Python has some language features that one might never use, but then
one day you come across them in some other code and need to know what
they do. The following fragments (see the reply by Xoanan on this page) are
To determine the intersection between two lists "list1" and "list2":
intersection = filter(lambda x:x in list1, list2)
To determine the union between two lists "list1" and "list2":
union = list1 + filter(lambda x:x not in list1, list2)
To determine the difference between two lists "list1" and "list2":
difference = filter(lambda x:x in list2, list1)
To determine the distinct elements, those not in common between two
lists "list1" and "list2":
distinct = filter(lambda x:x in not list2, list1) + filter(lambda x:x in not list1, list2)
A discussion of the various ways of extracting the
unique elements from a list
From time to time you might encounter a list which contains some lists,
and you want to flatten this into a single list of simple elements.
artical talks about two ways to do this. Perhaps the more readible
method is with the nested list comprehensions:
nested = [[1,2,3], [4,5], ]
flatList = [x for sub in nested for x in sub]
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
this works by the first "for" loop (for
sub in nested) iterating over the top list and on each iteration
picking up a sublist and placing a reference to it in "sub", then the
second for loop (for x in sub)
runs and picks up the selected sub list and iterates over it, placing
each element of it in x. A list of all the individual values that x
takes is built up by the [x ...]
construct. A limitation with this is that all the elements in the
outer list must support iteration (i.e. be lists, tupples or something
else list-like), so you cannot have a simple scalar element in the
A review of the Canon
9900 large format printer. As for the cost of ink here is some info
Speaking with Canon,
I found the
Of course, every
image is different, but in Canon's testing, the company used the ISO
Standard #5 image to estimate inktank usage. (This image provides a
fair and accurate ratio of colors to approximate the average digital
photograph.) Here are the results, according to Canon:
Cyan: 1100 pages
Yellow: 540 pages
Photo Cyan: 380
Photo Magenta: 280 pages
Green: 2300 pages
new red and
green tanks, obviously, are used far less often than the others because
they're primarily used for accent work. They're the last tanks you'd
have to replace.
Jason Bovberg -June 3, 2004
Based on CDN$20 per cartridge (current pricing seems to be in the $15 -
$19 range) this would work out as $0.24 per print. What the poster did
not mention was what the print size was... in a follow up it was said
to be 8x10 on standard printer settings, using Canon Photo Paper Pro
Here is some more information:
I purchased the i9900
about 6 weeks ago
to replace my S9000. The
S9000 is no slouch and a top rated printer from 2 years ago but i9900
is much better. I now shoot with a Canon 10D and Canon L lenses even
though I have thousands of transparencies to scan on a Canon FS4000US
film scanner. The 10D was purchased just prior to a trip to Rome where
I shot about 1000 images.
I just finished
assembling 170 of
the best Rome images into an album using Canon PhotoRecord software
that comes with most Canon digital products. I printed the album on
both Epson dual-sided matte paper and Pictorico dual-sided semi-gloss
paper. The results are amazing. Both papers work extremely well with
the i9900 although they each have their own subtle tinting difference.
This can be corrected easily with color adjustment through the printer
driver. Printing the entire album on the dualsided 8.5 x 11 stock (68
pages total) used no more than half of some of the ink cartridges and
almost none of the red and green. People who have viewed the album are
stunned and amazed with the quality and can't believe it came from an
inkjet printer. The color punch and tone is incredible and the level of
detail and resolution equals or exceeds wet chemistry printing. If you
want to see dots you'll need at least a 4X loupe and there is
absolutely no banding.
It is a mistake to
not consider this
printer because of the limited selection of Canon papers. Epson papers
work extremely well on the Canon printers as do Pictorico, Mitsubishi
and Konica. These are the only papers I've had the opportunity to try.
Needless to say, I am very happy
I bought this printer.
Bob Baron -June 18, 2004
Iron on inkjet heat transfer paper for T-Shirts and other
also has the 11x17" size and rolls
inkjet printers tell you the ink is out when there is still a lot
A review of the HP Photosmart A626, this has a built in set of card readers and a 4.8 inch LCD (which in Sept'07 was nearly the largest display on any such printer - the HP Photosmart A826 has a larger 7 inch display) for photo selection and editing (including cropping). This unit prints 4x6 and 5x7 photos, so is a bit limited, but for the Scrap Booker and Grandma type user this may be just the right set of features.
PrinterInfo.com has a lot of information and reviews on printers.  It seems to be relatively easy
to install games on an XP Pro box under
the administrator account, and I seem to be having pretty good success
at getting them to run. However, they will often not work under other
accounts on the same machine. Part of the trick at getting them to run
seems to be to give the other accounts "Power User" group rights.
However my old NT 4.0 Domain server does not have the "Power users"
group, so it looked for a while like I would have to create local
machine accounts with membership in this group. A bit of web searching
turned up this
page that suggested there was a way to make the NT4 domain user
group appear to be called the power user group and this would have the
same permissions. The trick was to go to the workstation where the
power user group is needed (actually it sounds like this will apply to
all machines) and execute this command:
net localgroup "power users" /add "DOMAIN\Domain Users"
once I did this it became possible to install software as a regular
user and a lot of the programs that refused to run under other accounts
will now work.
When rebuilding an XP box that had developed a corrupted network stack
I was able to do a back and restore to another hard disk using Acronis'
drive imaging software. Then, I was able to safely experiment with the
copy until I had figured out what I needed to do. As part of the final
step of rebuilding this machine I used the
Linux Knoppix distribution to:
- create a FAT32 partition on the spare space on the test
(Windows XP Home will only let you create NTFS partitions)
copy a bunch of files off the original NTFS boot disk
(which was reinstalled in the computer as a second drive) onto the FAT32
partition. I did this because under XP an administrator of the newly
installed operating system cannot get access to all the files from the
original drive (which is certainly not the case with Windows NT, but
may also be true for Windows 2000). Once you are in Linux you appear to
have access to all files again.
How to uninstall
hotfix or a service pack (perhaps that Windows Update has
installed) that is causing the computer not to boot. Use the recovery console (boot from the
Windows installation CD to get this) and do a DIR $* to see the various hot fix
uninstall directories. Then, for those that were created on the suspect
date, CD into each in turn and execute the uninstall batch file with
the command: BATCH spuninst.txt.
After doing one of these you should reboot (by using the EXIT command) to see if it fixed the
problem, and if not, proceed with the next patch. On 13-Oct-06 a set of
Windows updates messed up one of my Windows XP Pro boxes (KB922819,
KB923191, KB923414, KB924191, KB924496 to be precise). I used
this approach to remove them, but the same problem remained. On
the following day while I was copying files off the afflicted machine
to prepare to rebuild/repair it, Windows Update redownloaded the
updates I had removed. I let it reinstall them and found that
this time the updates worked properly. So I suspect that something went
wrong in the first update that the second attempt corrected.
Also see this for
what to do if Windows Update keeps downloading the same patch again and
Some Windows networking related tweaks can be found here,
including preventing the loading of system policies when logging on to
How to make
XP appear more like Vista
The Windows NTFS supports the concept of alternate data streams
within a single file. By default one always sees the primary (or
"unnamed") stream, but if one opens the file in a special way one will
be able to read or write a particular alternate stream. In July'06 the
which use these alternate data streams to hide were detected.
to rebuild / reinstall / refresh Windows XP without loosing user
data and installed applications.
to safely add or replace a hard drive, has a good introduction to
IDE cables and jumpers and also mentions the trick of using Device Manager to uninstall the
current entries under Disk Drives
prior to imaging the system partition on the current old drive that is
to be reimaged to a new replacement drive. It also talks a bit about
the Windows Files and Settings
discusses how to fix a pirated copy of XP by installing a new
Windows Dynamic disks (described in this article: KB222189 - note
this article does describe an "import" function that is provided to
allow you to move a dynamic disk from one system to another) cannot be
moved from one system to another readily. This knowledge base article: KB232463,
mentions this in the context of laptops, but I have run into this while
trying to move dynamic-type disks from an older Win2K machine to its
replacement WinXP box (when I did this the disk was shown as
"foreign"). Probably best to stick with the basic disk type, unless you
are really needing to make use of the new features of dynamic disks
(for example to provide a RAID file system). It also appears that you
cannot put a dynamic disk into a USB drive case and still access its
contents (the article KB254105 confirms
this is the case) - probably for similar reasons relating to the disk
partition database, as once the disk is USB attached it could be
attached to any number of machines and this database is not designed to
handle this. Other articles on dynamic disks:
- How to convert basic and dynamic disks in Windows XP
How to establish a striped volume with parity (RAID-5) in Windows
Server 2003: KB323434.
Best practices for using dynamic disks on Windows Server
2003-based computers: KB816307.
Basic storage versus dynamic storage in Windows XP: KB314343. This
says that the mirroring and RAID-5 features are not available in
Windows XP Pro.
How to use disk management to configure dynamic disks in Windows
Windows Services can be made to be dependent on other services being
started first. Modifying these dependencies are discussed in KB193888, the
TechNet article: Understanding
Windows Services Architecture goes into this in more depth, it also
states that the dependencies are used during the stopping of services
too. If you are installing a custom service that needs internet
connectivity and also access to files on network drive shares then this
article on installing
Apache as a Windows Service, may help. It identifies the following
other services that your service should be dependent on:
The JavaService Wrapper project's documentation
states that during machine shutdown the Windows Service Manager
ignores the service dependency tree and tells all services to shut down
at the same time (not in the reverse of the order that they were
There is a way to download all the windows updates
and prepare them on CD or DVDs for installation
It is possible for Windows XP to get into a state where you cannot
logout (log off), shut down or reboot the computer from the start menu
(or by pressing ctrl+alt+del), there is a way to "force" the action
that you can try is this happens to you (rather than just hitting the
reset or power button). Get to the log off prompt and then hold down a
CTRL key while clicking on the "OK" button. This should force the
logout to take place, and then, from the login screen you can do a shut
down. The same trick also works for doing a forced shutdown or reboot,
but in the case I tried I was able to do the forced logout and then was
able to do a normal shut down, which seems a bit safer that just doing
a forced shutdown.
How to get Windows XP File Search to Really Work (again).
The search function of Windows XP (from the start menu "Search") is by
default not set to search the contents of most files. In order to turn
this on you can follow the steps in method #2 on
this page. A similar writeup exists in Microsoft's KB309173.
If you have ever used the "search for text in files" function and it
has failed to find what you were looking for, but you know that the
search should have worked it is probably because the behavior of the
searching changed greatly between Windows 2000 and Windows XP. By
default Windows 2000 would search in all files, but Windows XP will
only search in certain "known" file types (probably .txt. and .doc and
not much else). The fix for this is quite simple, though remarkably
hard to find. Here's what to do:
note that despite the fact this setting is controlled through the
Indexing Service, you do not need to start the Indexing Service running
for this to work.
- open the control panel
then go to administrative tools and open the "Computer
Management" application, set the display to show both the tree view (on
the left) and details list on the right, (the 4th icon from the left on
the tool bar) and the do the following steps in the tree view
under "Computer Management (Local)" you will find "Services and
Applications", and then "Indexing Service"
do a right click on "Indexing Service" and select "Properties"
from the popup menu
the "Indexing Service Properties" window will appear, this has
two tabs, in the tab called "Generation" you will find a check box
labeled "Index files with unknown extensions", you need to check this
and then click the OK button and that is it
- This web page lists a lot of useful registry
tweaks for Windows NT
- Windows Vista now collects
a lot more data on the people using it
Manager may cause your auxilary display to shutdown and restart
from time to time, when this happens the windows that were showing on
it may flee for the safety of some other display.
- The Hubble
with a web cam as the digitizer
probe keeps on running
are back and 2002
is supposed to bring a very good show peaking on Nov 19. Here's more info
from slashdot. The Leonids may be putting on a good
show in 2006 in eastern North America.
The National Virtual
the stars from your web browser
has a good searchable database for the long/latt coordinates cities
around the globe
through space using the gravity highways
Here's a page with an interesting way of mounting
binoculars for sky viewing
keoz.com has an Astronomy
Portal with lots of links
Building a Folded
the web site for The Backyard Astronomer's Guide,
Alan Dyer, ISBN 1-55209-507-X
date calculator, this is based on an algorithm from Astronomical Formulae for Calculators,
by Jean Meeus, ISBN: 0943396018.
Published by Willmann-Bell who
appear to specialize in astronomical tomes.
internet telescope produces amazing resolution
The University of Arizona's large
binocular telescope will have 10 times the resolution of Hubble
A galaxy without
flash ever observed, and here
Searching for gravity
A star flung
out of the galaxy
Could a neutron
star collision have lead to a mass extinction event?
2004 MN4 may hit the earth in 2029 or later.
Ring, where the gravity of one galaxy bends light to produce a lens
through which a more distant galaxy may be observed
extra-solar planet's image has been confirmed
A Slashdot book review of Astronomy
Hacks - Tips & Tools for Observing the Night Sky, by Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara
Fritchman Thompson, ISBN 0596100604
of a trip to mars, and orbital mechanics
materials on orbital mechanics and rocket systems
recliner chair for the casual night sky observer, a better look here
The Perseids, a very
good meteor shower in early August.
space ship might be good for a trip to mars
A good write up on Julian Day numbers,
which are used by astronomers and have a zero date of -4712-01-01 at
The European Space Agency has selected its target for an asteroid
The amazing resolving power of the Keck
arrays for use in transmitting radio signals
Building an aluminum binocular
mount which allows people of different heights to view the same
object (without having to re-aim) and includes a counter weight to
balance the binoculars
Nights of Skywatching, a free PDF book (for 2006)
lensing used to discover a planet 25000 light years away
Top 10 list of potentially
inhabitable star systems
Sky Scout (introduced in Mar'06) will point out the stars where
ever you are.
Google Mars lets you explore the Martian landscape, make
sure you look at the details revealed by the infra-red data, such as this spaghetti
or this skull.
Apogee Inc makes
some astro-binoculars, including a pair with 90 degree prisims for
more comfortable viewing
A new wide
angle telescope in Chile, based on a 3 giga-pixel sensor, is going
to make it possible to take a complete picture of the night sky every
three nights, this should help in the search for more asteroids
The white dwarf, RS Ophiuchi (in Libra), is thought
to be close to becoming a type 1a supernova.
Could the universe by 158
billion light years wide, while still only 13.7
billion years old? It appears this could happen if space expands.
It looks like dark
A home made mirror
asteroid impacts may be much more common than is typically thought,
perhaps as often as once every thousand years.
Days of SkyWatching, a free e-book, has been updated for 2007.
source planetarium software
another planetarium program
planetarium software that allows you to travel through the stars
It has been predicted that the Aurigids
may produce a Meteor Storm on 1-Sept-2007
The asteroid Apophis (also known as 2004 MN4) may make a very
close pass with Earth in April 2036. The NEO (Near Earth Object
Program) risk page shows
this. As pointed out in the follow up, if this hits Earth it means we
don't have to worry about the UNIX year 2038 clock
bug - one that affects a lot of dedicated control systems too.
the north pole of Saturn and its a large hexagonal
The replacement for
the Hubble Space Telescope will be launched in 2013 and will be 3
times the diameter, it will be stationed at Lagrange point 2. It will
be called the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
planet orbiting the star Gliese 581 has been found and it appears
to be a rock rather than a gas giant and it is orbiting in the
Discussion of using nuclear
warheads to deflect near earth asteroids.
