Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Infrared Rays and et al

Links between infrared devices

Infrared data-link transmission occurs between two infrared devices. All transmissions over the link go from the primary (commanding) device to the secondary (receiving) device. The primary role is determined dynamically when a link is established and continues until the connection is closed. Any station that is capable can assume the primary role. When two computers are in range, either one can assume the primary role, so a user can initiate a data transfer on either computer. Some devices may only be capable of assuming the secondary role.

How an infrared connection is made

A device creates a link by automatically detecting the other or by a user request. The commanding station sends a connection request at 9,600 bits per second (bps) to the other device (including information such as an address, data rate, and other capabilities). The responding device assumes the secondary role and returns information that contains its address and capabilities. The primary and secondary stations then change the data rate and link parameters to the common set defined by the initial information transfer. Finally, the primary station sends data to the secondary station confirming the connection. The devices are then connected and begin data transfer under control of the primary device.

Multiple infrared connections

The Winsock API supports multiple simultaneous connections over a single IrDA link. This feature allows several different programs to use a single infrared device simultaneously. For example, you might place a portable computer within range of a desktop computer to simultaneously send and receive mail, update your calendar and contacts, and print deferred documents. Each activity can be controlled by a separate program on the laptop computer that locates and connects to its corresponding program on the desktop computer.

Multiple infrared devices

A single infrared device cannot link simultaneously with more than one other infrared device. However, you can install multiple infrared devices on a computer to provide simultaneous links to multiple infrared devices. For example, using separate infrared devices, a desktop computer can simultaneously print to an infrared port, communicate with a portable computer, and dial a network connection.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Media pools in context to Windows XP

Media pools

A media pool is a collection of tapes or disks to which the same management properties apply. All media in a Removable Storage system belong to a media pool, and each media pool holds only one type of media. Data management programs use media pools to gain access to specific tapes or disks within a library.

Using media pools, you can define properties that apply to a set of media. This is useful because Removable Storage allows multiple programs to share the same media within a single library. A library can include media from different media pools, each with different properties. A single media pool can span multiple libraries. You can also create hierarchies of media pools, or media pools that contain other media pools. For example, you can create a media pool for each specific media type required by a program, and then create another media pool that contains this collection of media pools. Media pools can contain either media or other media pools, but not both.

A Removable Storage system provides two classes of media pools: system and application.

System media pools include free media pools, unrecognized media pools, and import media pools. Removable Storage creates one free, one unrecognized, and one import media pool for each media type in your Removable Storage system. The system media pools are used to hold media that are not currently being used by an application.

Application media pools are created by data management programs such as Backup and Remote Storage (the latter for computers running Windows 2000 Server).

The different media pools are defined as follows:

  • Unrecognized media pools contain blank (new) media and media that Removable Storage does not recognize. You should immediately move a new tape or disk from an unrecognized media pool to a free media pool so that the tape or disk can be used by applications, or remove it from the library.

    Unrecognized media are automatically deleted from the Removable Storage database when they are ejected from a library.

  • Import media pools contain media that Removable Storage recognizes in the database but that have not been used before in a particular Removable Storage system. For example, media in an import media pool could be media from one office location that are introduced into a Removable Storage system at another office location.

    You can move media from import media pools to free media pools or application media pools so applications can use them.

  • Free media pools contain media that are not currently in use by applications and do not contain useful data. Media in free media pools are available for use by applications.

    Application media pools can be configured to automatically draw media from free media pools when there are not sufficient media available in a particular application media pool. If this configuration is not implemented, you must manually move media from a free media pool when needed.

  • Application media pools, created by data management applications (and by you), determine what media can be accessed by which applications.

    Media in an application media pool are controlled by that application or by an administrator. An application can use more than one media pool, and more than one application can share a single media pool. For example, Backup might use one media pool for full-backup and another media pool for incremental backup, each containing a different media type.

    There can be any number of application media pools in a Removable Storage system. Media that are currently reserved for use by an application, called allocated media, cannot be moved between media pools. Allocation controls how the media are used by applications.

Note: You can find this file at MIcrosoft Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bots, Crawlers and Spiders

Bots, Crawlers and Spiders, Oh my!
How search engines work...
By: David K. Every from www.igeek.com
 
Most people creating their own websites want their site to be at the top of the search engines response list when someone searches for a particular topic. While that isn't likely, there are things you can do to move up the priority list, and it is good to understand how these things work.

