Archive for October, 2007

Apples

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

I have a new favorite apple. For a long time I ate mostly Red Delicious apples. I liked the flavor. They are soft though and I didn’t like that. So I would regularly eat other types like Macs (no not the computer) that are more crisp. Well recently we visited an apple orchard and not surprisingly they had a large selection of apples. Most of them we’d seen in stores before but one was new to us. The friendly people at the orchard had one sliced for tasting and we tried it.

This type is called Honey Crisp and it’s fairly new but gaining popularity. It’s nice and sweet like the Red Delicious but crispy like the Macs. It lasts a couple of weeks in the refrigerator but we’ve been eating them all long before they go bad. I haven’t seen them in local stores yet so I am worried about getting them through the winter.

BTW while reading up on apples today I found out that they have a lot of real health benifits. Since they taste so much better then a lot of things that are not as healthy I think I’m going to be eating more of them. A little knife/cutting device that cores and slices apples makes that process so quick and easy I’m kicking myself that we didn’t buy one years ago. The seeds are mildly poisonous BTW so there is actually a good reason not to eat the core. It would take a lot of the seeds to really do damage but since they don’t taste good I’d just as soon avoid them. The skin on the other hand is good for you and adds fiber (which is apparently a good thing.) I always did like the skin.

Come as you are for Holloween?

Friday, October 26th, 2007

So I was reading this blog(http://www.eduwonkette.com/2007/10/halloween-edu-parade-sneak-preview.html) that has a list of top Holloween costumes. Princess is pretty much up at the top of all the lists. So the obvious question is what do real princesses dress up as for Holloweeen?

BTW I ran into someone who is getting married this week-end. It is an Addams Family theme wedding because of Holloweeen. I guess if you are dressing up (I’ve only warn a tux to be in wedding parties) for a wedding a real costume is not such a huge next step.

I think I Need a Teaching Job

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

I miss teaching. I don’t miss the paycheck and I could do without grading for the most part. But in general I miss being in the classroom. I taught a class today – sort of. I was a guest speaker at a management class at Bentley today. (Sorry I didn’t warn anyone but it was of those get there just in time to talk, have lunch with the professor and leave sort of days.)

It’s not exactly like being the regular teacher of course. And frankly the class was not as responsive as I’d like. But they had almost an hour of class that included a lot of math, numbers and I gather not exciting things before I started. And it was lunch time – people were eating when I started. It just felt good to be teaching though. The professor said I did a good job and a second professor who was sitting in asked me to talk to her class later this month. Always a good sign.

While eating lunch with the professor I told him that I missed the classroom and he asked me where I had my resume in. Well I don’t have any out. I’m thinking that I may send some out though. Not for full-time employement though. Without a PhD there is no way I could get the kind of paycheck I am getting now teaching full-time. And I do like my current job. What I am thinking is that a night course or perhaps a Saturday course might fit into my schedule. I’d have to be careful with my travel but it could work. I just have to find someone who is looking for someone with my background. Who knows – it could be fun.

Mice Are Stupid

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

This is not a computer related post. The mice I am talking about are little furry animals. It’s fall and a lot of them are looking for warm dry places to spend the winter. It appears that a lot of them have decided that the walls and attic of my house is a good place. They are noisy and dirty and I really don’t want them around. Mrs. T is even less found of them than I am. At the same time she objects to my killing them.

So what I have done is to buy “humane” catch and release traps for mice. I’ve relocated over 20 mice into the woods. I have no way knowing what the recidivism rate is though. If they are not returning there are/were a whole lot of mice in the house. Still I hope I am catching up with them. I don’t want to keep doing this all the time.

But coming back to the stupid part. The traps are very simple. They consist of a semi-opaque plastic box with a sort of one way door in the opening. The mice easily push the door open and crawl under it to get in. Once in the door falls and they seem not to be able to figure out how to get it open. Now if they were smart they would roll the box over first before getting in. Then no problem. Or working in teams one of them would hold the door open. but no. But it gets better. You would think that one mouse seeing another trapped would stay away. But you’d be wrong. I have had as many as three mice trapped in the same trap at the same time. This is amazing stupidity. My only hope is that they get lost when I let them go outside.

I supose that having so many baby mice is how they survive. It sure isn’t on brains.

Maps.live.com

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

OK they released a new set of images at http://maps.live.com today. Look places up and make sure you are looking at Bird’s Eye view. I’m telling you this is amazing.

Operating Systems

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

So I decided to make a list of all the operating systems I’ve ever used. now by used I mean really used for meaningfull stuff not just logged in on once. I think I have written a program on everyone of these. Most of them for actual money. On everyone of them I have had administrative privs equivilent to root on Unix. On the ones marked with an * I had knonwledge of the internals of the operating system at a level that let me make modifications to it or use internal tables/data in ways that regular programers could not. For RSTS/E I was actually part of the OS development group and wrote extensive code that was shipped with the OS to customers.
• IBM 1130 DOS
• RSTS/E *
• OS8/COS-310
• RT-11/CTS-300 *
• RSX-11M (and other closely related)
• TRAX
• OS 16 (Perkin Elmer/Interdata)
• OS 32 (Perkin Elmer/Interdata) *
• Unix/Linux (several versions)
• TOPS-10
• TOPS-20
• VMS (Vax/VMS and Alpha VMS) *
• MS-DOS/Windows (lots of versions)
• Mac OS

Two of them I actually like less than Unix/Linux. A couple of others are less powerful than Unix/Linux but so easy to setup and use that I like them better anyway. I don’t actually think of myself as being all that experienced BTW. There are a number of operating systems I wish I’d gotten to try. I think it is really too bad that there are so few operating systems in general use today. I blame Linux for that. Given the high cost of entry for developing a new OS competing with free means very little chance to recoop costs. And Linux sucks up all the people willing to work for free.

BTW A few computers I’ve worked with hardly count as having a real OS. Such as the following:
PDP-8 with paper tape assembler
First generation TRS-80
IBM P6060
Apple II

Anyone here have a longer list?

Right Brain or Left

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Michael Kordahi posted an article about an optical illusion test.

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Which way is the woman turning – clockwise or counter-clockwise? Click here to  find out what it reveals. What we call counter-clockwise some parts of the world calls anti-clockwise BTW

Apparently a lot of people can see her moving in either direction at will. No such luck for me though.

LED Coffee Table

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

I think this is cool. The youTube post of the video has a lot of mean and nasty comments so I decided I would rather link to the home of the device. At the opening of the video the writing on the board says “Because we can” and isn’t that enough of a reason? If people can climb mountains “because it is there” then geeks can build stuff like this “because we can.”