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Solutions to problems

February 12, 2014

It’s been a while since I posted something, so here’s a couple of thoughts to solve our nations problems.

To solve the problem of deaths from illegal drugs, and unfit, drug addicted, parents. Why not legalise drugs when bought from state approved suppliers, but they would have a contraceptive drug added to them. You can get high, but you can’t breed.

For people worried about immigrants flooding the country and putting strain on jobs, schools, hospitals, etc. Why not create jobs by building and staffing schools, hospitals, homes, etc.

There, job done. This is easy. Next?

Plugin reminder

July 8, 2013

This is really just a reminder that we’ve added a couple of plugins to blog.inf. Comment control and anti-spam. And that we need to do a proper blog post on the systems pages to tell people about them.


This is a test post from my iFriend account

February 19, 2013

iFriends can’t create new blogs, but they can be given permission to existing blogs.

Comments renabled, with anti-spam plugin also enabled.

The Scalzer or Tweepel

May 28, 2012

Ow! Now it's just annoying.

Having picked up another annoying skelf (splinter) in my finger at the weekend, what I really need to dig it out is a cross between a pair of tweezers and a scalpel. So I hereby invent the Tweepel. Unless it already exists, but a quick Google didn’t throw anything up.

So the problem is I can see the end of the skelf just below the skin, normally I’d hack away at it with the end of a needle until there’s enough sticking out to grab with a blunt pair of tweezers.

What I really need is the Tweepel.


Imagine a fine pair of tweezers, but the ends are small scalpel blades. Now I can slice through the out layers of my epidermis and then grab the end of the splinter in one easy action. What could go wrong!

AFS vos move speed up

November 14, 2011

It would be nice if doing a ‘vos move’ of a volume to a partition that already contains an RO site for that volume, to somehow utilise that RO to speed up the process of the move. eg something like doing a ‘vos release’ and then ‘vos convertROtoRW’, ideally without interrupting access to the volume for any longer than a normal ‘vos move’ does.

My thinking here is that if you have volumes replicated across two site for disaster recovery, and you want to bring the current RW server out of service to do work on it. Currently you can do this by ‘vos move’ing all the RWs off that machine to another. Depending on the volume of data, this can take a long time. So how about utilising that offsite RO copy, assuming its a regularly released copy of the RO, then the bulk of the data has already been moved. “All” you need is some way to atomicly┬á update that RO and then promote that RO to RW, presumably turning the original RW back into an RO.

Things I must flesh out

July 25, 2011

Temporary electric four wheel drive for cars. It would only be to get you going in difficult conditions, eg snow, mud. The basic idea would be to have electric motors on the normally free spinning wheels, they would only need to work at low speed just to get the car moving. [July 2011]

Multiple armatures on hard disks. To improve at least read performance, perhaps write if the logic could be figured out. So one spindle, multiple arms (not just heads/platters). This is probably something that was done in the early days of computing.

Update 11/5/2012
Looks like I was right. Conner Patent, Tom’s Hardware article

Update 22/9/2014
And again, the new Volvo XC90, will have the front wheels driven by conventional engine, and rear wheels by electric motor.

Snooker ball spots

May 1, 2011

Just been watching a bit of the snooker between Trump and Higgins. Hazel Irvine and co. were discussing the amount of spin being put on the cue ball by using a cue ball with spots. She asked Steve Davis (I think) why couldn’t they play tournaments with a spotted cue ball. He said they do in some pool competitions, but the governing body for snooker has said “no”.

Anyway, so I thought of a possible solution, could the spots on the ball be invisible to the naked eye, but detectable by the TV cameras? Perhaps there could be infra-red reflective (or absorbent) spots on the cue ball, and the TV cameras could pick them up.

PCB Reference Designation

March 9, 2011

While trying to fix my daughter’s Nintendo DS (which wasn’t a complete success, I managed to replace the slot1, it powers up and plays games, but now won’t charge :-( ). I wanted to know what component “F1″ may be. While Googling I came across a cached web page from which was down, but seems back now. So this useful info doesn’t get lost, I’m reposting the cached info here.

Reference Designation – Reference Designations are letter and number codes assigned to items that are part of an assembly. This ‘shorthand’ code allows components in a printed circuit board to be found easily while working on a board assembly or locating them and their complete descriptions in a Bill of Material or parts list.

Standard Reference Designations for Electrical Equipment can be found published in ANSI Y32.2 1975/IEEE STD 315. Below is a partial list of the reference designations used in electronics.

´╗┐A Assembly

AR Amplifier

AT Attenuator; Isolator

B Blower, Motor

BR Bridge Rectifier

BT Battery

C Capacitor

CB Circuit Breaker

CP Coupler

CR Crystal Rectifier (Diode)

D Diode; Thyristor; Varacter

DC Directional Coupler

DP Diplexer

DL Delay Line

DS Display; LED Lamp

E Terminal

F Fuse

FB Ferrite Bead

FD Fiducial

FL Filter

G Generator, Oscillator

HW Hardware

HY Circulator

J Jack Connector (Least Movable)

JP Programming Jumper

K Relay
L Coil; Inductor
LS Loud Speaker/Buzzer

M Measuring equipment, Meter

MH Mounting Hole

MK Microphone

P Plug Type Connector (Most Moveable)

PS Power Supply

Q Transistor

R Resistor, or Potentiometer

RN Resistor Network

RT Thermistor

S Switch

T Transformer

TB Terminal Block

TC Thermocouple

TP Test Point

U Integrated Circuit or inseparable assembly

V Electron Tube, Photoelectric Cell

VR Voltage Regulator

W Cable Transmission or Wire Jumper or Busbar

X Socket

Y Crystal, Oscillator

Ideas for “app for that” comedy sketches

January 19, 2011

While at a funeral, of all places, the idea for a series of short comedy sketches based on abuse of “there’s an app for that” popped into my head.

So the basic joke is an unlikely app that leads to the destruction or ruining of someone’s smart phone. The initial thought came about because we’d just been served tea and coffee at the funeral tea, but there were no teaspoons. Someone at the table was playing with their phone (probably me) and I pictured someone saying “No problem, I’ve got an app for that.”, bringing out his phone clicking on an app picturing a teaspoon, which promptly shows on screen, and them him dunking it into a hot cup of tea and stirring it with the phone!

Anyway, it amused me and a few other scenarios popped into my head:

No butter knife? Gets phone out, brings up picture of knife, and proceeds to stick it into a margarine tub and then smear his toast with it.

Wobbly table in a pub causing your pint to spill? Brings up picture of wedge (or folded beer mat) and sticks it under the leg of the table – cracks screen.

Or perhaps needs a beer mat? Beer mat app, puts phone down and pint on phone, with spillage onto phone/table.

I’m sure you can come up with some more. Comment below.

Update: Nov 2012. Looks like someone has the same sense of humour as me. It’s in German, but the title is all you need to know
Update: Jul 2013. Not really an update, just testing some anti comment spam stuff.