There is something referred to as a bot (robot), crawler or spider. Their purpose is to automatically surf the web. They go to every site, and try to follow every link they can find; then they crawl all over anything they can find there as well; hence the bug references. When you register your site with a search engine, that is all you are doing - telling their spider to start crawling your site; they will find you eventually, whether you register or not.

Search engines employ these (none-too-smart) automatons to look for anything new, and to create an "index" of what they find on each site. They keep a list of topics and key words, and they count them up. If each page on your site has the word "computer" in it, then they can "guesstimate" that your site has something to do with computers. Then when someone searches for the word "computer", they know that your site has something to do with that topic, and you should be in the list of 15,000+ sites that also refer to computers.

The problem is that there are so many sites and pages that have to do with every topic, that they also need to figure out who should be first on the list. They need to figure out popularity and give each site (or page) some relative weight, with the most massive sites showing up higher on the list.

If you want a lot of weight quickly, the search engines will let you rent it (a form of advertising); but most of us don't have the budgets to create that artificial weight, and must do it other ways.

Search engines can do little to figure out true "popularity" and how often people visit; they can't really snoop other people's sites and see who is visiting or how often, so they resort to less direct methods.

On the extreme high end, there is some ability to poll users and figure out where they are going; but you're not likely to show up in those, and we're not talking about creating a site for a company that can measurably effect the nations GDP; just a normal site.

One of the ways that search engines can guess at popularity is to just count links; they look at how many other sites are pointing to a page on your site, then they can rate how "popular" your site is. The more people that point to you, and the bigger they are, then the more valuable your information must be; and the more weight you get. So if you want to show up better on search engines, then you need to make web-friends and link to each other. Advertising banners on other sites (that have weight), don't hurt, since that adds some weight (links and readers); but the banner links stop when you stop advertising.

Another way is just based on how big your site is; if there are many articles on the site (a lot of "content"), that all have articles about the same subject, then you're probably getting visitors on that topic, and others would probably have interest as well.

In fact, content is often the secret to being a successful site. If you create or put up good information (content) on subjects that people have interest in, then you'll rank higher. You can go to other sites that have interest in that topic, and ask them to link to your articles. Others will link to them on their own. Either way, you'll be gaining readers, and "weight" as far as the search engines are concerned; which means others will find your site easier, and they'll be more likely to link to it; which adds even more to your weight. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, the more content you have, the more momentum you pick up, and then the more people notice you. Content and a little self-promotion go a long way in the popularity of a web site.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Programmer or Engineer?

Programmer or Engineer?
What's the difference?
By: David K. Every adapted from http://www.igeek.com/
 
Some people call themselves "Programmers" and others call themselves "Software Engineers". "Engineer" seems to have more prestige in our society, so more people try to call themselves Engineers (even if they aren't). Of course anybody can call themselves whatever they want -- so what people call themselves makes little difference; however, there is a distinct difference between the two.

In order to explain the differences, I have to caricaturize both to the extreme -- to contrast them. Realize that most people are a combination of both attributes -- but you can at least get some ideas on what to look for, if you know the extremes.

There are needs for both (engineers and programmers) - and different tasks require more of one or the other. Most tasks require only a few engineers and quite a few programmers. The problem is that many managers don't understand the difference, or hire the wrong ones for a job.

Programming is not hard - it is tedious. You need to be able to break complex things down, into a long series of simple steps. That is it. How you approach that problem will define whether you are a programmer or an engineer. So the biggest difference between the two is philosophical -- and like most philosophical differences, it can lead to tension. Arrogant types (on either side) can get into these little ego-driven superiority complexes that drive the other side nuts, and some pretend that the "others" are idiots. They aren't idiots -- they just have different goals, different motivations, and different philosophies.

Engineers are more experienced (mature (1)) than programmers (especially in software and design theory ), but that doesn't mean that they are who you need for a task (or that they are always better). Engineers are the "designers", the ones that have been around for years and understand lots of different concepts, or understand some specialties really well. Most of an engineers knowledge is NOT applicable to the task at hand directly, but they draw on their experience and education to solve major projects -- all while avoiding pitfalls. (In complex systems there are many pitfalls, and some can cost projects "years" and millions of dollars).

