Ivor O’Connor

December 31, 2008

Last Quotation Of Kennedy?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:42 pm

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.
— Dante Alighieri

I believe this was the last public quotation Kennedy used minutes before he was killed.


December 27, 2008

Measuring Power Consumption

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 7:42 pm

I’d very much like to record the power meter settings, the power on each circuit, and the power used at the plugs and put them onto a server. Then put in alerts and the like so I can tell what’s really going on. This guy has done one step of it, measuring the power consumed on each circuit and recording it to a server. I’m not too thrilled with how he did it but it’s a starting point. For instance I’d want the transducers to be wireless and much smaller. So the resulting measurements could be recorded via wifi with no extra boards. So a simple energy efficient laptop could be used as the server. Anyways this article is good and I need to reread it when I am ready to start my project.


December 25, 2008

Strep Throat

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 8:38 pm

Apparently I’ve got it. I don’t get much more than a cold every year or two. I have not had to take antibiotics in probably 15 years. So this is a novel experience. I’m surprised how cheap seeing a doctor is. I paid only $65 to see the doctor and get diagnosed. The antibiotics were only $40. I got middle-of-the-road antibiotics. The doctor told me there were three basic antibiotics I could get. The best would be around $300 and gave me the impression the cheapest would be around $40 and the type I chose would be a little over a hundred at Costco. Actually the $40 I did pay at costco covered Sudafed for $12 to clear up the sinuses, lidocaine to make it easy to swallow for $10, and the actual antibiotics called Clarithromycin for $15. Why do people get $1000 a month insurance when the prices for doctors and drugs are so cheap?

I should probably look up Clarithromycin. The doctor said the three antibiotics he could offer had different “efficay” rates from a low of almost 50% to something around the 90% range. Ok, there’s a good wiki entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarithromycin. I was a bit worried while reading the initial description but further on they do mention Strep Throat. Also it looks like this drug could be dangerous if I had any allergies at all.

It would be nice if I could find the efficacy rates of the various antibiotics for Strep Throat. I see things like:


Antibiotics. If you or your child has strep throat, your doctor will likely prescribe an oral antibiotic such as penicillin, amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox), azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), clindamycin (Cleocin) or a cephalosporin (Keflex, Ceclor). Penicillin may be given by injection in some cases — such as if you have a young child who is having a hard time swallowing or is vomiting from strep throat.

These antibiotics reduce the duration and severity of symptoms, as well as the risk of complications and the likelihood that infection will spread to classmates or family members.

One of the interesting things is how the doctor speaks his own language. I had a hard time following much of what he said. Next time I go hopefully I’ll at least do some research on antibiotics so I can follow when the doctor starts talking about them.

Japan’s New Solar Initiative.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 8:06 pm

It’s hard to believe they are offering close to 100 million dollars over the course of the next three months for an island smaller than California. (Japan’s size is 145,840 square mile where as California is 155,959. America’s total land is 3,537,438 square miles.) Then realize the sunlight and land area is better in California for solar power. If this 100 million over 145,840 square miles in Japan were extrapolated to cover America it would be the equivalent of a 36 billion dollar solar initiative over Obama’s first term. Our future economy looks horrible considering countries like Japan and Germany are aggressively already pushing the envelope while America does next to nothing. If Japan, Germany, and China have all the patents America will be reduced to a consumer nation where we should actually be initiating this research so we can mass market our results to the rest of the world…

It’s not like we can’t afford 36 billion. In today’s world where Bush’s secret funding over 8 years is costing us ten to fifteen trillion 36 billion is chump change. Yet it’s much more than the few million we have currently allocated to solar power.


TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan plans to bring back subsidies for solar panel equipment from January, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Wednesday, as the world’s fifth-biggest emitter struggles to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

METI said the government would offer 9 billion yen ($99.6 million) in the first quarter of 2009 and possibly more in the fiscal year starting next April to foster use of solar panel equipment in homes.