Aurigids, a rather rare meteor shower may appear again 1-Sept-2007
Homestar Pro planetarium, view the sky without worrying about the
several telescopes around the earth to create a single large
one. I wonder when amateurs will be doing this with thousands of
scopes at once?
A very powerful 5 millisecond blast that occurred Aug 21, 2001 is still puzzling astronomers.
which is freeware and has a night vision mode
Pilot Planets) which is shareware, its more polished than AstroInfo and
also has a night vision mode. I run a copy of this on my Sony SJ30
(which has a colour hi-res display) and the night vision mode (which
sets the display to use shades of red) works very nicely (you just use
the screen's brightness control to set the level that's right for you).
I have used this in Rome (Italy), Calgary (Canada) and Kauai (Hawaii)
(but only for naked-eye observing) so I'm confident the corrections for
observing position and time zone work! Very nice software. By the way,
Hawaii has great skys for naked eye observing, they are very clear and
there is little light pollution to worry about.
- This curiously named Blog Tang A+ PMP personal media player even has composite video out - but when are these going to have component or HDMI outputs? 
- The Asus Eee PC has been spotted in pre-order mode again. 
Bird of prey
- Team Foundation Server (TFS) used from IronPython. 
- IronPython is Microsoft's .NET integrated Python. 
- A GPL based lawsuit is brewing between Monsoon Multimedia and the BusyBox project. 
- When you tell Firefox to check for phishing sites it sends the URLs to Google to test. 
- Some notes on what to do to avoid writing Python code that sucks. 
- Using IronPython to explore .NET assemblies. 
- Photo uploader, a Python script to upload photos to various sites. 
- The US Supreme Court is taking on another important patent law case. The question here is if a patent holder can sue not only the manufacturer of a component that directly infringes the patent, but all the other people who indirectly infringe by making products that happen to contain the infringing component. 
- An experimental test of a tethered descent from space failed after the rope got stuck part way through unwinding. 
- A good explanation of the rules behind Python's block indentation syntax. 
- pyText2Pdf, a Python script to convert pain text directly into PDF documents.  
- PyDbLite, a small in-memory database engine  
- A new wireless messenger from Zipit, the Z2.
DigitalLife is selling a number of tween-targeted tech toys: photo frames, clocks and cameras.
The Sanyo DH700 camcorder, does 720p video and 7MPixel stills onto SD flash cards. 
- A cell phone jammer from Brandos, targets nearby GSM phones. 
- Some pictures of the Slingbox SOLO from Sling Media. 
- Flash Evaporation, a process by which a liquid is turned into vapour by reducing its pressure suddenly. 
- Hydrodynamics of Pumps, by Christopher Brennen, all sorts of information on fluid flow in pumps. 
- Scripting inkscape with Python to slice web pages into layers. 
- Using the Python logging module rather than inserting print statements. Mike Pirnat's presentation on the Python logging module. Comparing this to some of the alternate logging solutions. 
- A new approach to email authentication is being proposed, which would help in the fight against spam. 
- A collection of links relating to IronPython. 
- Manning Publications is starting to make pre-release chapters of Iron Python in Action available. 
- The PyMOTW takes a look at the copy module which can be used to duplicate objects (and deep trees of objects). 
- Some questions about when to use super() are answered in this article about super(). 
- A simple LED component for wxPython displays. It has some cute use of ASCII art to encode the actual image data, a more complete example of this XPM format can be seen here. My version of wx.Colour did not have the GetAsString() function, so I wrote a trivial replacement:
return "#%02x%02x%02x" % wxcolour.Get()
- Alzheimer's could be a third form of diabetes. 
- A comparison of the various PDA (mobile) platforms from the perspective of which would be most suitable for a hobbyist to write software for. 
- How to convert from a PIL Image to wxPython's wx.Image and wx.Bitmap. 
- martian, a module to grok configurations from code. This appears to be a bit more than just writing the configuration file in Python and having the program import it to set up the configuration. 
- mpmath, multiple precision arithmetic in Python. The project's home page is here  
- pycopia, is a large network application framework project, with a number of supporting libraries. A number of these have shown up on the cheese shop, such as: pycopia-WWW, pycopia-XML, pycopia-audio, pycopia-net, pycopia-process.  
- How to make your application scriptable using IronPython. 
- Python and Unicode, a presentation at the 2002 EuroPython Conference by Marc-Andre Lemburg. 
- DeliciousAPI is a module for mining the del.icio.us social bookmarking system. 
- UC Berkeley is now posing video taped course lectures to YouTube. 
- Improved leak detection for space ships, this detects the propagation of vibrations along the surface of the craft. 
- The Epson R1900 photo printer has Epson's new UltraChrome Hi-Gloss2 ink and prints up to A3+ in size. 
is the small photo-sharing web server that I have written.
PIE - Picture
VuePrint a nice
picture display and
conversion utility, fast zooming and conversion functions, VueScan is a
nice scanner utility from the same author.
- freeware EXIF reader
header information, more
information is on TsuruZoh's page.
Aunt Abigail's Photo
Album layout program
for image manipulation
SmartPix photo manager
a gui front end for PanoTools
a free panoramic program plugin suite along with articles on making
looks like being a nice piece of software, it gets reviewed here
by OutBackPhoto.com, and
used in this article Go Wide with Digital Panoramas
on making panoramas
Panoramic Image Merging, by Paul Haeberli and Eyal Ofek discusses
some of the algorithms behind the automatic stitching of images.
(not to be confused with PhotoGenetics) is a photoshop like thing
picture viewing shell
extension for MicroSoft systems, includes EXIF info capability
makes video edit software
Reviews of Studio DV from Pinnacle Systems here
and a page of tips.
Premiere 6.0 video editing software
from NASA may be coming soon to digicam software
a browser for Canon RAW format files
an alternative to Lanczos and Genuine Fractals.
a colour space conversion tool
of colour target and software to generate custom ICC colour profiles
for your scanner, camera and printer
makes the BreezeBrowser
and RemoteCapture tools for the Canon G1, G2 and other cameras
will add EXIF header information to regular JPEG files so that they can
be loaded into a digital camera, this allows you to use the camera to
display these on a TV, along with other regular images you have taken with the
simplifies the process of building CDs that run as slide shows in DVD
players and PCs
is a utility for conversion and viewing of Canon RAW mode photographs
is a program for combining a number of images to improve light sensitivity
Reader is (free) software that allows you to browse the EXIF
information embedded within your photographs. Works well with my Canon G1.
ViewEXIF is a
Windows Explorer plugin that lets you right click on a file to see its EXIF
is a Python script program to dump the EXIF information, this would be
of use if you were writing some (python) scripts to manipulate a number
of photographs, perhaps you wanted to extract this information and
place it in a database...
from Grasshopper is a program for correcting lens distortion effects
DXO makes DXO Optics
Pro, (reviewed here)
an image enhancement program that corrects for lens distortion and
blur. This is also being extended (Aug'04) to include support for the
Minolta A2 and the Sony DSC828.
Helicon makes NoiseFilter,
a image noise filtering program that is available in free and
NoiseNinja2 gets reviewed
IFranView is a
freeware image viewer, with some manipulation capabilities. Through a set of
plugins it has support for loading RAW format files for a number of
cameras, including the Minolta A1/A2. It is reviewed here,
apparently it now has the ability to create panoramic photos.
Video resolution test patterns
you can download, print and do your own pixel
FocusMagic is a
for correcting focus and motion blur problems in photos
does RAW format conversion for most cameras
from Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Pentax and Olympus.
Digital Light & Colour
makes PictureWindow Pro, which does 16 bit image processing, for way
less than PhotoShop CS
is a freeware program that converts Minolta DiMAGE 7/A1/A2 RAW files to
from Photodex can make DVD slide shows
from Preclick, is another DVD
slide show maker.
Dalibor RAW is
a utility for conversion of Minolta MRW raw format files. Dalifer is
another utility to allow access to all the information in the EXIF
header and maker notes for files created by Minolta cameras.
FxFoto is an image
manipulation, cataloging and slide show creation package
of field calculator on the web
software useful for upscaling phtotos for large prints
RIP software for use with large format Epson printers
a prismatic filter that is good for determining white balance, a review
of it with some convincing sample photos is here,
perhaps the most amazing of these test images is of a pub at
night under street light illumination. Here is the manufacturer's page on the ExpoDisc. They have added a lens cap style version called the ExpoCap which is opaque rather than prismatic.
Noiseware, from Imagenomic,
looks like a good noise reduction package for high ISO shooting. This
is quite impressive at what it can do with ISO 800 shots from a Minolta
A2 (which are quite noisy). Have a look at this gallery for
some examples that have been processed by it. Also have a look at these
images I processed with it. It gets reviewed
is a program to examine the EXIF (including maker notes section) of
slide show making software
is a RAW editing and conversion program, currently in beta
allows you to search photos by looking for ones with similar appearance
(done via a wavelet transform)
Mechanic and Quantum Mechanic and Band Aide, photo viewing and noise
clean up tools
A new tool for noise
removal that also has the potential for use as an automatic
obstruction removal tool (removing the bars from a zoo cage for example)
A review of noise
The GIMP is a free
photo editing package, an extended manual is available called Grokking the GIMP
makes photo editing pluging for Photoshop
media site, for books and more
to configuring a Windows XP box for best pixel processing performance
Poster printing software is available from Softpedia
a tool for decoding RAW format photographs from many cameras
PhotoFiltre is an
processing/manipulation program that is available in a reduced feature
free version and a commercial version. It is reviewed here.
lost photos from flash media
Using fractals to enlarge images, Connected Photographer reviews,
Enlarger Pro and
declares that it does a better job than the much more expensive Genuine Fractals program.
The PictSync group is trying
to standardize photo sharing.
3 is a standalone image colour corrector package, it also supports
batch processing. It is based on technology from PictoColor Corporation who make
a standalone package called iCorrect EditLab Pro,
which looks very similar to the BullZeye 3
package, yet sells for half the price. There is a demo version (fully
functional but puts watermarks into the saved output) of EditLab that
you can download to test, I played with this a bit and found that it
worked quite well, as long as there was something white or grey in the
frame to base the colour cast correction on. In Apr'08 PictoColor started to beta test an online version of iCorrect, it's not clear at this point if they intend to charge for this service.
a retouching package based on Ansel Adam's Zone System
STOIK makes a number of
processing tools, including PictureMan and Noise Autofix.
combining photographs with Google Earth
A new algorithm to reduce camera motion
approach to deblurring pictures.
PhotoStudio Darkroom, by ArcSoft.
Image Darkroom, a photo manipulation package with integrated RAW
photo archives for patterns
NaturalGrafiX, makes ImageIron,
a program for correcting lens distortion. This program allows you
to develop your own callibration profiles using your own camera and
Lightroom versus Aperture, a comparitive
is an open source tool that can be used for noise removal and image
resizing, discussed here on
Slashdot. This is a command line tool, which might be a good thing as
that allows you to use it from a batch file for bulk processing tasks.
from iView is image management software for annotating, organizing and
distributing digital files.
is a semi-automatic face retouching software package for photo portrait
work, it also has the ability to do some facial reshaping.
makes a number of photo-oriented software packages, including Just Resize My
Photos (which is specialized to the task of batch resizing) and Image
Genius (which is a general purpose batch image processor)
Artist's Guide to GIMP Effects, by Michael J. Hammel, ISBN: 978-1593271213.
MediaOne Plus is a digital photo enhancement and DVD creation
PhotoArtist 2, is a package for creating artwork based on digital
Corel's Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 gets reviewed
here. An here too
from PC Mag.
2008 now supports printing stitched panoramas and super high
Painter Essentials 4, another package to help you turn photos into
- ACDSee 10 Photo Manager has some new image processing tools, including shadow detail enhancement.  
- SONY BMG thinks that copying a track from a CD that you purchased onto your MP3 player is piracy. At least this is what the RIAA got them to say in court. Sounds like the RIAA's lawyer's just loaded the shotgun and passed it to their witness who then promptly shot them in the foot of public opinion. But the RIAA won the case in the end. Additional coverage of this case on Slashdot and also on Engadget. 
- The new PSP Slim can output video to composite or component TVs, apparently games can only be played in component mode. This might make it a useful photo slide show device. 
- Here's how one person took the BlueTooth receiver out of one set of wireless headphones (that had broken) and transplanted it into another conventional headset to make it wireless. This is not the first time this has been done, but its useful to see how to do this in case you ever want to try. 
- Hot chili peppers get another application, the capsaicin they contain may help allow pain killers to enter the nerves more effectively. 
- Bill Gates must be getting worried about his health, now Microsoft is wanting to make a user-controlled health care historical database. While such a system could be of great benefit to patients (the users) by centralizing all their records and ensuring whole sections don't get lost when a doctor's office moves or closes, and it could also be of great benefit for researchers who could get anonymized access to query the system, there is still the risk that such a system could be very tempting to Big Brother and so it's privacy should also be shielded by strong acts of law.  
- A-WIT Technologies makes some C-Stamp modules as well as some BlueTooth interface modules.  
- Photo Story 3, is an add-on download for Windows XP, with some photo album and DVD burning capabilities.  
- Here's a review of the XO Laptop (from the OLPC people). 
- JavE is an ASCII art editor application that is written in Java so should be usable anywhere you have Java installed. You can use this to illustrate your source code or just for fancy email signatures. 
Art and Music
Calgary area restaurants
various notes and news about Google's activities and services
- Kauai - the
isle (new page: here)
- Aug 2004: ValueWeb is offering a dedicated
server (80GB disk) with 1000GB of transfer per month for US$59/month
Aug 2004: Domain
C I Host has some
packages for a reasonable price
offering a 750MB web hosting plan
Canaca.ca is offering
some multi-gigabyte web hosting packages
has reviews and comments on a large number of web hosting services
package from WizSystems offers 2GB of web storage, and they have a
larger plan too (22-Dec-02)
EasyDNS is a domain name
service provider (parking, registration, transfer...)
provides a DNS service that allows you to run servers on machines with
dynamic IP addresses, there are some other alternatives to this as
well, including DynamicDNS
a python script for keeping your DynamicDNS IP address up to date
In Eastern Canada (Dec'04) Rogers has partnered with Yahoo
to provide high
speed cable modem service with 2GB email and supposedly unlimited
bluehost.com, as of
Aug'05 has accounts with up to 4Gig of storage space for $7/month which can be
used to host up to 6 domains
has reviews of some of the inexpensive hosting providers and a "top-10"
has a database of information about web hosting services, including
has an active discussion board about web hosting services
tracks the speeds of various web hosts
Nov'05, possible inexpensive hosting providers: BlueHost.com, LunarPages.com, HostGator.com, LiquidWeb.com,
after reviewing these and a number of other providers I switched to LunarPages. Some of
the things I considered or looked at were:
new web hosting packages with better Python support
supports a number of Python based web hosting services (such as Django,
Zope and TurboGears), they appear to allow one to install and run custom
applications. A note on installing lxml for Python on WebFaction.