(1) Don't confuse age with maturity -- many people never grow up. Just because a guy is a 50 year old coder / programmer, doesn't mean he grew past the "hacker" phase - and there are quite a few 20 year old engineers. So look at their personality and philosophy, as well as their experience and education, to figure out which they are likely to be.


Engineers are the ones that want to (or at least understand the need to) design, document, create processes and procedures to avoid future problems. They want take a project from conception to completion (with all the steps in between). They tend to be more "anal" types, who want to focus on the details (in engineering the devil is in the details). Engineers are often more academics (will to do more research before attacking a problems). Engineers will know how to set schedules, and follow them. Inexperienced engineers greatest flaw is that they will sometimes "over-engineer" a solution, and try to solve things that may never be real problems (they will spend time and money solving issues that won't be a real problem for a decade, and then the technology or company goals will have changed enough that it wouldn't have been a problem anyway). Engineers are also the ones that slow a project down in the early phases (spending more time on research, design, analysis, documentation, and debate) in order to avoid potential pitfalls (and save time and money) in the later stages of a project. This is great for long term project costs (and you do get the time/money back) -- but we have a lot of short-term thinkers in society (and business). Engineers are the mature "plodders" who will get a project done and avoid surprises (by thinking them all out before they start) -- and they make sure that its design and documentation is such that a project will be maintainable. Long-term goals (thinkers) -- they do "useless" things like put in automated test code, create "coding standards", or want to do code-reviews (which often turn out to be good ideas in the long run). Most of the surprises (and costs) in software development is because there weren't enough engineers (or they weren't good enough engineers), or people weren't listening to them.

Programmers are more the down and dirty types. They used to be called "hackers", but that now has a new meaning (2). Now days they are more likely to refer to themselves as Coders or Code-Jockeys. Programmers don't have to know everything first, they just enjoy the thrill of solving the problems as they come. They are more the eccentric artists of the computer world. They often spend days without sleep and living on junk food and Mountain Dew, just "doing" -- Go, Go, Go! Of course, they often spend those weeks solving problems that have been solved before (if they had just read a book and researched the issues before hand) -- but sometimes (occasionally) they solve problems in whole new (and ingenuous) ways (and better than the canned solutions), or they solve problems that have never been solved before. They are the impetuous youths of the world -- that used energy and vigor to try compensate for a lack of experience and design (and they succeed). They don't know what they can't do, so they sometimes do the impossible.

(2) Hacking used to mean (in the 70's and early 80's) programmers who would dive into a problem (without documentation or a full understanding of the problem, etc.) and just program their way out. Not much thought went design (because they could think and implement faster than they could design). They didn't need "no stinking manuals", they didn't do documentation (the code was self-explanatory), they just solved problems their own way. However, that name took on a different connotation when many people with this "hacking" personality, started using that persistence to break security, or to figure out how to violate the phone company in 16 different ways. (This brute force thinking is great for breaking security). Now "hackers" refers to that small sub-set of hackers that are often doing criminal acts, like hacking into places (instead of hacking code).


Programmers will dive into something before they fully understand the ramifications, and will often cost companies lots of money because of that lack of experience (understanding), and the "mistakes" or wasted energy. Engineers like to say "Work smart, not hard". Many programmers love programming so much that they will work harder, just because they enjoy programming and don't like the other stuff (designing, documenting, supporting, adding in test code, marketing, corporate politics, most of humanity, etc.). Programmers don't tend to like schedules (those are for bean counters), and they will promise the world (and find out later than they can't deliver, or will kill themselves trying to deliver). The quality of their results is all over the board (from crappy to superb, often with elements of both) -- but usually, their products are usable, but maintainable only by them. When programmers leave a company that is programmer heavy (and they do), or they go on to the next new thing (which is always more exciting than what they are doing), it cost a fortune to ever fix or change that "old" product again (since no one understands what the hell is going on in their code, and there is no documentation or design to help)
 
Which do you need?
So which one (programmers or engineers) you need depends on the task. Ideally, you have a balance in a project; with a few engineers doing the architectural design of a project and giving some guidance and avoiding problems (and demanding documentation) -- and a few programmers, that are sent off in directions (under the control of engineers) to implement like crazy, and tenaciously solve the problems as they arise. Programmers are often spirited horses than need an experienced rider (Engineer) to control and guide them -- but once they are pointed in the right direction, man can they run. Engineers are often not the biggest code producers (quantity), or best debuggers -- they prefer to design out problems (and code) in the first place. The Engineers will be screaming "design, document, implement". The programmers will be screaming, "Stop talking about it! Lets CODE! CODE! CODE!".

