8,000 suns

The PS10 solucar install was amazing!
Some fun facts:

  • 11MW of electricity at full power
  • 4 MW/m² of thermal energy on the collector, at the top of a 100m tower.
  • Nuclear reactors only produce 400kW/m² of thermal energy, 10-times less.
  • The collector is made of 5 panels, 5m x 12m. Their construction is a closely guarded secret and we were very privileged to be taken all the way to the top of the tower directly under them!
  • The 624 heliostats have mirrors that are 120m² and are curved to focus a beam up to the collector. The closer heliostats have a greater curve than those further away.
  • The heliostats are not always all focused on the collector. Sometimes, they are pointed at a “standby” point, usually during system start up.
  • The heliostats are moved into the collector in stages so as not to destroy the tower in the process.
  • At full power, the thermal energy at the collector is equivalent to 8,000 suns.

We were near the outer edge of the heliostat field, and had our photo taken with the tower behind us at full power, and the bright spot was painfull to look at, it was almost as if we were looking into another sun.

Must be time to clean out the registry….

The LinuxHater has very good points, a lot of the the time, and about a lot of things. I was actually starting to get used to the idea of not running a Linux desktop.
After the big computer rebuild, the machine was running better, but still had some slow areas.
I realised it had accumulated a lot of cruft! Lots of badly un-installed software that you thought you had uninstalled, there were a tonne of services starting up that just no longer required at all!
Well, that’s no real difference to something LinuxHater accused Linux of having to do: namely, get stuck in and maintain your distribution.

I actuality, I wonder if the LinuxHater really runs windows at all, something I’ve always assumed, and I bet I wasn’t alone in doing so.

Update: Turns out he does, a Ubuntu desktop

Because honestly, sometime I really hate computers. You know? Why can't they Just Work. This is usually when people tell me to try a Mac. I've thought about it so much, but I never quite get to the point of actually doing anything about it.

We're still talking to Voyager after all these years!


My favourite bits:
“The Voyager technology is so outmoded,” said Tidbinbilla's spokesman, Glen Nagle, “we have had to maintain heritage equipment to talk to them.”

That is because the ageing probes can only chat at a sluggish 32 bits a second, far too slow for modern computers.

“The computers look like the stuff out of the old sci-fi movies, with blinky lights and big colourful buttons,” Mr Nagle said.

Voyager 2 phones home to Tidbinbilla every day. Travelling at the speed of light, the signals take 11.5 hours to arrive. Voyager 1 calls once a month, its signals taking almost 14 hours. A two-way exchange takes more than a day. “It's slow conversation, but its a great conversation,” Mr Nagle said.

They say that Voyager is so far away that it is having difficulties picking out our sun from all of the other stars, which is important since it needs to re-point itself before transmitting.

Speaking of backups….

I need to get onto that

Thing is, I have about 65 gig of music, 22gig of photos, 11 gig of code, 8 gig of downloaded software, 2 gig of project documents, 4 gig of documentation, not to mention all the other bits and pieces.

Thats 112 gig, and that doesn't even cover all TV and movies either.

I suppose an external hard drive is the way to go. What software though?

Linksys Doublespeak

Linksys says: Linksys Means:
Linksys designed the PrintServers to function with both regular as well as bi-directional printers. Standard print
servers cannot work with bi-directional printers, but the PrintServer features a custom design to support both parallel
as well as bi-directional parallel interfaces.
Our Linkys Print Server is far ahead of the industry…..
However, the PrintServer cannot pass messages from the printer back to the printing PC—this limitation is simply an industry standard, and not one of the PrintServer itself. *Shrug* Nothing we can do about it.
However, the PrintServer can check any printer’s online and printing status on the network using the Bi-Admin management utility software packaged with the PrintServer. The status-checking feature built into the management software does not require a bi-directional printer to function. We can tell if you printer is attached and turned on. You dont need a bi-directional printer for this to work. Since our bi-directional printer server doesn't need to use bi-directional functionality to do this. In fact, any parrallel port circa 1900 can do this.
If your printer came with special bi-directional software allowing you to monitor printer status, do not use it with the PrintServer—the software is most likely not networkcapable. Kindly ignore the fact that our print server is installed on your computer as a logical printer port, which means that it should be transparent to any software trying to use it – including your printer management software.
For best results, turn off the printer’s bi-directional function either by (1) removing any bi-directional printing software from your network computers, and/or (2) turning off the printer’s bi-directional print feature inside of the printer’s on-board menus (if it has menus). Your printer’s user guide should be able to provide specific instructions for doing this. In other words, please dont try to use your bi-directional printer functions with our bi-directional printer server. They wont work. Its not our fault.

Linksys Responds:
Thank you once again for contacting Linksys Customer Support.

We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. As we have stated before, our printserver are made mainly for printing purposes. Other features of a multi-function printers like scanning will not work with it.

I’ll be glad if this helps. Thank you.