Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:historical context of licensing in america (Score 1) 371

by linuxpyro (#44119023) Attached to: FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

Out of curiosity, what are your feelings with encryption regarding HSMM-MESH? I mean in terms of controlling other nodes - if I have a router set up in a remote location, I want to be sure that no one else can take control of it unless I allow them. This is especially an issue as the hardware is fairly ubiquitous and well-known outside the ham community, so I would be concerned with security regarding outsiders.

The proposal mentions encryption in the case of controlling an unattended station. I don't think this is a bad idea (so, in the case of HSMM-MESH you could use SSH or HTTPS to manage a node), although I do understand the general objection toward encrypting general traffic. I suppose too that as long as the node could verify your identity you wouldn't need to necessarily encrypt, as long as it was done so that no one could tamper with the signal.

Comment: Re:What a sham (Score 1) 115

by linuxpyro (#44045067) Attached to: With an Eye Toward Disaster, NYC Debuts Solar Charging Stations

The other thing is that it's not like one person would have to tie a charging slot up for two hours while their phone charged. If people with dead phones plugged in for a few minutes a lot of them could get just enough of a boost in for a quick phone call or some text messaging. It's not a lot, but for a lot of people it could be great for getting a word out to friends and family. It doesn't have to fully charge everyone's phone to be effective.

Comment: Re:Disaster to the Station (Score 1) 115

by linuxpyro (#44043433) Attached to: With an Eye Toward Disaster, NYC Debuts Solar Charging Stations

This really depends on how they're built, and where they're sited. If they pay attention to those details there's a good chance that something that would take out the power would leave the kiosks usable. Strengthening the infrastructure is good and should also be done, but then it's still a major point of failure. At leas this is some additional redundancy.

Comment: Re:Philosophically, like ham radio ... (Score 2) 45

by linuxpyro (#43939957) Attached to: Private Networks For Public Safety

There's actually an amateur radio project to create a mesh network, as WiFi channels 1-6 actually fall into the ham bands. It's not very widespread in that you can just set up a node and get on, but it is pretty easy to deploy at events or in emergencies - just take the router out and plug it in. The site is

Comment: Re:Hopefully it fixed a lot of bugs .... (Score 1) 95

by linuxpyro (#43393377) Attached to: Video Editor Kdenlive 0.9.6 Released

A lot of the visual effects companies tend to run Linux on workstations (except for things like Photoshop, obviously), as well as on the servers. Not sure what Pixar's using on their workstations, but either way 3D modeling and compositing are different beasts than editing.

That said, there are a few commercial video editors that seem to support Linux; I found out about Mistika on Wikipedia. I'm not sure how widely systems like that are used, though.

Comment: Re:Outdoor night film shoots (Score 1) 271

by linuxpyro (#36965680) Attached to: Use Your Car To Power Your House

Another option is to take a normal car and add a couple deep cycle batteries and charge them from a battery isolator. These are used in RVs, and let you charge the other batteries from the alternator along with the starting battery while not letting both banks drain all the way down (so you can still start your car). Then get a big inverter and hook it to the deep cycle batteries. Of course, if you need a lot of power a dedicated generator may be easier.

Comment: Re:Lineman safety (Score 1) 271

by linuxpyro (#36965648) Attached to: Use Your Car To Power Your House

If/When this comes to market, it will hopefully have some protection built in. In part, if their circuit sensed existing voltage on the output, it should shut off. Sort of similar to photovoltaic intertie inverters, though they're meant to run in phase with the grid and then detect when its down. Basically, the problem you refer to is called islanding, and there are some methods to avoid it. And of course, you can't always outsmart a fool, but some protection is better than nothing.

Comment: Re:did it for 'canes (Score 1) 271

by linuxpyro (#36965610) Attached to: Use Your Car To Power Your House

A decent quality inverter should be able to handle the startup, but sizing it to be a bit bigger than you need is a good idea, as is making sure you don't skimp on inverter-to-battery cabling. Even better, if you are going to set up a bit of a larger backup system, is if you can use a 24 or 48 volt battery and inverter instead of 12. (Then maybe you'd charge it from a generator, or some solar panels if you want.) Less DC amps makes it easier to start bigger things.

Comment: Re:and a DIY install on the electricity side can e (Score 1) 410

by linuxpyro (#36907028) Attached to: Solar Energy Is the Fastest Growing Industry In the US

This is a risk you run even with people who don't know what they're doing connecting a generator during a power failure. Hopefully anyone playing with an alternative energy source in their own home (solar/wind, or generator) will do a some of their homework and avoid this. In the case of grid tied solar, pretty much all domestically available grid-tied inverters have very rigorous protection to avoid an islanding situation. Even if they're not installed exactly up to code they should be able to detect this and not backfeed the grid.

Then again, someone can still be a moron and connect a non-grid-tie inverter up during a power failure and backfeed, so who knows. I guess this is bound to happen at some point, but hopefully most DIY people learn enough to know why this is bad by the time they get to this point.