You can imagine that it is hard to find individuals of one type that can tolerate the other type (or rarer to find people that are a good balance of both) -- it's sorta like congress. But if you do balance them, the results can be the best of both worlds. Sadly most companies don't have a balance. They get a leader of one type (or the other), who sees no value in the opposing style -- and so they drive all those that don't think like them out. Or more common, the company has no clue about the the differences and doesn't care -- so politics allows the same thing to happen. The results of either extreme can be ugly; however, too many engineers are just slow(er), too many programmers can kill a company or a product.

Startups and small companies often favor the hackers/programmers. These guys slap something together (quickly), and try to sell it. It often works (barely) so it sells in the first incarnation. Then they slap a few more features on, and it still sells. Then the lead-programmer leaves (they get bored doing the same thing for more than 2 years), and the project spirals into code-hell. No one can maintain the project, and the company won't invest the money to "redesign it". So they flounder around, trying to squash bugs, and every feature they add (or bug they fix) creates new bugs. They spend ten times the money (and time) trying to fix things as they did developing it in the first place, and they wont spend the time or money to do it right. If these companies are a sinking ship; they will hire bodies to bail water, yet they won't fix the leaks. Most companies are in this programmer-heavy mode -- and most will not engineer their way out (because they don't understand engineering). Instead, companies try to buy their way out of problems (with bodies) and hide the symptom, instead of allowing the product (and problems) to be fixed, which is usually getting some engineers and creating some process (and curing the disease).

The opposite of that extreme is companies that favor all engineers -- like Aerospace, Govt., some big Corporations. Of course part of that is because of the risks (and that many lives often hand in the balance of their designs). These guys design, document, argue, refine, go back to the start, over-engineer the heck out of something, and create something that would be a great product -- but will take 10 years to create. They process things to death, and require 27 forms to be filled out to use the restroom. That product will have wonderful architecture, that can last into the next century -- and they'll generate enough documentation to kill a forest, and the product will be so over-done that it will take 5 extra years before the computing-horsepower will catch up (or the price of computers comes down enough) so that the product will actually be viable. But these products often have a far longer life span, and can grow for a long time. Unless they were designed by a committee -- and then they will be as functional as a 2-legged table. Not to mention the fact that all the engineers in the world can not compensate for bad (stupid) requirements -- which causes a lot of friction between engineers and marketing (since both think they have all the answers, and neither do).
The Industry
Apple and Microsoft were "hacker" heavy in the 70's and 80's (though they got better over time). IBM was more the "over-engineering" strategy. It used to be joked that IBM's process consisted of "Ready.. Aim...Aim... Aim... Aim...", where as Apples' process was "Fire, Aim, Ready?" Microsoft would do neither, preferring to watch other marksmen shoot first - then they would just shoot the marksman with the best score, and then take credit for their work.

Some companies use a strategy that I call it "design by acquisition". Since they can't do it "right" themselves (because they don't understand engineering), they just buy-up whoever is beating them at the time, and then market the heck out of those products. They make half-hearted attempts to "fix things" on products that they have acquired, but often they only make subsequent versions worse and worse (more features and more bugs). Symantec and Novell have done this a few times. Many "market leaders" use this strategy as a way to compensate for the fact that they forgot what made them the leader in the first place -- so they just try to hang-on to their positions (so that Sr. Management can get their performance bonuses) without really gaining or losing market share -- but they seldom succeed for long. Usually, someone more adept comes along and "eats their lunch".
In general, I find most game companies (and most startups) are too hacker heavy (but that is changing). Aerospace is way too engineering heavy (compounded by bureaucracy). Big Business (Fortune500) is all over the place, but is usually mired in process, with politics (and who is doing what to whom) dictating one extreme or the other. Commercial Software is a little programmer heavy (but varies by company). BioMed was the best balance I've seen (but it may have just been the companies I dealt with). Companies all vary, and they vary over time (first making mistakes in one extreme and then the next) -- and it is rare to find a good balance, but it can exist in any industry.
The Conclusion
Remember, in the world, you often get what you pay for (and what you ask for).

