Archive for March, 2005

4.6 years later, no aliens found

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

If anyone is not familiar with the [email protected] project you must not be too familiar with the internet. [email protected] is the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence using distributed computing. Thousands, if not millions, of computers are currently using there spare time to crunch packets of telescope information sent to them from the SETI at home servers. When a computer is done it sends the information back and the lets the SETI team know if that part of the sky is worth taking a closer look into.

Most Windows machines use a screen saver to make sure that the work is done while the computer is idle. Mac OSX and Linux machines allow you to run a process in ‘nice’ mode, as in play nice with others. This tells a process/program to wait for everything else to be processed then jump in line for the CPU. I run setiathome on my home server 24/7 at nice 19, the highest level of playing nice. My home server needs to always be on for others to grab files & music from it, or check web pages. It also houses all my backups and lets me get at my files from anyplace with internet access. So it’s always on, but as penitence for using that power it’s always crunching SETI information, work that need to be done anyway.

My laptop runs the screen saver and my father’s PC in Markham does too. A few of my work Mac’s run SETI overnight (because I want all my applications open when I get into work the next day). Again, I figure as long as they are on they might as well be doing something.

Saturn: Road legal again

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

The Saturn has a proper mirror again!

I had the morning off because I’m helping out with a class this evening. I spent it visiting some local junk yards and was able to get the mirror for $60.00 (before taxes). So that’s not so bad.

I started to put the mirror on and lost my 10mm socket to the inside of the door. I then drive off to Canadian Tire expecting to hear the rattle of the socket but luckily (I think) it’s stuck to the back of the speaker. Even if it was loose in there you’d never hear it over the other rattling interior parts of any Saturn.

With my new socket I attached the new mirror in the Canadian Tire parking lot, with some bonus insulation, in about 10 minutes.

What can be learned from all of this? There’s a definite advantage to non-colour cued mirrors on cars. All the Saturn SL mirrors are black. Also, sports cars with the small mirrors on long stems have those for a reason – mirrors have a large affect on the flow of wind over your car. Shealyn always thought it was funny that in F1 they mandate the size of the rearview mirrors on the cars, otherwise they’d just take them off. Lastly: whenever you can, don’t park your car on the road! (or on the outside of corners, parking lot entrances……..)

Saturn at night

Don’t look back in anger

Monday, March 21st, 2005

Poor Saturn. :(

Broken Mirror

Saturday Lindz and I went out for dinner, a little mini-putt (for the record, she won) and then watched a movie at her parent’s place. The car must have been parked for just over two hours. When I parked it I let Lindsay out at her driveway so that I could pull the car forwards and up on to the snowbank — apparently that wasn’t over far enough.

So we cleaned up the mirror’s remnants from the road so no one would get a flat. There was a noticeable absence of another mirror, but very good distance on my shards, making me think the hit came from a light truck.

UnfortunatelyStandard Auto Wreckers junkyard is closed Sundays during the winter. (Standard is a great place, good selection and they have a good record of environmental concerns and community involvement – they also have my first car.) So I taped over the hole left from removing the mirror’s assembly and foam and rigged up a new mirror with a replacement convex mirror I bought.


This Migivered mirror worked pretty well for the drive back to St. Catharines, and I swear I got better fuel economy. I hope to make it to a yard down here in St. Catharines this week. The good news is the part doesn’t appear to be too expensive.

Wolfowitz guarding the sheep

Friday, March 18th, 2005

The National Post has an article about why Paul Wolfowitz is such a poor choice for head of the World Bank. Off hand I can’t tell if it’s being passed off as an op/ed article, or if it’s categorized as general news — but does it matter with the National Post? I’m glad to read that the paper that wanted to see Canada in Iraq is questioning the the invasions’ chief architect’s analytical abilities, though the article is attributed to Fred Kaplan, of the former M$ property,

The rational reasons why Paul Wolfowitz judgment cannot be trusted on anything:

  • He claimed: “It’s hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army.”
  • He also thought a post-war Iraq could fund it’s own recovery
  • He claimed that America’s troops would be welcomed to Iraq with flowers! (my favourite)
  • Lastly, as a senior member of the Pentagon (under secretary? – I don’t know the US positions that well) Where’s Osama?

The irrational reasons why Paul Wolfowitz should be head of the World Bank:

  • He talked to Bono twice yesterday. Twice! (He called him and Bono refuses to comment on it)
  • George Bush said that Wolfowitz qualifications are he’s a senior member of the Pentagon and the World Bank is an organization of a similar size

Not only is that like saying you should hire a lawyer as a surgeon because they’re both professionals with a lot of training, but it’s like saying you should hire a personnel injury lawyer as a surgeon. It’s the marriage of an irrational thought with an bad choice.

I got U2 Tickets!

Friday, March 18th, 2005

I used my membership in U2′s fan club to pick-up tickets to U2′s concert at the Air Canada Centre, Monday September 12!

I promissed Lindsay tickets for Xmas so joined the fan club to ensure it wasn’t an empty promise. I’m sure my investment will be vinidacted this weekend after the public sale for the two concerts sells out in two minutes or so.