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Comment: xrandr 1.2+ breaks multi card support in X (Score 1) 410

by SlashSim (#30345138) Attached to: Multiple-Display Power Tools For Linux?

My desktop is frozen at Debian Etch.

I have a triple head setup with three graphics cards. It has been working well for me for years, though it was a bit tricky to set up. About halfway through the Lenny release cycle, an upgrade hosed my multi head setup.

The culprit was xrandr replacing xinerama. The new code can handle multiple outputs on a single card but cannot yet use more than a single card.

The xrandr code is a definite improvement. No more screwing around with xorg.conf is great. The ability to change screen arrangements and resolutions dynamically is a major win for laptop users. Dropping multiple card support however, is a major regression.

At this point it is looking like I will need new hardware by the time this is fixed. I suppose I can throw a bunch of money at a graphics card with three or more outputs. I got the three cards I'm using now at swap meet prices, I don't relish the thought of shelling out big bucks for a fancy card, I'm just looking at a bunch of xterms anyway.

For now, I'm stuck with an increasingly obsolescent operating system because the X developers didn't thing it was a big deal to remove functionality.

Comment: Re:Zero Emissions are worse?? (Score 1) 278

by SlashSim (#30196220) Attached to: Berkeley Engineers Have Some Bad News About Air Cars

Oh, and don't forget that you could only run the compressor during the day, when you probably will want to use the car. If you're going to store the power in a bank of batteries, why not put the batteries in the car?

No, you store the energy as compressed air, in a big tank. Charge (or change) the car's tank later when you get home.

It is still a bad idea, and I suspect your shop compressor is way too small to run a car. Think more along the lines of the diesel powered rigs that come in little trailers you see attached to jackhammers. With one of those trailers behind your air car, you could have unlimited range, (diesel is available everywhere), burn more fuel than a regular car, have worse performance and have to tow an awkward trailer around. The upside is that you can claim to have a hybrid vehicle, and everyone knows that those are good.

Comment: Re:Zero Emissions are worse?? (Score 3, Informative) 278

by SlashSim (#30195910) Attached to: Berkeley Engineers Have Some Bad News About Air Cars

The nickel mine you are thinking about is probably Inco's mine in Sudbury Ontario. There is indeed a dead zone, but it is not a strip mine, the mine is underground. The dead zone is the result of acid fallout from the smelter. After killing off the area, and facing criticism, Inco built what was then the world's largest smokestack in the early seventies. The smelter still belches sulfur compounds, but now they are dispersed over a much larger area.

Much of the area still looks like a moonscape.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inco_Superstack

Comment: Re:Bah! (Score 2, Insightful) 720

by SlashSim (#30066590) Attached to: Whistleblower Claims IEA Is Downplaying Peak Oil

What soot?

Why does the snow turn black at the side of the road?

Why do the wheels on my road bike stain my hands black when I change a tire?

Modern cars are cleaner, sure, sometimes you can even taste it when an old beater drives by, but all hydrocarbon based vehicles are certainly contaminating our environment.

Comment: Re:You need SCADA security (Score 1) 462

by SlashSim (#30041666) Attached to: Massive Power Outages In Brazil Caused By Hackers

Then again I could just take my $2000 plasma cutter, $500 generator and $6000 hilux and head up into the mountains and take down three or four high voltage towers and kill power to about 8 million people for a week or more and be home before nightfall.

Dude, a $1000 4x4 pickup and $400 bucks for an oxy-acetylene torch rig would do the trick.

Heck, you can get tanks small enough to pack around on a mountain bike or in a backpack.

Or just use a rifle on the insulators.

There is nothing complicated about it, fortunately, few, almost none at all, people wish to create this kind of havoc. If terrorists were as common as portrayed, I'd not be able to to post this.

Please do secure the computer systems that control the power grid anyways -- please. I need power for my computers.

Comment: Re:Insightful (Score 1) 652

by SlashSim (#29997790) Attached to: Iraq Swears By Dowsing Rod Bomb Detector

Groundwater certainly is distributed laterally in many cases,
though not always. There are underground streams with coherent
channels as well.

I once spent a morning with an electronic pipe detector and a
vacuum truck (for digging narrow, vertical holes without damaging
buried pipe) trying to find a water main beneath a street. We dug
several holes but had no luck finding the pipe.

My boss showed up that afternoon and asked how we were doing.
When we explained we were having no luck, he grabbed a couple of
welding rods, knocked the flux off of them and bent the ends over
just more than 90 degrees. He walked around over the street for a
couple of minutes and then said "dig here". Sure enough, there
was the pipe, centered in the roughly twelve inch diameter hole
we dug, about ten feet down.

It turned out that several people in the company, (drillers
mostly) had some amount of dowsing skill. Apparently, anything
that flows can be found that way, including natural gas.

While my boss had 30 years of experience digging holes and laying
pipe, and certainly has a good understanding of where pipes tend
to be put, pinpointing a water main *exactly* in four lanes of
street is pretty unlikely.

Interestingly, while most in the construction industry and many
lay people accept the story without surprise, or even relate a
similar experience, people with a scientific background usually
refuse to consider it, you can almost hear their minds snap shut.

I'm not sure why the devices in the article cost $16,500 and up,
fifty cents worth of welding rod seems to do the trick.

You might have mail.

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