The Wikia people are going to be giving away free web
NetFirms has a number
of plans, some of which include Python  si, a module to represent SI units.  motmot, is a collection of packages for doing real-time motion image processing in Python.  Researchers may have found the cause of type 2 diabetes.  Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 gets more features, but still could be made more user-friendly. This version added panorama image assembly (which compares well with Ulead PhotoImpact) and the new Group Shot feature is designed to allow one to make a single photo containing the best elements out of several group poses. This version also has support for producing photo books, which need to be uploaded to Kodak for printing. There are some other places that do photo books: Picaboo and ShutterFly.   Researchers have developed a super-strong transparent plastic that incorporates clay nanosheets for the strength of steel.  A court decision has limited the scope of what is patenable - by stating that just adding electronics to some existing system is not enough to get over the obvious test threshold.  The Python Magazine, a monthly magazine for Python people.  How learning Python made me a better C++ programmer. An interesting point, but true I think, as Python makes doing a lot of the OOP stuff easy that would be rather tedious or painful in C++. A discussion of using reference parameters to allow for return of multiple objects from a .NET method call.  How to go about testing code that calls third party servers?  The book Beginning Game Development with Python and Pygame (by Will McGugan) is offering a preview by way of a free chapter on Artificial Intelligence.  htmltotext, a package to extract text from HTML pages for the purposes of searching.  pymills, a collection of Python libraries focused on event driven and asynchronous applications, including distribution of them across different nodes. This includes the "ann" module that is useful in building artificial neural networks. The project home page is here.  ssl, an SSL wrapper for socket objects that will bring Python 2.6 functionality to older (back to Python 2.3.5) versions of Python.  PhotoInPress.ca offers photo book production services. They have an application (BookDesigner) you install on your computer to edit the book locally.
The Kodak Gallery service offers photo book and poster production services.
Picaboo.com offers a photo book service, this appears to be based on an application you run on your computer to create the book.
ShutterFly.com has a number of products including photo books and cards.
 CanvasPress.com does printing to canvas including stretch mounting (both regular and wrap-around gallery style).
PhotoWorks.com does photo books, printing and printing on canvas.
 Could stem cell treatments change your DNA? This article describes a bone marrow stem cell transplant that appears to have given on person a second set of DNA.  This all-in-one PC from XtremeNotebooks would make the world's largest webpad. Well, it would be really too large to be comfortable, especially the 22 inch model, though the 19 inch model might just work - if they made a 10 - 12 inch model that would be great. The little prop-stand that allows it to be placed on a counter top easily might make for a nice recipe display device for a kitchen (though an e-book would really be better).
 Could the human appendix have a function after all?  myPhotopipe.com offers a variety of photo finishing services including photo books, gallery wrap mounting, printing to canvas and fine art papers and panoramic printing.
mypublisher.com does photo books, they also provide an application (BookMaker) that you install on your computer to build the book. They have three sizes of books, including a large 15"x11" format and also offer dust jackets. PCMag.com has a short review of their service.
RitzPix.com has a variety of photo finishing services including photo books, their photo book assembly is done on line through your web browser.  Canada's Information and Privacy Commissioner gave a talk called Privacy by Design that addresses how to design software that protects the user's privacy. Discussed here on Slashdot.  This SaintSong company
has some cute little PCs (barely bigger that a CDROM drive). They have
added the TX2 which is shipped as a "u-build" system, where you add the
processor, RAM and disk drive. This system now includes FireWire ports.
The Shuttle SV24
is a very compact PC case, designed to hold a few drives and a very
small form factor motherboard, such as the Shuttle
FV24. Shuttle has produced a few more of these compact designs now,
the latest is the SS51, reviewed
here on AnandTech and here on Legion
Hardware. The Shuttle SS40G
is that same concept, except supporting an AMD Athlon motherboard. I
would like to get one of these with two 5.25" front accessible bays...
Shuttle now has some competition
in this small case style, almost looks like a direct copy, except it is
based on a different motherboard.
Tom's Hardware reviews the JadeTec
micro PC, this is smaller than the Shuttle mini PC units but
a similar set of built in features, there is a good set of pictures
the various sizes of cases and how the micro PC is assembled. The IWill
XP4-G reviewed on the JEM
Report sounds like another interesting possibility (but is lacking
firewire). The Shuttle XPC
SB81P, reviewed here,
(July 2004) improves greatly (it has PCI-Express) on the earlier XPC
Biostar makes a number of
(ST62K) from Shuttle further reduces the SFF size.
The JEM Report
reviews the IWill
ZPC, which is a very small form factor desktop PC (from the photos
it looks about the size of a conventional 5.25" half height drive, but
its really about 1 inch thicker and 1.75 inches wider), essentially a
2GHz Pentium 4 with the usual complement of embedded IO and specialized case
which can take a single 2.5" hard drive and laptop-style compact
SFF Tech (30-Oct-03) has a very large report
about all the new small form factor systems shown at the recent
The Soltek QBIC 3702M
has a nice feature set for an SFF system
The people at OpenBrick are
making small fan-less systems that can run Linux.
makes some quiet, small, fan-less systems
part of nOrh) is has a
small "server" box and is preparing to produce a small form factor PC
which will act as a DVD player without requiring the PC to boot. They
also are looking at building a personal PC that is smaller than a
laptop, so you can take this with you and just hook up a keyboard,
mouse and display to have a fully functional PC.
Here are some self
contained computers that are designed to fit inside of a standard
drive bay - sort of a mini rackmount system...
Technologies has several small form-factor PCs, including one that
can be mounted in a car's standard radio/CD player slot
and one that looks like the same the SaintSong computer. They also have
a variety of small LCD monitors aimed at the car entertainment market.
Pundit (model: Pundit AB-P2600) looks like a nice SFF system. Digit-life.com reviews it here.
And SFF Tech reviews it here. If you
don't want or need an AGP slot or need a CompactFlash slot (its built
in 4 in 1 card reader lacks this) this would be a great unit.
The new ASUS
DigiMatrix (Oct 2003) looks like it might be the first small form
factor system to cover all the home entertainment needs.
Here are some very
small PC designs (for home made MP3 players), and this
based on a set-top box.
is a small case design that even has a custom front panel display, its
intended for use in home entertainment type applications. It is
by Motherboards.org. One thing that bothers me about this is MSI's
statement: "Due to proprietary mechanical design, MSI only guarantees
the compatibility of the MEGA PC with MSI's own Optical Storage
Devices". Another thing that bothers me is in Motherboards.org's
review they note that the hard drive mounting bracket actually
positions the hard drive upsidedown
and suggest drilling a new set of mounting holes to correct this.
by SFF TECH, they also have a forum with some feedback about it and a knowledge
base thread on it. Technology Review has a collection of links to
other reviews of the MEGA. Apparently there will be an AMD chipset
version of this box in the fall of 2003 as well. 3DVelocity reviews it here.
MSI's MEGA-400, which is an AMD based version of the MEGA-651 will
be appearing soon, AMDboard.com had a preview of it.
Soltek makes a few mini-PCs, their EQ3701
is rather unique as it is a bit taller than most which allows it to
two 5.25inch expansion bays. Another of these is reviewed
here by Motherboards.org,
who have reviewed a number of mini-PCs.
IWILL has announced their ZMAXdp SFF
Workstation, which is a small form factor box that contains a
dual-Opteron system, its mentioned here
on Slashdot. Hexus.net gets a chance
to test this beastie.
Slashdot asks the question: are there any energy efficient and cheap
small servers for home use?
LK-I915A SFF box reviewed
information on the various case and motherboard sizes.
Bringing the Pentium-M
into the SFF PC has some benefits, lower power, less noise, and
perhaps even more performance. Of course the mobile chips are currently
Turion 64 (another processor targeted at the laptop market) can
also be used in a desktop application, particularly when the goal is to
reduce power consumption (it uses about 1/3 the power of the equivalent
Athlon 64). This artical also contains quite a bit of information about
using the Pentium-M chip in a desktop application.
In Feb'06 Shuttle started to show a new
entry to the small form factor category, their XPC X100 box looks
like it has about the usual foot print (width by depth) but its only
2.13 inches tall.
While not small, the home theatre-size PC case is another option.
Zalman makes one with a built-in
7in LCD for a control display.
silent build-it-yourself, Linux based, home theatre PC, reviewed at
available from lixsystems.net.
These look quite nice, like a traditional AV component, and have all
the front panel slots and ports you would need.
Slashdot book review of: Small
Form Factor PCs, by Duane Wessels and Matthew Weaver.
The SA800 from MiniPC is an interesting concept, a computer that is
meant to be expanded
by stacking additional modules onto it.
is building a mini-ITX based machine for the Chinese market, the
EC280, which would be quite nice for a small home appliance type
is a cute little highly integrated motherboard, roughly 6 inches
square (this PDF claims that the mini-ITX board can be mounted in a
FlexATX or MicroATX chassis, perhaps with modification of the mounting
hole positions. Also, the mini-ITX supports both ITX and ATX compliant
power supplies) .
Here are a number of neat
case projects built around this sort of motherboard. The Lex
case (reviewed here)
is based on the VIA Mini-ITX. The mini-ITX format could also be used to
your own supercomputer cluster. Or you can fit an entire PC
into a Windows XP retail box - not your typical computer case, but the
artical has some interesting custom case building ideas.
Here's a good overview of a lot of the various
boards and options available now in mini-ITX.
Some articles from Tom's Hardware: Eden
mini-ITX format boards, VIA's C3
group article addresses the issue of putting a mini-ITX motherboard
into a regular ATX or micro-ATX case, it concludes that this does work.
Aria case (available from MemoryExpress)
might make a good housing for a mini-ITX system that needs to have more
than two drive attached.
about the mini-ITX form factor from VIA's web site.
According to this mini-ITX
FAQ the EPIA motherboards only support up to 128GB (a.k.a. 136GB)
disks, while the EPIA-M series boards will support drives larger than
128GB as they have 48-bit LBA mode.
The mini-ITX.com store
has a good selection of cases. The Morex
Venus 668 and 669
like the typical SFF case design, and have space for 2 x 5.25" drives.
Lian-Li makes the PC-402A
case that will hold an mini-ITX motherboard and 2 x 3.5" and 2 x
Logic Supply has a lot of
mini-ITX stuff. They alo have some P4 based mini-ITX motherboards (with
a 2.4GHz P4 you need 75W for the motherboard and CPU, plus some more
for the drives)
Even the NewYork
Times has seen the mini-ITX.
Here's a little power
consumption simulator for the VIA EPIA motherboard and peripherals.
Mini-Box makes a very compact
PC based on the VIA Mini-ITX platform.
Following up on the mini-ITX form factor will be the nano-ITX which
is just 12cm by 12cm and designed for media appliance type
applications, this Slashdot article
(Mar'04) includes links to more info.
BigBruin reviews the Morex Cubid 3688
mini-ITX case, it look about the same size as a 5.25" half height
Here's a review
of the Travla C138 mini-ITX case, with a good set of pictures showing
how it all fits together.
LogicSupply.com has some
nice small format cases, such as for mini-ITX.
on mini-ITX motherboards. Including higher-speed fan-less models.
The New Type Computer Workshop
(in Vancouver Canada) stocks mini-ITX boards and cases.
The Damn Small Linux mini-ITX Store
linITX.org is a community
site for Linux on mini-ITX
a lot of news on the mini-ITX platform, it also has information about
motherboards based on a variety of processor types.
ComputerGate has mini-ITX
mini-ITX motherboards and cases
Using the EPIA-M10000 for robotics applications,
including how to add analogue
and digital IO, using an IsoPod
There are some other motherboards that are based on Socket 370 CPUs
that approach the mini-ITX form factor. Here is a review of the Jetway B860T
Chyang Fun makes some
cases that fit mini-ITX boards. The 7989
C35 Mini Cube might be a good unit for those looking for a larger
case for a mini-ITX motherboard.
(in the UK) has a good assortment of cases and motherboards for
VIA has announced (Mar'05) a dual
processor mini-ITX board.
describing the constuction
of a mini-ITX system based on the MII10000 processor running Puppy Linux
A review of 4 home-theater
Often these mini-ITX type systems are powered by a two stage power
supply arrangement, an external brick does the initial AC to DC
conversion and then an internal DC to DC converter chops things up to
supply the additional voltage levels the computer needs. Here is a very
small DC-DC converter which is available from mini-Box.com.
The EPIA-N8000E Nano-ITX
In Jan'07 Via announced their Pico-ITX
super small motherboard, only 3.9x2.8 inches, discussed here
on Slashdot. This board has most of its IO on pin headers (just the LAN
and VGA are on conventional connectors). I would have thought that this
is a step backwards, and some USB and audio (and perhaps also a
composite, or component or DVI video) connectors on the board would
have made a lot of sense for the typical sort of things this board
would be used for. Here's one stuffed
inside an old Game Boy case. A review of the VIA EPIA PX10000
Pico-ITX format motherboard.
Jetway is building a
number of mini-ITX boards (including the J7F5 series with DVI and HDMI
ports) and is going to make some small
form factor cases.
 n May'07 Gigabyte announced a DTX form
motherboard (along with a proposed case design), this is based
around an AMD chipset.
Intel is also going to have a DTX
motherboard called the D201GGV, should be available in June'07.  ASUS all the experience I
have had with ASUS motherboards has been good. Good single and dual processor
solutions, generally quite expandable and well supported. ASUS even provided
free BIOS upgrades to address Y2K problems with a motherboard that was
about 5 years old (and had been out of production for 4 years).
experience with these, but no problems
AOpen one of my clients
uses a number of AOpen's highly integrated motherboards for management and
secretarial machines, seems to be a good solution unless you need to push the video
beyond 1280x1024 resolution. They had some problems installing the NT
drivers, but that's pretty common. In late 2004 AOpen introduced a motherboard
that uses the Pentium-M (mobile) chip, this allows one to build a much
more power-efficient workstation as one of these chips uses between 3W
and 20W when running instead of the more typical 100W of the current
Pentium-4 and Athlon processors.
seems to make
some pretty good mother boards, their BP6
(although quite dated today) is a nice unit
Soyo has a good
ECS EliteGroup. ECS and PC
Chips have merged and produced a new motherboard, the ECS PF88,
that allows you to add different CPU sockets to it via a set of custom
FIC I have not
experience with these, but they have been favorably reviewed in the
IWill again, no personal
experience with these but they often have a nice feature set
Micro Star (MSI)
I have not had any experience with these, but they have been favorably
reviewed in the past.
Gigabyte only limited
experience with these, had some problems with the Celeron II until the BIOS was
updated, still having some problems with the USB port though.
Tyan makes some nice
motherboards, their Thunderbolt S1837 makes a great workstation or server box. Tyan so far
is the only manufacturer to make a dual Athlon mother board, their
first model was very high end and required an expensive custom power supply,
this new Tyan Tiger MP S2640
too, and here and here
as well, and at AnandTech
too) looks like it could open the flood gates for AMD.
ABIT VP6 motherboard
An AMD Motherboard
review site - the first dual processor Athlons should soon be among us, maybe
by March 2001
2cpu.com a dual processor
amdmb.com is a
site that specializes in AMD motherboard news
reviews five of the VIA chip set based dual processor motherboard
a round up of current (summer 2001) VIA
Apollo KT266 based main boards
a round up of current Athlon
mother board chip set solutions
AnandTech's overview of Value
Dual Socket 370 motherboards
It appears that if a CPU
fan dies on an AMD Athlon chip that the chip itself could die, as
of 30 Oct 01 AMD is issuing new design guidelines to motherboard
manufacturers to help prevent this in future board revisions.
KR7A looks like a nice Athlon board, but for some reason does not
use the Athlon's thermal diode
KT266A is an Athlon board that does include overheat shutdown,
although it might not save you if your heat sink detaches completely from the
A7N266 is an nVidia nForce 420 based single Athlon motherboard, its
a bit odd since ASUS went with the basic audio and for some reason did
not connect up the built-in ethernet port...
More dual Athlon boards are due out soon (start of 2002?), this
picture is the MS-6501 (or K7D
Master I from MSI) and is reviewed
here and here
and mention of the ASUS
A7M266-D (which is also to be seen here
and reviewed here).