If you want a hot-shot kid that can slap a together code for you in no time -- and they will do exactly that. You will pay for that decision for years (in maintenance) -- but you get a product in a fraction of the time.

If you put in the money and the time (and engineers), to design a product right, then you get something that will carry you far into the future -- but you have to hope that your competitors don't beat you to the punch (with hot-shot kids), and you need to make sure that you aren't trying to OVER-solve problems (and waste time/money).

The best of both worlds is to mix and match well. Put hot-shots on the short term stuff -- and then use that time advantage to do things right. (Parallel development). Or you can put both on the same projects (if they work well together) -- and have the engineers controlling the programmers (if they can do so without squashing them). Balance the two on projects so that the hot-shots are driving the engineers to implement faster, and the Engineers are slowing the programmers down (so that they realize what the long-term costs are for many of their decisions, minimize the risks, and so they can document as they go). Maturity and drive. Sometimes you can find individuals that are a good balance of both -- most people have their strengths and weaknesses and lean to one side or the other. Either way, understanding the differences and drives are the first step to making the right decisions. Hopefully this article gave you a better understanding of those things better.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why are there so few female geeks?

From:David K Every on www.igeek.com

 

Why are there so few female geeks?

Sexism is a part of life
     By: David K. Every

 

Some who don't know me might call me a sexist pig. Not because I think one gender is better than the other, I just think everything in life is about tradeoffs. Genders are not better or worse, but there are differences. I don't just mean different as in input vs. output, or physical differences, I mean that we are fundamentally different in how we behave, what motivates us, how we think, as well as how our environment effects (and changes) us. This helps explain why there are so few Female Geeks.

To understand people and genders, and what their fundamental goals are, you should observe children. Really, adults are just mature children, with better facades - but the motives and behaviors are still lurking just under the surface. Little girls want attention and to socialize; "look at me, look at me." Little boys want to be left alone to play with their toys, "stop interrupting, let me play." Girls do many things at once, and like play WITH others, and make sure that others are watching them do it. Boys are much more likely to compete with others, or play alone (doing one thing, focused with every ounce of attention they have). This causes all sorts of interesting learning experiences later on in life (like in marriage), but I think these core behaviors are what cause geek syndrome.

Take a pubescent boy (or man), with few social skills, and a drive (focus) to do something -- and throw in some raging testosterone to supercharge those drives. What is a boy going to do? The answer is that it doesn't really matter -- but he will focus on it, and put ALL his energy into it. Some boys will get into Girls (figuratively or literally), basically because they can -- often becoming dogs (trying to conquest as many girls they can), or becoming obsessive about one. However, most boys (and many people) are social outcasts, in their own minds, to some degree (for one of a thousand reasons). They are likely to pick a hobby, and focus on that. Some boys become car nuts -- and focus their energies on learning everything about cars, and fixing them up, repairing them, tweaking them, and so on. Others get into a sports, and drive themselves to know everything about that sport, or to be really good at playing it. Or they may even get into computers -- where, again, they drive themselves. They have to focus their drives somewhere! Computers are a great and productive outlet for that. But it is the drive (focus), to the detriment of all else, that makes boys different from Girls. Look, I know there are driven girls too, but they are just more rare and seldom go to the same extremes.

Women have this balance thing. They can actually hold a deep an intimate conversation with their spouse or friend, at the same time that they are watching Oprah, cooking a meal, and keeping an eye on the kids. Try THAT with a guy watching a sports-game. I go insane when my wife expects me to do that. Women can have a job, and leave it at the office at 5:00 p.m. - and go home and have another life. Men are more likely to define themselves by what they do; and take it with them everywhere. Males are more likely to learn something for the sake of knowing; but are much less able (or interested) in doing more than one thing at a time.

 

Cars as a metaphor for life

Look at the differences between cars in the lives of men and women.

Women see cars as a means. It is a tool for transportation, and little else. A way to get from point A to point B -- and maybe look good while doing it. You have someone fix it when it is broken, you enjoy it when you drive somewhere, and then you park it, and leave it behind.

