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2009 Archive
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January 1, 2010 deeplink respond

Closed out this 2009 blog archive and started a
new 2010 one.

December 31, 2009 deeplink respond

Modified and revalidated our Bitmapped Fonts
library page.

This page is largely obsolete, having been replaced
by newer code in our Fonts & Images library page.
I've kept it as a historical archive.

Specifically, our newer Bitmap Typewriter creates
ultra high quality bitmap lettering on the fly. And
works with any PostScript font in any pixel count size.

This eliminates the neet for individual instances of
each and every pixel count in each and every font.

A revised Fonts & Images should appear in a few days.

December 30, 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder that Linksys modems and wireless modules
had a heat problem that could cause slow and erratic web
responses after long use times.

Newer units have slightly larger ventillation holes, although I
suspect they are still too small.

Workarounds are to put the unit up on blocks so there
is a minimum of one inch of clearance off the desk. And
to NEVER stack units or put papers on top of them.

December 29, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated, expanded, and improved our Book-on-demand Publishing
library pages.

December 28, 2009 deeplink respond

The problem with Captain Video is simply this: They
are "for real" our goodwill ambassadors to outer space!

Along with Roller Derby and Kukla, Fran, and Ollie.

In 1949, our sun suddenly became a radio star, blasting
out vast quantities of new VHF energy. In 60 years, this
has swept out one million cubic light years of space and
has been sent to roughly 2700 candidate star systems.

And still at a sensitivity level detectable with our
current technology. And new candidate star systems are
being contacted at a cube law rate, while the energy
levels are only dropping square law.

What if...

What if a candidate star system receives a perfectly
lucid twelve second clip of "Roller Derby" as the
sum total of all that is known about Earth culture?

December 27, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated, expanded, and improved our Gila Day Hikes
library pages.

I'll be presenting an ARA paper on this at U/A Tucson
Saturday January 23rd at 11:15 AM. More details here
as they get posted. All are welcome to attend at no charge.

I'll also be doing some eBay papers at Discovery Park
on February 13th. Based on this paper and this one.
In the Jupiter room at 6:30 PM. More details as they

December 26, 2009 deeplink respond

If you try Googling on a topic that is "too thin", you might end
up with mostly false hits or "wildly wrong" responses.

It seems that I mentioned a company with an odd name spelling
back in March of 1993 as a bizarre source of "not even wrong"
pseudoscience. Actually, they were so mesmerizingly awful that
they were clearly in the "what are they on and where do we get
some of it?
" class.

Somebody Googled them, and we ended up in slots #2 and #3
in the response! They ended up calling me and insisting that I
was a source of supply for their "action at a distance" utter

The point being that Google works very well given a "thick"
enough subject. But otherwise can lead to the truly bizarre.

December 25, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated, expanded, and improved our Bee's Favorites
library pages.

December 24, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated, expanded, and improved our Math Stuff
library pages.

December 23, 2009 deeplink respond

By far the most popular use of photovoltaic pv solar
cells is in solar power calculators. What is the cost per
kilowatt hour for its electricity usage here?

Let's see. Assume the average calculator costs $5
and fifty cents of that is amortizable against the pv
sensing and charging system. Assume further that
the total lifetime energy consumption when calculations
are actually being made or viewed is one watt hour.

$5 per watthour is $500 per kilowatt hour.

Thus, the average pv user pays $500 per kilowatt hour
for their electricity.
And are happy as a clam doing so.

Additional analysis of the ongoing pv scam appears here.

December 22, 2009 deeplink respond

Two freely downloadable episodes of Captain Video
appear here and here.

Which conclusively proves that the concept of
"mesmerizingly awful" appears to be time invariant.

Apparently several dozen episodes exist but are not
readily availalbe. Most of the others were apparently
destroyed shortly after Dumont went belly up.

December 21, 2009 deeplink respond

Here's a simplified method to discount "overunity"
perpetual motion machines: If a 555 timer is involved,
the overunity concept is totally bogus.
This is easily
proven by falsifiability
. Just show me a counterexample.

The overunity scam de jour appears here, with its debumking

In this case, a duty cycle was stupidly measured backwards.
Other usual causes are mismeasurement of pulse waveforms
or pulse feedback delaying battery discharges.

More on "not even wrong" pseudoscience here.

December20, 2009 deeplink respond

Let me get this straight: There will shortly be a $100,000
fine for selling used children's books at a yard sale.

Your tax dollars at work.

December 19, 2009 deeplink respond

When they marionate shrimp, how do they tie all of those
little strings on?

December 18, 2009 deeplink respond

Managed to "backfill" all of our recent blog missing
entries. Please check the last few weeks for corrections
and updates.

December 17, 2009 deeplink respond

The latest GuruGram #102 is on Some Possible Book
Scanning "Gutter Math".

Sourcecode is available here.  And additional GuruGrams here.

December 16, 2009 deeplink respond

Our recent update of our Cubic Spline Library
page left many file extenstions corrupted, giving you
404's. Most of these have now been corrected.

Please report any further problems you may find.

December 15, 2009 deeplink respond

An interesting collection of do-it-yourself Book Scanners
can be found here.

One higher priced commercial example can be found here.

Most of these are based on one or more high resolution
digital cameras and opening the book by 90 degrees.

I'm wondering if some lower cost solutions are not
possible. Especially if you are only interested in gathering
together a few dozen reprints or only a few books.
Where spending a little extra time per page may prove
a useful compromise.

I'm exploring only opening the book by only 45 degrees and
using a quality mirror and a single camera
. This should
gretly ease guttering problems and spine damage. Reversing
the image should be trivial using some upcoming variants
on our Post Processing utilities.

December 14, 2009 deeplink respond

Our local libraries seem to be in a death spiral and
they do not seem to have the faintest clue why.

Attermpted outrageous new charges are creating
extreme controversy. And,of course, will end up
having the exact opposite of their intended effect.

Many of the concepts of a local library are now
ludicrous. Such as having one or fewer available
copies of information. Or not being open 24/7.
Or requiring that an individual, the document, and
a control freak be physically in the same place
at the same time. Or some items not being immediately

Or the documents not containing links to more detail
and related info. Or totally arbitrary distinctions on what
info is and is not "allowed". Or "read it aloud", language
translation, and similar handicapped aides.

Or even the concept that once scarce info now has a major
big time glut problem

If libraries are to survive at all, they will have to immediately
and dramatically reporpose themselves to the concepts of
unlimited info access and otherwise meeting specific
community needs
. Sadly, I do not see this happening.

Meanwhiile, the reality is that our best local library is
----> Burger King! With free WiFi access, long hours,
and far fewer food and drink restrictions.

December 13, 2009 deeplink respond

The problems of getting useful technical and service
info on older electronic test instruments seems to be
easing dramatically.

One long term source that remains eminently useful
is the Boat Anchor Manual Archive. I now have
dozens of my own reprints up in our Guru Classsics
in single file and fully searchable formats.
And hope to make them all eventually available.

Meanwhile, Tektronix has formally released all of
their legacy and historic documents to the public
. Copies of most any older Tek anything
are now widely available on the web. Typically
in CD format and often for under ten dollars.

HP ( Now Agilent ) has taken the opposite route and
is making just about everything legacy availalble
free on their website.

Nonexclusive rights to Popular Electronics and
Radio Electronics reprints have apparently been
granted here. And here.

Heathkit has apparently sold exclusive reprint
rights to these folks. It is not yet clear exactly
how much they will offer how.

Major problems remain in getting more scholarly
technical reprints, especially from IEEE. There
is absolutely no excuse for ANY published
paper more than five years old to not be
freely available on the web
from multiple sources.

December 12, 2009 deeplink respond

I thought I might catalog some of the prehistoric ag
items you might find while wandering around our
local bajadas...

LITHICS - most any rock that appears to
have been purposely broken. Especially
if distinct from all the other local rocks.

REWORKED LITHICS - Similar rocks that
appear to have secondary chipping. Typically
flakes are knocked off a core. The flakes are
then reworked into tools.

POTSHERDS - Broken pieces of pottery.
Differ from rock by their uniform thickness
and grainy interior. Very rare in ag sites.

TRADEWARE - Fancier potsherds that are
decorated by paint or slip. Often dateable
and strong indicators of trade patterns .

MULCH RINGS - Circular rock groupings
typically three feet in diameter. Often found
as a dozen or so in a spaced group. Likely
used to retain moisture for a single agave.
Sometimes wrongly called a "cairn".

ROASTING PIT - Similar rock groupings
somewhat larger in diameter but always with a
distinct internal depression.

CHECK DAM - Small semicircular rock
arrangement across a drainage. Forms a
small upstream "field", often five feet square.

APRON - Secondary rock structure below
a check dam, apparently to prevent erosion
by slowing water overflow .

CANAL - Often looks like a very smooth
hiking trail. Always flat with a very slight
slope. Very long. Purpose oriented.

LINEAR FEATURE - Rather long and
rather straight low rock wall across a
gentle slope. Forms an upslope field.

TRINCHERA - Definition varies.
May be a longer and not as straight
low rock wall used for water control.
Often associated with steeper slopes.
Easily confused with CCC boondoggles!

GRID ELEMENT - A rectanglar low
rock border, typically twelve by twenty
feet across a usually gentle slope. May
rarely have a single mulch ring in the middle.

GRIDS - A grouping of grid elements.
aranged side by side or sequentially
up slope. Tens of thousands (!) of these
appear to be locally present.

FIELD HOUSE - Single rectangular
group of higher rock walls, typically six feet
square. Always at an ag site when present.

HABITATION  SITE- Multiple rectangular
grouping of higher rock walls. Often associated
with potsherds and trash dumps. Almost
always destroyed by extensive pothunting.

Normally somewhat distant from ag sites.

December 11, 2009 deeplink respond

A note that we still have some eminently collectible
slide rules and related products up on eBay.

We have only one USAF Aerial Photo Slide Rule
LM-221A by Astrodyne
remaining. It is in near
mint condition.

Turning to our nuclear holocoust fashion accessories,
we have several "kiss your onager goodbye" nuclear
fallout circular slide rules. ABC-M28A1. Otherwise
known as NSN 6665-00-130-3616. These are ABSOLUTELY
MINT and remain sealed in their original packaging.

We also have some related ABC-M5A2 nuclear fallout
area predictors NSN 6665-00-106-9595.

We also have bunches of surveyor's stadia computer
circular slide rules. Also absolutely mint and sealed in
original packages. Gurley #3100.

It is extremely unlikely we will be able to find any more
of these in remotely comparable condition.

December 10, 2009 deeplink respond

Outside of that Missus Lincoln, how was the play?