The Tyan Tiger S2466 is an AMD dual-cpu MPX chipset mother board,
K7 Master-S (MS-6341) seems to be the only Athlon single processor
mother board with built in SCSI (U160).
According to this
Register article the AMD 760MPX chipset (which is used in some of
these new dual boards) will not ship in volume until Q2 of 2002! AnandTech
has this article
on the 760MPX chip set. Around
then the newest Athlon XP should be the 2500+.
The Register reports that VIA chipset based motherboards may
have problems keeping up with full PCI speed data bursts, and that
this could hurt the performance of high speed (like ATA133 and U160
SCSI) disk controllers. And this
article documents a similar problem with the Intel 850 and 860 chip
4 way memory
on VIA motherboards.
AMDBoard focuses on the
AMD based motherboards
Motherboards - The
Designing Process discusses the chipsets that go into motherboards
The Pentium 4 Socket 478 is discussed here
of all the different types of current (2005) CPUs
Tom's Hardware has updated their CPU
comparison chart to include the dual core CPUs that were introduced
In Aug'06 ABIT
launched their AW9D
motherboard, based on the Intel 975X chip set that is said to be quad
core (Kentsfield) ready. Apparently these chips
will be available in Nov'06.
When will we have enough CPU for real-time
ray tracing, perhaps by 2010?
Info on the new quad-core
Opterons from AMD
The new (Nov'06) Intel
Core 2 Extreme QX6700 is the first quad-core CPU
Looks like Intel
may be the winner of the first round in the quad-core battle, what
with better performance, lower power consumption and more motherboard
choices than AMD.
With some high end dual processor motherboards you can install
two of the new quad-core CPUs to get a total of 8 processors.
Here's a review of Intel's
Wikipedia's article on the ACPI system
 Building a no
Hush makes a silent
C138 looks like a nice mini-ITX case
How about making a case
out of Lego?
Building your own rack
mount system, including using mini-ITX as the core motherboards. This
also has a couple of ideas about making nice mounting modules for
multiple drives and making a "case" out of a front and back panel plus
rods to space them appart (remember this is going inside a rack).
Adding a video
display to a computer case (fits in about 3 drive bays)
A tutorial on how to bend acrylic,
which could be useful if you are making a custom case
Lego Computer, here the case for a VIA EPIA-M9000 is made out of Lego
OrigenAE are showing a
prototype home theatre PC case that has a built in 12in touch
sensitive LCD display and 12 bays for 3.5in hard drives.
transfer in the computer
All about fan
makes case fans
rack mount page, I never seem to find a way to actually get to this
on their web site... Of course the average home PC does not need rack
but at work we often configure server sets in these for our clients
How not to
build your own case out of spray foam
Tom's Hardware guide
to computer cases
drive cooler with temperature read out
Looking for some knobs to add to your case? How about this array,
its a fan
speed controller and will allow you to turn up the "volume" (or
airflow that is) from the front panel of your case.
Here's the Thermaltake
Hardcano 5 which includes thermocouple monitoring of component temperatures.
Making a quieter
Another article on building a quiet, air-cooled,
A rather fancy front panel IO
port add-on that installs in a free drive bay, includes flash
readers, USB and Firewire, fan controller and temperature monitoring
and audio IO ports
rackmounts out of houshold wire kitchen racks, but something like
this rack for
instrument modules might be better. musiciansfriend.com
has a number of rack rails and small rack cases. Rack rails are also
available from smarthome.
is now carrying the Startech
12U wallmount bracket for 19 inch rack equipment, just screw it into a
wall (or perhaps the side of a desk or other immobile object) and you
have 12U worth of rack space for $99. Obviously its closed at the
back, so it will be harder to work with than a true rack, but then, its
not a thousand bucks either.
 This review
shows how the Athlon, P3, P4 and Itanium compare.
into 2002, up to 2.4GHz. And more
life yet for Celeron and Pentium III. An early review of a dual
processor Pentium IV Xeon motherboard. This is all Intel
is currently saying.
A large review
of the various after-market CPU cooling fans that are available
Fans from ANTEC include thermal sensors and vary their speed
more on the current Intel
processor road maps (4-July-01)
comparision of Dual
Xeon and Dual Athlon CPU systems under Linux
Performance info on AMD's
Here is a 1U
high RACK mount server based on the Tyan Dual Athlon motherboard
for high density rack mount applications (you can fit up to 42 of these in
a single standard rack).
now that the 2GHz Pentium 4 is out Intel seems to have regained
the lead over AMD, according to this article
at least. Where the Athlon 1.4GHz seems to be lagging the most is in
CODEC type applications, which this article talks about a lot.
Oct'01: AMD has released multi-processor versions of their new
compares it to the original 1200MHz version. And is there any real difference
between the Athlon and Athlon-MP chips?
For comparing different computer architectures the SPECmark
is quite useful, its also helpful for comparing old systems to new
How does the VIA
C3 (socket 370 compatible) chip stack up against the Celeron and
Duron? Apparently not very well.
Newisys is making a 1U
server based on AMD's Opteron chips
makes some socket adapters that can allow you to use a newer generation
processor chip on an older generation motherboard. They now have a Canadian
site, so shipping should be easier.
cooling fans for the high speed Athlon chips
Here is an integrated
computer-on-a-chip, including CPU, memory and ethernet interface,
designed to power appliances
Information on the AMD
Tom's Hardware has a comparative CPU
performance review that spans the 100MHz to 3GHz CPU era
In case you are confused by Intel's
recent entry against AMD's 64 bit processor, it appears that Intel
has finally copied what AMD did, so the two processors will be able to
run the same software.
out CPU fan noise
on reducing PC noise discussed
More on eliminating
a quiet gaming system, discussed
on Slashdot, this used an Antec Sonata II case and lined it with a
pre-cut acoustic foam solution from AcoustiPack.
AcoustiPack also makes quiet rack mount cases.
AMD and Intel are both planning to introduce dual-CPU
on a chip processors in 2005. I love working on dual processor
boxes, so this should make quad processor boxes affordable...
roadmaps (Aug 2004) for both Intel and AMD are discussed
of the road has been announced for the DEC Alpha processor
And it looks (Sept'04) that the end
is in sight for the Itanium, maybe it'll die out before HP stops
making the Alpha chip, now that would be fitting.
In Oct'04 VIA announced plans to get into the 64bit
processor race. Plus their first dual processor
VIA chip motherboard.
the performance of all Pentium-style CPUs
(Jan'05) discusses Sony's new "Cell" architecture, which may be a
strong competitor to x86 chips some day.
Later in 2005 we should see the first dual-core
processors from AMD
Benchmarking Intel's new (Mar'05) 64-bit
Pentium 6xx chip
the Athlon 64
based CPU cooling system.
Intel's hyperthreading system may actually reduce
the performance of heavily threaded applications
in Jun'06 AMD announced their 4x4 chips, which really will be dual
processor, dual core motherboards - so a 4 CPU "consumer"
workstation will soon be possible. These are being targeted at gamers
as they will support a pair of dual GPU graphics cards (for 4 times the
rendering power). I wonder what size of power supply you'll need to run
a high end system?
In Jun'06 Intel started showing their new Conroe CPU, this
looks like it could bring a 10-25% increase in performance
has returned as some of the current (June'06) generation of CPUs
can be clocked at up to 4GHz
CPU from Intel will contain 4 cores on a single chip and ship in
Nov'06, this will run in existing 775 socket motherboards and looks
like it will bring quad-CPU functionality to the desktop. Here is a preview
of the performance that can be expected. The Core 2 Quad got launched
in early Jan'07.
In Feb'07 AMD
showed their new Barcelona quad-core CPU, the unique thing about
this is that each core also has a vector math processor.
In Aug'07 Tilera
announced their new 64 core processor the TILE64. While this is a
RISC chip (rather than an x86 processor) it may make its way to the
desktop by some Linux variant.
 In Sept'07 Toshiba
announced their SpurEngine video processing chip, this is based on
the Sony Cell processor technology used in the PS3, it looks like they
are going to integrate this into some of their future laptops to give
them a boost in the video editing (trans-coding) department. This could
be a significant advancement, I wonder if anyone is going to make a
PCI card to allow a video processing accelerator to be plugged into
existing systems. This could also help with power consumption, as its
possible that one of these chips could consume less energy that a
general purpose CPU to do the same overall task, which would be good
for laptops. LeadTek's HPVC1100 puts a SpursEngine in a small external enclosure for connection to a laptop (or perhaps some other computer).
 ASUS's new P5E3 Deluxe motherboard (reviewed here) will include an instant-on Linux desktop environment built into the BIOS so the computer can even be used for web browsing and VoIP without booting into a full operating system. Earlier attempts at this sort of thing have been limited to CD Audio and DVD play back. Discussed here on Slashdot. Engadget has some more information about this. In mid-2008 ASUS announced that it intends to start shipping Splashtop on all its motherboards.  The YSP-500 compact sound projector from Yamaha is a smaller version of their single-speaker sound projector speakers.  Powersourceenergy.com
has solar and other stuff
RealGoods has a
lot of online information,
including various articals and prices
is another Canadian dealer
has some online
pricing for solar cells
of links on Photovoltaic information sources
based power storage
powered bicycle kit
RUF an alternative
commuter transport system
oils in diesel engines
the Gizmo , a one
person electric vehicle
solar powered car race
are planning to produce 50% of their national electrical needs from
wind power by 2030, see this Slashdot
is a good resource site
The future could hold batteries
with 100 times the capacity of our current storage cells, which
would make a lot of battery power applications feasible (cars and houses)
turbines start producing tidal power in Norway.
is building a mag-lev train in China it takes its first passengers in
VW / Audi has a number of ultra
fuel efficient vehicles, with efficiency as great as 100km/L. Sure
beats my 4WD Toyota Previa's 6.5km/L (but I bet its not as much fun to
drive in the winter). The SmartA-Class
car from Mercedes Benz may
become available in Canada in 2005.
Energy Technologies Ltd. (in Calgary) is working on inverters to
allow solar cells to be directly connected to the grid (according to a radio
interview on QR77 12-Feb-03 they have already been talking to Calgary
Council about making allowances for net electric metering).
Solar Cells for mounting on buildings with complex shapes
off vegetable oils
conventional batteries, this appears to be one of these cases where
the overall savings will be due to the reduction in the cost of energy
being used to manufacture the devices.
catalysts for converting biomass to hydrogen gas, in this case a
Ni-Al-Sn alloy that out performs Pt.
The French are testing out a new high-speed
travelator (conveyor belt for people) that will move you at 9km/hr
(which is about three times as fast as these things usually go, and is
nearly as fast as the average speed of a city bus in Paris, or anywhere
else). The innovation here is to use a roller section at the start and
end to accelerate and decelerate the passengers.
A narrow, hand built electric
two-seater car from Seattle USA. See also patent #6328121 "Ultra-Narrow Automobile Stabilized with
of attaching a large number of wind generators to a power grid.
Power Generation for the home may be on its way... Should be real
fun on an apartment balcony :-)
electric cars, 0-60 in 3.7 seconds from an very expensive set of
almost 7000 lithium-ion laptop batteries
 Here's a bus that uses
in-wheel electric motors for drive, along with a battery pack that
is continuously topped up by a small diesel generator system that runs
continuously. They seem to be making a big deal of placing the motors
in the wheels, but I think that's been done before in big construction
vehicles (wavecrest is
doing this in bicycles). While the in-wheel motors sound like a great
thing because they eliminate the weight and inefficiency of the drive
train, they may well be less desirable because they increase the mass
of the wheels (requiring suspension redesign, possibly offsetting some
of the drive train weight savings - older racing cars used to place the
brakes at the end of the drive shafts furtherst from the wheels for
this reason, this was called "in-board brakes"), they now expose the
motors to a much worse environment (lots of road shock, water and
debris), and installing a liquid cooling system on the motors is now
more difficult (which may not be a big problem if they get enough air
cooling, but it eliminates using the motor's waste heat to warm the
passenger compartment in the winter...). Also, given you now have these
larger rotating masses there will be more rotational inertia in the
vehicle (which means slower acceleration and braking, but this might
not be significant). E-Traction is going to modify a number of buses to use in-wheel electric motors along with a hybrid diesel-electric power system, they are claiming up to 50% better fuel economy that normal buses.
is a expensive superinsulator. From this Times artical:
- various reviews were positive, there were some negative
comments, but most of these seemed to be about a year old
they have a good set of support pages, including open
which you can review before hand
the feature set offered (for the price) was more
"believable" than some
download and connection speeds seemed good
they allow you to use one account to host multiple web
sites, on their basic plan you can host two domains without additional charges
and they even include the annual DNS registration fees for the first
their support is pretty responsive, and even responded to
questions and setup the account on the US Thanksgiving weekend.
make this strange material, scientists start with a liquid alcohol
like ethanol and mix it with silicon dioxide to form a gel. Then,
through a process called supercritical drying, the alcohol is forced
out of the gel, typically with high-pressure carbon dioxide. With this
drying process, the gel does not collapse or lose its volume. It
appears holographic because the silicon dioxide scatters shorter
wavelengths of light much like air in the daytime sky.
This stuff insulates so well you
probably would have to cool you house in winter if you could afford it.
So my question is, if the raw materials for making this stuff are so
cheap and abundant, and its been known about for over 70 years, why is
this not commercially available? Referenced on Slashdot here
to hydrogen cracker has been developed.
This would allow a safe to handle fuel (ethanol) to be the source of
hydrogen needed for typical fuel cell technologies.
International site has lots of information on alternative energy,
including sizing and costing spreadsheets
the grid from a slow moving river
from waste straw
Some people claim that ethanol
production is more trouble than it is worth
powered house that produces and uses its own hydrogen
TCP - Thermal
Conversion Process - is a system that mimics some aspects of the
volcanic process to create oils from waste. This appears here on Yahoo and
is discussed here
A Slashdot review
of the book Out
of Gas by David Goodstein, ISBN
materials could greatly
improve solar cells, possibly
into the 50% conversion range
Construction of ITER,
the latest round of fusion reactors, will begin soon
to produce bio-diesel,
into this is underway. Apparently some alge could yield 5000-20000
gallons per acre per year (that's 75-300K BBL per square mile per year,
which is pretty impressive).
Brewing your own biodiesel
plus information on running diesel engines on straight cooking oil.
solar panels can be used as windows and yet still generate about
3W/ft2 (about 33W/m2). A rather novel idea, but apparently they could
also be used as screens for projection TV units. These are manufactured
by MSK Corporation.
buildings using cold water from a lake (such as Lake Ontario), sort
of the reverse of geothermal power. What happens to the lake when all
the water that's been heated by the cooling activity gets dumped back?
The US has
canceled its fusion reactor program in favor of participating in
the world program.
Getting serious about fuel
glass can block infrared
Nanotech comes to the rescue in the development of direct from
sunlight hydrogen production
as a power source
Small fuel cells are getting a power increase
from sodium borohydride
power costs have dropped to
only $0.01/kwh (Sept'04)
And now solar cells based on spinnach,
yes the plant Pop-eye loves to eat.
can you do to save energy?
housing takes root in Oregon, which is a nice, green state
largest wind turbine as of Oct'04
emission power plants are being proposed.