December 24, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 2:03 pm

Today’s proof this strip is correct:

Six inches of rain. Yes simply six inches of rain. Caused this damage. “Parts of Tennessee remain buried under toxic sludge today after a major disaster at a coal plant. A forty-acre pond containing toxic coal ash has collapsed, spilling out millions of gallons of coal ash. Environmentalists say the spill is more than thirty times larger than the Exxon Valdez, but the story has received little national attention.” Since we can’t even keep a coal plants pollution contained we must move quickly to solar and wind. Yet Obama wants to use clean coal. What’s clean coal? Coal that has been stripped of the toxic mercury and such and put into piles that will flood into rivers and poison hundreds of square miles? Or does he mean, as he has said, coal power plants that somehow strip the CO2? Never mind that this has never been done and nobody has any working solutions. Much less economical solutions. Why can’t we just take the bold step and go straight for large scale solar and wind immediately?

Kenneth Starr. That clown who made the Clinton administration into a circus simply because Clinton got a blow job. Starr is now up to his same old stuff. He’s signed on to represent the Mormon Church which funded the “Yes On 8”. I guess Starr feels it is important that the same sex shall never marry. Can’t Starr just go start up another Jerry Springer show. That’s where he belongs. Yet somehow clowns like himself have made it into our judicial system. Sad but further proof of our descent from Aristotle.

And balancing a budget? We can’t even do that! (Though perhaps they have been told not to since you know they must have the numbers readily available. Which means the Government is up to something.) “The Associated Press has revealed that many of the nation’s largest banks are claiming they can’t track how they’re using the billions of dollars they have received in aid from US taxpayers. The Associated Press contacted twenty-one banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings? And what’s the plan for the rest? None of the banks provided specific answers. When Congress approved the massive bailout, it attached nearly no strings to the money, and the Treasury Department never asked the banks how it would be spent.”

And why has the Pope not been condemned of hate crimes? Replace “homosexual” with some minority group and give it another read. Perhaps Kenneth Starr can sign on to this one and prosecute the Church? “At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI has said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior is just as important as saving the rain forest from destruction. The Pope warned that gender theory blurred the distinction between male and female and could thus lead to the “self-destruction” of the human race.” Too bad Bertrand Russel didn’t do a better job of pointing out the absurdities of the Catholic Church…

December 23, 2008

Merry Xmas!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:29 am

I’ve never heard of such a thing. And by the time I heard all Staples stores in the area, as well as online, were sold out. Darn darn darn.

Mountain View, CA (ANNOUNCEMENT – December 21, 2008) — This announcement is hot off the presses and was emailed to us from Intuit:

To help customers grow and run their small businesses Intuit will offer QuickBooks Pro 2009 for FREE at Staples stores on Monday, December 22, 2008. This promotion will help small businesses through tough economic times.

December 21, 2008

Inspiron 1526 Impressions

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 5:07 pm

It works pretty much as expected. I bought a refurbished one. See a prior post about reburbished products from Dell. (http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global.aspx/arb/online/en/InventorySearch?c=us&cs=22&l=en&s=dfh.) It has 4GBs of RAM, two 64 bit CPUs, comes with Vista, and costs less than $500. It has a green shell.

I got it with Vista for several reasons. It was hundreds of dollars cheaper than the same hardware with Ubuntu installed on it. I suppose M$ pays Dell to install Vista on their laptops. Perhaps also because most people who get Ubuntu require much more support. I’ve seen stats showing preinstalled computers with Ubuntu are four times more likely to be returned. So perhaps Dell takes this into consideration on their pricing. However considering how ass backwards everything with Dell is I doubt they are that organized. It must be because M$ pays them to pander Vista.

Another reason I got it with Vista is my old all-in-one brother mfc-8860dn printer is fantastic and I want to continue using it. (http://www.brother-usa.com/MFC/ModelDetail.aspx?ProductID=MFC8860DN.) Especially since I have no idea if my HP L7780 all-in-one printer will ever work correctly. And even if it did work correctly I don’t like having to wait for the ink to dry. If I print X pages on the 8860dn printer it takes seconds. Not minutes. And the pdf scans are almost never askew as they routinely are on the HP machine.