December 9, 2009 deeplink respond

The number and stunning variety of "off the bajada"
prehistoric ag sites here in our Gila Valley continues to
amaze me
. It is enormously difficult to wander around
outside without finding a new and unexpected one.

Virtually all of our mountain fed streams seem to have
elaborate canal systems whose 13th century engineering
appears well beyond stunning. Some of these exceed
ten miles in length; others are hung on a mesa side
90 feet above the local terrain; and others include
aquaducts that are well above grade. One appers to
have a "three way switch" that routes water to a
triad of wildly different drainages. And flows to this day.

It is not unreasonable to conclude that the 13th century
population may have exceeded the present day one.
an enigma remains: The number of ag sites vastly
exceeds the number of known habitation sites.

As best as is known, the entire system was a giant
booze factory, converting agave into mescal.

Or, alternately the related ag grids were the first instance of
prototypical Dilbert cubicals. The Alice PMS Revolt of 1385
would clearly explain the latter decline in population.

December 8, 2009 deeplink respond

The folks at Wesrch have recently posted their
2000th paper and are rapidly approaching their
one millionth paper view.

This site is a superb way to instantly publish your
technical paper
. To date, the average quality of the
presentations appears to consistently remain well
above that of many peer reviewed journals.

I do have some sixty or so of my "best" papers
cross posted there.

To become definitive though, they do seem to have a
long way to go. I'd estimate "critical mass" to be
50,000 downloads with 100 new papers per day.

At that point, the stupid arrogance of the traditional
scholarly journals would clearly become moot.

ALL technical papers over five years old should be
freely available from multiple web sources!

December 7, 2009 deeplink respond

The number of exoplanet discoveries now stands at
416 and is increasing at a rate of nearly two per week.

Despite what eventually will likely prove to be incredibly
weak tools, the discovery rate is rapidly accellerating.

Present estimates are a hundred billion in the milky
way galaxy alone.

Finding a rocky "goldilocks" planet that is earth sized in a
habitable zone would appear overwhelmingly likely
"real soon now".

But finding an earth-moon combination that appears to
be demanded for climatic stability is another matter

December 6, 2009 deeplink respond

I've long used "not even wrong" to describe pseudoscience
or bad science in general. In which an individual obviously does not
understand the fundamentals of something they are hopelessly
clueless over.

Nor has the necessary tools to be able to intelligently evaluate
their claims. Or if the claims violate falsifiability.

An interesting background of the term appears here. Apparently one
of the original popularizers was Wolfgang Pauli.

December 5, 2009 deeplink respond

MSNBC has greatly improved their Political Cartoon
coverage. What was once a week Friday updates is now
a continuous process. With much easier access.

December 4, 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder that OEM's Trade is an enormously useful
resource. You simply enter most any electronic part number
and a dozen typical sources will pop out.
Some even with
immediate prices, others with click-thru quotes.

December 3, 2009 deeplink respond

Yet another reason for keeping a very low profile at
any and all auctions:

Bidder "A" has specialized expertise in one specific
group of items and a rep for making a major market in
them. Bidder "B" is a plain old opportunist junk
dealer who does not have the faintest clue what the
group of items is worth or what can be done with them.

Bidder "B" simply keeps bidding till "A" quits. Assuming
he will win the items at only slightly higher than their
genuine value.

A partial defense for "A" is to continue bidding to jack the
price up. But never beyond what a reasonable return can
yeild. A better "A" defense is to never let anybody know
what you know.

December 2, 2009 deeplink respond

If you scan or photograph a partially open bound book,
you may encounter the "gutter problem". In which the
extreme right or extreme left words will be unacceptably
squashed. Besides looking bad, this can prevent OCR
recognition and later full text search.

I've been recently wondering how well and how generally
the gutter problem can be defined mathematically. And
then post processing repaired. Especially with a low budget
and only occasional use.

Let's limit ourself to a left page that is squashed right
and normalize our interest space to zero on the left and
one at the right. While a cubic spline approach may work,
all or our curvature is clearly at the end, and something
maximally flat might be a better route.

Instead, consider a sparse Taylor Series. Such as using
y = ax^b. Perhaps y = 0.15x^7. The value of "a" decides how deep
the gutter is and the exponent desides how soon or how
suddently the curvature will begin. A fairly simple expression
thus gives us a surprisingly good fit to a book page being

The question is now to relate how much the actual page distance
delta-s changes for each horizontal distance delta-x? A small
change in x will also produce a calculable change in y. The
change in s will be their vector sum by the usual square-root-
of-the-sum of the squares. Pythagoras strikes again.

The correction we need will be deltas/deltax. Now, this could
be a function we could again find with a cubic spine or a Taylor
series. Chances are the exact math will involve more terms
and end up a tad ugly. Since it is the inverse of a square root .

Instead, if we think ahead to our upcoming bitmap repair process,
we certainly would want to avoid making a complex math
calculation for each and every pixel on each and every line.

Table lookup comes to the rescue. Simply make delta-x equal
one pixel in your post processing!
And use a fast delta-s versus
delta-x table lookup. Then it should not matter in the least what the
exact formula for the gutter math is. 2000 or so samples should
work just fine.

How well this will all work in the real world remains to be seen.
I'm presently working up some demos and utilities.

Present thinking is to open the book by 45 degrees with a
quality mirror. This should minimize guttering and potential
book damage. Then digitally photographing with a high
pixel count camera to a bitmap. Then rectifying the bitmap
to correct vertical inversion, deskewing, anamorphic
scaling, and deguttering. From there, the usual OCR,
preferably with ClearScan or better.

December 1, 2009 deeplink respond

Book scanning for individuals or those with limited budgets
are dramatically improving.

The high end folks simply project an infrared grid onto the
book pages and then do elaborate signal processing and
distortion correction using a costly system.

But what can be done by an individual on a limited budget
with only a few books or bound reprints to occasionally scan?

Goals of a scanning system are not only to capture the image,
but allow reliable OCR recognition.
The latter both dramatically
reduces file sizes and allows full text searching. Plus possible
later editing, text reading, or other handicapped aides.

New  ClearScan features of Adobe Acrobat have very much
improved image capture for full text search.

These days, cameras are approaching 16 megapixels and thus
are more than competitive with conventional scanners.

Because of elaborate Bayer Filtering, the effective resolution
of a digital camera is not obvious. But 12 megapixels of B/W
or grays should be ballpark for a 16 megapixel sensor. Less for
reds or blues. And processing algorithm dependent.

12 megapixels effective translates to a square array of about
3500 x 3500 pixels. 3500 pixels in eight inches would be a
resolution near 440 DPI. And thus, with careful use of
maximum camera areas, should be more than good enough
for book scanning.

We should now have enough "excess" resolution that
elaborate image processing can become the norm.
Such as deskewing, "deguttering", image reversal,
or anamorphic size adjustment.

One possibility is to open a book by 45 degrees and place
a quality mirror in it. Illuminate the mirror from a uniform
diffuse source and digitally photograph the reflected
image. Then use image processing to rectify and invert the
image to its intended "flat" and "aligned" state.

November 30, 2009 deeplink respond

Org. Got yet another email from someone about to
revolutionize electrolysis and would I please recommend
a highly qualified yet low cost electrochemist within six
blocks of Holt County, Nebraska.

One more time: There is a profound and fundamental
first principle of thermodynamics called "exergy" that
absolutely and positively GUARANTEES that electrolysis
from high value sources such as grid, pv, wind, or alternator
flat out ain't gonna happen.

The process would be exactly the same as 1:1 exchanging US
dollars for Mexican Pesos. There ALWAYS will be more
intelligent things to do with the electricity
than immediately
and irrevokably destroying most of its value.

Just for kicks, try finding an electrolysizer manufacturer
Even if you find one, they certainly will not tell
you how much their products cost, and absolutely will not
sell one to an individual because of safety and liability
issues. The reason being that exergy limits such devices
to highly unique, specialized, and obscure industrial uses.

Virtually all bulk hydrogen gas is produced from hydrocarbons.
The amount produced by electrolysis is utterly negligible and
limited to exceptionally specific needs where system efficiency
and costs are not major design factors.

Exergy is a measure of the present quality and value of an
energy source.
You measure exergy by converting that
source to another form, converting it back, and seeing how
much you have left. Resistance room heat is a classic
example of horribly wasted exergy.

Electricity is about the highest exergy stuff available. Unstored
hydrogen gas has exceptionally low exergy. Electrolysis is the
process of converting many high value kilowatt hours of energy
into fewer very low value kilowatt hours of energy.

And, thus, is normally and monumentally stupid.

As such, electrolysis clearly will forever remain totally incompatible
with efficient and sensible alternate energy solutions

And that is before abysmal system efficiencies, amortization, or
stupidities ( such as stainless steel electrodes with its hydrogen
overvoltage of iron ). "Real" electrolysizers demand platinized
electrodes that are regularly renewed.

Does exergy mean that solar to hydrogen via Faraday's Law
is never gonna happen? Not al all. But it does GUARANTEE
that conventional high value electricity will definitely NOT be
a mid process energy state.

Once again, our bottom line summary:

    If you do not understand exergy, you SHOULD NOT be
    pissing around with electrolysis.

    If you do understand exergy, you WILL NOT be
    pissing around with electrolysis.

Either way, the outcome is not the least in doubt. More can be
found here, here, and here.

November 29, 2009 deeplink respond

Some unique software that lets you "play" an
image as audio appears at Photosounder. Some of the free
of this reasonably priced program are stunning.

November 28, 2009 deeplink respond

Another recent surprise is that nearly all of Desert
Magazine issues are now readily available online.

Bee had three travel stories in them here, here, and

November 27, 2009 deeplink respond

Amazingly, a schematic of one of the earliest scratch
built FM radios I ever built can be found on the web here.

I bought the plans out of a Popular Electronics classified ad
probably sometime around 1959. This 957 acorn triode superregenerative
receiver remains a stunning example of elegant simplicity.

It worked like a champ on first try, pulling in dozens of FM
stations up to 25 miles away plus TV sound on channel six.
This type of circuit does generate great heaping bunches
of RFI
, so its use is no longer in any way recommended.

The same flyer also lists a MN26C radio compass receiver
for $24.95. ( Weekly take home wages at the time were $34.65 ).

I did not get into this one till years later in college, but its AM
band performance was spectacular. North of Philadelphia, you
could tune to 1020 and have KDKA Pittsburgh come banging in.
Switch to 1030 for WBZ Boston. And other stations nearly on every
10 kHz multiple. All with a three foot antenna!
Lower audio frequencies
only because of the reduced bandwidth.

