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Comment Re:A so-called "Hydrogen Economy" is petroleum fue (Score 1) 559

Hydrogen is not a power source, it's an energy storage medium.

I have never liked this line of argument. After all, it's essentially true of gasoline, too; it's just that nature did the work. (And, in a lot of cases, the hydrogen is mined too; yay natural gas.) Both are chemicals which are oxidized to release heat energy. If the meaningful difference is whether nature or we did the work, then they're both storage media.

You go on to cite energy capacity differences; those are only meaningful in apples to apples comparisons.

Any line of reasoning that assumes hydrogen is a power source - rather than just a storage medium with very poor energy density - is unfortunately based on a flawed premise.

I don't think this is actually correct.

Where do you find the actual meaningful difference to be? It's apparently not in that they're both exothermic chemistry based on the same element.

Other power sources aren't even remotely similar - eg nuclear, wind.

Why are two things that are virtually identical being seen as distinct? Is the issue whether nature put the power in instead of us? Is the difference between a power source and an energy storage medium found solely in whether you primarily imagine our having to put energy in to make them viable?

Does gasoline become an energy storage medium, despite zero actual changes, when they start sourcing it from CO2 in the atmosphere?

What is the meaningful net effect of being in one category or the other? You seem to be suggesting that the problem isn't just the energy density (and that in itself is misleading in many ways,) but rather a more sophisticated issue of whether it's a source or a medium - and that that is what's undermining their thought.

You can get hydrogen out of the ground, and you can spend energy to manufacture gasoline from the air, both today. If they're both sourced that way, does that mean that the lines of reasoning you're whargarbling at without actually showing an error, merely stating that there is one, suddenly become more ratified?

What if it happened to cost as much energy to get gasoline out of the ground as is received by burning it? That isn't the case today, but someday it will be, unless we stop using it. On that day, will it have become an energy storage medium?

Is the line about whether we have to invest energy to derive energy from it? Because calling something an energy storage medium based on how much power it takes to acquire seems ridiculous to me, as much so as does classing one chemical exothermic with nuclear and wind but against another chemical exothermic based on production rate, but I can't see any definition that seperates the two that doesn't end up with that apparent nonsense result.

Why is it that so many hydrogen cars and busses are actually doing well, if it's such a flawed premise?

Why are you measuring energy per liter? Liter is a unit of volume. The amount of energy per liter here is a direct function of pressure. No mention is made of pressure in two of the three cases.

Cryogenically stored? Room temperature? The temperature of the hydrogen or gasoline has virtually nothing to do with the amount of energy released by burning it.

Where did you get these numbers? They don't agree with the ones on Wikipedia. Granted, I'm a Wikipedia skeptic; if you can cite a valid source I'm happy to take it, but I remain somewhat doubtful that you'll be able to.


The proper measure here is not the energy density; that is and always has been asinine. The proper measure here is the specific energy - that is, by weight, not by volume. Hydrogen doesn't become a better fuel (oh sorry, "energy storage medium,") just because you put it under pressure. That's ridiculous. What matters is how much energy you can carry by weight, allowing for a practical limit on storage size. Hydrogen as a whole is not meaningfully better as a storage medium every time you learn to make an improved storage tank.

Hydrogen cars have worked very well for 30 years. They're cheap, they're efficient, and they let us move the burden of production to better controlled sources than a small engine. And no, that's not because of some phantom line between media and sources; the same thing would be true if you chose to distill gasoline from the air, which many people are doing, just not yet at market cost. If gasoline is both a fuel and a power storage medium, then I submit to you with respect that the distinction is masturbatory garbage, and does not in fact exist at all.

The real problem with hydrogen cars is simple: you can't get fuel just about anywhere you go. Chicken and egg.

Comment Re:TRS 80 Model I (Score 1) 623

Sorry if I threw you for a loop on this one... I remember hardcards going into expansion slots, of which the Tandy 1000 series had (early ISA bus). My uncle had me put a 40MB hardcard in his Tandy 1000 back in the day. I thought they were the greatest thing to be invented because the entire hard drive system resided on a single card and not spread around the innards of the computer in a mass of cabling.

The Model IV didn't have conventional expansion slots. Nearly everything data I/O related, other than floppies, was done externally. Starting with page 23 of this online copy of a TRS-80 catalog, you'll see what was made for Model IVs


Comment Re:C64 (Score 1) 623

My parents bought me one of those new VIC-20 computing machines back when they were newly released.

Having never really been exposed to BASIC programming, except for many long sessions in front of TRS-80's, much to the chagrin of Radio Shack managers, I found the VIC-20 user manual rather... "light"... in its content.

Later, I bought the Programmer's Reference Guide, which was an explosion of useful details and information about the VIC-20!!! There was an entire section on memory maps and detailed 6502 assembler codes. Using just that book, I started learning to write and hand compile machine language routines. I would enter the programs via PEEK commands and DATA statements.

Comment Re:Timex Sinclair 1000 (Score 1) 623

you could use the inbuilt PI value to express 0 as PI - PI or 1 as PI / PI which only took 3 bytes.

Awesome trick!!! I never even realized that until now and I had access to a TS1000 when they first came out. However, I would think it's only a speed for space tradeoff. At 1MHz, I wouldn't have relied on that too much for repeated use in loops!

Then again, I used a VIC-20. At least I had 75%-250% more RAM to work with, depending on the stock Sinclair variant.

Comment Re:as opposed to the 300 trillion (Score 1) 205

but they give the US their cut so it is OK. I work in various countries and have had to get used to the simple fact that money laundering just means not giving a cut to the US. I can shift as much money as I like from any country to any country without question as long as I pay 6% but if I take too much of my hard eant money in cash from one country to another I am called a money launderer. All the guff about criminals is just guff. Criminals can use any system, but good people and bad people want to save money by using the best and the cheapest. Liberty Reserve was cheaper because it was not paying the US and that is what this is about. There is more crime going on on Paypal but they pay the US their cut. People like HSBC are helping corrupt governments to shift their money but the US gets its cut so that is OK.

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Math is like love -- a simple idea but it can get complicated. -- R. Drabek