WEEK 12 2011
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Ago, This Week, 2006
Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
This Week, 2009
This Week, 2010
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.
- 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
- 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.
23 March 2011
- still in Ventura, working.
Book #28 was The Clones of Mawcett,
by Thomas DePrima. Third in the series...as 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.
22 March 2011
- 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.
21 March 2011
- 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
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
20 March 2011
- trying to get this whole backup thing sorted out.
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
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
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