November 26, 2009 deeplink respond

Most of our classic construction projects that had immediately
available sources have now been upgraded and are found here.

There are many hundreds more to be located, scanned, OCR'ed,
and made into searchible single documents. I'd also like to get
all of my books online. Plus hundreds of tutorials and such.

Doing these tasks requires your support as a Banner
, Synergetics Partner, InfoPack User, or Auction
Regional Sponsor

Your simplest and cheapest support route is to simply use
this link for all of your book purchases of any author or title.

November 25, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated and expanded our Gila Day Hikes library page.

Please email me with any corrections or suggested additions.

November 24, 2009 deeplink respond

One of the "blue" alternate energy solutions involves
Osmotic Power. Per a lively discussion here and a news
release here.

By using a selective membraine, fresh water can migrate
into salt water, raising pressure and allowing power to be
It turns out that the theoretical energy recovery
can be equal to a Hoover Dam height hydro site at each
freshwater river estruary.

While a fairly clean technology, infrastructure costs and
membraine lifetimes may or may not make the concept
viable. The usual problem cited is that a lot of brakish
water is produced that could demolish local environments.

Another factor that nobody seems to mention is that,  (since
perpetual motion is a no-no ), if you are going to recover some
high exergy, high quality electricity, the value of energy
released elsewhere has to decline by at least a comparable

This says that if you have river A emptying directly into the
ocean and river B doing an osmotic to electricity conversion
and then exiting, then river B has to exit colder!

Whether the temperature drop ends up significant and leads
to negative environmental and ecology factors remains
to be demonstrated.

More on energy fundamentals here.

November 23, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated and improved our Auction Help library page.

Your own custom regional auction finder can be created for
you per these details.

November 22, 2009 deeplink respond

Had one or our eBay buyers request exact brands
and part numbers of some of our surplus items. When and
if we have this info, we are certainly glad to post it.

The foremost rule of surplus is "what you see is what
you get". In exchange for super low prices, the history
and exact source of many items may be untracable.

Further, there may or may not be more available, either
now or in the future.

We try to list only items that we can guarantee usable.
And have inspection privileges on all but our lowest ticket
items. And have a long term goal of no unhappy customers.

But, surplus is surplus. Don't expect more of it that can
reasonably be delivered.

November 21, 2009 deeplink respond

What drought? Very old maps here show an "artesian
hot well"
in, of all places, Hot Well Wash. Newer maps
show it as a "hot well".

If you go to this bone dry site, you will find a large water
channel, ruins of a small,  a medium, and a large windmill
of progressively newer age, and derelict pieces of even
newer medium, larger, and humongous pumps.

Meanwhile, BLM is having to add solar boosted pumps
to their Hot Well Dunes artesian souces. These are
likely related to the same aquifier.

More on similar topics here.

November 20, 2009 deeplink respond

Org. It turns out there are several different types of
30 MM metric threads.
And that the ones used on
Square-D joysticks may prove impossibly difficult
to find.

The "normal" 30 mm thread pitch is 3 mm as in M30-3.0.
The "fine" 30 mm pitch is 2 mm as in M30-2.0

Most industrial pushbuttons and switches use an even
finer 30 mm pitch of 1.5 mm as in M30-1.5.

But, as near as I can tell, the Square-D joysticks usse an
ultra fine 30 mm pitch of 1.0 mm as in M30-1.0.

Apparently they thought they needed more retention because
of the joystick side loading in normal use. Please email me if
you know any source for these oddball threads.

Yeah, machining your own larger nut is not that big a deal. But
making a casting impression might get tricky because the zinc
body threads are discontinuous.

We have the joystick up on eBay, sans hardware.

November 19, 2009 deeplink respond

A slowdown in your comm speeds over time can usually
be traced to Ethernet Tokens that are either corroded or
grime covered.

The usual treatment is to use Brasso. But a better long
term solution is to gold plate the tokens and then flash
overplate them with a few microinches of rhodium.

November 18, 2009 deeplink respond

Approaches to improving photographed book pages for
OCR capture include using the Hough Transform for
deskewing as detailed here.

Or doing perspective corrections per this paper.

I'm also  wondering if a plain old FFT transform might not
tell you a lot about alignment and its optization.

November 17, 2009 deeplink respond

Some of our newest PostScript utilities include S1.PSL
that lets you create Magic Sinewave test waveforms for
Sigview, and HTML4 or XHTML validation tools that
include FIXAMPS1.PSL for ampersand repairs,
AUTOVAL1.PSL for search and destroy phrase replacement,
and its scripted list variant of SCRIPVAL.PSL.

More on PostScript here and here.

November 16, 2009 deeplink respond

I find it both gratifying and rewarding when a single
"real science" development can seemingly unify and
explain some of the worst of pseudoscience and free energy.

The CIBC developments in yesterday's entry may do
just that. For years it has been known that cavitation
can be exceptionally destructive
, especially on ship's propellors
and fire pumps. And recent devlopement in sonoluminescence
have demonstrated astonishing temperatures and pressures
in a small collapsing bubble.

Apparently not enough for fusion, but astonishing nevertheless. And
certainly enough to produce ultraviolet and blue light.

For years, hydarulic engineers have noted what they call the
"micro Diesel effect" in which hydraulic oil turns black and
gets trashed. This easily could be CIBC in drag, in which a
bubble containing air and hydrocarbons collapses and increases
in pressure and temperature beyond its ignition point.

Over on the pseudoscience side of the fence, two of the
more persistant and more enigmatic claims might also be
explained by the same CIBC phenomen.

Ever since the 1950's, there have been recurring claims
of "superefficient" electrical heaters based on an apparently
cavitating oil. CIBC could provide a credible explanation
for the rarely observed and obviously difficult to duplicate
effect that is totally within the bounds of "real science".

Another more recent fantasy development is called the
"Clem Engine" which has all sorts of overunity claims
associated with it. A Clem engine involves possibly cavitating
vegetable oil and, once again, CIBX could provide a credible
explanation for the observed anomolies.

A reminder that the NASA paper's mention of the possibility
of "net energy production" simply refers to getting above
an efficiency of ZERO.

More on bashing pseudoscience here and here.

November 15, 2009 deeplink respond

This NASA Paper suggests a possible new thermodynamic
cycle with possible energy conservation and pollution advantages.

The process is called CIBC, short for Cavity Ignition Bubble

It is based on sonolulminescence which we looked at here and
here. A collapsing cavitating buble generates astonishing temperatures
and pressures. But still ( as far as we know to date ) not even
remotely near what is needed for true fusion.

Instead, what if the bubble contains a stoichimetric mix of a
fuel and air?
The collapse raises the temperature beyond
ignition, Diesel style. The thermodynamic efficiency can
in theory be well beyond the best of known engines.

The best the paper is willing to say is that the effect appears
to be real. And that it appears to have the potential of net

Note, of course, that net energy here would be defined as
anything above ZERO efficiency,
and not anything in any
manner overunity. Long after you overcome the need for
sonic sources and compressors, you still have to have
enough excess energy to compete with conventional
fuel thermodynamic cycles.

One developing company who may or may not be valid
can be found here. Their interest among the overunity
makes them somewhat suspect. Time will tell.

November 14, 2009 deeplink respond

Walmart ( among many others ) sells some low cost
bag clips intended to reseal potato chip and cereal

These might prove exceptionally handy when using a
digital camera to copy books and bound articles.

November 13, 2009 deeplink respond

The latest GuruGram #102 is on Web Validation
Utilities for HTML4 and XHTML.

Sourcecode is available here.
And additional GuruGrams here.

November 12, 2009 deeplink respond

Expanded and improved our Gila Day Hikes library page.

November 11, 2009 deeplink respond

Turns out there are some "book friendly" copier variations
out there, especially by Sharp. These and their accessories
go by the names of "binder friendly" or "Binder Minder".

Some have beveled edges combined with "to the edge"
optics. Older copies these days lack any bitmap output,
have outrageous toner costs, and additional hassles.

Half a dozen of these should be included in the upcoming
Pima Auction
. I suspect no bids or ten dollar buys.

November 10, 2009 deeplink respond

Am I the only one to still notice that, despite stunning
developments in CGI and incredible advances in computer
animation, that movie stagecoach wheels still turn backwards?

November 9, 2009 deeplink respond

Added the Analog Frequency Meter, Psychedelia I Color
, and the Musette Color Organ to our locally hosted
searchible single file classics reprints

November 8, 2009 deeplink respond

We've seen several times in the past how the Public
website can occasionally offer exceptional
opportunities, even though its titleless 1974 pickup
trucks and broken highway paint stripers do sometimes
come of on the somewhat clueless side.

Very often, a totally unrealistic reserve price will be
placed on some of the better or more obscure items.
With the obvious result of no bids.

At that time, emailing them with a lowball cash offer
"just barely above insulting"
can often nail some interesting
items at a fraction of their value. Very often, their primary
goal is making room for something else.

The site does stupidly include 5 minute auto extensions, so your
optimal bidding strategy is to bid once 53 minutes into
the last hour.

More auction tutorials and resources here. And your very own
custom auction finder here.

November 7, 2009 deeplink respond

A well executed web hoax is a joy to behold, and this
seems to have amazing staying power even after
several years.

Naturally, most any rancher or farmer would immediately
note that the musical instrument was really built from
Case International tractor parts and not those from John
Even a beginning FFA student could instantly spot this.

Among other things, the instrument was not even green.

More here and here. And, of course, here.

November 6, 2009 deeplink respond

There's a flap on one of the newsgroups over a steam
automobile engine. Yes, steam does offer each stroke
being a power cycle. And delivers torque at zero speed,
largely reducing most needs for clutches or transmission.

And, yes, the primary reason steam autos folded was
hoof and mouth disease!  Seems that all the public
horsetroughs were emptied just as gasoline technology
was gaining a toehold on its production learning curve.

BUT -- Cylinder style steam engines were abandoned
half a century ago, because their best efficiencies were
in the one to ten percent range. Modern multi-stage
bottom scavenging utility steam turbines now approach
sixty percent (!) thermal efficiency.

Other major issues with steam include that condensing
is manditory
to reduce water loss and corrosion is
outrageous. Even with force at zero speed, some
torque conversion would likely still be required. There
are also startup times and boiler safety issues.

Hollywood nonwithstanding, it is enormously difficult to
instantly release all of the energy in a gas tank in a
short time
. But utterly trivial in a steam boiler.

There is a tendancy on newsgroups to confuse instant
paper designs with actual products. Often combined
with a failue to understand the background and history
of the technology being bandied about.

More on energy fundamentals here.

November 5, 2009 deeplink respond

Many years ago, a certain New York editor who had
never been off the block at Lawn Guiland visited a
Texas ranch. He was amazed at how greasy the sheep
were and asked why they greased their sheep.

