very, very old school

Mac OS 7.5.5 Notepad

As I appear to have broken Catherine‘s ability to play Crystal Quest by upgrading her eMac to 10.3.9, I need to find an alternative way to run it. I remember running Basilisk II years ago on a very old Linux box — indeed, my ancient instructions are still here: archive.org :: Installing Mac OS 7.5.3 under Basilisk II on Linux, and quite amazingly, are still useful.

I found the following helpful to get it going under OS X:

see, I told you ages ago

Trendy roof turbines are not as green as they look says The Observer. <smugness/>
Paul Gipe has some thoughts on this:

The last one has a couple of pictures I took when we were in Scotland.

mame is lame

I suddenly got a retrogaming jones on, and had a strong need to play Robotron. So I downloaded MAME and some ROMs, but no dice — every archive was missing files. Seems that to get the few games I need, I have to download a 16GB torrent of ever game that MAME supports.

My arcade game sensors withered about 18 years ago, so nothing past about 1988 registers with me. You could probably fit every pre-’88 ROM onto a couple of floppies. And it’s not like I’m not allowed to play the ancient Williams games; I have the Arcade Classics CD somewhere which has the games in licensed (but MAME-incompatible) form.

drinking with the wind

I didn’t go to the AWEA banquet last night, but did sneak into the GE Wind event (to which I was semi-invited) at the Andy Warhol Museum, and then on to the Clipper event (to which I definitely wasn’t) at the insanely ornate Heinz Hall. I guess you could say that place amounted to a hill of beans.
Caught up with Norman & David Surplus of B9, whom I last saw more than a decade ago. As there was free drink, I am slightly fragile this morning.

And so to pack …

in Aalborg

I like Aalborg. I think we’re staying in exactly the same hotel (the Scandic) as I stayed in 10 years ago with RES. We’re going to see some really big wind turbines tomorrow.

Oh, and the Google Maps locations I picked off for this hotel are pretty darn accurate; the one I double-clicked on for this hotel is less than 50m from my room. I like.

Happy Nuke Day!

Yup, Chernobyl was 20 years ago. Let’s just have a wee pause for a technology that’s still messing us up, yet we’re told it’s the green technology of the future. Yeah, and I bet it’ll be too cheap to meter, too.
There are still farms in Scotland affected by the fallout from Chernobyl. Though, what with all the nuke plants in Scotland, it could be any one of them that’s the real culprit.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a wind farm to survey …

I’m going in a field …

… To survey.

It’s lovely weather for it. Just a few weeks ago, it was bitter up here.

Strange coincidence: one of the surveyors, Joy, knows our friends the Bowyers.

Chicken Payback

I had the misfortune to have a Swiss Chalet lunch near an argument. It was actually more of a harangue since it was very one-sided, and I was on the verge of getting up to tell the antagonist to shut up.

I don’t know the relationship, but it was an older guy and a younger woman, possibly his daughter. He was going on and on about how she was cutting work to go to the gym, how she was being paid for working 37.5 hours a week but was only working 35, did she feel good about stealing from the company, it didn’t matter if she got the work dones, she was paid to be there, her a manager too, etc, etc.

What was particularly pathetic was that he only ever gave her a couple of seconds to answer before launching another tirade. I think she maybe said about 10 words in a fifteen minute period.

I suspect he thought he was making a good point, but he was just coming across as a complete dork. And he was putting me off my food, too.

we’re shite and we … invented the modern world

(a rant for St Andrew’s Day)

It must have been great to be part of the Scottish Enlightenment. This wee country seemed to blossom, from a muddy backwater to a world leader in economics, philosophy, mathematics and engineering.

And yet, for the average Scot, all that was a long time ago. All it seems we can manage now is to churn out neds by the million. So how did we get from the place described (rather breathlessly) in Arthur Herman’s How The Scots Invented The Modern World to the place where the football fans chant “We’re Shite, And We Know We Are.“?

Urban disenfranchisement of the formerly agrarian workforce, perhaps? Who can say. We even chose the darkest, grimmest part of the year for our national day (hint: St Jean-Baptiste would make a smashing national day …). So, have a happy St Andy’s, get properly munted, and wha’s like us, eh?

all around the lakes

Had an impromptu visit to Port Burwell today to fix a cranky cell modem. It was also my first experience of driving a stick shift — and not just any stick shift, one with 400Kclicks on it — on the wrong side of the road. It was weird, but since I neither wrecked the car nor hit anything, I think I got the hang of it.

Anyway, no trip to Burwell is complete without a visit to the Lighthouse Restaurant for fresh fried lake perch. While I was there, I got chatting to a couple from Chicago who were working on their plan to cycle round a Great lake each summer. By doing this, they were hoping to appreciate the scale of these huge bodies of water. Neat plan.

One day, when I’m a Celebrity Windfarm Designer with my own television show, I’ll take a summer off to go round Lake Erie.

Quigmans.com

Long ago, Quigmans.com used to be the web home for The Quigmans, a comic of slightly higher than usual amusement.

But now it’s not. It’s about The Quigmans, but not in a way you’d expect.

Massive Yawn

I went to Bruce Mau‘s Massive Change exhibit at the AGO on Sunday. Mistake.

My defining experience of the show wasn’t actually meant to be part of the exhibit. In the ‘Massive Café’, there were vacuum-flask coffee dispensers. If you put your cup in the round cup guide, the dispensed coffee missed the cup. They had been set up wrongly, and like the rest of the show, it was half-assed and missed the mark.

The energy section was a joke. Dominating the room was some awful hybrid vertical-axis wind turbine, with both a Savonius rotor and an aerofoil at the edge. That would be like yoking a cart horse to a thoroughbred; neither would work well together. The tiny generator at the bottom was an indication of the measly amount of power they expected to get out. The rest of the room was the usual gee-whiz “Hydrogen and Stirling Engines will Save The World!” stuff. Z.

The Transportation room was equally amusing. Three of the personal vehicles featured have been less than successful: the Myers Sparrow (whose previous incarnation, the Corbin Sparrow, went bankrupt), the Twike (again, reported to have gone into receivership), and best of all, the Sinclair C5. If you’re from the UK, and about my age, you’ll remember the C5 as a total sales, marketing and design disaster. Sir Clive Sinclair, who could previously do no wrong, became a laughing-stock because of it.

Also in the transport section, they featured a bike rickshaw and a bicycle stretcher-bearer. It was fairly obvious that these bikes were based on 19th century technology, as they were heavy roadsters, possibly even sensible bicycles. And this is massive how?

The ‘Massive Thinkers’ gallery featured such luminaries as Sam Walton. And selling cheap crap is massive how? Massive parking lots?

There were also numerous typos in the signage. C’mon guys, get a Massive Spelling Checker!

In the Transport section, they could have featured transit systems, and perhaps featured HPVs from Brompton (inter-modal folding goodness), Moulton (wee wheels and spaceframes), Leitra (fully-enclosed velomobiles) and HP Veloteknik (much recumbentness). In energy, they could have posed the question, “Do we really need always-on power, since we’ve had it for less than 1% of the history of civilisation?”