06 март 2011

101 Uses for a Fooork!

 Another amazing creation!

Here is what a friend of mine came up with in the absence of the right tool for the job!

04 февруари 2010


Examen starter klokken 16.30.

12 things to do before exams:

Don’t Panic.
Avoid panic. Exam nerves are natural but panicking will only make things worse and
you may not be able to think clearly.
Stay positive.
Believe in yourself. If you prepare for your exams properly you should do fine. Your
teachers have worked hard to make sure you have studied everything you need to for the
exam. They believe you can do it and so should you. If you believe you can do it, then
you can.
Don’t bottle things up.
If the exams are making you feel worried or depressed, talk to your friends, your
parents/guardians or your teachers. Don’t bottle things up. You’re not the only one to
feel worried about exams – we’ve all been there. Remember, everyone reacts in
different ways to exams.
Keep things in perspective.
Exams might seem like the most important thing you have to focus on right now, but
they are only a small part of your life. There are thousands of successful people who
didn’t do as well as they wanted in their exams. It’s great to do well but remember that
you can only do your best and that is what your teachers and your parents/guardians ask
of you.
Make sure you leave plenty of time to revise so that you don’t have to cram at the last
minute. If you plan you will become more confident and will be better prepared for
your exams so you should also be more relaxed. Include some flexibility in your plan in
case something happens and you fall behind your timetable/schedule.
Rest and relaxation.
Make sure you allow yourself time for fun and relaxation away from where you are
studying so that you avoid exhaustion. Include regular breaks into your study plan or
timetable and make sure you get enough exercise and sleep to keep yourself relaxed and
refreshed. If you exercise you will be able to sleep better and you will wake up
refreshed in the morning.
If you feel you are starting to lose concentration, take a short break. Your mind is
probably tired and you will waste time trying to study. The break will mean that you
will come back refreshed. Research shows that taking breaks (eg 10 minutes for every
hour of studying) will help your brain to learn and remember things and also lengthen
your concentration. Don’t overload your brain in a study session.
You are not wasting time by taking some time out to relax from your studies but are
helping yourself to work more effectively.
Ask for help.
If you don’t understand something ask your friends, parents/guardians or your teacher
for help. You may find that you can help a classmate in something they don’t
understand – you may be able to help each other. Don’t stress yourself but take action
to find out answers to problems.
Use revision papers.
You can use revision papers to prepare mock exam answers which will help you focus
your revision. They will also help you get used to the way questions are asked and how
they should be answered. The more you practice, the more confident you will become.
You can also make up your own questions.
There are also a number of study guides available that you might find useful and these
can be purchased at most good bookstores.
Eat and drink well.
Fizzy drinks, tea and coffee contain caffeine and this can mean that you’re not able to
think as clearly. You can keep your mind active by eating healthily and regularly. If
you don’t drink enough you could dehydrate and you may suffer from headaches,
tiredness and poor concentration.
On the morning of an exam, make sure you eat breakfast. Go for something like
wholegrain cereals eg bran, egg, toast which are slow energy burners.
Study away from distractions.
Make sure you have a quiet area to study with no distractions. Turn the television off.
Don’t fall into the trap of watching one programme and then starting your study. You’ll
quickly find that it’s time to go to bed when you’re about to turn off the television. This
will only knock your studying back and cause you stress and anxiety.
Take short rests during your study time for relaxation away from where you are
studying. If your mind gets too tired you will have difficulty remembering what you
have been studying.
If you prefer to study in the evening, don’t go straight to bed afterwards because your
mind will still be thinking over what you have learnt. Take some exercise, go for a
walk or do something else that will help relax you from your study time.
Prepare everything you need for the exam.
The night before the exam, make sure you have your calculator (if needed), your pens
and pencils, your admission card and a watch so you can monitor the time during the
exam. Your teacher or your examinations officer can advise you on what you are
allowed to take into each examination.
Exam day rush.
Instead of trying to learn new topics on the day of the exam, look over your notes/key
Don’t leave yourself short of time on the day of an exam. Work out how you are
getting to the exam and make sure you have plenty of time to get there so that you are
not rushed. If you have time, you may want to find a quiet place to relax rather than
waiting outside the examination centre with the accompanying noise and tension from your classmates.

