boat, at night, in a rain and windstorm.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Tuesday - down in Ventura, working on this and that.

Another interesting tidbit from The Clockwork Universe, that in 1715 Louis XIV (the great Sun King) decreed that the corridors of Versailles be swept, every work, for feces.

Cleanliness, in the modern sense, was still a ways off. I suppose it didn't really set in until the connection with disease was made.

Which reminds of sitting in the coffee shop, with D, and seeing a nurse come in, in her scrubs. A number of hospitals will no longer let you wear scrubs outside of the hospital. They don't want anyone bringing germs in, and feel that even for staff going home after their shift, it might indicate to their customers (patients) a less than total commitment to their safety.

Monday 21 March 2011

Monday - I forgot to mention Book #27, The Clockwork Universe, read last week. I really enjoyed this, and it fit right in with the biographies of Newton and Hooke and Galileo that I've been reading lately. It is about the beginnings of modern science, the beginnings of the tradition of inquiry and experimentation - in public! - that came about in the mid 1600's.

It made some points that I'd seen referred to before, the placing of the ancient Greeks on pedestals and the (to us) reversed perception of history, that things had been going downhill since the Greeks, rather than our "modern" sense of progress. Indeed, one could say the idea of "progress" of the 1700's and 1800's was as strong as it was because it was a new and better view of the world. This world view was referred to in Scurvy, which it talked about medicine having a hard time getting started on any realistic basis because of the adulation of old views.

It also pointed out that at the midpoint of the 1600's many Christians, perhaps most, thought the end of the world was near. Even Issac Newton spent vast amounts of time "decoding" the bible, to figure out exactly when.

It talks a bit about the controversy between Newton and Hooke, and between Newton and Leibniz. Hooke speculated that gravity followed an inverse square law, but was unable to do the mathematics necessary to show how it would affect the paths of the planets. Leibniz certainly invented the calculus independently of Newton, and was a polymath to boot, but Newton was far and away the greatest mind.

Interestingly the book states that Newton performed the proofs for his Principia using a strange hodgepodge of classical (Greek) methods and similar methods he had developed himself, but not the Calculus. I'd read somewhere before that he'd done his proofs using the Calculus and translated them into the old style proofs (because no one else understood the calculus yet!), but there isn't, apparently, any sign of that.

Sunday 20 March 2011

Sunday - trying to get this whole backup thing sorted out.

Basically, after putting things in appropriate folders I ended up with about 80GB of stuff. This is way, way, too much, around 60GB sounds right, but there is a lot of duplication of files. None the less I backed this up to the external drive, then synced stuff between a couple of older backups on that drive already, and again with the new laptop, so I've a more or less complete backup set. I should say more-and-less because, as I said, there are a lot of duplicates, and I think there is quite a bit of stuff on the old defunct "fast" Win2k box and the crashed Mint Linux box that I need to check against. But, at a guess, it'll be less than 10% of the current backup set.

Then I need to get rid of the duplicates. There are a number of tools out there: Noclone for windows is shareware, I will try that first. For Linux there is fsdupes, and I may try that as well. Hopefully it'll get the backup down to the 60GB range, reasonable enough with modern drives.

Having set up an appointment to go see the used edger I went down early to Palmdale, visited the local Barnes & Noble. I didn't really see much that truly intrigued me, but it was something to do on a rainy day. While there the seller called me, said he was sick and asked for a postponement. I said yes, but this doesn't bode well, it's what, four days now?

Book #26 was Valor at Vauzlee, by Thomas dePrima. This was the second book in the series, and is about the same as the first, space opera that barely squeaks into the readable zone.

Picture of the Week

click to enlarge

Photo Notes: A boat heading out to sea, pre-tsunami arrival,
Channel Islands harbor, morning of 11-Mar-2011.

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