The ranch hands had a big laugh over this and tried
to explain lanolin. Then they moseyed up the draw to
the cow oiler.

November 4, 2009 deeplink respond

A summary on current Magic Sinewave status:

Magic Sinewaves are a recently discovered math
technique that let you digitally synthesize sinewaves for
such things as industrial motor controls, electric autos,
or solar panel synchronous inverters.

Key features of a magic sinewave are that they let you
zero out ANY number of low harmonics and do so at the
highest possible efficiency
. By their very definition.

A useful summary of the techniques appears here, while
an ultra fast JavaScript Magic Sinewave calculator is
found here.

Important tested and verified magic sinewaves include
Regular, Best Efficiency, Bridged Best Efficiency, and
Delta Friendly. The latter meets the exacting needs of
three phase power systems at a price of zeroing out
fewer harmonics.

About a year ago, I started asking the question whether
some sneaky tricks could further reduce the already small
early uncontrolled harmonics
. In particular, a Regular magic
sinewave has early uncomtrolled harmonics that can be
the exact opposite
in sign of a Bridged Best efficiency one.

Which suggested that dramatic further improvements
were possible. Sure enough, demos of exact cancellation
were easy enough to make
. But sadly, ever attempt at
doing so using obvious half cycle and multi cycle techniques
introduced subtle and nonobvious subharmonics and other
terms. These terms made any improvements marginal at

So, while the current crop of magic sinewaves work like a
champ, the jury is still out out on whether significant further
improvements will become possible.

Details on Magic Sinewave evaluation chips appear here.

November 3, 2009 deeplink respond

A useful rule at live auctions: Always stay three to
five lots ahead of the auctioneer!

This lets you be in the auctioneers face on any lot
you want to bid on. You also "beat the crowd" to
the best location to get your bid recognized.

Force them to come to you.

This also says you should not pay much immediate
attention to a won lot.
Celebrating or making a side
sale or worrying about security may trick you into
forgetting completely a better upcoming lot buy.

More on auctions in general here. And your own
regional custom auction finder can be built for you
per the details here.

November 2, 2009 deeplink respond

Some sneaky geometry that can easily cause you grief:
The length of something wound on a reel often builds
up with the SQUARE of the diameter.

Which you can prove with a simple Calculus 101
integration. Exact details will vary a little with the tape
thickness and the hub diameter.

Or intuitively, the count or length per turn doubles with
each doubling of diameter.
Thus the outside turns hold a
lot more than the inside ones.

Thus, a "half full" reel of, say 5000 SMT resistors is
more likely to hold only 1250 parts or so.

Some SMT reels have "0.2,  0.4  0.6  0.8 calibrations on
them. Which for a 5K reel would be 1K, 2K, 3K, and 4K.

Similarly, a three quarter roll of paper towels is half
used up.

November 1, 2009 deeplink respond

The best route towards book scanning appears to be
the "Vee Method". In which the book is opened about
ninety degrees and two separate high resolution digital
cameras ( or one moved camera ) is used to capture
alternate left and right pages.

Regular scanners cannot get anywhere near a book
gutter, while hand held units are highly unlikely to
allow OCR good enough for reliable searching.

The issue of spine distortion remains. Google has an
elegant approach where they project an infrared grid
onto the page and use additional cameras to derive a
3D correction.

Intermediate solutions for individuals only wanting
to capture a few to a few dozen books seem lacking.
Entering some measured numbers per page would
not be a big deal if it only had to be done a few
hundred or a few thousand times total.

Clamping with glomper clips should help a bunch.

I'm wondering if the spine distortion cannot be fairly
easily defined with some sort of a sneaky power series.

Perhaps something like...

                         8 * 0.7 x^8

.... as x varies from 0 to 1 over the printed portion of
a full sized page.

Stay tuned on this one.

October31, 2009 deeplink respond

A lively discussion of the LHC Large hadrian Collider
appears here. It seems a bird dropped a piece of bread into
its cooling system
, causing untold zillions of dollars of damage
and further setting back its checkered history.

No, I am not making this up.

October 30, 2009 deeplink respond

Managed to get our Book Pages revalidated. Over
a hundred of our website pages should now be fully
compatible with modern standards.

I created some automated validation utilities along
the way and should shortly have a GuruGram on them.

Yeah, some of the book lists are a tad dated. I'll try
to update them as the interest and need arises. Your
assistance as a Banner Advertiser , an Auction Resource
, or a Synergetics Partner can speed up the process.

Meanwhile, please note that you can support our website
by using our Book Links for any and all book purchases
at no additional cost to you.

October 29, 2009 deeplink respond

Added the Two Tone Alarm, Sports Timer, Nixie DVM, and
the Supertrol to our locally hosted searchible single file
classics reprints.

October 28, 2009 deeplink respond

The ancient oriental art of TI WUN ON consists
of getting totally snockered but always doing so
in a professional and workman like manner.

October 27, 2009 deeplink respond

There's an obvious fatal flaw in electric vehicles that use
battery exchange stations. I am surprised that nobody
has picked up on it,

Batteries are near certain to remain quite expensive, even
when and if they reach acceptable densities and lifetimes.

With an exchange system, there will be a battery in the car,
a battery being recharged, a battery sitting on the shelf to
meet peak demands, and batteries in transit going from where
there are too many to places where there are too few.

All of which says that each electric vehicle has to pay for
and support at least four batteries
, possibly more. Plus
the costs and profit margins of the recharging stations.

Thus pricing the exchange concept out of the market.

More on similar energy absurdities here and here. .

October 26, 2009 deeplink respond

It looks like we are going to skip the Terabyte memory
era entirely and move directly on to Petabytes.

Which means that every available song and every
available movie and every available book should soon
be able in a low cost thumbnail sized device.

All of them. Together at once.

Which, first of all, tells us that future designs may not
have to place a very high priority on memory usage.

Throwing another million calculations at something should
now become routine. As we've already done with our
Fun with Fields and Magic Sineaves.

And second, tells us that human brain sized memory will
be rather commonplace and mundane. Perhaps limited
to such low end apps as an electric can opener.

Many years ago, the Apple IIe community thoroughly
proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that DRM digital
rights management simply does not work.

Many have not yet gotten the message, but petabyte
memory is certain to complely eliminate any and all DRM.

If a profit is to be made from traditional media content,
it will have to charge only acceptable competitive rates
and clearly give the author or composer or artist the lion's
share of any generated income.

The Petabyte Memory era guarantees that this is
gonna happen. The results are not the least in doubt.

October 25, 2009 deeplink respond

The SIGVIEW folks have recently improved their FFT
Fourier spectrum analysis software.

Our approach to using SIGVIEW with our Magic Sinewaves
goes something like this: We create a 8-bit signed binary data
file of sixty cycles of a bipolar waveform of the desired truncation.

Using $00 for zero, $40 for unity positive amplitude and $C0 for
unity binary amplitude in 2's complement.

Use of 60 cycles makes for a very long ( multi megabit, often 2,499,840 )
file, but it gives exact frequency callouts and dramatically minimizes
any of the usual FFT windowing problems.

To date, the Sigview routines show all of the earlier Magic Sinewaves
working as predicted and described
. But attempts at GGMS cancellations
to reduce early uncontrolled harmonics so far have introduced subtle new
subharmonics or cosine components that make their potential improvement
marginal at best.

October 24, 2009 deeplink respond

I was surprised to find out that there is no direct or
obvious way in Windows to text capture a list of files
or other directory content.

There apparently are several free third party utilities that
make this happen. One is called CopyFilenames.

To use, select one or more directory entries and right
click. New mouse options of Copy Filenames and
others should pop up. A control-v then lets you empty
the clipboard into any text accepting ap.

October 23, 2009 deeplink respond

A useful directory of free online courses appears here.

The MIT offerings are found here.

October 22, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated and expanded our Auction Help library.

Your own custom regional auction finder can be
created for you per these details.

October 21, 2009 deeplink respond

I think I solved all of our Magic Sinewave Calculator
xhtml compatibility issues.

As we saw her
e, use of a "CDATA" bypass or an
external JavaScript file is a good first start. As is
converting each "name=" into "id="

But it also turns out that JavaScript interpretation is
much more strict under xhtml. In particular, IE allowed
a "short form" of id that was not part of JavaScript but
was picked up on other browsers.

These are no longer legal...

cfh05.bgColor="#CCFFFF" ;

eval ( unrejHarm1 + ".bgColor='#66FFCC'") ;

Instead, use these...

document.getElementById('cfh05').style.backgroundColor = "#CCFFFF";

eval ( "document.getElementById('" + unrejHarm1 + "').style.backgroundColor = '#66FFCC'" ) ;

Please email me if you find any more Magic Sinewave
calculator problems.

October 20, 2009 deeplink respond

Just found out that nearly all of the New Mexico
subastas are going to be sold at auction!

Sales and shipping to New Mexico aren't quite as
bad as they used to be. Yeah, there's still the language
barrier and the hassles at customs.

One main problem was that all the New Mexico truck
tires are all a different size and spacing, so everything
needed  reloaded at the border crossings.

Fortunately, there are now REVERSIBLE truck tires that
can simply be insided out
at the New Mexico ports of

More details at your nearest New Mexico embassy .

October 19, 2009 deeplink respond

LOWSRC, we hardly knew ya.

This ancient html command is no longer legal either in
html 4.0 or xhtml. And will no longer validate.

It never was an actual part of html, but since IE used
it, many browsers copied it. The intent was to let you
load a small substitute image before the main one
loaded. This was useful for "banners load last"
getting the top screen load faster.

Browsers and comm have gotten ridiculously faster
so this is no longer an urgent issue. Still LOWSRC
can eliminate a brief but annoying glitch or two
during client loading.

I've had to drop most of our LOWSRC's during our
recent xhtml site revalidation.  

October 18 , 2009 deeplink respond
Boy, they sure don't make em like this anymore...
Made a rare find at a local community college auction:
A genuine Chandler & Price ultra rugged manual paper
cutter. 19-1/2 x 19-1/2 inch capacity, 23 inch blade.
alone is 38 inches long!

This should be perfect for smaller scale BOD book-on-
demand or padding projects. Easily cuts a full ream of
oversize paper. Also is fully restorable to near mint
condition for a "hot lead" historical printshop reconstruction.

The blade is in good condition without nicks, but a sharpening
will likely be due fairly soon. Sharpening typically costs
$25 and the quad reversible companion plastic cutting sticks are
a dollar each. Unit has seen very little recent use.