The material was not new. In 1931,
Steven S. Kistler was a pioneer in
making the substance at the College of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.,
now the University of the Pacific. But, Dr. Tsou said, the material was
not used much, except in powdered form as a nontoxic anti-caking agent
from water may be easier at high temperatures
a windmill built out of high altitude kites - position this in the jet
stream and you'll get oodles of power
Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a
new material capable of capturing solar
power, this is a plastic based substance that is up to 30% efficient
Potential for a low
cost solar cell.
 The world's largest Solar
Tower may be built in Australia, will it also be destroyed a short
time later by the world's largest tornado? In 2010 plans for another solar updraft tower to be built in Arizona appeared, this called for a 2400 foot tower fed by a 4 square mile green house to produce 200MW. The stated power does not seem reasonable for such a large project, as 4 square miles is just over 10 square km, and each square km has about 1GW of solar radiation (1000W/m2 x 1000m x 1000m = 1GW), so 200MW/10GW = 0.02 or only a 2% collection efficiency which seems rather low.
batteries may get a 300% boost soon
Nickle Manganese oxide batteries, may outperform NiMH batteries in
electric car applications.
from turkey guts?
A commercial attempt to produce bio-diesel
from rendering plant waste
A new, small scale, reactor to convert vegetable
oil to biodiesel using alcohol, discussed on Slashdot.
power research. Wave power is being applied in Portugal
 Alternate ways of building
houses, including machine grown housing. Using massive 3D printing to create buildings from dust and glue.
may build pebble-bed reactors
to produce hydrogen, and another artical
your own solar oven for under $10.00, heck why bother with sewing
on velcro, just use duct tape. This would make a great school or
camping trip project to get kids interested in the power of the sun.
In Europe automated
bicycle rental is being introduced so that you can rent a bike when
and as you need it.
largest solar array is to use Stirling Engines
The USA has some tax-rebate
programs to encourage conversion to solar power, some of the
individual states have very good incentives
Organisms that use solar energy to produce
And now the Russians want to build a floating
nuclear power station, all I can say is yikes!
This is probably not as good as claimed, but if it was
very significant, the H2N-Gen
takes water, uses electricity from the cars battery to create some
hydrogen and oxygen, then injects these into the fuel that the car
burns. The claim is in doing this overall fuel consumption is reduced
by 10 - 40% and emissions are also reduced. Apparently someone else who
has a patent for something similar is already suing...
Microgrids could improve overall generation
and distribution efficiency
Honda has shown a concept
car that uses hydrogen and achieves a 560km range, they have also
shown a home fueling station for it that produces the hydrogen gas from
methane and also have arranged for the waste heat this process
generates to heat the house and provide some electricity.
platforms to house wind turbines
axis wind turbine with push and pull, discussed
windmills for small power applications, a neat idea although a
small solar panel would probably be more reliable for most applications
Recent advances in Biodiesel
production due to new catalysts.
Australia is pushing
a Buckyball Fuel Cell
BMW is developing a steam
engine add-on to use waste heat from gasoline engines, increasing
the overall efficiency by about 15% (or about how much gasoline prices
will go up next year...).
of advances and achievements in alternative energy in 2005 discussed
Improve your fuel economy by installing ScanGauge,
this attaches to your car's diagnostic plug and provides you with fuel
usage information and other things.
Generating power from the thermal
gradients in the sea, but what effect might this have on some of
the key ocean currents?
Besides being a large source of carbon dioxide, coal-fired
stations may also be a large source of nuclear waste, apparently
coal contains 1-10ppm of uranium...
Algae to clean power plant emissions
for electricity, sounds a bit off the wall
Revisiting desktop cold
New York State is looking at installing
wind generators to help with their power problems,discussed here
for hybrid cars and the world's largest photovoltaic array is due
to be built in Nevada.
Solar cells could be made from titania nano-tubes
 Ultracapacitors based
on nanotubes may be the batteries of tomorrow. Graphene may also find application in the ultracapacitor problem.
World oil production may
have hit its peak in Dec 2005, but demand continues to climb
may help in producing ethanol
Bermuda is planning to use a sea
Power Plants are being built again
The future of nuclear energy discussed
on NPR, also this contains a segment on cold fusion. Mentioned here
Could one of the founders of Green Peace now be pro-nuclear
from cow dung using high temperature and pressure, discussed
on Slashdot. Of course there is a secret
ingredient: the catalysts used are not revealed. But perhaps
more exciting is that another research team has synthesised vanillin
from cow dung, just what you want for your baking pleasure!
Build your own wind turbine
In Mar'06 Dr. Martin Fleischmann of cold fusion fame was hired
by D2Fusion to produce a
commercial prototype of a fusion-based home heater. Discussed on Slashdot.
Time to start investing in heavy water plants.
solar collectors, use holograms to concentrate light onto
Wheel, an replacement front wheel for bicycles that contains an
integrated 23cc motor for 200MPG cycling
your own fuel cell, with key components from the Fuel Cell Store
built with nano-tech materials may exceed
the capacity of current batteries by about 2012.
A residential windmill
in the form of kites, may be returning to assist ocean-going freighters
Biofuel production could lead
to water shortages, largely due to increased irrigation needs
SolarLab has some very
elegant designs for solar powered boats, yachts and structures
A technique for storing
hydrogen inside titanium metal is being developed
Batteries, a cross between a capacitor (allowing for delivery of
large amounts of power - lots of energy in a short amount of time) and
a battery (allowing delivery of large amounts of energy at over longer
periods of time) are at the early lab stages
 Slashdot discusses how to measure
the electric consumption of single devices. ThinkGeek has the Kill-A-Watt,
which is a power meter with a digital display. There is also this power
watt meter, from Germany with a UK style plug and socket.
CanadianTire (in Canada) has the 52-8851-2, EM100
Electronic Energy Meter. The EnergyHub is another power monitoring device, this has a base station with LCD interface and monitoring modules that you plug in to track the power usage of each device of interest - probably a great deal of overkill but it looks nice.
yacht is going to attempt to cross the Atlantic entirely on solar
power. The MW-Line Sun21 solar powered catamaran has
crossed the Atlantic on solar power, from the Canary Islands to the
offshore to keep them out of site and also to allow for more power
to change propane (and maybe other hydrocarbon fuels) into hydrogen
which can then be converted directly to electricity in a fuel cell.
Former President Bill Clinton is creating an investment
fund devoted to renewable energy.
GM is developing a hydrogen
filling station for the home, though as its electrically powered
its not really an advantage over just buring fossil fuel directly in
the car - unless you install a set of solar cells to power it.
wind power worth it?
EnerAge is building a small
(25W) fuel cell that will run off a variety of hydrocarbons.
discusses a new solar
panel technology, this is much less expensive to manufacture but is
less efficient. This is called CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide).
There are several companies that are entering this field (anyone know
what the patent situation on this is?) Miasole is going to be producing
cells in 2007. DayStar
is another. Also entering the field are Nanosolar (which is aiming to
build the biggest factory) and HelioVolt. In Dec'06 Honda
announced they are going to open a plant in the fall of 2007 which
will produce these cells too.
can make solar power more cost effective.
Could Google get involved the fusion
wind turbine design from Quiet Revolution
water into oxygen and hydrogen using an enzyme from blood
Concentrator solar cells have achieved 40%
largest wind farm (well in 2007) is going to be built off the shore
Scum, might be a better
project to develop a renewable energy system
powered house that gets 100% of its energy from solar and does long
term storage of excess energy by storing hydrogen gas (produced from
electrolysis of water) and then using the hydrogen to power fuel cells.
This allows the house to capture excess power in the summer for use in
the winter (when the solar panels do not provide enough power). While
largely funded for research purposes the intent is that others
should be able to repeat this for a price of about US$100,000 (which is
still probably beyond economically justifiable).
your electric meter backwards, this is now allowed in about 40 US
energy could provide up to 10% of the US entergy requirements
from wind, an Australian claims to have invented a windmill that
extracts moisture from air. Doing this should be possible by expanding
the air (which will chill it) and one could just take a conventional
windmill, use it to drive a compressor (which will compress a stream of
air), then cool the compressed air back to ambient temperature (perhaps
using the waste heat to heat your house or hot water) and then expand
the compressed air back to normal atmospheric pressure and a lower
temperature, which will cause the water in it to condense (and cause
the expansion nozzle to get cold causing water vapour in the normal air
passing over the outside of the nozzle to condense). This is pretty
much the standard thermodynamic cycle used in refrigerators around the
world, except in those a special fluid is used that switches state from
liquid to gas and back as it goes around the cycle making the process
of microbes might be able to make them convert sugars into diesel
Wind Power in Cold Stores, this is really a case of intelligent
load averaging, and thus, swapping some conventional power requirements
for wind generated power. For one to really make the claim of "storing
power" one should be able to place energy into the storage device and
then return some of that energy back to its original form for later
use. That said, this is a good example of "low-hanging fruit", there
are probably plenty of power users that could be tailored to make use
of alternative power sources when those are abundant (for example
commercial green houses, swimming pool heating, ice rink cooling...).
Storing methane in a tank lined with carbon
briquettes made from corncob waste may allow natural gas to be
stored in a more compact fashion than current pressureized cylinders.
Scotland is going to build wave
A new method for storing
hydrogen gas, this time in a solid form
wind turbines for electric generation anywhere.
Biofuels may have a dark
wind farms to tap the power of the jet stream
A new form of solarcells
based on synthetic dyes that work in low light conditions and might
cost 1/10th of conventional silicon solar cells have been discovered.
Could these be OLEDs in reverse?
Solar Tower in the UK is plastered with 7244 Sharp 80W solar panels
(at a cost of $11M so about $1500 per panel, as that's at least two to
three times what the panels should cost they must be including
installation and all the peripheral equipment - still an interesting
metric: "$18/W fully installed with all support systems").
solar panel farm is to be built in Ontario Canada, construction to
start in 2008. Slashdot discussion
2kW with a beer-battery
or fuel cell. While this is essentially a waste-treatment device that Fosters have been
developing that has the side-effect of producing electricity one
wonders if one could power similar devices by using other agricultural
or household wastes?
dots may lead to cheaper solar panels
The Spanish are building
a solar tower that could eventually power the city of Seville. This
is similar to a plant called Solar Two near
A new advance
in the internal combustion engine may increase fuel efficiency of
gasoline engines by 15 to 20% and greatly reduce nitrous oxide
SHPEGS is an open
design for alternate power being built around geothermal and solar
separator module, this will take methane and separate the hydrogen
from it, presumably producing CO or CO2 as a byproduct along with waste
heat (which can probably be used for space heating or hot water
heating), the hydrogen gas can then be used in a fuel cell to produce
electrical power for the house, to charge an electric car or could be
bottled for use in a hydrogen fueld car. The advantage with this sort
of approach is that enables a more efficient use of fossil fuel by
allowing the waste heat to be used for household purposes. Since a
central power plant that burns fossil fuel to produce steam to turn a
turbine to turn a generator to produce electricity which must then be
shipped some distance (during which some energy is lost) cannot be more
than about 30% efficient, most (about 2/3rds) of the fuel that it
consumes is wasted as heat - so for people who need space heating and
hot water heating using this waste heat (a process called
co-generation) instead of throwing it away is a big gain.
Solar cells capable of over 40% conversion
efficiency have been demonstrated in the lab, and now researchers
are predicting the maximum achievable efficiency in a three-junction
design could be 58%. These cells require concentrated sunlight to
reach these efficiencies.
Oxide fuel cells (discussed here
on Slashdot) which may be able to consume a wide range of fuels are
being developed by Acumentrics
The UK has a Code for Sustainable Homes that will go into
effect in 2016, this home
design meets the level 6 requirements
microwaves to turn plastics and other hydrocarbon based material
into oil and gas. Would this work on complex organics like
cellulose or starches?
insulating material, a blend of PVDF and CTFE could increase the
energy storage density of super capacitors by a factor of 7 times. This
gets mentioned here too.
for the home, this little horizontal axis unit can be mounted on a
that can only produce 46 microwatts, one might ask what is the
point? However, this sort of cantilever mounted coil design might
also prove to be applicable in other applications, perhaps some wind or
water powered generator that uses the oscillatory motion of a cable
being strummed by the flow as a less expensive generator.
Large 5MW wind
turbines that will float in the sea are being developed for Norsk
Hydro, a working wind farm is scheduled for 2013.
solar project (covering 640 acres) is to be completed in California
Energiesoftware makes software for assessing and designing solar
systems, including climate conditions
Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology has developed
a plastic solar cell that is only 6.5% efficient, but can be
produced for a very low cost of about $0.10 per watt, which would be a
good thing given current silicon based cells are about $2.30 per watt.
They think these could be available commercially by about 2012.
from cellulose, a new plant to produce ethanol from cellulose
(rather than sugars) is to go online in 2008 in Georgia USA.
Diamond-like cubic zirconia may be used to develop cooler
fuel cells, perhaps allowing operation in the 50-100C temperature
solar cell that could be printed or painted onto plastic sheets has
solar cells (DSSC) are being developed at Ohio State, these promise
to produce power for about 1/4 the cost of conventional cells.
A solar cell efficiency
of 42.8% has been observed.
An article on geothermal
power that has the facts quite wrong, probably out by a factor of a
thousand on the costs.
Coli have been reprogrammed through genetic modification (by LS9 Inc.) to produce a form of crude
oil from which other hydrocarbons (like gasoline) can be readily
refined. Other companies, like Amyris
Biotechnologies are try to do similar things.
a supercapacitor out of paper and carbon nanotubes.
Nanotechnology is being used to improve
solar cell performance, by coating a solar cell with a 1nm thick
layer of silicon fluorescing nanoparticles researchers have improved a
cell's performance by 60%
It is now
being predicted that in the year 2014 solar power plants may be
cheaper than other conventional forms of generation.
A Slashdot discussion
of Jatropha a bush, generally considered to be a weed, that grows well
in poor conditions and produces seeds with about a 40 percent oil
content. BP is very interested in this plant. Some other plants
that may also be used for oil production are mentioned in the comments.
The first concentrating
solar power station to be built in the USA in a long time started
to provide Las Vegas with 64MW in the summer of 2007, cost is estimated
A new method
to produce solar cells with an efficiency of 11-13% and at a cost
of about $1/Watt has been developed at Colorado State University by
Professor W.S. Sampath. This design applies a film of cadmium telluride
to a glass substrate and is well suited to a continuous production
algae may someday produce hydrogen gas for use as a fuel - or
escape in to the wild and cause global meltdown.
A simple wave power
generator, somewhat like the old Salter Duck.
An application to build the first new
nuclear power plant in the USA in about 30 years has been filed.
A plan is in place for storing excess
wind power output as compressed air in underground caverns. This
would certainly be safe and stable as the natural gas industry have
been using underground formations of this type to store compressed
natural gas for years.
 Electro Automotive
makes electric car conversion kits and has quite a bit of useful
information on line.
Looks like NEC
has developed new
battery technology that cuts the recharging time dramatically (down
to 30 seconds for small batteries)
Sulfur batteries may improve storage capacity by a factor of three
over current Lithium batteries
China is getting into electric-bicycles
A Slashdot review
of the book: Bicycling
Science, by David Gordon
Wilson, ISBN: 0262232375.
Hybrid cars may be falling
far short of their fuel efficiency claims
More on new directions
in battery development.
electric car (the makers of which went bankrupt after producing less
than 400 units) has returned. See also Pheonix
Environmental Motors. Meyers
Motors will be producing the new Sparrows. HighTechScience.org
has some information on the Sparrow.
Toshiba has developed new very-small
fuel cells. While the intended application is in small electronic
devices this technology may migrate to larger cells too.
own hybrid car
How about a hydrogen
powered vehicle that generates its own hydrogen from solar power.
fuel injection, is being used to some advantage on diesel trucks.
