Archive for month: July, 2006

ICFP Programming Contest, 2006

July 26, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Tom reminded me that the ICFP Programming Contest, 2006 was last weekend. I didn’t notice, nor did I have time to compete, but I really like this years challenge, and after an hour of programming and two hours of debugging (which should have only been ten minutes at the outside) I have a working virtual […]

California ISO System Status

July 25, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Somebody at work pointed me at the California ISO System Status page, which points out how many megawatts of power that California is consuming, and how close we are to maximum capacity. Note: we’re close. Really close. Save running your washer and dryer till later.

Zoo Trip and Prairie Dog Love

July 23, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Yesterday the mercury crossed over 100 degrees here, so to stay out of the heat, we ended up going to the San Francisco Zoo. Mission mostly accomplished: the temperature was a balmy eighty degrees or so, and it was marvelous. I hadn’t been to the SF zoo since they completed their new Africa exhibit, so […]

Free at last!

July 22, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Last night, I finally reached a breaking point. I have an aging 1.6ghz Sempron laptop that I was using to run Windows XP. I use the term “run” somewhat loosely. It was more like a hobbling walk. On a clean reboot, it took fully seven minutes and thirty seconds to reach a state where I […]


July 20, 2006 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

I worked out some of the math for creating maps using the globular projection. The diagram below shows that it worked. I have a little programming project going for which this is a minor subtask. I’ll update you more later.

Book Review: New Sherlock Holmes Adventures, edited by Mike Ashley

July 19, 2006 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

I love Sherlock Holmes. I think that Conan Doyle’s portrayal of London’s most famous fictional detective are some of the most fun and yet also most artful works of detective fiction ever written. The only pity is that there aren’t more of them. For fun, I picked up a copy of New Sherlock Holmes Adventures, […]

My Top 5 Must Read Blogs

July 17, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Josh Bancroft decided to post My Top 5 Must Read Blogs, and I realized something: I hate blogs about blogging. And public relations. And the Cluetrain Manifesto. They bore me. They are populated entirely by pundits who like to talk about how revolutionary blogging is, how companies can use it to sell products and improve […]

British Fighter Jet Crashes at Oregon Airshow

July 17, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Got this link from Josh Bancroft, but was just talking about this with my Mom this morning. She lives very close to the Airport so this is figuratively if not actually literally in her backyard. British Jet crashes at Hillsboro Airshow Ouch! Not fun at all. Technorati Tags: Airshow, Crash, Hillsboro

Zidane headbutt outrage on the Register

July 17, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Carmen pointed this collection of Zidane silliness on the Register. It gave me a chuckle.

Public Domain Art courtesy of the USNO

July 14, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Some neat artwork from the U.S. Naval Observatory, including high resolution scans of some works by Hevelius, Flamsteed, and Bayer. Some of them are very, very cool. Technorati Tags: Astronomy, Public Domain Images Addendum: Want a PDF containing all the images from the Jamieson star catalog? Your wish is my command. Caution: it’s 25 megabytes.

Funny Math

July 13, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Without further explanation: Technorati Tags: Mathematics

Book Review: Beginning GIMP — From Novice to Professional

July 11, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

It’s no secret: I’m a big fan of free software. That’s another way of saying that I’m too cheap to buy Photoshop. If you are a graphic artist and make money with your images, by all means, you should probably hand over the big bucks and get Photoshop. But if you’re like me, and just […]

What I don’t understand about baseball…

July 9, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Yesterday, Carmen took me and Adam and his girlfriend to the Atheletics/Angels game as a belated Father’s Day present. It was a fabulous day to be at the ballpark. First pitch was at 6:05, the weather was beautiful, and we had good seats near on the field level (far back, but a short row which […]

The Trackball Telescope

July 8, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Jerry Oltion designed created The Trackball Telescope, a telescope which rotates around on a spherical ball. It’s not that unusual to see these “ball” telescopes, but Jerry seems to have come up with a reasonably novel way to drive the telescope so that it will track stars as the earth rotates. Very neat for a […]

Cracking the Secret Codes of Europe’s Galileo Satellite

July 8, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Cornell university researchers have apparently cracked the scheme used by the new European Galileo satellites. Galileo is the European version of GPS, but unlike the American GPS constellation which were paid for by tax dollars, Galileo is privately funded and sought to repay their investors by licensing the pseudo-random sequences that scramble the data streams. […]