It weighs around 400 pounds but can be disassembled into
pickup or larger SUV sized chunks. Includes companion
table. Buyer arranges pickup and shipping. FOB Thatcher, AZ.

email me if you have any interest in this unique opportunity.
October 17 , 2009 deeplink respond
Another "oops". We seemed to be having inordinate difficulties
moving our Magic Sinewave calculators over to verified xhtml.

It turns out that while html ignores scripts, xhtml parses them as

There are two recommended fixes.

One is to add these two lines to your JavaScript script...

<script type="text/javascript">
        /* <![CDATA[ */
                  // JavaScript content goes here

        /* ]]> */

The CDATA part tells xhtml to ignore the
content, while the /* to */ tells html and older browsers
to treate the CDATA part as a JavaScript comment rather than
choking on it.

Anorther route is to import the JavaScript code from
another file...

<script type="text/Javascript"

More details are found here and here.

October 16 , 2009 deeplink respond

We have now managed to corrected and reverify nearly all of our
Guru's Lair "What's New" Historical Archive.

In general, you can tell any revised and updated reverification
by its eBay link just to the right of the main title.

Since a historical archive is in fact supposed to be historic, we are
not going to correct 404's caused by dark external links. You might
be able to find or repair these using the Wayback Machine.

Or by emailing me with any specific problems.

October 15 , 2009 deeplink respond

As we've seen bunches of times, the general purpose PostScript
computer language can be absolutely outstanding for such tasks
as reading and writing any uncompressed diskfile in any language
and making obscure modifications to it.

Per this tutorial and possibly helped along by our Gonzo utilities
and their Gonzo tutorial.

This  FIXAMPS.PSL  latest utility is an "ampersand fixer" for xhtml.
You use it to help revalidate older web pages. The utility finds any and
all ampersands in a file that are not followed within eight characters
by a semicolon and changes them to "&amp;".

This is particularly useful to automatically repair website links that
have lots of semicolon delimiters
in them. As is typical in eBay,
mapping software, and search engines. The routine is swift enough
to not change an already changed ampersand, such as &nbsp; or &gt;.

To use, you bring the utility up in your favorite word processor or
editor and change the input and output file names. Then send the
resaved routine to Acrobat Distiller.

Note that Distiller versions more recent than 8.1 default to a file
writing lockout, so you have to run these from your command line
by using "acrodist -F".

Note also that any single reverse slash in a PostScript string must
be replaced by a double reverse slash to be interpreted correctly.
Especially in Windows filenames.

The utility is especially handy because Dreamweaver has a bug
in it orders of magnitude beyond insidious that hours later into a
session will maddengly change most (but not all) of your ampersands
back the way they were before you fixed them!

There is one known bug: Ampersands within Visual Basic statements
must remain the way they were!
So a manual repatching may be
needed. Problems may also be encountered in a web URL link that
freely intermixes ampersands and semicolons. These probably do
not exist ar all. Or at least are extremely rare.

October 14 , 2009 deeplink respond

A very interesting and useful math site can be found by linking the
online encyclopedia of integer sequences. You input a string of
numbers, and it second guesses what you are really trying to do with
Better yet, it tries to guess the underlying math and the next
numbers in the sequence.

Our GGMS Magic Sinewave research needed an answer to this question:
"For a given binary sequence length, how many states will have an
identical number of ones and zeros"?

Trial and error produced 2, 6, 20,... ( as in 2 words in a 2-bit universe,
6 words in a 4-bit universe, and 20 words in an 8-bit universe).   Which
the sequence generator ( not surprisingly ) returned as central binomial

And continued the series as 70, 252, 924, 3432, ...

October 13 , 2009 deeplink respond

Someone was questioning why their eBay sales seemed
to be dropping. Well, it is just that little dip between the
fall slack period and the winter slump.

Useful eBay strategy and tactics are newly found here.

October 12, 2009 deeplink respond

Dr. James Neely, professor emeritus of the University
of Texas at Austin will be presenting a rare and major
free lecture on Prehistoric canals of the Safford Basin this
Saturday October 17th at 6:30 PM in the Jupiter Room
of the EAC Discovery Park Campus.

Discovery Park is located at 20th Avenue and Discovery
Park Blvd ( aka 32nd street ) in Safford, Arizona.
Telescope access. muiseum tours, and simulator rides
may also be available.

More info by contacting Harry Swanson at
(928) 428-6260 or <>

October 11 , 2009 deeplink respond

Oops. There seems to be a major flaw in our GGMS magic

Yes, they can give a complete cancellation of the first group
of uncontrolled harmonics. And yes, they replace them with
much smaller and higher harmonics.

But, at least in the present REG-BBS-BBS-REG scheme,
some odd subharmonics get newly introduced that create
problems. At present, the cancellation gain only ends up
very modest at best.

Here is an 8 bit signed binary data file of 60 Cycles of
REG-BBS-BBS-REG of length 2,499,600 sample bytes
and amplitude 0.47 that can be sent to Sigview or another
spectrum analyzer.

In which complete and total cancellation of all the "thirties"
uncontrolled harmonics can be observed
. With the first
major uncontrolled harmonic the 61st at greatly reduced

Sadly, there are new 30 Hertz odd harmonics caused by
the two-cycle cancellation. These can be seen to be
quite significant in the "thirties" region.

I'm not sure where to go from here. Using a four cycle
cancellation should eliminate the 30 Hertz odd harmonics
but likely will introduce 15 Hertz problems. "Shaking
the box" jittering of the quantized data values might
also give some further minimization.

At present, it looks like some schemes will work to
reduce uncontrolled harmonics of GGMS magic sinewaves.

But how significant they will end up remains to be
seen and convincingly demonstrated.

October 10, 2009 deeplink respond

Made yet another trip to the Montes Toll road.

It appears to cross the diused southern extension
of the Back Country Byway halfway between the
low water crossing and the corral by the cliff.
Just north of the fence crossing.

At that point, the route consists of a twelve foot
cleared area with continuous low borders both to the
north and south.

The route becomes extremely indistinct for a quarter
mile to the east. It is easily followed to the west to
where it crosses modern route 191. Across 191, the
route seems to paralle the old and largely abandoned
US 70. But is easily confused with earlier road
alignments and apparent CCC projects.

October 9 , 2009 deeplink respond

We have completed updating and revalidating "many dozens" of our
Guru's Lair website pages and believe we have now covered around
97% of the more popular access points.

Again, an updated page can be identified by the eBay link just to the
right of the main title page.

Please email me with any updates, corrections, or noted errors.

It may take us a while to get to the rest of the site. Your support
as a banner advertiser, infopack user, or research associate can
dramatically speed up the process.

October 8, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated, revalidated, and improved our Resource Bin
and What'sNew 2008 Archive web pages.

October 7 , 2009 deeplink respond

Our ISP recently changed our server and some of the more
obscure filename extensions may have temporarily 404'ed.

We think we have picked all of these up, but a few may remain.

Please email me with any problems.

October 6, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated, revalidated, and improved our Library,
Site Map, and Book Access web pages.

October 5, 2009 deeplink respond

The free Solar Industry trade journal seems to be expanding
both the quality and quantity of its more technical coverage.
The new CIGS info in the October 2009 issue is quite welcome.

To date, of course, all of pv remains an outright scam.

Not one
net watthour of pv electricity has ever been produced and
the whole concept remains a gasoline destroying net energy
sink that clearly is neither renewable nor sustainable.

Net energy breakeven can be anticipated eight years after the fully
burdened true costs drop below twenty five cents per peak watt.

Things will, of course, get a lot worse before they improve.

More details here.

October 4, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated, revalidated, and improved our What'sNew 1997
and What'sNew 2006 Archive web pages.

October 3, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated, revalidated, and improved our Acrobat
and Third Party web pages.

October 2, 2009 deeplink respond

Turns out the OTHER new Safford water tank is also an
equal opportunity demolisher. Totally trashing unique prehistoric
habitation and agricultural sites.

So far, it plowed right on through the twin boobs canal. I've yet
to determine further damage. It does seem to only be trashing
prehistory, compared to the other water tank which has taken out
both prehistoric as well as totally unique CCC depression projects .

"Shovel ready" strikes again.

What is really sad about all this is that a little bit of forethought
and a slight rearrangement could have bypassed most of the
damage. At a negligible change in total cost.

October 1, 2009 deeplink respond

Added the 100 kHz Standard, Tic Tac Tronics, Digiviewer, and the
Bounceless Pushbutton to our locally hosted searchible single file
classics reprints.

September 30 , 2009 deeplink respond

Did a major overhaul, update, and reverification of our
Pseudoscience library page.

September 29 , 2009 deeplink respond

Found a little more of the Montes toll road.

Nearly a mile west of the topo site callout is fairly
easily and obviously followed on foot. It is typically
characterized by a 12 foot wide cleared area with
a rock wall to the South. The wall is typically a foot
high and eighteen inches wide.

Things become wildly indistinct and confused as the
Back Country Byway disuesed extension is approached.
Possibly because of storm or flood damage.

The route seems to go midway between the large dirt tank
and the corral by the cliff. It would appear to line up
with the original sudden turn of the byway.

The alignment is barely discernable on Acme Mapper.

September 28 , 2009 deeplink respond

Our GGMS Magic Sinewaves can even be further improved.
By alternating four cycles of REG8, BBE8, REG9, and BBE9
an additional prefiltering reduction of six decibels would seem

A typical example might be an 8/9 pulse per quadrant
amplitude 0.47 magic sinewave whose first 62 harmonics
are zero and whose 63rd would be 0.17 of the fundamental.

Some higher harmonics would also be significantly

BEFORE filtering!

Whether this is worth the effort, the double storage space,
a slight increase in switching transitions, and possible long
integration times remains to be determined.

So far, these cancellation stunts remain to be verified. They
also only seem to apply to single phase solutions and are
not yet delta friendly. No delta friendly cancellation mechanism
is known. .

September 27 , 2009 deeplink respond

Added the Psyctone, ASCII Keyboard Encoder, Popular Electronics
DVM and the Ultra Electronic Stopwatch to our locally hosted
single file classics reprints.

Most ( but not all ) of these are now reasonably searchible. The
searchibility depends entirely on the source document and the
scan quality.

September 26 , 2009 deeplink respond

Our GGMS Magic Sinewaves seem far beyond being
"too good to be true". Ferinstance this example produces an
8 pulse per quadrant digital waveform of 0.47 amplitude
and whose first 62 harmonics are zero in theory and
astonishingly low ( 60 db or more down ) when 8-bit quantized.

The first uncontrolled harmonic is the 63rd at 0.33 of the
fundamental! Filtering should thus be trivial, even over
a wide frequency range.

