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Comment Re:The Finest Day.... (Score 2) 185

I was eight, watching it unfold on black & white TV, impressed because my parents told me how amazing it was, then going to school and not quite understanding just how significant the whole thing was.

We had information packs with lots of diagrams, and blocks of text with arrows all over. Info about the moon, the trajectory, the astronauts, a foldout showing the layers of the space suits, the rocket and stages, etc. Still got most of it somewhere in storage.

It was only later I found out how much involvement we in Oz had, via the Parkes radio telescope facility. I should watch "The Dish" again - it's a good film.

Comment Re:Youtube (Score 1) 153

They want more money. The Copyright Royalties Board decided that streaming royalties would increase, and small broadcasters' offsets would stop, and that's why Live365 closed. I was a subscriber, my favourite stations moved to different services, and I'm not going to pay each of those services to listen to 1 or 2 stations, so the net result is - artists who were getting a little bit of money from my subscription are now getting nothing.

Comment Re:Vacation (Score 1) 765

I decided to leave my last place of employment due to moderate depression about the circumstances, which I couldn't imagine getting any better without the immediate departure of my supervisor, lets call him B1 (classic story - a business graduate in an IT management position). I went to see my doctor to explain the situation, and he agreed I was headed for Depression Street. He wrote a letter saying I needed three weeks off (all of my accumulated sick leave). One week into that, and I delivered another letter to HR (copy to my supervisor's supervisor - call him B2), giving two weeks notice. I had no sick leave left, but they had to pay out my accumulated vacation time.

I had phone calls from B2 and B3 expressing regret about my circumstances, but they didn't offer to transfer me to another area, or anything like that. I found out later on that B1 only lasted a couple of months after I left. Too late, I had another job.

Comment Re:Need Two Other Numbers (Score 1) 109

IIRC, here in Oz they have to be rated for rooftop fixtures according to the zone they're in. Where I live, we have from zero to four cyclones a year, so the panels and mounts have to meet that standard. In practice, brand-name panels are all rated to the highest (wait for it) danger zone - hail, cyclones, etc.

Comment Re:Solar Powered Air Conditioning (Score 1) 117

You need a lot of panels to power an AC compressor, plus those compressors have a huge starting surge, so you need to over-build to cope with that. Look at the specification plate of an AC compressor for the average run-time current draw, then multiply that by 4 or 5 for the startup surge. Your inverter must be able to supply that current for a second or two, plus the run-time current for hours and hours. The panels are not going to be able to do that outside the 9am-3pm window, so you need either the grid or a huge battery bank.

There are slow-start washing machine motors - is it possible to duplicate that in an AC compressor?

Small bonus - the PV panels will also shade your roof, at the cost of reduced efficiency. OTOH, I've seen plans to run water pipes along the backs of PV panels to cool them, and to pre-heat your hot water.

Comment Re:Nonsense editorializing (Score 4, Interesting) 117

Unfortunately some architects focus on the aesthetics and not practicalities. We had an architect from a colder climate re-design our community centre, and he refused to put in *any* active cooling - no AC, no fans, no ducted exhaust. He seemed to think that the high ceiling with louvres at the top, and more at the bottom, would provide sufficient ventilation during summer. He even removed the existing ceiling fans because they "obscured the decorative plasterwork". When some elderly folk started fainting during performances, the committee rapidly put the fans back in.

The point is, architects don't always design for practicality, and that can become expensive later. This guy didn't do any research about about how much heat 200+ bodies generate, how much heat stage lights generate (fortunately they were recently replaced by LED units), how much worse that feels during hot and humid weather, and what's needed to pump that heat away.

Our fault for choosing him, of course - I dare say the committee was blinded by his awards.

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