Men (who get into cars) see the car as an ends (not just a means). The car is an anthropomorphism of everything that is him. Like a penis extension, it is the embodiment of his ego. He tweaks it, adorns it, plays with it, cares for it, drives it, and makes sure it is cooler or faster than anyone else's car. He learns about every part of it, for the sake of knowing. He competes with his friends over it. His persona is tied up in that interest. He often will relax by playing with his car (or driving), he will talk cars with his buddies. He will join car clubs, and build a circle of friends around the car (in extreme cases). His measurement of himself is often in that car, or his abilities, understanding, and shared interests about that car.

Now that obsession could be with motorcycles, sports, or computers -- that obsession is geek syndrome. It is influenced by testosterone, and it is also why there are few female geeks. Sure there are some, I've met and worked with a few. I've also dealt with many competent women engineers (2). But generally the balance in women is their shortcoming when it comes to being a geek. Having other interest, and a life, all works against them.

 

(2) Geeks are not always the best engineers. In fact, there are many important contributions made by non-geeks, and they are way under-appreciated in general. But living and breathing computers does help in having lots of esoteric knowledge that is occasionally important (or critical).
 



When I talk to Women Engineers, of which there are still too damn few of, it is far more common to find out that they may not even have a computer at home -- or if they do, that the computer will not HAVE to be the latest, hottest model on the block. (What's up with that?) In fact, they often don't spend all their spare time playing computer games, running web sites, or souping up their computer. Women have a security in themselves, stemming from the fact that they measure themselves as more than just their "job" or identity as a geek (3). Women often have social lives, have some sense of style (gasp), care about their appearance (can dress without mixing stripes and plaids), and can even interact with other human beings (who aren't geeks).

 

(3) Men often identify themselves as what they do (their jobs). So a guy IS a geek first -- especially when that is his career, and it is paying the bills. Women DO jobs -- they aren't their job. Women can often lose their identity with their homes (nests) or social positions, and, of course, Women have whole boatloads of insecurities of their own (closets full) -- especially around their appearances. But job-individuality blurring is usually not one of their more common insecurities -- or not to the degree of most men.
 



There is the really sexist observation that Women are still the "nesters" in our society (on average). Men are more likely to see their duty as the job (paycheck) -- and focus accordingly. As sexist as it is, Women are more likely to either quit their job to have kids, or stay home with them when they are sick, or take care of the house, and nurture and nest. We can say that men don't contribute as much, or slack their home and family duties (in some cases) for their career (or hobbies). But Women's having their priorities straight can work against them when compared to men in geekiness and drive. Sometimes pay is reflective of that phenomenon (and others).

Of course there are many other contributing factors. Many girls veer away from math and logic studies early on -- because they find it disinteresting, and society encourages that disinterest in our girls. Even when Women do get into Computers or Engineering, they are often more likely to seek careers in the more social areas (management, sales, marketing, QA, teaching, and so on). So Women are often not encouraged, and not prepared to become geeks. The drive to solve puzzles just because they are there, the blind focus to the detriment of everything else in their lives, the competition of learning something for the sake of being able to "one up" your friends -- it is just not "natural" for most Women.

 

I am discussing what is "normal" or the default behavior. We are sentient beings, and can overcome our shortcomings or our natures. Women and Girls can learn "drive" - Men can learn "Balance". These behaviors are just the "most likely" thing that will happen, if we don't actively watch and change ourselves. They are not the only choices we have.
 
 
 
Conclusion
 
Stereotypes are over generalizations; they apply only statistically to groups and you should not assume that individuals fit into their stereotypes. There are always exceptions to every rule, so judging an individual by their group, guarantees that you will be wrong (at least some of the time). Not to mention that most stereotypes are often somewhat malicious characterizations. In case I am not being clear, "there are women geeks, they are capable of being geeks - there are just a lot fewer of them than men."

So basically the differences between men and women socially, are what makes the differences in the computer world. There is probably a 4:1 ratio of men to women (at least), because men are competing with others (or themselves). The computer (and their knowledge of it) is their identity (of sorts). So men read computer books for the sake of knowing. They soup up their computers because they can. They learn how to configure machines for the sake of knowledge. They play games for the conquest, and program for the conquest of the problems. They confuse ego (self) and machine (and knowledge of it) -- and this drive turns them into geeks. I know -- my name is Dave, and I'm a (recovering?) geek

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Uncertainty principle from analogical classical wave frequency

Uncertainty principle from analogical classical wave frequency

Let f1 and f2 be two frequencies which differ by Δf when measured over Δt.
Observing time for a beat is thus, 1/Δf second.

