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Comment: Re:That ship has already sailed. (Score 1) 112

by dwywit (#47760999) Attached to: IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

Neat! I wish there were more second-hand AS400 boxes in Oz. It's a small market with limited vendors, so prices are out of my reach. Would you mind sharing the cost of the hardware and the licence? Ballpark figures are fine.

I'd buy an entry-level machine just for the chance to play with OS400 again.

Comment: I subscribe to live365 (Score 1) 71

by dwywit (#47707651) Attached to: YouTube Music Subscription Details Leak

~USD70 per annum for ad-free listening. I'd be happy to pay double that if and ONLY if the extra went straight to artists, i.e. not via licencing/royalty agents.

You can listen to most of the stations for free, if you're happy to hear the ads.

Unfortunately, their recent website re-design is dreadful. I play it via an eeePC, and the website does not scale very well to a small screen. The standalone player for Windows is OK, but the android app doesn't behave - long connect times, lots of dropouts and crashes. It keeps playing after you tap the "stop" button, and won't terminate until you force stop the app. I can cope with that because there's lots of great music across dozens of genres and thousands of stations.

Comment: Re:Pending Restart.. (Score 1) 303

There were some posts in one of the microsoft support forums that indicated removing %system%\FNTCACHE.DAT resolved the problem. That led to discussions that it might have been systems with a large number of installed fonts that were vulnerable.

Windows will automatically replace FNTCACHE.DAT, so removing it won't hurt.

Comment: Re:We already solved this one! (Score 1) 442

by dwywit (#47691345) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

If you don't want to store excess energy from Solar PV, you switch it off, i.e. the "off" switch is just that, an open circuit. The panel doesn't suddenly heat up and explode when you don't want to use its output anymore, but it's a waste when that energy could be used elsewhere. Switching the load to dump the excess into your hot water system is a great idea - it preheats the water, ultimately reducing demand from the grid. You should only switch a solar panel off where there is NO practical use for the energy. My PV/Battery controller (Plasmatronics PL60) is programmable, and has options to divert PV energy away from the batteries (e.g. when they reach float voltage) into other items, such as a water pump. It will even switch to an alternative battery bank, if you have one.

Wind turbines are different, and need to have a load dump somewhere nearby. Small domestic wind turbines actually use their external casing as a dump.

"Myopic trolls" is right, too. Electricity supply & distribution companies here are complaining that there is too much PV energy coming into the grid. Presumably this is on sunny days, when the demand for air conditioning is high.

Comment: Re:Expert?? (Score 1) 442

by dwywit (#47691193) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

One of these days - HA! - we might see those big 'ol AC induction motors replaced by things that are a bit smarter. Not holding my breath, though.

An example would be conventional washing machine motors with gearboxes vs. "soft-start" DC motors (e.g. Fisher & Paykel). I couldn't have a conventional washing machine on my system (off-grid, solar PV + batteries, inverter) because the inrush load meant buying an inverter with enough surge capacity to cope with it, in other words, do I buy a massively over-spec inverter, or a smart washing machine? Hint - the F&P cost less than the difference between the two inverter models.

Comment: Benign or malignant? (Score 1) 111

by dwywit (#47652019) Attached to: Injecting Liquid Metal Into Blood Vessels Could Help Kill Tumors

I'm guessing that they're talking about benign tumours - how would this work with a malignant tumour or metastatic cancer?

If you get the chance, watch "Autopsy - Life & Death". It's a bit gory, but well worth it for the explanation in one episode about the difference between benign and metastatic tumours.

Comment: Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (Score 2) 385

There's a huge amount of space available - it's called a roof, and many people have them.

The PV panels on my roof are, to a certain extent, self-cleaning. They're designed that way, and it works quite well as long as they're mounted properly. Panels should be mounted at an angle roughly corresponding to your latitude (I'm at ~26 deg south), and rainfall is enough to keep them clean. I get up on the roof to inspect them every couple of months, and I clean them once a year or so. All it takes is a long-handled broom, and a bucket of water.

