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Tuesday August 31, 2004

What holds your ethics up?

This morning you could have done something in a slightly different way which would have inconvenienced you little, if at all, but would have helped someone you've never met who is suffering. Why didn't you? You didn't because at some level you need to function. If you carried the emotional baggage that the news would like to impart to you, you wouldn't be able to do anything. You have a coping strategy. This doesn't make you a bad person - indeed there was a strong evolutionary advantage to being able to hit cro-magnon man on the head with a jaw bone - so you can probably blame your genes. The sanctimonious have claimed that this is all dealt with by their political and or moral philosophy, more on this later.

I'm also surprised to note that there doesn't appear to be a field spotter's guide to political philosophies. We've all been taught political philosophy from the other end: `Grand German chap A constructed the following value system from which came this brand name philosophy.' not `The idea B can be traced back though the thinking of the following grand German chaps, was implemented in administration C and caused riots D,E and F'. I think this might be an invaluable tool for our current "one ideology" political minds. After all ideas are dangerous things and need lining up in books.

Lastly everyone likes ducks. Here are some gossipping on their way back from a strenuous business lunch of brown bread.

Friday August 20, 2004

Finally a solution to britian's transport chaos: I've written a set of programs to help you navigate the tube and the trains from either the interweb or your paltry wap-enabled cellphone thingy, or whatever other little electronic devices orbit you. Basically you can look up the timetable with a GET request, Find direct trains with destinations and lateness, and figure out what's wrong with the tube

Friday October 17, 2003

I bought just new organic gin yesterday as part of an ill thought out plan involving pizza and hot water. The gin was quite good, but probably not worth the ridiculously high price I payed for it. However on my trip into work this morning I saw a pink elephant, not only did I see a pink elephant, the pink elephants I saw was standing underneath a large 20 foot inflatable pink elephant. He (apologies to those who think I am presuming his gender because I am part of the unthinking male hegemony, but I think his gestures clearly indicated his gender) was standing out side the telephone exchange. I made another circuit of the block just to take some photos but I couldn't determine his purpose, and I can't think of anything that one would advertise with a pink elephant. I made more fractious ice today. GRR.

Thursday October 16, 2003

Today is stay calm Thursday, and especially stay quiet Thursday. Progress with the 8IK1100 is surprisingly easy. It ate 2.4.22 suffering only the loss of one of its pretend processors no doubt this will be fixed by some or other HT patch, and the ITE RAID chip while it comes from a company who seem to have no clue about HTML (try getting to that page from their front page), comes with complete data sheets errata and a Linux source code driver - so far so good we'll see how it does under pressure. It appears there is also a dual PSU, 1000Mbit Ethernet version called a GA-8KNXP, which sells for 163, and a SCSI version for 270 of your earth pounds.

GRRR it appears that between Revision 1.0 and 2.0 of the GA-8IK1100 they removed the 40 pin IDE sockets for the RAID controller. So I can't test the RAID controller. The 8KNXP does still however go in for this whole quaint idea of having connectors thing. So expect some info about that, when I order one later today.

Benchmark results are in and the 8IK1100 does a little less well than I expected, clearly dual channel DDR is as good as RAMBUS was. All in all the 8IK1100 looks like a very good work station machine.

Ahh it turns out HT processors are enumerated by ACPI, not APIC - I smell a plot against lysdexics.

Wednesday October 15, 2003

I'm resolved not to have and polemical rants (Except possibly with respect to transport policy) here.

I opened my spherical Ice mould and my sphere was neither whole nor transparent it was in two parts. Bizzarely it split perpendicular to the join between the two parts of the mould. GRR.

Back to waitrose slow melting ice for me then.

Tuesday October 14, 2003

Here goes my ill judged attempt at a weblog, kind people told me that my existing weblog (which logs web pages and caches them as I visit them with the odd brief comment) isn't a web log, so I'm calling this web log #2

Thank god I live the civilised world.

I was too tired to cook today, and as it happens to tired to eat out. So I decided to pay a visit to one of those generic burger restaurants that always occur in pairs. Whilst I was there a man who looked like the sort of person who would win "Mr Most likely to be gunned down in front of his Gym Reading 2003" entered the establishment with his moll. In what I can only take as an attempt to impress her he sidled up to what I assume he thought was the Maître D. (actually he's a Cantonese student earning money by putting himself through BK U.) He, that's Mr Most likely..., stated that he wished to buy the art from the walls. (Actually the art wasn't too offensive, badly drawn part collages of southern Californian art deco buildings)

I left. Actually I wanted to try my latest purchase. I've been making ice with cold water and a plastic tray. Apparently this is all wrong. Firstly trapezoidal ice is so last fortnight What I need is perfect cubes, cylinders and balls. But wait these ice moulds are made of silicone rubber and can withstand 200 C - why? because if you make ice with cold water you get bubbles in it and apparently this shows that a) I don't care about my guests, or b) I didn't buy designer Waitrose slow melting ice. But with silicone rubber ice moulds not only can you have perfect square edges you can also put - get this - boiling water in your freezer.

Never mind that my pull-over cost more than last year's entire heating bill, and that I've just used 150kJ of power to heat up and then cool down some water.

Tuesday October 07, 2003

For all of you following my computer purchasing decisions here are two machines I will be evaluating shortly.

The first is an 800MHz FSB P4 machine with two PC3200 DDR (that 400MHz to you an I) busses, and a dubious RAID controller.

The second is a 533Mz FSB P4 with two PC2100 DDR (that's 266MHz) and a promise RAID controller.

Anyhow here are the bits with various options, with order codes and prices from DABS.

First the 800FSB machine with the (possibly) dodgy RAID controller.

Giagbyte GA-8IK1100 DABS 2LLYWS 1 103
Intel P4 2.60 800FSB DABS 2HNLWS 1 187
Kingston 512MB PC3200 ECC DABS 2HQPWS 0 or 2 116
Crucial 256Mb Unbuf CL3 PC3200 DABS 2M12WS 0 or 2 36.78
Generic Geforce4 MX400 64MB DABS 2S03WS 1 29.5
IBM 123.5Gb IC35L120AVV2071 DABS 27TJWS up to 4 78

Next up is the 533MHz machine

Giagbyte GA-8INXP DABS 2BDQWS 1 131
Intel P4 2.66 533FSB DABS 24SWWS 1 173
Crucial 512Mb ECC Unbuf CL2.5 PC2100 DABS 17BMWS 0 or 2 83.41
Crucial 256Mb ECC Unbuf CL2.5 PC2100 DABS 14VQWS 0 or 2 41.7
Generic Geforce4 MX400 64MB DABS 2S03WS 1 29.5
IBM 123.5Gb IC35L120AVV2071 DABS 27TJWS up to 4 78

You'll need a bunch of Maplin UY81C hard disk coolers and a box and PSU and the like. DABS 236YWS looks like an OK PSU if you're going to build a server class machine. I'll put up a new copy of my benchmarks once I've finished testing the 800MHz machine.

archive: 2003