Archive for March 2013

Can you spot the problem?

One of the LED strips in the Mitochondrion is has a problem. Only the first third of the LEDs light up, the rest are dim. Now, finding hardware problems can take bloody forever. Poking, swearing, scratching of head. In this case, however:

Yeah, that’s a crack through the middle of the driver chip. It’s pretty easy to work out why this strip isn’t working.

Short term fix is new LED strip. Longer term, well, the driver chips are slightly wider than the aluminium strip underneath. When I drop the whole thing, the chip bangs up against the curve of the polycarbonate tube, pushing the ends down and the middle up. Thus the crack across the middle. So, some padding required for the Mark 4 to help cushion these chips. For the Mark 5, the drivers are inside the LEDs, so that should be more robust, but again, padding will be required.

Sustainable carrying capacity – or what are limits anyway?

Last week, the Royal Society published two papers on the sustainable carrying capacity of New Zealand. I’ve been working on these for a while but, as ever, I don’t feel like I authored them. Instead, they’re a consolidation of discussions with experts, reviewed by yet more experts. There’s a huge list of names of the back of them, go see.

The papers are asking the question of how many people can New Zealand support and copiously failing to give a simple answer, but that’s ok, coz this stuff is hard. For instance, here’s some of the press about the papers:
Kiwis take more than a fair share – NZ Herald
Less television, more gardening suggested – Otago Daily Times

Both those articles miss the point, or rather they are casting about for a simple message – that we’re overshooting the planet’s capability to support us. There’s a bunch of issues with that simple message, which I’ll get around to describing another time, but the primary one is that we know we’re in overshoot, we’ve known that for really quite some time, and saying it again isn’t going to change that.
We know that, so let’s think a bit harder

It’s time to stop writing webpages in notepad

After being with the same host (cheers, Paul) since 1997, I’ve moved to WordPress and a commercial host. Hence here’s the new Pics moved from the broken Gallery 1.whatever install to Picasa web albums, blog posts & comments back to 2004 imported from LiveJournal, and everything seems fine so far. Anything you find broken, please let me know. Format and presentation likely to change as I get settled in.

Content posted here will be cross-posted to LJ, coz it’s a Wellington thing and LJ still does a better job than any other social network of managing the complexities of human community, security, and identity. THere may be more private content posted to LJ, but not often, coz I like to talk with people in person. Old-fashioned, I know, but what do you expect from someone who only just stopped using Notepad?