Did it just get a little more nerdy in here?

VA3PID-eQSL-eWAS-PSK-20131014Aw yiss! After more than two years of trying, I finally got a confirmed contact in North Dakota last night. That means I’ve now worked all of the US states using the PSK digital mode. Yay me!

I’d contacted 47/50 within a few months of getting my licence, including Maine. Utah I spoke to in November 2011, South Dakota in January 2012; but the last one, North Dakota, I didn’t pick up until last night. I was just about to turn off the radio for the night when I have 40m a try, and there was Bill (ND0B) calling from Cathay, ND. Sometimes you find what you’re looking for without even trying. Happy Thanksgiving!

… that our fries were still there

Following on from this, here’s another anthem performed by the Five Guys and the Arduino Micro Cup Orchestra:

Converted from a midi file found at American and Patriotic Midi Music (unsurprising caution: autoplay midi music therein) to RTTL using MIDI to RTTL.

If you just want the source, here it is:

star-spang:d=4,o=5,b=80:2p,8f.,16d,a#4,d,f,2a#,8d.6,16c6,a#,d,e,2f,8f,8f,d.6,8c6,a#,2a,8g,8a,a#,a#,f,d,a#4,8f.,16d,a#4,d,f,2a#,8d.6,16c6,a#,d,e,2f,8f,8f,d.6,8c6,a#,2a,8g,8a,a#,a#,f,d,a#4,8d6,8d6,d6,d#6,f6,2f6,8d#6,8d6,c6,d6,d#6,2d#6,d#6,d.6,8c6,a#,2a,8g,8a,a#,d,e,2f,f,a#,a#,8a#,8a,g,g,g,c6,8d#6,8d6,8c6,8a#,a#,a,8f,8f,a#.,8c6,8d6,8d#6,2f6,8a#,8c6,d.6,8d#6,c6,1a#

the action verbs of the Bush administration (according to the Bush administration)

I took all the action verbs used in “100 Things Americans May Not Know About the Bush Administration Record” (from the now-defunct The Bush Record) and linked them to web searches, so you can find some other opinions:

added, advocated, appointed, arrested, bolstered, called, committed, convicted, created, delivered, dismantled, disrupted, doubled, empowered, enacted, encouraged, established, expanded, focused, generated, halved, held accountable, helped, implemented, improved, increased, infused, instituted, invested, laid, launched, led, leveled, negotiated, outlawed, persuaded, prevented, prohibited, proposed, protected, provided, raised, reduced, removed, rescued, saved, secured, set on course, signed, supported, transformed, warned, weakened, withdrew, worked

If you’d rather search for images for these actions:

added, advocated, appointed, arrested, bolstered, called, committed, convicted, created, delivered, dismantled, disrupted, doubled, empowered, enacted, encouraged, established, expanded, focused, generated, halved, held accountable, helped, implemented, improved, increased, infused, instituted, invested, laid, launched, led, leveled, negotiated, outlawed, persuaded, prevented, prohibited, proposed, protected, provided, raised, reduced, removed, rescued, saved, secured, set on course, signed, supported, transformed, warned, weakened, withdrew, worked,

thappy hanksgiving (belated)

We’re in Ohio, having had too much turkey yesterday. I think this thanksgiving was brought to you by Married To The Sea, as Mindy, Karl and Carl sat around with their laptops chortling like turkey-filled chortling things.

an eco-meme you can use

Don’t remember where I read it, but apparently the war in Iraq has cost more than Kyoto-compliance would have done for the whole USA. Waytah go, Geordie!

it’s over ….

AWEA 2006, that is. Best swag was probably the places that had USB keys; yeah, they’re only 64MB, but these are big enough for tiny Linuxes or restore tools.

Freebies aside, it was a great show, and I guess a few hundred thousand business cards changed hands.

the commitments

When I was testing BlackBerry typed-alike words (dactonyms?) I found that sqlite was averaging about 1 insert per second. This is by no means good.

It turns out that, under Perl, sqlite auto-commits after every write. This slows things down terribly. Here’s how to fix this:

When opening the database handle, turn AutoCommit off:

my $dbh =
DBI->connect( “dbi:SQLite:bberry2.sqlite”, “”, “”, { AutoCommit => 0 } )
or die “$!”;

Then, only commit occasionally — say every thousand writes:

while ( … ) {

…$id++;
$dbh->commit unless ( $id % 1000 );

}
$dbh->commit;

It works out about 1000 times quicker this way.

I (heart) languagehat

languagehat, on begging the question:

This is one of those issues that is catnip to the adolescent language-lover but which a sensible person grows out of. I too used to enjoy tormenting people with the “truth” about the phrase, but I eventually realized that, whatever its origins … I had never seen or heard the phrase used “correctly” except by people making a point of doing so (cf. “hoi polloi”); in current English usage, “beg the question” means ‘raise the question,’ and that’s that. I got over it …
[T]his … is a sign that the language has sailed on, leaving wistful archaists treading water and clutching at the stern.

timely quotation

Anent George W. Bush’s “God Told Me To Do It …” revelation, was it purely coincidence that the week’s quotation in Catherine‘s Women Artists Datebook is:

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

 — Susan B. Anthony
?

I hate Sony

While I like my Cybershot P100, I can’t believe that Sony would make the Memory Stick Pro incompatible with older Memory Stick readers. It’s bad enough that Sony had to created their own expensive, proprietary memory card format (which does exactly what better than CF or SD?), but to make it incompatible between revisions of itself is beyond inexcusable.

Y’see, I scored a cheapo Lexar multi card reader from CWO the other week because it was quite small and takes both CF and MS. I discovered this evening, when it failed to read my MS Pro cards (in the adaptor) but happily read my mum’s plain MS card, that the two formats are gratuitously incompatible. Um, hello, earth to Sony R&D …

my wind-powered PC

As a thank-you for speaking at the ESC/EWB Power Shift lecture series, I was given a Pembina Institute Wind Powered PC tag. That means that the energy equivalent of three years of PC usage has been bought for me from a windfarm.

I’d like to thank the folks at UofT for putting up with me for the evening, and buying me dinner at the (in)famous Peel Pub (would that be innfamous?). I enjoyed it, and I hope they did too.

let’s get confused

Clay County Absentee Ballot 2004
No wonder folks in the USA get confused with ballot papers — there are just too many choices.

UK ballot papers are super-simple: list of candidates down the left, list of checkboxes down the right. More than one issue? More than one ballot paper. It’s not hard.

PTC is go

Last night, the US Congress voted to extend the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) to the end of 2005. This should allow approximately US $2B of projects to go ahead.

This should help stabilize the whole wind industry in North America. It means that manufacturers don’t have to deal with such a boom and bust market. Pity it was all buried in such a shamelessly vote-winning tax cut package, though.