I found a computer on the nature strip; it was enormous, but had a couple of DVD-RWs, dual DVI connectors and USB3, so I figured it was reasonably modern.
When I got it home and inspected it closely, I realised it wasn’t USB3 but eSATA instead, and my hopes deflated. Booting it up showed a BIOS from 2006 and I figured I just bought myself another trip to the council’s transfer station. However, checking out the CPU (Intel i7 920), full-height full-length graphics card (MSI R4870X2) and RAM (6Gb of DDR3) I realised I had found something special. Dropping in a SATA drive that I salvaged from a machine we decided was past it’s use-by date, I built it into a Linux Mint box.
Yet again, the most powerful machine in the house was found in hard rubbish. It’s twice as powerful as the last computer we bought, and nearly twice as powerful as the most recent desktop machine. The RAM is a bit light-on, but DDR3 is still widely available. The TPD (power consumed by the CPU) is 130 watts, which is… a lot. Not a machine to run in a small room on a hot day. Add in the graphics card that consumes between 120 and 220 watts depending on load, and a meaty power supply is needed; the one in the case has 1000W written on it, whatever that really means.
At the end of last year I found my local primary school had unceremoniously tossed about a dozen PCs into a dumpster filled with detritus such as broken plastic tubs, desks without legs and out-of-favour books (like a perfectly good Macquarie dictionary). Figuring I could cannibalize multiple machines into a single working machine, I pulled a half dozen monitors and three computers out and loaded them into the car. When tested at home, everything worked just fine. Everything. Confronting the authorities the next day, I was told that the PCs were “broken”, but after some haranguing I got a concession that next time the machines would be donated to a computing charity. As a result of this find I have a three-computer cluster of dedicated Minecraft machines, which now provide adequate performance after extensive tweaking.
Have you found anything good, or would you never take home strange hardware?
Just… just… wrong. So wrong.
Firstly, note the error message “Enter a valid email addresss”. Where, pray tell, ought I do this? Why do I need to upload any attachment again? Why do I have to prove I’m a human time-after-time, when all I’m doing is wrestling with your completely broken attempt at a web form?
Have they noticed that no-one is submitting help requests via this form, what with its refusal to accept said requests?
Dear Flickr: stop sucking balls.
Saturday 18 October Max 26 Partly cloudy.
Sunday 19 October Min 17 Max 29 Afternoon cool change.
Monday 20 October Min 12 Max 23 Mostly sunny.
Tuesday 21 October Min 10 Max 28 Sunny.
Wednesday 22 October Min 16 Max 31 Possible shower.
Thursday 23 October Min 15 Max 20 Possible shower.
Friday 24 October Min 13 Max 22 Cloudy.
I’ve tried to use the same technique to determine winter the same way I do summer; I decided back in June that winter started. And in August, it’s over.
Tuesday 19 August Max 15 Possible light shower.
Wednesday 20 August Min 7 Max 15 Cloudy.
Thursday 21 August Min 5 Max 18 Mostly sunny.
Friday 22 August Min 6 Max 19 Mostly sunny.
Saturday 23 August Min 7 Max 19 Mostly sunny.
Sunday 24 August Min 8 Max 18 Mostly sunny.
Monday 25 August Min 6 Max 18 Mostly sunny.
A couple of days later the forecast was extended out to
Tuesday 26 August Min 8 Max 19 Partly cloudy.
Wednesday 27 August Min 9 Max 21 Mostly sunny.
Using missile to shoot down an airliner ought to be made impossible. It may be a lack of imagination on my part, but I can’t think of a circumstance where a military force needs the ability to shoot down civilian aircraft. There aren’t a lot of manufacturers of surface-to-air missile systems, regardless of their level of sophistication and range – shoulder launched or vehicle-mounted – so changing those designs to prevent civilian shootdowns ought not be a big deal. Admittedly there are many more means of bringing down aircraft beyond SAMs, but not a lot of them have the reach to bring down cruising airliners.
Civilian airliners have carried IFF transponders since World War II, so there’s the infrastructure in place already for the identification of non-military aircraft. Furthermore, it’s a violation of Article 37 1.c of the Geneva Conventions to pretend you’re a civilian – that is, it’s a war crime with all the international condemnation that goes with that, so it’s reasonable to make weapons that refuse to down aircraft that identify themselves as civilian.
So, why is this still happening?
Can anyone think of circumstance where the media’s fixation on this term isn’t tautological?
I’ve got a Medion MD 86162 Media Player (AKA e85015, or MD86162) and I couldn’t find the remote codes anywhere on the Internet. I cobbled up some hardware and discovered that it uses the NEC protocol when I coaxed these codes out of my dying infrared remote control, and I got the following IR codes for it:
I think it’s about time we introduced HECS fees for all those people who obtained degrees without contributing to the cost of those degrees.
The argument is that educating tertiary students costs the taxpayer money, and what’s in it for the taxpayers – why ought they fund some snotty kid’s education? By the same argument, those who got those free educations between 1974 and 1989 ought to cough up and return the same portion of the cost of that education back to the people of Australia.
So I’m trying to declare Winter. I’m going to try something like Summer, but with a 16 degree ceiling, which we just hit here in Melbourne.
Monday 16 June Max 16 Rain at times, easing.
Tuesday 17 June Min 10 Max 16 Partly cloudy.
Wednesday 18 June Min 8 Max 16 Mostly cloudy.
Thursday 19 June Min 8 Max 16 Partly cloudy.
Friday 20 June Min 10 Max 15 Shower or two developing.
Saturday 21 June Min 9 Max 15 Morning shower or two.
Sunday 22 June Min 9 Max 16 Partly cloudy.
I also offer the observation that you know it’s Winter when it doesn’t feel cold anymore.
Note: The 15 degree ceiling was hit on Friday 4 July 2014, 14 degree on Wednesday 9 July..
I got a new credit card in the mail, and I noticed the PayPass logo in the top right corner. I’m no fan of RFID, especially with so many documented weaknesses. Also troubling is the loss of two-factor authentification that we’ve had for decades in Australia; both Visa and Mastercard require only the presence of the card for EMV transactions under $100. I like my credit card, I don’t like that other people can spend my money with it. I thought about trying to convince my bank to give me one that wasn’t PayPass enabled, but Mastercard won’t issue cards without PayPass, so it seems I need to make my new credit card compliant with my privacy and security policies.
Admittedly, all the exploits for RFID enabled cards seem to affect cards in the USA, whose banking system (as best I can tell) is run by a bunch of morons. I assume that the cards in Australia leak no information other than an identifying card number… but even that. RFID can allow unintended transactions, so I’d prefer my transactions to be intentional. I considered killing the whole chip in the microwave, but there’s a risk that would affect the mag-stripe. You don’t need a radiographer to lend you an xray machine to locate the RFID antenna. Turns out that a light globe is plenty bright enough to spot the antenna tracks, or the sun (if you can spot it at this time of year).
I lay my card on a horizontal compact fluorescent light globe, and look what I could see:
- Just drill out the point where the tracks narrow down, and the antenna is toast
I dutifully marked the point where the antenna traces all converged on the one location, then drilled that point out with a hole made with a 3mm drill bit. I took it off to my local Kmart, and it worked. However, it failed at the Coles, and every subsequent retailer (dozens) I’ve tried using it. Apart from that one Kmart (others haven’t worked) the PayPass functionality is now turned off.
I’ll update here if I make additional modifications that are successful.