A single beat may certainly be observed for Δt/Δf,
this implies that ΔtΔf ≥ 1.

Presume the distance traveled by the wave in time Δt be Δx = v Δt
this leads to Δx ≥ v/Δf.

From     f = v/λ
ie           

or                 

Thus,     Δx Δλ ≥ λ2
When λ is measured over distance Δx, the wavelength is uncertain by Δλ.

Also from relation of momentum and wavelength,
                λ = h/p

ie           

or            Δλ =  Δp

or            Δx  Δp ≥ λ2

or            Δx h Δp ≥

Thus,     Δx Δp ≥ h

This leads to yet another interesting and significant deduction that since energy is associated with frequency, the frequency uncertainty leads to energy uncertainty.

Further,

ΔE = h Δf

But,

                Δf Δt ≥ 1
                Δf ≥

So,

                ΔE ≥

ie            ΔE Δt  ≥ h

Therefore, a particle having an energy E for a time interval Δt will have its energy uncertain by ΔE. This also proves the analogy of the classical wave mechanics with the uncertainty principle.

 

EkendraLamsal.com, mail@EkendraLamsal.com

Windows XP Recall

It has come to our attention that a few copies of the Alabama edition of Windows XP may have accidentally been shipped outside Alabama.
If you have one of the Alabama editions you may need some help understanding the commands.

The Alabama edition may be recognized by looking at the opening screen.
It reads WINDERS XP with a background picture of the General Lee superimposed on a Confederate flag.
It is shipped with a Daisy Duke screen saver.
Also note the Recycle Bin is labelled Outhouse,
My Computer is called This Infernal Contraption, My Network Places is called Good Ol' Boys, Control Panel is known as the Dern Dashboard,
Hard Drive is referred to as 4 wheel drive, and floppies are them little ole plastic disc thangs.
The largest collection of jokes on the Blogger.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Bluetooth device connections are slow or stop working

Bluetooth device connections are slow or stop working

If your Bluetooth devices are slow or stop working, check the following:

  • Are the devices the correct distance apart? The devices could be at the edge of their range or too close to each other. Move the devices closer together. If that does not work, move the devices farther apart. Also, read the documentation for the device to determine the correct the transmission range.
  • Is one of the devices too busy? For example, other programs might be connecting to the printer, preventing this connection. To reduce the number of connections, set your other devices so that they are not discoverable.
  • Are other devices interfering? The Bluetooth radio frequency is 2.4 gigahertz (GHz). Other devices might be in the same frequency range as your Bluetooth devices. These can include:
    • Cordless telephones that use the 2.4 GHz range
    • Microwave ovens
    • X10 devices, such as those that control automatic lighting and universal remote controls
    • Wireless networks using the 802.11 standard (also called Wi-Fi networks)

      If you think this is the problem, try moving your Bluetooth device farther from the source of interference.

    If your Bluetooth keyboard or mouse does not work, try the following:

    1. Connect a wired keyboard or mouse to your computer.
    2. Open Bluetooth Devices in Control Panel.
    3. Click the Bluetooth device that is not responding, and then click Remove.
    4. Click Add, select the My device is set up and ready to be found check box, and then click Next. If the device is not found, click Search Again.
    5. When the device is found, select it, and then click Next.
    6. If the device is a keyboard, exchange passkeys with the keyboard.
    7. If the device is a mouse, click Don't use a passkey.
    8. Follow the rest of the instructions in the wizard.

Security might have been reset on either device. This is especially common with keyboards and mice. Other devices can have similar problems and might need to be reinstalled.

An anti-crash course for comp-lovers!

An anti-crash course for comp-lovers!

- E Lamsal

 

In most of the personal computers in the world today, Microsoft Windows works as the operating system. Despite being user-friendly, however, this OS is is very delicate and crashes frequently in absence the right conditions. If you are tired of frequent crashing of your comp, please abide by the following tips.