Comment: Re:In related news (Score 1) 460

by linuxpyro (#36786102) Attached to: Lennart Poettering: BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore

I got curious about it and tired it out in a VM once. It was neat, from the standpoint of playing around with a different UNIX variant that I could get for free, but beyond that, what would be the point? It may be the core of OS X, and I'm sure it's a big help for people who want to do things like write device drivers for OS X, but I'm not sure I've heard of anyone using it as a desktop or a server (I mean aside from an OS X machine). So while you may be able to grab it and use it, if you want a server or a free UNIX-like desktop you may as well just go with a Linux distro or a BSD.

I mean, I'd be interested to hear if anyone uses OpenDarwin (or one of the variants) regularly, but it seems like for most things there's not much point.

Comment: Re:WHAT!? (Score 1) 422

by linuxpyro (#36746816) Attached to: How Do You Get Your Geek Nostalgia Fix?

Yeah, I have an Octane II. I don't browse the Web on it, but from time to time I use it for some graphics work. Namely, Photoshop 3 came with it. It still runs beautifully. When I'm not doing that I use it as a foot stool or as reinforcement for the pile of papers and other stuff in my work area. It's a very sturdy machine.

Comment: Re:Sorry to sound apologetic... (Score 1) 427

by linuxpyro (#36221630) Attached to: Google Founders' Jets Caught On WSJ's Radar

Coal is wood from the past, you know, wood which is made out of Carbon that didn't get released into the atmosphere.

Yes, coal is indeed wood (and other organic matter) from the past, as is oil. The very distant past. It was once part of the carbon cycle, but after getting buried and compressed (and thus formed into coal/oil) the carbon cycle in the atmosphere gradually worked around it (over millions of years). So digging it up and burning it puts that back into the current atmosphere and carbon cycle, which could cause problems. IE, I don't expect the trees to get re-sequestered like the ones that became fossil fuels back in the day.

On the other hand, I guess it would be possible that by planting all the trees you would help the carbon cycle adapt to the increased carbon. Again I'm not sure, but I suppose planting more trees would be a good thing even if it doesn't completely solve the problem.

Comment: Re:Sorry to sound apologetic... (Score 1) 427

by linuxpyro (#36217896) Attached to: Google Founders' Jets Caught On WSJ's Radar

I've never a post explaining why they are not real.

I'm not totally sure, but I would imagine it would be something like this: When you burn a fossil fuel, you're taking carbon that was sequestered in the ground and reintroducing it into the natural carbon cycle, thus throwing things off (eg, climate change). Now, if the carbon credits work by having some company agree to plant enough trees to absorb a certain amount of carbon (say the equivalent to the round trip flight to Tahiti), the trees will in absorb it, but the carbon hasn't actually been taken out of the cycle. IE, they will die or get eaten by something, and the carbon will still get released into the atmosphere eventually.

On the other hand, if the credits work by using some renewable source to displace carbon that would otherwise be released from fossil fuels (for instance if a company agreed to generate a certain amount of electricity from solar and pump it into the grid; again I'm not completely familiar and am taking a stab), then in theory there would be some benefit. But then you could just cut out the middleman and not take your flight or your long drive or whatever.

Comment: Re:A Perfect Match (Score 1) 88

by linuxpyro (#36002770) Attached to: More Data Centers Using On-Site Solar Power

There's a reason for this. In large systems the need for a fast switch from utility to inverter power under full load requires that there be a battery charger constantly charging a battery bank and an inverter or rack of inverters connected to the battery bank to provide power to the load. This isn't very efficient but it works well.

I think this is partly what he was talking about. IE, instead of having a UPS which converts battery power to AC while simultaneously charging the batteries, just have a big DC power supply, float the batteries on it, and use that to power all of the servers and stuff. This does make sense; I have a similar setup with a Mini-ITX motherboard I use as a home mail server and some other things - it has the 12 volt car power supply in it, along with a small 12 volt gel cell battery for backup.

Also battery voltage can vary from about 10 V to 14.4V per battery so I don't think this is tightly regulated enough for computer components. In a large system you want to keep the DC voltage high so your I^2*R power loss is minimalized so DC voltages as high as 108 V are not unheard of.

I think there are commercial systems that operate with DC like this; I know for the telecom 48 VDC is used a lot. This is still a manageable voltage, as high voltage DC is a little more difficult to work with than AC at similar RMS voltages (though I'm sure higher voltages like 108 VDC are used too), but you don't need absolutely huge wire. Also, there are low voltage DC-input ATX power supplies available. I've seen them for 12, 24, and 48 volts. Generally they will produce a regulated output for the PC, so if the battery voltage fluctuates somewhat it's not much of a problem, provided it's within spec. Also, normal AC units usually work by rectifying the incoming line to DC, and then using a step-down converter to get the lower DC voltages. So you could probably run one directly off of 170 VDC (170 volts is around the peak of the AC sine wave).

And of course, if you have a system like this it wouldn't be that hard to throw some photovoltaics in too, which would reduce the load on the main power supply (and thus the draw from the grid).

Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad. -- Rob Pike