03 февруари 2010

Rotten Apple

The new Apple keyboard may look stunning at first sight. Unfortunately it is not a one of a kind product. Undoubtedly it does not look like anything else on the market nowadays, but wandering through Google's picture results one day I found the "Sinclair ZX Spectrum" color computer. Production line of the late 80s and early 90s it sure had a cool look for its time. Even presumably cool for some people nowadays. Its stretched keys and flat buttons on the keyboard look so similar to the Apple's mega hit keyboard.
As a friend of mine used to say: "Every new discovery or idea is a well forgotten old one"

ZX Spectrum

By all means I am not a computer design critic, but one should not completely deny the possibility of plagiarism from Apple, as funny as that may seem to some, and of course it is not excluded that this could be just the  gibberish of the blog's author. But I definitely see that they resemble each other.

Obama trying to destroy Constellation.

After reviewing a September 2009 report following Congressional testimony,the Obama administration reportedly decided to exclude Constellation from the 2011 United States federal budget.On February 1, 2010, the President's proposed budget was released, which included no funding for the project. 
Constellation Program is a human spaceflight program within NASA, the space agency of the United States. 
Part of the Constellation program involves the development of spacecraft and booster vehicles to replace the Space Shuttle and send astronauts to the Moon and possibly to Mars as well. NASA has already begun the process of designing two boosters, the Ares I and Ares V. Ares I would have the sole function of launching mission crews into orbit, while Ares V would be used to launch other hardware for use on missions and will have a heavier lift capacity than the Ares I booster. In addition to these two boosters, NASA is designing a set of other spacecraft for use during Constellation. These will include the Orion crew capsule, the Earth Departure Stage and the Altair lunar lander.

29 януари 2010

Fires of Kuwait


The Fire of the gates of hell. 

If there is a hell on Earth this was the place. After Saddam Husein blew the oil wells in Kuwait, the fire storm engulfed the desert for almost a year. The common efforts of over 700 firefighters and many more outside the "pit" were worth saving millions of gallons of raw petrol, which otherwise would have burned for decades. 
For just under an hour, the movie tries to capture the great struggle of the teams which apply the greatest human ingenuity into diminishing  the blazing inferno of the oil. The small part of their work, captured in this movie, is definitely not enough to please the viewers. 

08 януари 2010

How an AGP Slot drove me crazy!

I recently found a really good pc thrown out near my block's entrance. I decided to take it and try to give it another chance to live. It turned out to be a good machine and powered up correctly-hard drive and ram no errors cpu seemed stable only crappy windows, which could easily be fixed. Configuration as follows:

Motherboard: CPU Type AMD Athlon XP, 1900 MHz (11.5 x 165) 2600+
Motherboard Name ECS KT600-A (4 PCI, 1 AGP, 1 CNR, 3 DDR DIMM, Audio, LAN)
Motherboard Chipset VIA VT8377 Apollo KT600
System Memory 512 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM) BIOS Type Award (12/24/03)
Display: Video Adapter ATI Radeon 9550 / X1050 Series Secondary (256 MB)
Video Adapter ATI Radeon 9550 / X1050 Series (256 MB) 3D Accelerator ATI Radeon 9550
 Monitor Samsung SyncMaster 703(M)s/750(M)s/753(M)s/MagicSyncMaster CM173A(M) [17" CRT]
Multimedia: Audio Adapter Realtek ALC655 @ VIA AC'97 Enhanced Audio Controller
IDE Controller Floppy Drive Floppy disk drive
Disk Drive Maxtor 6Y080L0 (80 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/133)
Optical Drive HL-DT-ST DVD-ROM GDR8162B (16x/48x DVD-ROM)
Optical Drive Memorex 24MAXX 1040 (24x/10x/40x CD-RW)
SMART Hard Disks Status OK

