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Comment: Re:Squarer is better. (Score 1) 289

by dwywit (#48442069) Attached to: Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

It's similar for video editing - one large, high-def monitor for the actual video, and another monitor for the various control panel windows. The second monitor can be any aspect ratio - whatever you prefer to work with - but the first one needs to be big, accurate, and has to be able to cope with at least the most common formats.

Comment: Re:Time to "stock up" from NewEgg ... (Score 1) 242

by dwywit (#48257251) Attached to: OEM Windows 7 License Sales End This Friday

I've recently set up the following linux distros as guests under Win 7 in VirtualBox (all are 64-bit versions):

Mint 17
Ubuntu 14.04
OpenSuse*
Mageia*

* whatever the latest version was on Distrowatch or Livecdlist

NONE of them were able to successfully restart themselves after initial installation. They shut down to a black window, and stayed that way until I forced VirtualBox to power them off. After a manual start, they would all start up and ask for updates. Mint, Ubuntu and Magiea were OK (after installing hundreds of MB of updates), OpenSuse just sat there doing nothing.

I'm not going to install any Linux/GNU distros on a customer's machine until I can get one to:

1. install and work in a VM, and then
2. install and work on generic desktop hardware, and 1st-tier laptop hardware.

Comment: Re:China is more capitalistic than the USA (Score 2) 73

by dwywit (#48238889) Attached to: First Commercial Mission To the Moon Launched From China

Whoops, forgot about Scandinavia (blame my newly-acquired homebrew kegging system). I'm expressing dismay about the size of the welfare budget here in Oz, and my experiences with people who game the system. I've known professional tertiary students who were smart enough to claim and collect 2 or even 3 student allowances by using fake identities. They liked student life so much, it was preferable to going out and actually getting a job.

I receive some welfare myself, mainly an income supplement for dependent children, but I wish we could work out a better system.

Comment: Re:China is more capitalistic than the USA (Score 2) 73

by dwywit (#48238723) Attached to: First Commercial Mission To the Moon Launched From China

We've a lot of evolving to do before socialism can work on a national scale. At the point where it becomes a government function to weigh in and distribute the wealth (e.g. with over-generous welfare handouts) it becomes a disincentive to work, i.e. if I can get free money from the government, why should I work?

Comment: Re:Obligatoriness Extraordinaire (Score 1) 237

by dwywit (#48145557) Attached to: Can the Sun Realistically Power Datacenters?

My installer said that tracking systems aren't really worth it for domestic situations. They cost about the same as 2 extra panels, and provide roughly the same amount of energy - so why not buy 2 extra panels and not have to deal with maintenance of motors, etc.

I thought that a tracking system could be set up to forego motors and use bi-metallic strips to drive the panel movement throughout the day - have the panels point east when "cold", i.e. in the morning, then bimetallic strips would warm with the sun, do their "bendy" thing and push the panels to point west throughout the day as they get warmer. Then overnight, as they cool off, they'd revert to their "cold" state and the panels would move to point east again, ready for the next day. I asked an engineer about this once but he thought bimetallic strips wouldn't be powerful enough to do the job.

Comment: Re:Obligatoriness Extraordinaire (Score 1) 237

by dwywit (#48145163) Attached to: Can the Sun Realistically Power Datacenters?

Ni-Fe batteries have a long life and more tolerance for discharge levels, but poor efficiency compared to lead-acid. Doesn't mean they wouldn't be useful, but you'll need LOTS more panels to replace what you take out.

My last set of lead-acid cells (12 x BPSolar 2-volt 1100ah) lasted 8 years of domestic use before the first one failed.

You're right about the controller - a good controller makes all the difference.

Comment: Re:Obligatoriness Extraordinaire (Score 4, Informative) 237

by dwywit (#48145101) Attached to: Can the Sun Realistically Power Datacenters?

Read the post again - it's insOlation, which is correct, not insUlation, which was your assumption.

Solar PV capacity planning, at least in domestic situations, is based on the amount of energy captured/generated by a panel at its PEAK capacity, and is generally calculated at 5 hours/day in temperate zones, less in frigid, more in tropical, with modifiers for local conditions and climate. Panel output throughout, for example, a clear sunny day in the mid latitudes corresponds closely to a steep-ish bell curve (more like a sine wave, though). Low output at either end of the day because the incidence of the sun's rays to the panel are more oblique.

Panels are getting better at "catching" oblique insolation, but obviously they're much better between the hours of 9-10am and 2-3pm. There is a significant amount of energy captured outside these times, but it's not really useful when calculating the number of panels needed. It's better to state that you'll capture a minimum of x on sunny days, rather than a maximum.

Comment: Re:Claim is BS. (Score 1) 155

by dwywit (#48116871) Attached to: Liking Analog Meters Doesn't Make You a Luddite (Video)

Eh? "Fastest-revving cars"?

Perhaps you could explain why analogue tachos on pre-computerised motorcycles were able to cope with 2K powerbands and redlines in excess of 10K RPM. You know, the tacho driven by a cable from the engine.

People used to win races with those "slow" tachos.

In any case, if you're driving a high-performance vehicle anywhere approaching its peak performance, you won't really be watching the dials very much.

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