Your independent testing and verification is desparately
needed. Please email me with your results.

September 25 , 2009 deeplink respond

An example of our new tools to create and analyze GGMS
Magic Sinewaves includes the 0.47 amplitude tools found
here for the spectrum, here for the analysis, and here for
the Gonzo sourcecode.

Other techniques may be required for amplitudes above
0.5 and there are some minor issues with amplitudes .48
and .49. Lower amplitudes are trivial with this code.

September 24 , 2009 deeplink respond

Made some "slideshows for dummies" of our eBay
buying and selling tutorials, suitable for upcoming lectures.

Find these as EBAYBUYS.PDF and EBAYSELS.PDF along
with their sourcecode of EBAYBUYS.PSL and EBAYSELS.PSL

Details on our custom PowerPoint alternate here.

September 23, 2009 deeplink respond

GGMS Magic Sinewaves are a new development that
zero out twice the usual low frequency harmonics through
a cancellation process.

Here is an amazingly simple synthesis route, usable for
GGMS amplitudes from 0.0 to 0.50...

    bridged best efficiency BBE magic
    sinewave of TWICE the desired
    number of pulses per quadrant.

2. FACTOR this result into a REG and a
    BBE magic sinewave by regrouping
    alternating pulses or pulse edge pairs..

3. Create a TWO CYCLE waveform
    consisting of REG-BBE-BBE-REG
    half cycles.

There are subtle differences between these
REG and BBE magic sinewaves and earlier
ones. Involving cancellations of non-zero
but lower earlier harmonics.

At present, I do not have the faintest clue
how to synthesize higher GGMS ampliltudes with
total and true cancellations. But these most
likely do exist and some sneaky algorithm should
eventually evolve.

I'll try to work up a GuruGram on this shortly.

Please email me any verifications or observations.

September 23 , 2009 deeplink respond

Apparently there is a brand new CSI Gila Bend.  To go with
the existing CSI Tulsa, CSI Omaha and their knockoffs.

September 22 , 2009 deeplink respond

Here's some preliminary test results that should let you
test the GGMS magic sinewave concept.

Use a BBE 8 ppq 0.53 amp magic sinewave of...

10.5469382348     % p1s
11.6800357208    % p1e
21.1285109543    % p2s
23.3598053345    % p2e
31.7786679175    % p3s
35.0379144382    % p3e
42.5295661452    % p4s
46.7102405693    % p4e
53.4095480813    % p5s
58.3675249346    % p5e
64.4397435676    % p6s
69.9924227481    % p6e
75.6293832304    % p7s
81.5576901123    % p7e
86.9714692342    % p8s
90                         % p8e

And a REG 8 ppq 0.53 amp magic sinewave of


Combine them into a REG-BFF-BFF-REG two
cycle pattern and
Fourier Analyze. You can use
this sourcecode to produce this result file and
this plot. Code requires our Gonzo utilities per
this tutorial. This is internal use code and not
in any manner polished or finalized.

The results should be a magic sinewave whose
first uncrontrolled harmonic is a reduced 61st.

The benefits of two cycle GGMS alteration are
prefilter uncontrolled harmonics much higher in
frequency and lower in amplitude. The penalties
are 62 switch events per cycle instead of 60 and
approximately double the storage needs.

This remains "too good to be true" ane requires

Please report any confirmations or problems.

September 21 , 2009 deeplink respond
Expanded, updated, and revalidated our Flutterwumper,
Banner Advertising, and Infopack library pages.
September 20 , 2009 deeplink respond

May have a major advance in our GGMS magic sinewaves,
following some disappointing setbacks. A magic sinewave
is a newly discovered digital synthesis procedure that zeros
out any desired number of low harmonics using the absolute
fewest number of switching transitions. Important uses are
industrial motor controls, electric autos, and solar panels.

The question came up whether the first few uncontrolled harmonics
could be further reduced before filtering by some sort of spread
  or cancellation techniques.

Early analysis was unduly optimistic because quarter wave symmetry
was assumed but not present.
Which combined cancellation with
newer odd cosine or even sine terms for only an arguably marginal benefit.

Instead, these preliminary results seem to show promise and can give
a very significant reduction at least to certain amplitudes.

Fourier analyze a TWO cycle waveform consisting of REG-BFF-BFF-REG
half cycles. Be sure to note that all resulting harmonics will be double
those of the real world. At 0.53 amplitude, a conventional 8 ppq BFF
has its first uncontrolled harmonic of 0.77 at the 31st harmonic. The
GGMS version has its first uncontrolled harmonic of 0.18 at the 61st
harmonic. That is BEFORE filtering. Filtering, of course, should end
up ridiculously better.

I'll try to work up a GuruGram on this once I have more results. Yes,
there still could be serious math errors, and yes, there could be further
hidden gotchas. Some question remains whether the real world will
tolerate harmonic integration over a full two cycles.

The potential for four cycle integration remains even more intriguing.
Predicted improvement would depend on amplitude.

Please email me with your independent check results.

September 19 , 2009 deeplink respond

Even after a dozen trips, I've yet to find exact route
info for the Montez toll road. What follows remains
mostly speculation, backed up with only weak evidence.

The route likely went from San Jose to Guthrie. There
was superb train service from Guthrie to Cliffton, Morenci,
and even Metcalf.
There is one and only one credible and gentle
route up onto Tollgate Mesa from Guthrie. Acme Mapper
shows hints of a route which eventually becomes a modern
ranch road. All of which gets confusing at the corral near the
modern highway.

The northern modern highway cuts just west of the corral show
rockworks at their upper limits. These rockworks have unbroken
ancient desert varnish and may in fact be the toll road. The
positioning of the modern road cuts suggest an attempt was made
at historical preservation.

Things get confusing well before the summit. A ranch road to the south
shows an initial east-west portion that may be the original toll
road. Continuing west along the modern highway, there is little
evidence of the toll road. It is possibly buried under modern construction
or flood damaged. On the other hand, it is fairly obvious where the
route had to go along the bottom of the draw..

The "Tollgate Site" marking on the topo map probably is accurate,
and a fairly obvious stretch of the route can be found further west.
This typically is a twelve foot wide path whose rocks were cleared
to a running wall to the south. The wall was typically a foot high
and a foot and a half wide. Newer water pipes confuse the issue.

The route "had" to intercept the largely disused sothern extension
of the Back Country byway, but it is not yet obvious to me just
where. Probably near the wash "low water crossing". The rest
of the route probably followed old US 70 past what I call
the Unnamed Tank in our Gila Dayhikes library.

This is the only historical record I've been able to find, and
it is an undocumented popularization. Please email me if
you have any better info or field verification.

September 18 , 2009 deeplink respond

The HTML <li> list command seems to generate
all sorts of errors when validated to trnsitional or
better modern standards.

This command is "depreciated", which means you
should not be using it in newer designs and layouts.
Use CSS techniques instead.

The main problem is that <li> must NOT be inside
a <blockquote>...</blockquote> structure.
Undo all
of yoour blockquotes and reposition the <li> portion
using the older <ul> and </ul>.

Finding right sized and properly positioned bullets
for substitution can be tricky. There is no bullet in
conventional ASCII, and the ampersand-#183 command in
gives a rather small bullet. And using a
larger font size moves the bullet vertically.

September 17 , 2009 deeplink respond

Expanded, updated, and revalidated our Hardware Hacker
library page.

BTW, you can tell the newly revalidated library pages
by the eBay block to the right of the title.

While less than half of the revalidation project is
completed, this is now over 95% of the page views
on our more significant pages.

It sure is amazing how much the HTML rules have
changed. To date, something like 60,000 "errors"
have been "corrected" on the website.

Please report any remaining glitches, however minor.

September 16, 2009 deeplink respond

One of our current Magic Sinewave projects is to try
and use spread spectrum or cancellation techniques to
reduce the early uncontrolled harmonics. This is turning
out to be a lot more difficult than initially thought.

Many thanks to Robert Ackerman and others for their
independent checking on this. Attempts to date such
as this, this, this, and this have introduced additional
even sine harmonics or even cosine terms. Leaving
only an arguably negligible improvement.

The original premise was that a regular magic sinewave
and a bridged best efficiency magic sinewave have
their early uncontrolled harmonics that are often equal
and opposite in sign to each other.
The question remains
whether some scheme can be created for cancellation.

Curiously, most any even bridged best efficiency magic
sinewave can be factored into two terms of a regular
magic sinewave of half the transitions and a BBE magic
sinewave of half the transitions. When combined, these
two clearly give a "perfect" loharms cancellation with no
new even harmonics or cosine terms.

The only tiny gotcha is that the number of pulse edges
double, thus reducing the switching efficiency.

More on magic sinewaves in general here.

September 15, 2009 deeplink respond

Expanded, updated, and revalidated our Tech Musings
library page.

September 14, 2009 deeplink respond

Expanded, updated, and revalidated our PostScript
library page.

September 13 , 2009 deeplink respond

There sure is a difference in researching our local toll
roads.The Weech Road up Shingle Mill Canyon was the first
road up Mount Graham. While vehicle impassible in
seven places ( mostly flood damage + a forest service
closure ). Most of it is quite easy to follow, although the
4WD vehicle passible portions are mesmerizingly awful.

Not so with the Montez Road up Toll Gate Canyon.
Only small portions are likely to remain obvious, and
even finding the ends and route are proving extremely
difficult. Flood damage, new highway construction, and
pipelines further complicate matters. Yet this was the
more important of the two routes.

Any hints would be welcome. More on similar hikes
are on our Gila Dayhikes library page.

September 12 , 2009 deeplink respond

Expanded, updated, and revalidated our Magic Sinewaves
library page.

The new sections on GGMS spread spectrum techniques
to reduce unwanted harmonics are not nearly as far along
as I wanted them to be.
Nonetheless, there is tremendous
potential here for reduced filtering or even "filterless"

And possible entire new classes of magic sinewaves.

September 11 , 2009 deeplink respond

Started uploading some classic tutorials to our Ask the
Guru Classics library. First offerings are Experiments with
and Electronic Metal Locators.

September 10 , 2009 deeplink respond

While Google Chrome still holds the JavaScript speed record,
the new Firefox 3.5 is also impressively fast. In particular either
program makes our Magic Sinewave Calculators approach near
real time.

Present calculator extensions that need done is expanding the
Delta Friendly selections from 16 to 24 pulses per quadrant.
All of the "regular" Magic Sinewaves need added as well,
since they seem to be emrging in importance as they may
may have some surprising new uses.

A Magic Sinewave tutorial appears here, along with a
Development Proposal here

September 9, 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder that MIT has course materials freely available
either online or as dowmloads for hundreds of their offerings.
As do many other major institutions. There's no credit nor any
instructor contact, but pretty near everything else is there.