So far so good and it worked fine for a while. Then I thought why would someone throw it out unless there is something wrong with it. And there was. First of all the AC 97 sound cards audio output (the green female plug on the back of the motherboard) produced only mono audio. The sound for the right speaker was missing, but I thought it was from the speakers because I had really crappy set. Later on when I reinstalled windows and installed new speakers that I knew worked for sure the problem was still there and no sound from the right speaker still. I double checked the speakers with an mp3 player and they were not the problem. Then drivers I thought but I actually messed them up a bit and the sound was completely gone. I had a spare sound card that worked OK but was pretty old. So I decided to give it a shot and installed it. Worked fine for a couple of days, during which the other problem began to lurk in the system. All of a sudden my monitor will go to sleep mode and I could not wake it up any other way but by restarting the system with the reset button on the case.
Anyway Installed the old Creative sound card and it worked fine until I decided to operate on the insides of the PC while power was on (done it twice before, regret it twice as well) and then BAM short circuit and it went off. Since I am pretty experienced with that kind of stuff I knew that the first thing to burn after a short circuit in computer's case is the power supply, then the sound card then the Ram and so on. So I tried to power up and the power supply turned on so I knew the card was gone and so it was: no more sound coming out. For the sake of stupidity I tried to change drivers and stuff like that nothing worked. Not the whole card was gone though,only the audio output. If the card was totally gone the Pc wouldn't have fired up at all, or beeping would appear if you are lucky. During that time I was almost desperate I ended up with 2 bad sound cards and the sleep problem now was getting worse and worse crashing the system every half an hour or so.
I decided to go back to the motherboard's sound card and stick with it until I have found a solution if there was one at all. Unfortunately sleeping problem now was pissing me off big time. Turning off and on the monitor randomly and crashing after several repetitions. I had an AGP 2x Voodoo 3 video card, but was impossible to insert it in my 1.5V AGP slot since AGP 2x uses 3.3V and anyway it would not fit even if I tried. Here is a picture of different AGP slots:

I assumed that the video card "Radeon 9550" is on its way to give up, so I went to a local shop and got a second hand video card for 50kr. The card was again Ati Radeon but I am not sure which model exactly. It was a predecessor of the one that I had with 128mb Ram with TV Out and DVi.
I brought it home took the old one away and inserted the "new" one that I got from the shop. It was doing fine powered up ok until it entered Windows. Then all of a sudden it started to flick the screen and wouldn't stop for even a minute. That pissed me off. Tried thousand things like messing with Bios and reinserting tightening the screws and etc. Nothing helped.
In such situations some could have had a nervous breakdown and I admit I was close to it. Then I decided I am not going to deal with this for some time, so I put back the old video card and switched off the pc.
I came back to it after 2 days and decided to start with the sound problem first, hoping I will be more lucky with it. As I mentioned earlier I went back to deal with the On-Board integrated sound card "Realtek" and by that time I did not have a choice since I successfully managed to burn the spare one.
I installed the correct drivers which I barely found because Realtek did not have them on their website for some reason. Dug up some info from the forums and found a solution which finally worked.
The On-Board sound i.e. "Realtek ALC655 @ VIA AC'97 Enhanced Audio Controller" can support 2 speakers (headphones), 4 speakers system and emulate 5.1 . The last one is not of a big interest since the one I needed was the support for 4 speakers. This was available of course with the help of the managing software - provided kindly by Realtek. When I selected that I have a four channel audio the software showed the "line in" jack becoming active. I snapped at that moment and plugged my speakers into the line in "blue" female jack on the back of the motherboard and it worked. The system thought I had 4 speakers and I had only 2.

Back to the same old video card. Having spend some time in serious thoughts about the problem with the old video card, I ended up with the conclusion that there is a high possibility that the AGP slot itself is making a short cut somewhere inside the socket. It was obvious that it is a short cut in the socket. It was a fact that even touching the monitor cable could cause a problem so that the card could go to sleep. Even the slightest movement affected it. What followed was tweaking the BIOS in such a way in which I was able to switch off the 8x acceleration of the socket.After the shutdown the card became stable on the very same restart. Now it is less powerful but fortunately it works great!
The video card itself:


03 януари 2010

2001 A Space Odyssey

A must see. One of the best sci-fi movies ever made.

02 януари 2010

The faith of old slaves

I am really troubled by the way computers are being recycled nowadays. It is true that recycling is better than leaving it in your back garden, but how much is being recycled after all? It is still puzzling that most of the shell and insides of electronic gadgets and pcs end up on a special junkyard with the intention to decay than to be recycled.Most of these devices are composed of substances like mercury, lead and cadmium that can be so poisonous to the environment. It ends up in e-waste junkyards in countries like Ghana and China. They pile up and polute the earth, rotting slowly and disolving into the soil:

Imagining the 4th and 10th dimensions