James Alun

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since Mar 17, 2018
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Recent posts by James Alun

Grazing Bison bringing back life in the American plains.
3 weeks ago
Nancy, since you liked my 1 year update from a year ago here’s another.

My hair only really gets washed now if it gets really dirty, smoke or major dust, even then hot water only.
It’s still just past shoulder length, it reached terminal length about 10 years ago..

If I working on the bikes and get greasy, I’m as likely to got for the dish detergent as for the hand soap but I try to wear gloves.

I shower dailyish with just hot water, deodorant is just one of those rock crystals (lasts for months!) and comb hair twice every day.
I clean my comb as I go, as it does gather sebum deposits.

My only ‘conventional’ practices are dental, brush twice a day and floss when I remember and cream for my psoriasis. The cream is basically a moisturiser with vitamin D (Calcipotriol / Dovonex).
1 month ago
I’ve tried boiling the strings and they do feel better. I’ll put one back on and see how it sounds.

I’m trying some Martins Silk ones, the feel nice and are much brighter. But this is a short scale folding guitar, so it’ll sound different to most.
1 month ago
I’ve just restrung my guitar cos the old ones felt nasty and were going a bit green as well as sounding dull. (Steel core, bronze windings)

So what are you all doing with your old guitars strings? They should still be fairly strong and useful.
1 month ago

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:

Michael Qulek wrote:2025 is only 14 months away.  I honestly don't believe that.

Nor do I. The most populous nations on Earth are building coal fired power plants at a breakneck pace, and grid scale storage for renewable energy is a long ways off.

Hold on, at least China is trying to do something about their transport sector. Their high speed rail system makes us in the west look stupid.
1 month ago
So I did a little digging and it looks like it’s peak emissions from electricity generation. Nothing about transport, housing or food production.

If someone wants to try to find the actual data, here’s the summary of IEA’s report. https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-outlook-2023/executive-summary
1 month ago
So furthering my skills acquisition, I knitted a unicorn for a friend’s birthday.

It’s all knitted in the round. The white is undyed wool, double knit and the head was knitted and stuffed in the round with no closing seam.

At some point I need to start using patterns.

1 month ago

Coydon Wallham wrote:
A few years back when I had to use an iPad for work, the big problems I noted were:

1) An inability to multitask. I was told iOS could only run processes for a single app at a time. If I punched in a route for the Nav program to figure out, switched to the company app to check on order details, when I switched back to the nav program it would have figured nothing out and only start planning the route when it was up on the main screen again. I never got a solid answer if this was a limitation of the iPad/iOS, a deliberate security 'feature' with iOS, or the result of lack of ability on the people programming the apps for our company.

I don’t know about then but I can run 2 apps side by side. Last night I was watching a film on VLC, while browsing the web.

One of the ways that tablets reduce processing power requirements is by not having a windowing system.

But also, you’re right that if it’s not on the screen, then it get’s pretty much no processor time.

Coydon Wallham wrote:
and 2) Frivolous, 'fashion' elements to the software. iOS would come out with periodic updates that did nothing to fix issues or improve features. The most notable was one where they changed the swipe direction for changing apps. The older apps used to be to one side, then an 'upgrade' came and the old apps were on the other. Why would it matter enough which side they are on to switch it? The only difference in reality was that for a month or two after the change, my vehicle was a greater risk in traffic because I used the swipe changes while driving routes as a way to deal with info without being distracted from the road, except now I had to focus on memorizing which arbitrary construct had replaced the other.

That sound like something that should be configurable

Coydon Wallham wrote:
As far as the browsers go, if a more powerful machine is processing websites slower than your iPad, I'd guess the Mac browser was blocking all sorts of tracking greyware junk that iOS is welcoming on board, you are likely sending up flares about all of your web activity to get the seamless, quick experience on the iPad...?

I think it’s more like tablet browsers don’t let stuff run in the background. But it was mostly the memory hogging. Which is partly browser developers being lazy like just leaving the whole cache in ram and web developers who go “ooh, the internet is quicker now. Let’s fill it with pretty stuff that doesn’t really do much’. Most sites should be static but CMS’s let noobs build anything and developers be lazy.

I’m fairly careful about tracking and I do use adblocking on the tablet.
1 month ago
Abraham beat me to it but I’ll leave my post up as we’ve approached the question slightly differently.
1 month ago

Thekla McDaniels wrote: “In this context, what does power mean?”

This is where everyone who ‘know’s a lot about computers’, takes a deep breath, cracks their knuckles and asks “what do you want to use your computer for?”.

It’s not because they are trying to gatekeep or nerdsplain (huh, new word?). It’s because the real answer involves flops, L2, L3, sockets, mhz, ghz, busses…

There are 4 main components
 Fast cpu with lots of cores = lots of big brains working together.
 Lots of Ram = really big desk space so you don’t have to keep going back to the filing cabinet.
 Powerful gpu = really it’s a separate little computer that just focuses on getting the information that the processor spits out displayed on the screen in front of you.
 Storage - the filing cabinet.
      SSD’s are a big lump of silicon that can read and write information really quickly (but much slower than ram).
      Hard disks (as opposed to floppy disks, remember those?) are big chunks of metal that spin. Generally cheaper per unit of storage but S.  L.  O.  W.
      SD cards (USB sticks, flash memory) are a type of SSD that are slower, less reliable and shorter lifespan but cheaper than SSD’s.

Getting the first 3 to work together can be complex. Most of the planning stage consists of choosing the motherboard (think mothership). Not all ram fits all motherboards, fits all cpus.

Abraham is suggesting a motherboard where all of this stuff is glued down. This means there are no decisions to make.

(That was a hell of an introduction)

So your geeky friend is trying to work out which combination of the above you actually need (unless you have invite money and electricity, then just go for the most expensive thing you can find)

Video editing or gaming (Real gaming not just candy crush) is the only time you really need a powerful gpu. (Mining rigs are not up for discussion here.) But everything else needs to be powerful keep up.
Massive datasets (excel sheets with thousands of formulas, big databases, seti) needs a lot of ram and a powerful processor.
Lots of things running at the same time ( I will usually have 60 web tabs open on my work computer) needs a good chunk of ram but no real graphics or processor requirements.
Online shopping, book writing etc should easily be possible on a computer from 30 years ago if you can find replacement parts and if developers gave a damn about coding efficiently. Abraham’s raspberry pi should work perfectly for this, IF you can cope with Linux.

I’m not going to add Windows vs Mac vs Linux because this is already too long. But I will say that not all software will run on all hardware and so choosing the software (some of it) needs to happen before we chooses the hardware.

Oh, and now you want to work out how to use as little electricity as possible as well?

This was grossly short and inadequate but might help you start to ask questions.

I assume that was as clear as mud.

1 month ago