One slight gotcha on your first downloads. All the first pages
are nondescript and suggest a near empty file
. Simply go to
page two or scroll down to get to useful content.

September 8 , 2009 deeplink respond

Did a major revalidation and update of our Tinaja Questing
library page.

September 7, 2009 deeplink respond

There are not less than nine major bankruptcy auctions
of SMD houses coming up within the next few days.

Not sure what to make of this, but it would seem that now
is not a good time to go into the SMD assembly business in
the US.
Bargains should abound in the auctions if the sales
interfere with each other in any manner. And the big players
should run out of money somewhere along the way.

The resale price of older SMD assembly equipment can
be expected to nosedive at least temorarily. But stunning
deals just might show up as "contents of room" or
"contents of cabin" after careful onsite inspection.

September 6 , 2009 deeplink respond

Did a major revalidation and update of our GuruGram
library page.

September 5 , 2009 deeplink respond

Added a Frequency Counter and a Shift Register
to our Classics Reprints.

As before, both are single PDF files with most text

Six down ( up actually ). Only 1994 to go.

September 4 , 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder that most older web pages are likely to
have hundreds or even thousands of errors in them.
Which you can prove by using This Validator.

Ampersands are a particular problem, in that nearly
all of them should be represented by &Amp; . URL's
Can cause all sorts of problems, especially those from
eBay, Acme Mapper, and typical government agencies.

There are lots of maddeningly infuriating problems with
Dreamweaver. Possibly the worst is that if you use it to
change ampersands to "approved" form, it will change them
all back an hour or two later into your work session.


Which leads to an even more subtle gotcha: Dreamweaver
is swift enough to detect outside program changes and may
ask you if it should do an update. NEVER DO THIS!

Instead, always "fresh load" your word processor just
before your ampersand changes, and close it just after
completion. Then reload Dreamweaver by hand.

Otherwise, Dreamweaver may revert to code you edited
hours or even days ago.

September 3 , 2009 deeplink respond

One of the more curious features just added to our
Gila Dayhikes library page is the Deadman Canal.

This canal is routed along the HIGHEST point
on a bajada ridge and then gets "switched" in
three different ways to support three dirt tanks in
three wildly different canyons.

There is some suggestion that the original canal
is in fact prehistoric and dates from the thirteenth
century. Which makes its engineering even
more stunningly impressive.

September 2 , 2009 deeplink respond

Reverified and expanded our Hydrogen Energy library.

The updated format pages now include the home page,
What's new 09, Gila Day Hikes, Guru Archives and
It's a Gas.

Please email me with any corrections or suggestions.

September 1, 2009 deeplink respond

Expanded and updated our Gila Dayhikes library page.

August 31, 2009 deeplink respond

Added a Nixie Tube counter and a Signal Injector
to our Classics Reprints.

As before, both are single PDF files with most text

Four down ( up actually ). Only 1996 to go.

August 30, 2009 deeplink respond

I think I got a process of archiving reprints that is
at least "good enough"
. Files are medium resolution
scans OCR'ed into Acrobat 9 ClearScan. Each story
is in one PDF mult page piece, and much of the text is
now  fully searchable.

The task is rather daunting in that there are
likely over 2000 (!) of my reprints that need attention

The dilemma, of course, is that many of these
are preelectronic and do not have sourcecode
beyond double spaced typrwritten pages or
original magazine page copies.

I'd like to see higher resolution with smaller
file sizes, editible and improvable ClearScan
fonts, efficient reworking of original printed
art into my Gonzo format, and better searching
of figure text.
And better finding of "missed"
search terms.

Our first two "heavies' in the new format are
A solid State 3 Channel Color Organ ( good
old number one, as Scrooge McDuck would
say ) and the beyond legendary TV Typewriter
that was the first round fired in the personal
computer resoloutin.

Additional entries are being placed in the
same Classics area of our newly upgraded
Guru Archive Reprints.

The quality and speed of the archving can
be dramatically improved by your participation
as a
banner advertiser, client / consultant,
auction resource sponsor, Magic Sinewave grantor,
or any other funding support.

August 29, 2009 deeplink respond

I could use your help finding some of my "lost" books
and column
s. Preferably high resolution scans.
But copies or even lists of issues-page numbers will

I particularly need the HARDWARE HACKER columns
out of Modern Electronics. And most especially their
Marcia Swampfelder April Fool issues.

I also need a list of which of my Sams books were published
in foreign language editions. With their ISBN's.

Turning to the really obscure stuff, The Goodyear AEEM's,
the Cave Crawler's Gazette publications, and the
Electronic Experimenter's Club stories would be nice.

As would the PE Handbook reprints.

Please email me with any assistance.

August 28, 2009 deeplink respond

A cute and interesting surprise from Acrobat's new
ClearScan: The word searching is smart enough to
find both hyphenated and regular copies of the same word!

I've long avoided use of any hyphens in my stories. Mostly
to obsessively prove that you can do better fill justification
without hyphens than with. But also to work around electronic
searching issues.

Such as these examples. Or these.
More on avoiding hyphens here.

These days, of course, fill justification is largely
pointless and obsolete.

Its nice to know that the older pre-electronic paper
articles and columns now have improved search. We'll
shortly be adding bunches of these to our classics page.

At any rate, de-hyphenation is a very cute hack.


August 27, 2009 deeplink respond

Still getting irate emails from individuals claiming
that "axial" means "out the radius" and "radial" means
the axis".

Which of course is not even wrong. As any 1929 radio book
will tell you.

The two most common forms of cylindrical electrolytic capacitor
are "single ended axial" and "double ended axial".

A radial electrolytic capacitor is so rare that the odds are
utterly overwhelming that you never have seen one.

More details in this photo tutorial.


August 26, 2009 deeplink respond

Added several upgrades and improvements to our
Gila DayHikes library page.

We are now up to 241 main entries and almost 365

August 25, 2009 deeplink respond

The PostScript status command seems to have two
wildly different and easily confused uses.

When applied to an internal file object, the command
returns true if additional bytes remain to be read and
false otherwise. You can return to reread earlier bytes
using the fileposition command, with 0 fileposition
returning you to the beginning of the file

There is no direct way to find the length of an internal
file object. Instead you have to use...

         dup fileposition exch bytesavailable add

When the status command is instead applied to a filename
string, it explores the presence and condition of a file on the
host machine
. Returning either false or -pages- -bytes-
-referenced- -created- true.

Note that the full pathname is usually required and that
each and every forward slash in the pathname must be
replaced by a double slash
for proper PostScript interpretation.

Note further that Acrobat Distiller versions above Acrobat 8
default prevent writing to host disk files
. You can enable
XP by entering Acrodist -F from the command line and other
systems by following these details.

August 24, 2009 deeplink respond

Managed to get back to the Nancy's Rockpiles enigma.

Some evidence is accumulating that this is really a CCC
boondoggle of one sort or another. There are a few classic
punched oilcans present and some markings on at least a
few rocks that suggest steel tools. The desert varnish and
lichen contrast appears too high for prehistoric. As does the
utter pointlessness and lack of windblown fill.

And the fact that the irregular structures are along drainages
rather than across them.

The local evidence is overwhelming that the CCC had a scant few
good and useful projects intersperced with great heaping
bunches of utterly worthless money-down-the-drain busywork.

Local new stimulus packages seem to be following an identical
throw-the-money-away path.

August 23, 2009 deeplink respond

I seem to be spinning my wheels over trying to improve
the latest version of Acrobat 9. While their Clearscan feature
is quite impressive, it seems to have flaws.

Specifically, I would like to be able to retouch the final fonts
and clearly know which text words are in fact searchible
. I
would also like to improve text in figures and make them
searchible as well.

Essential is an UncompressPDF.api plugin. But I cannot
seem to be able to get the one in the free Acrobat 9 SDK
to work. The immediate rude surprise of the SDK is that
all tools are in C language sourcecode and will need
compiled before you can use them

It turns out that Microsoft has a new and free beta
of their
Visual Studio 10 out that should have the
needed tools.

So far, this generates a "can't use mkdir" postproc error.
Finding the output code in the Debug folder does in
fact let you move a new copy of UncompressPDF.api
into the Acrobat plugins file. And does in fact
add the needed "Uncompress" menu item into
Acrobat. But so far it does not actually uncompress
the .PDF files I'm trying to use

Plan "B" was to go to the free PDFTK open source
software that also includes an uncompressor. So far,
this seemed to install ok, but Win XP will not yet
recognize it from the command line.

Plan "C was to write my own uncompressor using
my Gonzo Utilities. But files are the only sure way
of dealing with all 256 characters and with lengths
greater than 65K characters. There is no stream or
endstream operators in PostScript, so these will
need converted to create new file objects which then
can be Flate uncompressed.

I did find a TypeTool 3 that looks like it should
be able to edit the custom Clearscan fonts.

Please let me know any solutions to the apparent
above problems.

August 22 , 2009 deeplink respond

What really galls me over alternate energy solutions is
simply this: Genuine breaktrhoughs are impossibly difficult
to fund and highly ridiculed. While ludicrously and laughably
"not even wrong" obvious fantasies grab the spotlight as
well as run away with the big bucks.

Consider this scheme to replace highways with pv solar panels.
There is so much "not even wrong" with this on so many levels that
I do not know even where to begin.

Clearly, such thinking could only have come from spending long
hours in the outhouse alone. And the epsilon minus government
bureaucrats tha
t funded this electrocity should be staked to an anthill.

For openers, there is no such thing as a net energy pv
Not one net watthour of pv energy as ever been
Nor will it happen till several years after the
net net unsubsidisied cost of fully burdened and equipped
pv panels drops under twenty five cents per peak watt.

Until well after breakeven, each and every panel will
need carefully optimized
if it is even to hope to become
something other than a gasoline destroying net energy

ANY factor that focuses on ANYTHING but net energy
is a fatal flaw.

Let's see. That means the optimum pv farm shape MUST
be a square or at worse a rectangle.
And certainly
not an arbitrarily long linear array. A mile hiway lane
would produce far less energy than two or less acres of
properly designed pv farm. At two or more orders
of magnitude in cost.

That means the optimum pv angle MUST be elevated rather
than flat.

That means the pv panels MUST be carefully protected
from the slightest wear.
Not to mention getting run over
by a truck or freeze expanded. Or covered with snow
and salt .

That means that the sole purpose of the pv farm maint
MUST be to preserve and optimize pv production. And
not worrying about distupting rush hour traffic.

This means that there MUST be something "wrong"
with the pv site that makes it inappropriate for any
other use.
Such as very limited water.