This uses an electrolysis unit powered by the truck's alternator to make
small amounts of hydrogen which are then mixed in with the diesel on
Here is a small, collapsible, electric
People are now starting to modify
hybrids, such as the Prius, to allow them to run further on
batteries alone. How about extending the
economy of the Prius by adding solar panels to the roof.
HyMotion is going
to produce a add-on battery pack for the Prius and Ford Escape to
allow these hybrids to function in an electric-car mode for longer
(meaning you can do short trips on electric alone).
One outfit claims that the Prius is less "green" than a Hummer,
this implausible claim sparked some lively debate on Slashdot.
 The Twike (see Engadget)
battery and human powered two seater car. There is some information on Wikipedia here. The Canadian site is here, I wonder how it fairs in snow?
A new pellet-based
storage system for Hydrogen may allow a hydrogen car to be fueled
faster and travel more than 500km on a 50L tank.
The US Department of Energy has filed
for a patent on the idea of hydrogen fuel balls.
Electric cars as
fast as Ferraris?
While not as fast as a Ferrari, and probably not even as fast as
a Lada, the Microcar
Zenn is an all-electric car that would be suitable for a lot of
in-town work and is to be commercially available in 2006, for as little
At the other end of electric based performance is the Human
Powered Car, this seats up to 4 and also has some electric drive
A 30% solution of borohydride
in water stores hydrogen in a more compact form that liquid hydrogen
miles on an ultra-capacitor that could be recharged in 5 minutes?
If true, this should make electric cars mainstream.This is from a
company called EEStor. This received more press in Jan'07 at Technology Review
(and was discussed
and wind-powered electric car. Not life in the fast lane. More news
about it going into a limited
One man's successful conversion of a Jeep
Cherokee to electric power, the range is not much but the operating
costs are quite low (less than when gasoline powered)
The electric vehicle
photo album has lots of different electric vehicles
has some electric vehicle conversion kits, and also sell pre-converted
Schwinn is going
to produce a new line of electric powered bycycles with about a 40
people realize that the hydrogen economy is not a silver bullet
makes electric bikes
from Silence brings a future hot-rod design to the electic car
A123 Systems claims to have created a new Lithium Ion battery
that can be recharged
much faster than current batteries. This would allow one to quickly
recharge while on a trip (instead of overnight), which would also allow
vehicles to be built with smaller batteries (greatly reducing the cost
of the vehicle) since the reduced range would not be such an issue.
 More talk of the compressed
air powered car. MDI in France is close to making this work. Air France and KLM are going to do a six-month trial of this car, mid-2009 is the current target for production (the car will only do 50km/hr for up to 215km). Slashdot discusses a recent study that finds that compressed air cars may have a greater carbon footprint that alternatives.
The Rhoades Car,
4-wheeled pedal powered transportation, with up to 4 seats
Development of the car
of the future, according to Wired, discussed here
 July'07, a Norwegian car company is building
a compact electric car called the Think City that may be brought to
the US in 2009. Discussed here on Slashdot. Their plans have firmed up somewhat and in Apr'08 announced the first cars would go on sale to the US public in 2009. Discussed here on Engadget.
 Zero Motorcycles has made an electric
dirt bike with about a 40 mile range, they are looking at producing
a street ready version too. This is getting very close to production now.
Electric motorbikes can be very fast, and equally dangerous as
of one demonstrated.
 The micro
car museum reminds us this is not a new idea
achieved 100km on 1L of fuel
Of course there's always the high
millage competitions, where over 1000mpg is a low rating
How about vehicles powered by other altenative
Real world fuel economy results for hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius
are being assembled on GreenHybrid.com
Doing the math on hybrid cars, are they really worth
Fuel efficient roadster,
or return of the Reliant
 Generating electricity directly from biomas, a proof of concept from a team of MIT students. 
2005 Solar Car Challenge
2005 Solar Car Challenge
2005 Solar Car Challenge
2005 Solar Car Challenge
2005 Solar Car Challenge
2005 Solar Car Challenge
2005 Solar Car Challenge
2005 Solar Car Challenge
2005 Solar Car Challenge
2005 Solar Car Challenge
2005 Solar Car Challenge, a Smart Car
2005 Solar Car Challenge, a Smart Car
2005 Solar Car Challenge, a simple solar oven
  FAFCO makes solar hot water systems, included ones that self-drain when they would not be producing any useful water heating.  Citizenrē implements solar solutions for home owners. Their business model is a bit different, they purchase, install and then maintain the system on your house. In return you buy the electricity it produces at some pre-determined rate (that is to be at, or below, your current electric rate).  Honda has set up a new company: Honda Soltec, to develop and manufacture solar cells.  AMD has introduced some new 45-watt processors, which would be useful in lower power appliance (i.e. such as DVR) computers that don't need super-fast processors but do get a lot of run time.  Via's vm7700 is a compact computer built into a case that can bolt onto the back of any standard VESA type LCD monitor. The screws that hold the the PC in place actually go all the way through it, which makes mounting it to the back of the monitor very easy. Now that this approach has been publicized I would expect to see some other third party case manufacturers start making similar boxes. One potential application of this sort of thing would be as a DVR PC, allowing the PC and all its cables to easily be hidden behind a large flat panel TV system.   Is Google trademarking Google PC? If so, why?  HDTV Supply has a lot of video cables and converter devices.  A prototype 700MHz WiFi card has been announced by Ubiquiti, this has been tested with a range of up to 31 miles at 50Mbps. With the potential of such long ranges its easy to see why the 700MHz auction that will happen in Jan'08 may be very important to the future of mobile broad band.  The Samsung SPH-9200 UMPC (the cute flip and fold split keyboard design) is getting closer, its manual has been leaked.  SYSTAT makes statistical and curve fitting data analysis software.  GreenPipe makes software for pipeline integrity management and pipeline flow modeling.  ECMA-262
Turorial at webmonkey
Chart Plotting using SVG
Keeping the browser's back
button functional when coding AJAX. This is another good artical
which applies to this and the problem of not being able to bookmark AJAX
Wikipedia on the Document
A simple one
data with it in a web browser for transmission across an insecure
connection to a remote web server
The security model that Firefox (and Mozilla) use prevents
the XMLHttpRequest.open() function from requesting a page from a server
that is different from the one the page was loaded from, if you try to
do this you will get a "permission denied to call method
appears to be a way of getting this to work by elevating
host page. There may still be a way to trick the browser into allowing
this to happen using iframes, this is discussed
Slashdot book review of: The Book
includes a grid control, gets dicsussed here.
Web Pages With Ajax, by Edmond Woychowsky, ISBN: 0132272679.
AJAX Programming, by Prabhakar Chaganti, ISBN 1847191002.
The Wikipedia artical
A New Approach to Web Applications, by Jesse James Garrett
Getting Started, an artical from the Mozilla Developer Center that
includes some worked examples.
like Google Maps possible. More on its use.
A Slashdot book review of: Ajax
in Action, by Pascarello Crane, ISBN 1932394613.
Slashdot book review of: Foundations
of Ajax, by Ryan Asleson and Nathaniel Schutta, ISBN: 1590595823.
Using Python coroutines (part of Python 2.5) for AJAX
Ajax pages, could these be the new web desktop? ajaxWrite is a word
processor implemented with Ajax. There is also an ajaxSketch that understands SVG.
has released a set of open source Ajax tools and a design pattern
library for web design
and responses in Ajax
Is your AJAX Application secure?
Thoughts on where Web
applications are headed, perhaps a "web-OS"?
XML, and employed by things like Google Maps.
The downside of AJAX
An article from IBM's Developer Works on AJAX
and the Ken Burns Effect
Slashdot book review of: Head
Rush Ajax, by Brett McLaughlin, ISBN: 0-596-10225-9
day with Ajax
Using Ajax with Python, an
interview with Dave Crane author of Ajax in Action
A slide show presenting an introduction
framework from Google
Six AJAX open-source
asks some of the prominent Gurus of the AJAX world: What's so
Special About AJAX?
say Ajax is not inherently insecure, discussed on Slashdot
and how to use Ajax
Slashdot discusses debugging CSS, AJAX and DOM with Firebug
Slashdot book review of: Ajax
Design Patterns by Michael Mahemoff ISBN: 0596101805.
Bosworth on the origins
In Mar'07 Microsoft
joined the OpenAjax Alliance - if you can't beat them, join'em and
destroy from within...
Dobb's Journal reviews
5 AJAX frameworks.
is a Python module that uses AJAX to implement a classic ASCII terminal
inside a web browser
urlencoding is a good format for AJAX
 A problem with patents on hard drives has arisen, this might lead to a ban on the importation of drives into the USA.  The ASUS Eee PC is due to be shipped in October'07; BestBuy and Newegg are expected to be carrying it. ASUS stated that they have received contract orders for over 1 million units already.  Fire Pictures - from
the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). Not necessarily digital
but there are some amazing pictures here.
photography on digicams, and more
Hacking up a Fuji Finepix
2300 to allow it to take infrared photos
Building your own infra
red filter out of junk
Detail comparison article
photography. For high magnification photography using a macro coupling
ring to attach a 50mm focal length lens in a reversed direction appears
to work quite well. These are available from Adorama and B&H
Photo if you can stand paying $25-30 to ship a $8 part!
Some very good insect macro
photography using a laser
DLC Photography, a
nature photography site
Ron Reznick has done some nice work with birds,
he has pages here as well.
FAQ on building PhotoCDs
Kodak's new Ultima
Picture Paper seems to be a good improvement over their Premium Picture
Paper for Epson inkjets.
Smith Creative Photography from the UK has some interesting IR photos
(film based) along with a variety of portraiture, including a lot of Bands.
(Warrington District Camera Club)
Pantone makes a colour
calibration system, and in Jan'06 they announced
another called Huey.
Here is a review of the hueyPRO
which improves upon the original Huey.
Mar'06 a review of the Pantone Eye
One Display LT colorimeter and the Huey
low cost calibrator. Another review of the Huey here.
London Drugs stocks the Huey
and the Eye
explaination of colour management.
Breaking the gigapixel
barrier, using a 6MP camera and stitching a large number of images
together. The result is quite amazing. This also has some (simulated)
comparison between this resolution and other real resolutions. This
sort of resolution is not really so far away as one might think,
consider that the current resolution size is about 10MP, so multiply
this by just 100 and you have 1GP. Now a factor of a hundred sounds a
lot, but since sensors are not lines, they cover an area, so all that
needs to be done is to multiply the number of sensors in each dimension
by a factor of 10. This could be done today by making the sensor
larger, roughly 4 to 8 inches across would do it (but then you're
looking at a pretty big camera - but such large format cameras have
been used before), or else if the sensor was made more dense we would
have to wait about 6 to 9 years (circuits shrink by about a factor of 2
every 2 to 3 years). Sensor noise might be one limiting factor here,
but I would think we would hit some sort of optical limit before this
This article has a
good explanation (and demonstration) of why colour information in
video (and also photographs) is less important to our eyes than
luminance and especially that we really don't see blue very well at all.
Petteri on Mastering
Comparing the picture quality
of a Nikon D100 to Velvia film that has been scanned. I would have to
say that digital won.
An article that explains
the difference between a circular and a linear polarizing filter,
and goes into the potential colour shifts that can result. More on
polarizers as a filter to enhance infra-red photography.
for photographers, at least for the USA. More information
on this subject. PhotoPermit.org
is a site dedicated to this issue. A site from Tomas Hawk that is collecting
information about photo policies in privately owned, public spaces.
Is photography becoming illegal in the
sense of digital camera photo sensors
a PhotographyBlog review of Digital
Photography Hacks, a book by Derrick Story, ISBN: 0596006667.
Some nice photo
mosaics of the World At Night
have been created recently
Wired writes on the issue of finding
photographs from within your vast collection.
trouble you may get into by using proprietary RAW format files, and
how OpenRAW.org wants to help
Foto Search Digital Stock
Photography is a stock
photography site, probably quite useful if you are preparing corporate
brochures or websites and need some professional quality material.
Could the compound eyes
of insects be applied to photography? A camera with about 90,000
microlenses has been developed as a thesis project.
Fotolia is paying
for original images
The JPEG2000 standard
for image compression
your photos once the've been put on your hard drive.
Flickr launches geotagging
The effect of megapixel counts and print sizes, this
article demonstrates that 5Meg (or more) can produce apparantly
identical results at a 16x20 print size. In my experience with printing
8MP images (all shot in JPEG) from my Minolta A2 at 13x19" size (on a
Canon i9900 printer), its pretty much impossible to see any evidence of
their digital origins - about the only chance is if you can pick out a
sharp edge between a light and a dark object, then you might be able to
make out a narrow band of lighter area intruding onto the dark region
(which is probably a JPEG artifact). I have done a 13x19 print from the
Minolta A2 of trees in autumn standing in a field of long dry grass,
and even on the grass I cannot make out stair casing. I did some
test prints once from my 3MP Canon G1 and printed a 16x20 as a tiled
8x10 set (which means that the printed pixels were about 100 pixels per
inch) and in those you could see pixelization on the edges of things,
but if you viewed from a reasonable distance you could not see them. My
conclusion is that 5MP should be good enough for most people,
especially if you get a camera with a larger sensor to reduce the
sensor noise. Of course if one is purchasing a camera with less than
about a 5x optical zoom then more pixels might well be useful to allow
for additional cropping before printing.
Windows Vista may mess
up your EXIF info.
Low Budget Shooting, by Cyrill Harnischmacher, ISBN: 978-1933952109.
Discusses various ways of building your own photographic tools.
is a stock photo website with a simplified pricing model
A web site called Four
Thirds User has been
launched which will specialize in the four thirds system
Microsoft is proposing a new file format: JPEG
XR, that will improve the dynamic range.
Drug Mart has a prints from digital service.
Wraps, a frameless mounting technique for prints that have been
made on some sort of fabric media.
 Steve's Digicams
of industry news, new product announcements, good reviews (a
comparision table and review archive) and active discussion groups
has current pricing of the current camera offerings from the major
along with reviews and user ratings
is a site focusing on standardized reviews of cameras
looks like a pretty good site too
is a photography community discussion board with photo posting
PhotoBox has some interesting
work on it
Feather River Canyon
Digital Photography Review
has an active set of message forums
Digital Camera Resource Page
Landscape has a nice article on The
Best Light that is part of a series
Digital Camera Magazine
Web Photo School
has online lessons in photographic technique
dvspot has reviews of digital
which these days are getting digital still capability added to them
irdreams.com is all about
some printer reviews, including the Canon S900 and the Epson Stylus Photo 2100.
DCVIEWS has current
digicam news and reviews
FredMiranda.com is a
site run by a landscape photographer
Photography a web site on photographic technique
Photo Lessons, a self teaching course
raw-converter.com is a
web site specializing in RAW format conversion software, its available
in English too
The sh1ft.org 26
things photographic scavenger hunt, just for the fun of it.
Timecatcher.com, a site
dedicated to nature photography
Photography, a curiously named site with some photography links
The Digital Photography Blog's lens page
has a lot of announcements of new lenses
 Intelligent Batteries
Inc. has a lot of replacement battery packs.
Vidtek Battery Canada has a
wide range of replacement batteries, including the Minolta A2 and the
Sony Clie PDAs
GoldPeak Batteries makes a lot of replacement battery
packs for digital cameras.
Delkin Devices also makes
batteries for cameras, including the NP-400 for the Minolta A2.