  • If any program or font is not working properly then reboot the comp. Most errors are temporary which occur due to running of different programs at a time. Soon rebooting, they can be corrected as you reload the program.
  • If you have problems after installing special software, then you need to uninstall and check for normal operations to identify whether the software has caused problems.
  • To know whether all the system files of Windows are present or not, use system file checker [ie C:\\windows\command\ebd] to see the presence of system files needed by the operating system. This will again place those files in the required places where they should be and those files that are corrupted are shown.
  • If you have changed your mouse, or sound card or have installed any other hardware then uninstall it and see what happens. Next, from the comp seller or hardware manufacture, get the most appropriate hardware [driver]. Ask him whether the new hardware is compatible with your old hardware or not.
  • While starting, if any error message regarding device failure appears, then all you have to do is press F8 key while restarting the computer in the safe mode. Then go to start>settings>control panel>system>hardware and opt for device manager to see if there are any duplicate devices. If so then clear the duplicate device and reboot.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Inventions Bound to Fail

*The water-proof towel

*Glow in the dark sunglasses

*Solar powered flashlights

*Submarine screen doors

*A book on how to read

*Inflatable dart boards

*A dictionary index

*Dehydrated water - Just add water

*Waterproof tea bags

*The helicopter ejector seat

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Innovative building technology for better environment

Innovative building technology for better environment
 
With growing population, the construction sector is booming in the urban and semi-urban areas of Nepal. However, production of building materials is an energy consuming process, which is is also expensive.

Even with high costs, the prevailing construction techniques and building material production sectors are not utilising efficient, economic techniques. Taking these concerns into consideration, Skat (Swiss Resource Centre and Consultancies for Development) has come up with an innovative approach to reduce energy and cost required in the construction sector through the introduction of the CESEF methodology, which aims to introduce and consolidate sustainable building practices.
CESEF stands for — Cost Effective (as it is affordable to all), Social Friendly (as it creates job), Environment Friendly (as it saves energy and preserves environment).
Implemented under VSBK Clean Building Technologies, Nepal, the programme is funded by SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) and is working in collaboration with DCSI (Department of Cottage and Small Industry). Taking in account the considerable amount of cement used, which is a high energy consuming raw material and equally expensive, CESEF track has been promoting cement-based building materials with CESEF criteria.

The main challenge for the programme is the reduction of embodied energy (consumption of energy) without compromising on the quality of the product and building structure including the generation of livelihood, social uplift of workers, development of new skill, increment in entrepreneurs' profit, and boost to the local economy, thus touching every concerned part of socio-techno aspect.

"The expected result of phase-I of the CESEF programme is to provide access to field-tested building technology packages that confirm to CESEF criteria for small/medium enterprises (SMEs)," said Heini Muller, senior technical advisor of CESEF Programme. "CESEF cement-based building materials like hollow blocks, pre-cast concrete door/window frames, MCR tiles and other fundamental designs and brick bonding concepts in the building helps save 20 per cent of energy and cost if produced and applied through best practices in the construction sector."

The CESEF track strategies are directed by the principle of the 'Sustainability Manadala', which takes into account four fields namely — environment, social, economic and institutions in a balanced manner. It contributes to equity through improvement of livelihood of workers, involvement of SMEs, business approach for economical sustainability, influences the legal framework and anchors better know-how and skills within the existing organisations/institutions.

The CESEF programme is strengthening the existing system of construction sector's key stakeholders to commercially disseminate and implement building materials and techniques that confirm to CESEF-principles.

"For this, the programme team has been providing training and technical support to stakeholders, creating public awareness at local level and established partnership with SMEs," said Jenish Joshi, CESEF coordinator at VSBK Programme. "It works with a participatory approach to promote entrepreneurs through applied research and development, optimising the production technologies and practices."

Nawalparasi, Rupandehi and Kapilvastu districts were selected as an intervention areas during the introduction stage of this programme mainly because entrepreneurs over there showed keen interest in new technology and were ready to try it out. The other associated factors were availability of raw materials in abundance and also a potential market for innovative building materials/techniques.

"Nepal has a huge potential to improve on existing and introduce new, regionally proven construction technologies/materials mainly because the necessary raw materials are locally available. The production and application skills are easy to learn, and most importantly, there is a huge demand for affordable building material and technology," said Muller.

Nevertheless, the potential for job opportunities and affordability in these building materials and technologies must be well-planned and implemented. The related stakeholders and entrepreneurs should give special emphasis on quality and its application for marketing and its wider acceptance. The only requirement is to establish it through proper know how, best practices and demonstration.

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