Monday, October 30, 2006

A short story

"This story concerns the publisher of a stock newsletter who sends out 64,000 letters extolling his state-of-the-art database, his inside contacts, and his sophisticated econometric models. In 32,000 of these letters he predicts a rise in some stock index for the following week, say, and in 32,000 of them he predicts a decline. Whatever happens, he sends a follow-up letter but only to those 32,000 to whom he's made a correct "prediction." To 16,000 of them he predicts a rise for the next week, and to 16,000 a decline. Again, whatever happens, he will have sent 2 consecutive correct predictions to 16,000 people. Iterating this procedure of focusing exclusively on the winnowed list of people who have received only correct predictions, he can create the illusion in them that he knows what he's talking about. After all, the 1,000 or so remaining people who have received 6 straight correct predictions (by coincidence) have a good reason to cough up the $1,000 the newsletter publisher requests: They want to continue to receive these "oracular" pronouncements."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Steampunk Laptop

A most wonderful working Steampunk laptop (additional pictures). How I would love one of these. I do have a number of Corona portable typewriters from the early 20th century that could be pressed into such service. However I'm afraid I don't have the time nor the patience to build one. Default: Curta.


The newly deployed 1.84Tb server I've built over the past few weeks has been augmented by:
  • Tivo Series 2 running the Galleon open source app (adds many media-server capabilities to the default Tivo app)
  • Slingbox Av. Used to route Server and Tivo contents to wherever I want said contents. Even streaming over a reasonably poorly performing wireless network the audio and video resolution from the Slingbox is amazing. The fact that I can now access all my music, videos and images stored on the server from wherever I can get internet access is most pleasing.

Baby's for Sale on Amazon - 16% off!

I see that has a special offer on babies this week. 16% off - no limit on the number you purchase. And they come in such cute containers. Shop early. Shop often.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Speaking of Laser

From the site "Rayguns":

FMOM Industries - Wave Disrupter Gun

Are you genetically pre-disposed to not wanting to blow your face to bits? Then, by crikey, this may not be the device for you - Try a kite!

But, if you're a man, then send large money orders forthwith and procure yourself FMOM's latest and greatest. Built from the exacting plans of the famed Dr. Grordbort, and reinforced with purest Tremontium, this little tiger will turn your foes to a slurry!

Why, just in time for Christmas! Super molecular-disrupting fun for the little one's. Methinks I will take two of these and a nickle-finished Neurodistruptor with extra powerpack and sights.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Evan's 12th Birthday party is today. No suprise that he's selected LaserQuest for the event (again....). After the major effort last year creating the "LaserQuest Maze Cake" - something a little less ambitious was deemed appropriate for this year. Hence, the LaserGun Cake. Trust me, it looks better in real life. Much more like a gun than a hideous pile of brown frosting...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Damocles Still Hanging Around

Spent the weekend on the construction of a new server. Objective was to build a system with large RAID 1 space for archiving, that would also double as a fast render engine for Truespace. System was speced out to inlcude:
  • Thermaktake Tsunami VA3000BWA
  • ASUS A8N5X w/ nForce4 Mobo
  • AMD Athlon 64 processor 3200
  • Thermaltake CL-P0200 Silent 939 K8 CPU Cooler
  • Radion X1600 Pr PCIe 512M Graphics Card
  • Corsair XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)
  • SilverStone Strider ST60F 600watt PSU w/ modular cables
  • Seagate ST3200822A-RK 200 GB ATA Internal Hard Drive (IDE Master)
  • 2 x Seagate 500 GB Barracuda 7200.9 SATA Internal Hard Drive (500Gb Raid 1)
  • Pioneer DVD R/W (Reclaimed from another system)
The 200Gb IDE drive is the boot drive. The two 500Gb Barracuda's are built into a single RAID 1 array. I went overkill on the Strider PSU. 600w is way more than I need right now. I do, however, expect to add two more 500Gb SATA drives to take total capacity to 1Tb RAID 1. I will also take the PATA drive space up to 500Gb. The lights on the the Corsair RAM are cool + I really like the ASUS mobo - it's temperature monitoring and fan management is nifty. Oh yeah - I also went overboard on the CPU cooler -- it's just that there is no way I can trust the crap cooler that AMD ships with the processor + I plan to do a little overclocking....

Oh the name of the new system is Damocles - hence the title of this post. Move along now.

29 October 2006 Update: Added 2 x 320Gb SATA drives last week. Configured as RAID 1. System is now 720Gb RAID 1 (give or take a Gb). Total disk space in the cabinet is 1.84Tb. And to think, the first PC I had with a hard disk was an IBM PC XT with a whopping 10Mb drive.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Must be seen to be believed....

An aircraft carrier made out of Lego to minifig scale i.e. rather big.
File under the categories of (1) Wow! and (2) Too much time on one's hands.