BatterySpace.com has a good
selection of batteries and chargers. They even have the hard to
find 9V lithium batteries that are great for smoke detectors. BatteryMart.com also has a good
Only Batteries has
a lot of rechargable batteries, including true C and D cells (i.e. not
the typical AA concealed in a C or D size housing).
 Ocean Brite
Wet Pixel, their report from the 2003
DEMA dive show has lots of underwater housings
and their baggie housings (Adorama
carries a lot of these). Phomage is the Canadian distributer, the D-A
and D-AX housings will fit the Minolta A1/A2 cameras.
through the eyes on a Nikon 990
CNet review on underwater housings for digital cameras
Shark diving in
seen through the eyes of a Canon D60 digital SLR
Steve's Digicams review of the SeaLife
ReefMaster DC100 underwater camera
Minolta appears to have an underwater
case for their DiMAGE X camera
A photo.net article on underwater
housings (Dec 2003)
has cost-effective housings for Nikon Coolpix 3100 and 2100 digicams
Capilo 400G Wide is water proof to 1m (which would be enough for
fooling around at the beach)
Aquapac makes underwater
plastic bag enclosures (similar to EWA-Marine). Mentioned by Popular
RuggedTech and AquapacCanada in
Canada carry these.
New algorithms and filters may
improve underwater photography
box from vacuumsaver.com
that might be useful for drying out cameras in damp environments
WPi, a 6M Pixel 3x optical zoom waterproof digicam
 Here's how to take pictures
from a toy balloon for about $50.
kite based photography
More on kite
photography from Slashdot
More on kite
photography from Engadget, this includes how to modify your camera
so it shoots a steady stream of pictures, one per second. Another article in
balloon aerial photography
Sending a 6M
pixel camera to 112000 feet and taking panoramas with it
3 balloon took a Nikon Coolpix P2 camera to 117597 feet while
taking 150 pictures. The balloon then burst and the camera was
returned to ground via parachute.  BH Photography, lots
of add on lenses and filters
Adorama, olympus OMB300
2x converter (55mm mount). I have ordered from Adorama (in Sept'04) and got good
service from them.
Netphotostore in NJ
Zreiss has Raynox
has quite a bit of digicam related stuff, and very good prices on
BP-511 replacement batteries
Vintage Visuals is a
used equipement specialist n Calgary, Canada
a photographic equipment retailler (camera store) based in London UK.
Looks like they have a Nikon focus.
has portable image storage and display solutions, including an 8 inch
digital picture frame.  DC320
(not from Kodak), also OEM'd by Aiptek.
JAMCAM from KB Gear
e-cam from Vivitar
Traveler from Logitech.
from Philips (does up to 800x600)
300 also works as a web cam
SiPix makes some small, and
camera which might be suitable for kids
Digital from Logitech might fit in this category (with a true
resolution of 640x480 and a storage capacity of about 50 images and just single
The Inquirer reviews
the Umax Astrapix
550, which is a true 2MPixel fixed focal length camera for about
£46.99 in the UK. It takes CompactFlash cards, has an MP3 player
built in and can even shoot video and act as a voice recorder.
reviews the Visioneer MX-200 2MPixel camera, this is available from
Toys 'R' Us in the UK for £39.99. The Mercury Cyberpix S-30 and Mercury Slim Cam
II, also 2MPixel cameras are reviewed here
Wearable Digital camera might be a suitable camera for kids, its
only 640x480 and fixed focus.
unit based on SMaL Camera
 Some small
flowers, and some
Example of infra
red photography. And another comparison to the Canon G1 here.
Using the Olympus
Problem with the A2's 4-way
controller buttons stopping working
and the Minolta MRW raw format files
car spotted in Rome (shot with a Canon G1)
of focus problem with the A2, using v1.10 firmware
on hacking the Minolta A2 firmware
on image noise reduction software.
Some cows and a grizzly
bear in Kanaskis Country (near Calgary)
and slow speed water at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park
about which DVD slide show creation software to try
ISO 3200 on the Minolta A2
of rust, a thread on the A2 discussion forum
Some photos of Nose
Hill Park, in the north of Calgary
Valley Provincial Park, About 80km west of Calgary, Alberta
How to turn a small radio-controlled toy car into a remote
control for your A2 (or A1 or perhaps the 7 series)
Comparison of the Minolta A2 and
the street, June 2004
 The Networked Media Tank from Syabas has HDMI, composite and component outputs at up to 1080p, can display media that is hosted on a PC (through a LAN connection) and also can display media from a built in (optional) hard drive. It also has a number of media server functions that are activated when the hard drive is installed.  PyWPS is a Python implementation of GRASS, the Geographic Resources Analysis Support System that is used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics/maps production, spatial modeling, and visualization.  How to use the Python zipfile module. Another article showing how to use zipfile.    How Iron Python interacts with overloaded C# methods.  Face
Recognition software in use, reported by the Register
, and here
too, now in use in Florida
too, and now in Tampa
too. And the first case of mistaken
identity . Now the RAND
think tank is in favour of its use on a broad scale. Now Borders
is going to use it in their stores to identify known shoplifters. And a
few days later Borders
has decided not to invoke Big Brother. Now the Register
reports that these systems are nearly useless. The ACLU has finally
spoken on this subject. And this report
states that it has not proven to be reliable at the Palm
Beach International airport. But the Statue
of Liberty is going to give it a try next.
MPEG-7 standard will include face recognition sotware
Next the Feds are extending profiling
of airline passengers, gathering data on individual habbits and
looking for out-of-the-norm activity
Spy tells all
there's the eye on Britain
brother at waldomart? And in casinos
too... and at a personal
, someone's listening... Here's some more information on this from Mitnick's
testimony on telephone security.
analysis of the web
of trust for PGP/GPG
public key cryptography algorithm
the new standard that replaces the aged DES
is going to watch you blush, this way airport security can tell if
you are lying... 75% of the time.
in the sky the one strange case of hacking
satellite TV signals and the smart cards that enable an industry
video cameras, like the X10 system, can be intercepted
forensics, an article on snooping
a good year to be a microbiologist, they are dropping like flies.
Times debunks this.
Packet sniffing mayhem
with EtherPEG and Driftnet.
Windows 2000/XP logins
SRV-1 robot can crawl around your home taking pictures
Bruce Schneier looks at perceived and actual risks, discussed
verifiable elections with cryptography, a new protocol that
approaches this issue as a secret-sharing problem.
The new RFID-chip equipped passport systems look like being
mess.  NASA TV, TV
for the really bored
Science what happens when Junk Yard wars meets Survivor
Detectives a wonderful British police
is a quirky commedy that never ran its full season (like FireFly). The star, Tony
Shalhoub, also has the lead role as a rather mad detective in Monk.
quite a good police drama show about the British customs and excise
department. Thief Takers
is another British crime drama show.
The short lived Serenity series is going to the big screen
Sept'05, here is the trailer
is opening its TV archive to remixers
in Dec'06 the BBC announced
that is going to make some programs available for free download
Warner is looking at releasing some classic
TV shows for free viewing over the internet (paid for by 2 minutes
of commercial breaks every 1/2 hour)
The Space Channel
Making sense of the brave new world of digital
StarTrek Enterprise, is pretty good Trek, here is an episode guide
Battlestar Galactica (the new series) episode
guide, another guide
that prints a bit better.
Coupling (a BBC sit com that knocks the skirts of Sex in
the City) episode guide
The Vicar of Dibley,
a great show with Dawn French, who also did a great job in Murder Most Horrid,
which aired in four seasons
Doctor Who, the Wikipedia episode
discusses the tech scene in Canada
from ITV in the UK is a pretty good spin on the "dinosaurs invade
Britian" theme, and it has got a nice twist right at the end. The list of episodes.
for Dummies, Steve Holzner, ISBN: 0-471-78597-0.
At about 350 pages this is not your typical massive web tome, but its
quite good and is fairly self-contained. It has a reasonable review of
the browser DOM and highlights the key points. It talks about XML,
initially this is kept brief enough to get you formatting the data to
be returned from the server and parsing it in the browser, later it is
discussed at some length. It spends about a quarter of the book
reviewing some of the available client and server frameworks, so if you
are thinking of taking that road it might be worth getting just for
|Season six, more farce.
The Allo' Allo' series is great source of cheap laughs.
Wikipedia has an
 WinBook makes a very reasonably priced 30 inch LCD TV
BenQ has announced LCD-TVs with
built in network connections to allow display of content direct
from your computer LAN
The Yamaha YSP-800 Digital Sound
In Aug'05 Dell announced their 5100MP, a
high-end SXGA+ (1400x1050 with a 2500:1 contrast ratio) projector, with
all the video ports one is likely to need for home theater use
Samsung has produced a 40in OLED TV
(also mentioned here), not
that it will ever make it to North America. One wonders what's
happened to all the OLED displays that are in the range of 4-39 inches,
seems like no one has bothered with OLEDs for that market yet.
to ship the first 50in SED based TV in March 2006, apparently these
have a 100,000:1 contrast ratio.
Acer will be entering the US
market for big screen LCD displays in 2006, apparently they are
already using Canada as a market test site.
Sharp has announced
their new range of LCD TVs for 2006, very nice, but still way too
pricey, looks like they are keeping thier sets in the same price range
as 2005 and trying to justify this by making them all 1080p capable.
Someday all displays will be like this,
only much less expensive. 102inches of special holographic film covered
glass acting as a projection screen
720p is less than 720p
Dell's new (Oct'05) 37 inch LCD, W3706MC
HD projector does 1280x768
Engadget asks what's the best
Engadget has seen
the light, and its SED, apparently 2006 will see the first SED
technology based displays and the current demonstrations are very good.
Do it your self video
scaling and de-interlacing
display technology sounds like it could be very good
Looks like early
HDTV sets may only be able to display HD DVD at 1/4 of the full
is entering the large screen market (Mar'06)
VSX-516 receiver includes the ability to play digital audio files
from a USB interface
Yamaha is upgrading their Digital Sound Projector, to the new YPS-1100.  Toshiba's RC-XS54 has
250GB of storage and network connectivity which is strangely crippled
(they won't let you copy from a PC onto the DVR, but will go the other
player from Conceptronic is like a portable USB drive with video
The Panasonic DMR-E85H is quite a nice DVR, it has a 120GB drive
and the TV Guide on-screen function (which works quite well). It looks
like this was available in the 2003-2005 timeframe and has been
replaced by some other models. From time to time it will "crash" (for
me this ocasionally happens when I insert a blank DVD-R to do some
dubbing, maybe about once a month), sometimes when it crashes it looses
the contents of the TV Guide memory buffer, so you may have to wait for
a day or two before the TV Guide is available again. A number of people
have reported U99 errors (especially with use of the divide function),
I've only seen this problem once. See this artical for some
discussion of the U99 issue, including a remark about the owner having
put a 160GB drive into the DVR, but the DVR only used the first 120GB
of it (maybe it would be possible to remove the drive after it has been
formatted and then extend the partition?), there is also discussion of
some additional hidden menus. The AVS
Forum also has some
postings on these subjects. There is also some information
on the forums at afterdawn.com.
The Toshiba RD-XS34
(replaced by the RD-XS35)
has 160GB of storage and is quite a nice unit. It is missing a few
features the Panasonic DMR-E85H has, the main one being that when you
are in a contents view mode (where there are a number of thumbnails
representing individual shows or chapters) these are just static images
on the Toshiba, while on the Panasonic these actually will show the
video. The Toshiba does have one major advantage in that if the unit is
recording and you go to watch another previously recorded show at the
same time, the Toshiba will let you set chapter marks in this show, but
the Panasonic will not.
to build a practical home theater PC
Pioneer (Mar'06) is launching some PVRs with the ability to add extra
hard drives via USB ports.
Hardware compares MythTV to Windows Media Edition
Buffalo is making the PC-MV72DX/U2,
which is a video capture and playback device that includes a TV Tuner.
This does not have internal storage, it can be attached to a PC or a
NAS device to make a full-blown PVR.
 The Sony e-Book Reader PRS-505 is shipping now.  Public
Information Servers, an idea for small WiFi-based servers to
provide information at train stations and airports and other public
Write your own Web
Server in Java
Apache, probably the
number one in the world, and news about it at www.apacheweek.com.
How to enable
HTTPS for Apache
the encryption from the key files for Apache SSL certificates so
the server will start without prompting for a password.
review of: Hardening
Apache, by Tony Mobiliy, ISBN: 1590593782
A Slashdot review of Apache
Cookbook, by Ken Coar & Rich Bowen, ISBN 0596001916
Web Pages That Suck is a
site that focuses on teaching better web page design through commenting
on poor web pages. The Worlds Worst Web
is a similar idea
CAcert, is digital certificate
authority for the free community, it is discussed here
on Slashdot. More on the Free
SSL Certificate project from StartCom
TinyUrl is a system for making little
URLs out of great big ones
Reducing the length
of Amazon.com URLs
THR33, connects any digital property's
audience to its author's PayPal account
wisdom to work through prediction markets
is being compared to the Encyclopedia Britanica these days.
Commons site is a central repository for media used in Wikimedia
Tapestry is a Java-based framework for rapid
web development from IBM
makes mention of the Tradebit
service (to handle PayPal
transactions and product downloads)
The inventor of VisiCalc is working on WikiCalc
- a collaborative spreadsheet system
 On demand print publication from Lulu.
Might be a good place to go if you want to self-publish something. At least one person has used this service and appears pleased with it. Swaroop has used Lulu to publish: A Byte of Python, he also mentions PediaPress and some difficulty using Amazon's CreateSpace to do the same thing. Looks like Lulu is going to the DRM dogs and raising fees. One user of the Lulu service writes about his experience using it to self-publish a book on physics.
Pound is a
and load-balancer that sits between the external web clients and a set
of web servers. It also has the ability to decrypt HTTPS requests from
clients and turn them into plain HTTP requests of the servers.
Rise of Crowdsourcing, a look at tapping the mass-intellegence of
the world's web users
EBay is going to add context-sensitive
has listings of changes in domain registrations
a Python application to check websites and HTML documents for broken
In Aug'06 Amazon introduced their "rent-a-grid" virtual
computing cloud service
an on-line rent-a-database service
bugging, ways of getting fully automatic notification (sometimes
called web bugs) that the recipient
has received and opened your email. This was used
by HP in the infamous PattyMail case in mid-2006. Also a favorite
tool of email spammers to see if their spam is reaching a real person.
Mis-tracking web traffic
is the maximum response time that web surfers will tolerate
a secure authentication tag library, this provides a way for a web
server to provide secure account login facilities that can even be used
on browsers on untrustworthy PCs.
Building a web
spider and scrapers in Linux (using Ruby)
analyzes web server logs
10 Web "operating systems" reviewed,
an overview of what's now possible in the realm of web applications
Can a site disappear
a new (Jan'07) P2P file sharing system
Netvibes may be a
better way of delivering a user configurable web experience
Slashdot discusses Domain
Pipes from Yahoo, an
attempt to make the web programmable, discussed
here on Slashdot
A Slashdot book review of: The
Principles of Beautiful Web Design, by Jason Beaird, ISBN 0975841963.
Slashdot discusses re-selling
Testing a web server by fuzzing,
sending random input to look for weakness
a log analysis application from the Apache camp
is a Java based application that can be used to test web applications
by driving the IE and FireFox browsers.
is offering a new service that messes with the web browser's agent
string; and hence, causes intelligent web sites to deliver full sized
web pages rather than more suitable scaled down pages.