The most important reason for buying it with Vista. To run quick books. I need accounting software badly and waiting for solutions on Ubuntu was getting to be absurd. It’s amazing how useful quick books is.

Anyways, Vista aside, there have only been two surprises with this Inspiron.

The first is the annoying fan. If you watch the temperature of the CPUs you see why. It starts at 48C and sharply rises to 52C in about 20 seconds and then the fan comes on. The temperature drops just as sharply back down to 48C again in about 20 seconds. I’ve tried setting the computer to use as little energy as possible but despite this it still happens. Even at idle. The noise is annoying and can be sometimes heard over the speakers. I figure the fan will quickly wear out and then either I’ll return the laptop on warranty or it will work with no fan. I don’t plan on having anything on the hard disk so if the computer gets fried so be it. I did look for utilities to control the fan but none exist for this version of inspiron. Furthermore this is a known issue with the inspiron 152X series. Despite all the complaints, and there seem to be armies of complainers, Dell has kept mum…

The second surprise is how I can work with an external hi resolution screen while also working with the built in laptop screen. I like lots of screen. I wonder why my Ubuntu laptop does not do this. Maybe I should look into it.

Synergy With Vista & Ubuntu

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:43 pm


My Vista laptop is now my new always on computer. And as such I needed to setup synergy on it to serve up the keyboard and mouse. I was a bit worried because development of synergy stopped in 2006 and makes no mention of working with Vista. However I’m glad to report it works just fine. I’m now able to use get by with a single keyboard and mouse on my desk.

Hair Styles…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:35 pm

I just cut my hair. It’s been awhile. I have a pair of shears and they do a nice job.

Every time I do this I wonder why people pay barbers. Why do people have anything other than short hair? Are they trying to hide something? It’s the only explanation that makes sense.

Women too. Why do they bother with hair? Any hair that requires the attention of a barber is too much. Oh well.

I guess I’m into extremely low maintenance. (Or just lazy?)

December 20, 2008

New Laptop

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:00 pm

I’ve been playing with M$ Vista for a day or so. I’ve got to admit the graphical interface that comes with Vista is hands on superior to anything on Linux. I don’t like it but I have to admit it is much much slicker and responsive. It’s probably the only thing Vista has got going for it. And they’ve chosen to baffle you with their interface to the extent the computer is almost impossible to figure out. For instance I tried to download democracy now segments and then listen to them with the windows media player. I couldn’t figure it out. Too much fancy graphics and words floating by some of which faded in and out at different places on the screen. I tried and got fed up and downloaded winamp which has a standard gui. Even the standard gui looks great with Vista. Everything is responsive too. Unlike Ubuntu which is sometimes unresponsive and cumbersome. For instance you would never think a check box would require a second or so delay before being filled in. However that happens with Ubuntu and probably never with M$.

So this morning when I came across this article I was not surprised. Here they benchmark java running on Ubuntu vs M$. Java on Ubuntu is significantly faster than when run on M$ at everything but displaying stuff. When it comes to displaying things the tables get turned upside down and M$ is the clear winner.

Published on December 18, 2008
Written by Michael Larabel
Well, Java on Ubuntu was pretty much the hands-down winner compared to Microsoft Windows Vista Premium SP1. Running the Java tests on Ubuntu had experienced significant advantages when it came to file encryption
, Fast Fourier Transforms, Successive Over Relaxation, Monte Carlo, and the composite Java SciMark performance. In only the Sunflow test were the results between Ubuntu and Windows even close. With the Java 2D Microbenchmark, Windows was faster but that likely falls on the Intel Linux graphics driver having little in the way of performance optimizations and Java on Linux not yet utilizing the X Render extension.

Comparing Sun’s Java and OpenJDK / IcedTea on Ubuntu had roughly the same performance between the two except for a few areas (FFT and Monte Carlo) where the official JVM was noticeably faster.

These six tests didn’t stress all areas of the Java stack, but it provides a brief look at where the Java performance is between Ubuntu Linux and Windows Vista. Also keep in mind that we were using the stock packages available by default in each operating system, which had very slight differences between them. To share your thoughts on Java, stop by the Phoronix Forums.

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