Archive for August, 2011

Smaller is Better

Friday, August 26th, 2011

I’ve spent the last few evenings preparing for and executing an upgrade to K’s PC. I replaced the 1TB system disk with a 120GB SSD. At face value, Windows 7 makes this relatively easy to do, because it provides both a partition management and a disk imaging (Windows Backup) utility. Practice as always, is a bit more complicated. Regardless, the system is up and running on the new disk and the performance numbers show it. The WIn7 disk performance index on the WD Black 1TB drive[1] was 5.9, the new SSD[2] scores 7.7 (out of 7.9). The system is now video limited by the Nvidia 9600GT (scores 6.8). Details below the fold.


  1. The relatively high performance WD1001FALS for those keeping score at home. []
  2. A 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 CZSSD2-2VTXE120G on sale at NewEgg after $15 rebate net $145. []

Randomly Overheard at Work

Friday, August 19th, 2011

“If I can get on my Megatron and ping Pegasus, but can’t get on, something is seriously wrong.”

Hmmm… Yeah. Something IS, because I’m pretty sure I understood that.

Four Days at Dragon*Con

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

As some of you are aware we periodically attend an amazing indescribable convention of fellow geeks called Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA.

If you’ve ever wanted to see what this is like, you might start with this video special (aired on PBS over the last year or so). It’s a bit under one hour long and is in documentary format.

Dark Tower!

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Thanks to Stephen for this nostalgic little trip.

Only single player (solitaire) is supported, but those intense sound effects are mega-killer.

Solar Storm in Progress

Friday, August 5th, 2011

For those that don’t follow such things, there is a fairly significant solar storm in progress. The sun, which is finally getting around to being active again, fired off several pretty significant solar flares in the last week. The last several have included coronal mass ejections (CME’s) which are when the real fun begins in the ionosphere.

Since we live completely in the future, our three separate space probes monitoring the sun have allowed some really smart people to create a 3D model of the bursts as they travel the void. Click to play the video on this archive of the August 3rd Spaceweather site.

No amazing bright streaks of auroral light here so I can’t be certain, but there was a suspicious green glow to the north. This shot shows it best. It’s pretty hazy here tongight, so the longer exposures resulted in pretty much washing out the whole sky.


I planned to stay out in my deck chair and watch for a while, but I noticed this strange light colored object moving across the grass towards me. It looked like a sort-of short floating white snake. My eyes managed to pierce the darkness enough to make our a dark silhouette against the grass and a large STRIPED TAIL right about the time I heard it sniffing at me from about three feet away. Needless to say I snagged the tripod (with the shutter in mid exposure) and ran like the proverbial wind… before I really caught wind of it.