What one man would want in his perfect
A neat idea for visualizing
web server traffic. Presents it rather like an old 2D video game.  Slashdot discusses
the options for simple blog or photo archive type sites.
feeds are starting to become important
There is now a system to allow remixing
audio and video from other web servers on the fly
Blog content focused on high
More on the professional
Making a living through blogging
web search engines
Anonymous blogging techniques
Make a web site, get sued.
of various blog software platforms.
WordPress 2.0 (blogging software) has now
been released (Jan'06).
A Slashdot review of Wordpress
Complete, by Hasin Hayder, ISBN 1904811892
Thoughts on picking
a CMS - Content Management System to help with your web site
Akismet is a system to
identify and hence reject spam, focused on eliminating spam in blog
12 laws that Bloggers need to know, well in the USA at least.
In May'07 Sun announced JavaFX as
an alternative to AJAX, this leverages off the Java SE package and
sounds rather like a revisiting of the Applet idea.
discusses the legality of meta search engine mashups. How does
copyright apply to an aggregator type site?
released an online tool called Mash Maker that is supposed to
allow anyone to create mashups.
CAPTCHAs are the little images that contain some text that
the user must enter correctly to access a feature of a web site, these
are intended to prevent robots (especially spam droids) from gaining
access. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon are using these to digitize old
texts now.  Slashdot discusses
sources of SSL certificates
EVL1Servers is a reseller
certificates, as is Simple-SSL.com.
offers server certificates from about $15/yr, they also have a 30-day
free trial, so you can figure out how to fill in the details correctly.
They claim their certificates will be trusted
by over 99% of browsers.
At the start of 2007 Extended
SSL Certificates started to appear
Jan-Piet Mens talks about CAcert
 StartCom is a Free
SSL Certificaiton Authority, they now have browser support from
Firefox, Safari and Konqueror. In March'08 they introduced enhanced services, including new features like: multiple domain names and name wild cards, and are rebranding to StartSSL.  Mozilla 1.2 based browsers (such as FireFox) are capable of
doing link prefetching (if the web page calls for it), here is how
to set this up. Discussed here
on Slashdot when Google started to support this.
Some notes on forcing
pages to reload, including tricking the server into thinking a
query is being done by appending a "?1" to the end of the URL (so the
browser does not end up using a cached version of the page when the
user follows the link).
A guide to FireFox
To see the environment information that your browser sends
to each web site you visit take a look at this site. There is
some more information on how this can be potentially abused here.  The Desktop
Search Tools Matrix
review of: Lucene
in Action, by Gospodnetic
and Hatcher, ISBN: 1932394281.
Lucene is an Apache project to
provide search engine technology.
 Swish-e is a Simple Web
Indexing System for Humans - Enhanced. This is an open source system
for indexing web pages and other documents with versions available for
UNIX and Windows. pyswish provides a Python interface to it.
SPyDI, is an
engine for the creation of full text indexing systems and search engines, it is
composed of a number of Python modules and applications.
Krugle, a search
engine to allow programmers to search open source code is due
to open in March'06  The HTTP1.0
draft discusses basic
authentication, and RFC2617 discusses digest authentication,
with some copies of the actual headers involved. RFC 1738 discusses
the syntax of Uniform Resource Locators (i.e. URLs). This article discusses
Another follow up to the issue
of logout. This article has a very good
discussion of the issues involved in implementing authentication.
Apparently this add-on
for Firefox adds the ability to logout (which is present in
versus Obscurity, a discussion on the use of salt. RFC 1867 talks about
the file upload ability that was added to html forms. RFC 2616 is a more
up to date HTTP specification.
 An article on favicon.ico files. The favicon.cc web app can be used to design favicons, it gets discussed here.
discusses the various MIME types (for the Content-Type attribute on
HTTP responses), this IANA site
lists more content types
see unipage.org, a system to encode
all content for a web page into a single HTML file, useful for saving
the file for simplified distribution
Information on web robots and the robots.txt file.
The Wikipedia entry for robots.txt. And an on-line
validator to check your robots.txt files.
(ISO8859-1) character set and the HTML 4.0 specification
 Facebook has released their network protocol library
which supports multiple languages (C++, Java, PHP, Python and Ruby).
Guide to HTML is quick and simple
A Slashdot book review of, Head
First HTML with CSS & XHTML, by Elisabeth and Eric Freeman,
A Slashdot book review of, CSS: The
Missing Manual, by David Sawyer McFarland, ISBN: 0596526873.  vpslink.com,
they offer a wide range of plans, the smallest having only 2G of
storage and only costing $8/month
a smaller provider with a competitive price and feature set, aimed at
the more experienced user and the only vendor that does not directly
charge if you use excessive bandwidth.
on Slashdot) they are the only ones to provide a Linux version with
GUI/X windows pre-installed (the comments in this
article mention this briefly). They use a different virtualization
Linux) than the rest appear to use, and are the only ones that
mention you can (space-permitting) install more than one version of
Linux at the same time in your account, and then reboot to switch
between them - which might be a good testing tool. A quick
review of Linode. Some scripts to help monitor
your bandwidth usage. Documentation on the screen package
that lish uses.
slicehost.com and redwoodvirtual.com also
provide VPS servers.
A quick guide to setting up a Scheme-based web server
has some plans with a different rate structure, their bandwidth limits
are higher but their disk space is lower.
Technologies is a hosting outfit in the UK that does Xen based
virtual private servers, their pricing structure is similar to the
US-based hosters except their bandwidth limits seem a bit lower.  Quantact offers VPS accounts, including a $9.99/month starter plan.  iDAQ offers both Linux and Windows based VPS solutions in the UK.  WingSix offers VPS accounts.  The success of a Canadian CO-OP ISP called Wireless Nomad, a lesson in competition for the Americans.   The FitPC a low-power design (drawing only 5W) gets reviewed here and discussed here on Slashdot. fit-PC has introduced another version, the fit-PC Slim which is available in a very small case (probably less than a bare 3.5 inch hard drive). This is priced from $220 to $335 depending on the options selected and the operating system. The new version gets reviewed here. A new version of this gets an Atom processor for a bit more speed. More details on the fit-PC2 here with pricing starting at $245 for a disk-less model.
 The Koolu is a tiny computer based on the AMD Geode processor and drawing about 5W of power. They offer two versions and the RAM and disk space can be changed. This gets reviewed by a new monk (his Shades of Renunciation: An Inventory of My Remaining Worldly Posessions is worth a read too) and found to be comparable to a 666MHz Pentium III in an older PC.
The decTOP is a very low cost, low power, computer.
Ewayco has a good selection of small, low-power, computer systems.  News of another process for making solar cells, presumably at lower cost, this involves dropping the molten silicon so that it forms small spheres (due to surface tension) and freezes while it falls.  Beating brownouts: building a super UPS discusses building a large capacity UPS out of an inverter. For about the $400 price this article quotes the Noma 1800W unit from Canadian Tire is claimed to be capable of providing a 200W load with power for about 2 hours.
 A potential blood test for Alzheimer's disease.  Beaming solar power from space in the form of microwaves has been talked about in the past for a long time, but now it seems to be getting more attention. The collection efficiency can be improved (versus land-based) because there are no losses due to clouds or atmospheric pollution and potentially a collector can be kept in full sunlight 24 hours a day (though this would mean it needs to transmit its output to different sites on earth as the world turns) the raw cost per watt would be less for space based collectors than ground based ones. Of course, that would get massively reversed once the cost of lifting the collectors into space is factored in.
|One of the best American
sit comms, pity the disks don't have much in the way of extras. TV.com
has a very good episode guide.
The real drive behind this might be the need for power in the military (though that does not make a lot of sense as the power will be off during the night, and the batteries the military would need to store power for use overnight would likely be bigger than the oil fueled generators they replace). It might be the military sees this as a way to get a new weapon in the sky, consider their recent work with the "pain ray", a microwave gun that causes intense pain by stimulating the nerves of the skin, perhaps such satellites (which use microwaves to relay their collected power to the ground) could do double duty and be used to cover large areas of a battlefield with pain rays, thus, knocking enemy troops out of action prior to an attack.  MiniVDS offers a number of VPS plans in the $6 to $20 range.  A new plastic that can be used as a membrane to allow CO2 to be extracted from air or water to be purified.  Now there seems to be doubt about computer use causing carpal tunnel syndrome. The real cause will probably prove to be excessive strain caused by lifting large lattes.  301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques, ISBN: 978-1598632040, is a book that describes how to get the most from your inkjet printer.
PCMag reviews the HP Photosmart A626 and the A826 inkjet printers.  ASUS has finally announced the specifications of the first Eee PC models to be shipped. The prices appear to be $245, $304, $335, $420 according to this site.  The MagicJack USB to phone to VoIP adapter is discussed along with the competing V Phone from Vonage.  boto, a Python interface to Amazon Web Services (S3, SQS, EC2 and the Mechanical Turk)
The UM150 EV-DO USB modem for wireless internet.  SanDisk is working hard at figuring out more ways to increase the demand for flash memory, their new TakeTV is an 8GB USB drive that enables video playback. Apparently it has a docking station that provides video output (though why you need such a bulky memory stick for this is still unclear - perhaps they have put the video chips into the same package as the flash drive rather than putting them into the docking station)? Engadget takes a more detailed look at it here. I think they are still missing the best market opportunities by not including support for hi-def playback and by not including support for playback on DVI-D LCD panels (then this could be used to make a large photo frame out of an LCD panel). Switched On discusses the TakeTV.
Well it didn't take long for this to die, it lasted from about 30-Oct-07 to 15-May-08. Let's hope SanDisk learned something here and come back to the table with something capable of playing HiDef.  Another review of th HP Photosmart A826.  The International Music Score Library Project has been hit by a copyright cease and desist. The Project Gutenberg site may be hosting some of this material while the IMSLP sorts out the legal issues.   It looks like the US FCC is trying to open up some of the new radio spectrums to allow the consumers who use it to have more choices in what hardware and applications they use on it. This is an interesting change from the past where the company that licensed the spectrum got to control everything, which led to a lot of the silly anti-competitive restrictions that exist today in the cell phone industry.
 Google has launched its own Facebook application.  Embedded Works makes a variety of wireless communications modules for all sorts of applications. They also have developer kits.   NayaCo specializes in the wedding album sector. They also offer digital printing and an album design service.  The Oriental Palace (near the Bow river in north west Calgary), here's
their take out menu: page1
 Saffron, Fine Indian Take Out, opened in north west Calgary in Nov'06,
in nearly the same spot that the "Palki" used to be. Their web
site is www.saffrontakeout.ca.
They are a true take out, you show up pick a few
dishes and they package it up and you go. Their menu has a different
set of 4 entrees per day along with a few dishes that are offered every
day. Some quite nice food. Their address is:
Dalbrent Professional Plaza  GreenChili is another Indian
restraunt in the north west part of Calgary (in the strip mall on the
east side of McMahon Stadium near Banff Trail C-Train station).
 Tumbleweed Bison,
is a buffalo farm near Calgary if your taste for meat extends beyond
beef.  The Surya Restaurant is East Indian (menu from fall 2007) and has a lunch time buffet that is quite good. It is located in the south west part of downtown Calgary across the intersection from the South West corner of the Calgary COOP on 11 Ave.  Hydraulic Analysis Limited does hydraulic studies for the oil and water transportation industries, using software developed by their subsidiary company Simulation Software Ltd.  Stepic, image steganography implemented in Python.  Thoughts on implementing ordered dictionaries in Python.  The Microsoft Mix UK conference included a talk on Iron Python called: Iron Python et al: Using Dynamic Languages in .Net and Silverlight.  The PyMOTW takes a look at the itertools module, this provides iterator functions for efficient looping.   Some observations on using Python to power the BeContrary web site.  cssutils a Cascading Style Sheets library for Python, for parsing and building of CSS.  earth_distance, is a collection of modules for working with points on a spherical object.   mercurial, is a source code management system designed for efficient handling of large distributed projects. This article has some speed comparisons between mercurial, git, bzr and darcs, it looks like mercurial and git are the fastest of the bunch with git having an advantage.  Soundsnap.com is a site dedicated to sound samples, animals, birds, noises, instruments and even button clicks.   IBM is researching the 60GHz band with the view to bringing a 100-fold increase in the speed of wireless communications.  XML to Python Data Structure, this allows an XML object to be easily accessed as a python object (with some minor limitations).    AMD's DTX and mini-DTX form factor have finally reached the public prototype stage, though progress seems pretty slow at 10 months from announcement to only a prototype shipping.  The Internet Archive has created a new project: the Open Content Alliance which will be scanning old books and making them freely available to the public, which is not what Google is doing with its scanning efforts.  Amazon's applying for yet another obvious patent, this time the idea that you can put a search string into a URL.  Google is starting to make IMAP available to GMail accounts.
Google has bought Jaiku, a micro-blog service.  If your Vista suddenly deactivates itself, perhaps you recently changed video cards or updated a device driver?  A study now shows that a recent reduction in violent crime in the USA is well correlated with the phasing out of leaded gasoline that started in 1973. The question is, will this be repeated for the UK and Australia who did not switch to unleaded until the 1980s? Is leaded gas still used else where, Africa perhaps?  SanDisk has launched a patent lawsuit against 25 companies relating to flash memory patents.  The GP-3 PC I/O Board Kit from AWC is a serial-interfaced, general-purpose IO controller, with 10-bit A/D input and PWM output.  Tern makes small programmable controllers, with options for flash card storage and ethernet.  Microsoft has had to pledge that it will not assert software patents in Europe as part of its anti-trust settlement in Europe.  Simulating a US flu pandemic.  The Asus Eee PC 701 gets reviewed by Laptop Mag, discussed here on Engadget. There's at least one 701 in the UK getting passed around the reviewers and its being received favorably. CNet's Rory Reid got his hands on it and quite liked it, a Slashdot discussion of this review revealed that ZDNet was to have reviewed the machine after CNet, but that CNet had messed it up by trying (and failing) to install XP on it. However, Rupert Goodwins the the ZDNet reviewer then fixed the problem by installing the new Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon release on it. Since the standard Ubuntu installed with only minor issues I'm guessing that this little laptop might receive a lot of attention from the Linux community which should be a good thing for it. There is also an unofficial Eee PC forum at www.eeeuser.com along with lots more news and some unofficial specs (like the VGA port supports up to 1600x1280). NewEgg appears to be the first to claim to have stock of these in the USA. Engadget has a round up of the latest post-release reviews. This review from Notebook Review is especially noteworthy has it includes instructions on dissecting your new laptop and also on upgrading the RAM to a maximum of 2GB.  Humanized has some interesting applications, including an application to allow embedding of LaTeX generated equations in other documents (including email) and Map Anywhere which allows you to embed Google maps in things.  Drawing pictures with only a single line, results in both some rather nice minimalist pieces as well as some amazingly detailed works. Perhaps there is an equivalent in literature: books written in a single sitting, or a single unedited first draft?  Why Prism might be better than Silverlight or Air. Prism may end up being a way to make desktop applications using web technologies.  A basic POP3 mail server written in Python, useful as a test platform.  pyodbc, an ODBC interface for Python.
ceodbc, an ODBC interface for Python.  gasp, (Graphics API for Students of Python). A library built on pygame that enables absolute beginners to write 1980's style
arcade games as an introduction to python.  The drug clavulanate when paired with penicillin family drugs can fight antibiotic resistant tuberculosis.  Ajax for media, a how-to from IBM's DeveloperWorks on showing movies and slide shows with AJAX.  Edmunds.com
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