And speaking of efficiency, why do many people ignore the fact that you only receive about 40% of the energy in the coal when you turn on an appliance?

Comment: Re:I prefer (Score 1) 337

by dwywit (#47209647) Attached to: Cisco Opposes Net Neutrality

I was surprised to find in the configuration file of my Technicolour (Thomson) ADSL modem, a section already defining QoS, This isn't visible in the browser-accessible UI, but only when you "save" the configuration to a local hard drive, which option is also locked by Bigpong/Telstra unless you run a magic script. Anyway, it defines 6 queues for QoS, and it allocates VOIP traffic to the highest-priority queue, proceeding down the list until queue 5, which is the catch-all. There are various types mentioned, but HTTP, SMTP, and Telnet aren't among them, leading me to believe those protocols end up in queue 5, which is the lowest priority or "best effort" queue. This isn't my specialty, so I may have misinterpreted what it means, but I looked up the manual and it seems to confirm what I read in the config file.

Short version: Your traffic may already be affected by your own modem.

Comment: Re:Neat (Score 3) 217

by dwywit (#46810169) Attached to: Reinventing the Axe

Yup. I'd like to see it used on a piece of Ironbark - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

Hint: it's not the bark that feels like it's made of iron. There are some eucalyptus species with nice, straight grain, but many don't. You can expend a great deal of energy splitting ironbark, or you can use a chainsaw. Petrol and electric-powered logsplitters are also an option.

My father recalls being put on tree-felling duty in far north Queensland after returning from WWII, along with many others still in the services, while waiting for their discharge. They were dropping ironbarks to cut up and use as railway sleepers. He told me he doesn't feel the need to chop wood *ever* again.

Comment: Re:By reef... (Score 1) 277

by dwywit (#46139171) Attached to: Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef

You're right, and I wasn't clear about "already in the water". There's a difference between what we're doing to the water (e.g. the soluble fertilizer washing down from the cane farms into the estuary, and the large-scale transfer of natural sediments from the estuary to the reef/continental shelf), and the various solubles and particulates that would wash down anyway without our help, and have been caught by the mangroves for a LONG time.

We shouldn't be f*cking with the reef's ecosystem at all, but at least this will have some oversight by scientists.

Comment: Re:By reef... (Score 2) 277

by dwywit (#46139105) Attached to: Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef

Did you mean the dumping ground is the size of germany? No.

The spoil is a nutrient source, some of which are microscopic particles which won't just drop straight to the ocean floor - currents will send it hither and yon. If it washes over coral, the coral will react. Tropical coral DOESN'T LIKE strong nutrient loads. As another commenter has mentioned coral also doesn't like lack of sunlight - even highly dispersed particulates will reduce the sunlight reaching the coral.

The sand component will tend to settle quickly, but it might get carried onto living reef - I trust the scientists at GBRMPA to have studied this and account for it.

You simply can't make broad comments like "the size of germany" and expect to be taken seriously.

Comment: Re:By reef... (Score 1) 277

by dwywit (#46138493) Attached to: Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef

'Taint in the middle of the pacific. Hint: search for "great barrier reef marine park" on google maps.

It's also a rather fragile ecosystem that's already under pressure - some natural, some man-made.

OTOH, dredging spoil (mostly mud and sand) is *already* in the water, they're only moving it from the harbours/estuaries further out. There *might* be problem with nutrient load.

Comment: Re:ugly truth, they never stood a chance. (Score 1) 160

by dwywit (#46052093) Attached to: Lenovo To Buy IBM's Server Business For $2.3 Billion

System i is already hosted on x86 - see "Pure Systems". It's a great OS, with granularity of control I've never seen in *nix or Windows.

Back in the day, I used to think that it would be wonderful when PCs became powerful enough to run OS400. I'd still like to see it, even if emulated.

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