A genuine alternate energy efficiency improving
breakthrough is instead found here.

August 21 , 2009 deeplink respond

A fearture that would make Acrobat's Clearscan even
more useful: A built in font editor.

Clearscan apparently makes a new font "A" by averaging out
and smoothing each and every "A" of a given style and size in
the text portion of the document. The result looks much better than
the original ( besides allowing much smaller files and text
smoothing ). But the font still may look a little ratty.

Caused primarily by defects in type on older documents.
Substituting fonts gets tricky because of the character
widths. Especially with fill justification.

But it sure would be nice to retouch the character shapes
with a hand tweaking.
Ferinstance, a lower case "a"
might still be "fuzzy", "weak" or "too open" compared
to modern typography.

Yeah, you can really do this by hand using a print to disk,
compression removal, editing the font in a third party
product, and recompressing and resaving.

Manual font tweaking definitely should be a built in

August 20 , 2009 deeplink respond

Another tip when using Google imagry:

Their copy protection reappears as symmetric
lettering every two inches or so.
These are easy
to confuse with "real" image details, especially
when you are looking for something prehistoric.

Beware of staggered symmetric patterns!

August 19 , 2009 deeplink respond

Sometimes unexpected detail can be extracted from
a tri-color bitmap by selectively boosting or cutting
each color plane with a color balance utility such as
free Imageview32 or Photoshop.

Further enhancement can be done by bumping the
contrast and/or gamma. Ferinstance, is this a copper
exploration or a prehistoric ruin?

Sadly, Acme Mapper seems to resist bitmap conversion.
There is an otherwise superb Firefox screen grabber
plug in here that does not work. But a free demo utility
called FastStone Capture 6.5 seems to work just fine.

Elaborate bitmap plane manipulations are easily done using
my Gonzo Utilities. Examples include single color to grayscale
conversion. Or blending a high detail color plane with a
lower one.

August 18 , 2009 deeplink respond

Lately, I've bren finding that OVER HALF of my
price or specs industrial email inquiries are outright
being ignored.
Or delayed a month or two, typically
with a response that did not have the faintest clue
what I asked for.

Naturally, an email request for pricing should NEVER
be required in the first place. The pricing should be
conspicuously apparent on the website, or auctomatically
created by their shopping basket.

The first and foremost question any engineer has on
a compenent to be designed in is "How much does it
If you keep this a secret from me, this tells
me you are obscenely overpriced

August 17 , 2009 deeplink respond

While regenerative braking is certainly a worthwhile
addition to an electric vehicle, most individuals tend
to grossly overrate its potential and value.

A theoretical benefit might be fifteen to seventeen
percent. Which in the real world likely becomes nine
to ten percent. Minus conversion efficiencies. And
even less with sloppy driving habits.

You can easily prove this to yourself. Find a vehicle
( such as a city fire truck ) that has a retarder on it
and drive it for a while. You'll find yourself continually
"feathering" the gas to prevent the retarder from
kicking in.

The percentage of the time that kinetic energy is
being absorbed is largely negligible.
And you get
the same energy back regardless of how fast the
initial accelleration got you up to speed.

As usual, there ain't no free lunch.

August 16 , 2009 deeplink respond

Hoffschnagles nefarious cave entrance theorem:

Cave entrances invariably occur in groups of two or
more, except when then occur singly.

August 15 , 2009 deeplink respond

Placed a copy of my very first technical article here.
On a solid state three channel color organ.

As Scrooge McDuck would say, "Good old number one".

I am not yet totally happy with the background or figure
quality. Yes, the text is ( almost ) fully searchible, but
the figure text is not. And, yes, it is a single multi-page
document for hassle free access..

Adobe's ClearScan in Acrobat 9 is clearly a major
step forward in this area. Their candidate correction
still needs improved, and it sure would be nice to be
able to replace fonts.

Doing the job right on all of these ( now over 2000! ) will
take additional banner advertisers or alternate
funding of some sort. .

August 14 , 2009 deeplink respond

A third party hosting of my "Experiments with WWVB"
is now available on line. From the August 1973 issue
of Radio Electronics.

The WWVB signal is noisy enough in most parts of the
country to give disappointing results.  Especially with
simple receivers.
And most people failed to pick up
on the significance of a clock that automatically will
self-reset and is always accurate.

These days, we have tuning fork style 60 kHz crystals
for a dollar that have around the proper "Q". And
greatly improved ferrites are available for a 60 kHz
antenna. And phase lock loops that autocorrelate on
sine and cosine channels are no big deal.

But the really big improvement that could be made
is throwing a zillion computer horsepower at the problem.
We know exactly what the WWVB output is supposed to
look like
for  the next 24 hours. Which means we should be
able to cross correlate with a local reference te to an
effective bandwidth of a tiny fraction of a millihertz!

Design services available.

There are several commercial solutions available off
the shelf. These tend to be pricey and not much in
demand. They usually beat the noise problems by
updating once a day in the middle of the night.

I'd also like to get all of my reprints available here on
my own website. With full OCR and a full text
search. This would take additional banner advertisers,
grants, or some additional funding source.

August 13 , 2009 deeplink respond

It is interesting to review how much technical writing has
changed in the last few decades. The key rule these days
is to think like a cartoonist.
Frugal. Compact. Succinct.

Naturally, nobody pays for writing any more. The
real world return for tech writing has dropped by an
unconsionable factor of TWENTY or more. Despite
ridiculously improved quality and presentation.

Writing is also insanely more competitive than
it once was
. Instead of half a dozen other authors
in a magazine, you have half a million or more on the

A norm for a seventies story might have been 3000
words and five figures. These days, nobody will
sit still for such a morass of detail. A thousand words
is seriously pushing it.

"Bite Size" short paragraphs dominate.
Each separated by
once excessive ledding. Fill justification is long gone.
Hanging punctuation generates a blank stare.
Bolding and color changes have replaced underlining
and italics. And fonts are no longer a big deal. They
are just "there".

Some became better. Full color is the norm with zero cost
penalty. There are fewer size restrictions and any
figures can be placed exactly where you want them
rather than forward or back referencing. You typically
have absolute and total layout control.

Vertical scrolling is trivial, but horizontal scrolling or
multiple columns have become extremely annoying.

Stories can now be the size thay need to be. Instead
of heavily edited to fit columns of editorial space.
Magnification is trivial. Both for additional figure
detail or for handicapped accessibility.

There are far fewer deadlines and those that remain
are more flexible. Full text searching is a given.
Links, of course, are a must. Both to more detail
and more fundamental tutorials.

The two styles are easily compared. With "old way"
methods here and here. And "new way" layout schemes
here and here.

August 12 , 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder that there are several problems if you simply
scan a document for Acrobat .PDF conversion. Not the
least of which are that the file sizes will remain enormous
and searching for text will not work. Because there is no text.

A scanned image of a text page can easily end up several
Megabytes or more in size. Our properly created text+graphics
pages using our free Gonzo Utilities typically average 9K per page.

Scan conversion should involve a three step conversion. First,
scan the image. Second, OCR the image using Acrobat 9 or
the latest competitive software. Third, carefully hand edit the
five percent or so that the OCR regonition typically misses.

More on efficient PostScript ( and .PDF ) here.

August 11 , 2009 deeplink respond

In a stunning genetics breakthrough, they have discovered
that socks are the larval form of the coat hanger.

A dark closet is apparently required for metamorphisis.

More on similar topics here.

August 10 , 2009 deeplink respond

While it certainly pays to aggressively seek out
each and every upcoming auction that could possibly
be of interest, getting really excited about a new auction
listing early on may not be a good idea.

Firstoff, many auctions are never held. They are
simply blackmail by a landlord or a bank or a supplier
to convince the bad guys they are serious about
getting paid. This is especially true of storage
shed auctions.

Other auctions may be "prewired" to a single bulk
Especially if they are allowed to proxy bid.

Certain items may have a tendancy to mysteriously
disappear between the first announcement and
the actual auction as well.

The initial descriptions always sound better than
what you actually will see during your preview.

And time conflicting auctions may create "better
choice to attend" triage situations.

A good rule is to let the auction announcement "age"
a little
before you really get overly enameled of it.
By all means, put it on your calender. But do so in

Many auction listings can be found here. And your
own custom regional auction finder here.

August 9 , 2009 deeplink respond

A certain town which shall remain unnamed ( despite
their sharing their western boundary with Thatcher, AZ )
decided to build a new water tower.

Apparently nobody noticed that all those funny rocks
everybody kept tripping over at the site was a
thirteenth century indian ruin of high cultural
significance and major scope.

The new pipeline itself also qualifies as an equal
opportunity demolisher as it took out a CCC
historical water diversion project.

This was apparently railroaded thru after another
site location got NIMBYed.

Your tax dollars at work.


August 8 , 2009 deeplink respond

The concept of "Lets keep the Cave / Fossil / Ruin / Hike a
secret so the bad guys can't find it" never was a very
good idea. These days, web and other developments make
the concept wildly less than utterly useless.

The first hints that all was not well emerged many decades
ago when the stunning discovery was made that the secret
dirty hippy insider underground publication for everybody
ripping off the phone company was ----> The Bell System
Technical Journal!
And that the key component needed
was included free in every box of Captain Crunch cereal.

Long before the Streisand Effect.

Back then, you actually had to know what a technical library
was and where to find one. And going to a remote physical
location involved several trips and a lot of luck. Rather than
simply saying N 33.16482 W 110.70876. GPS, of course.

Many thousands of people are now routinely into orienteering
and especially geochaching. Making finding any location trivial.
And freely publishing it world wide even less so.

Having the location instantly gives you a topo map and detailed
satellite imagry via Acme Mapper. Or land ownership via
GIS sites such as this one or tax roll sites such as this one.

And most everybody now has ready access to the insider'e
papers and publications. Or shortly will have. Such seemingly
innocuous inclusions as including two foot contour lines on
a ruin site sketch can tell you exactly where the ruin is in a few
minutes of topo searches. As can fitting two bends in a stream.

Doing your own low cost aerial photography has become
trivial, and shortly should approach super cheap.

As with such stupities as DRM or copy protection or draconian
NDA's, there always will be more bad guys than perceived good
And they always will be smarter than you and always will
have accesss to more research materials and more time to
patiently explore nonobvious links and obscure source materials.

Yet another approach involves the Freedom of Information act.
But this route instantly brands you as a bad guy and draws
attention to yourself.

So, excessive secrecy is almost always totally pointless.
Besides usually having the exact opposite of its intended

One possible solution is not drawing attention to something
By not being that way in the first place. A second
is to actually trust people who, on the average, are likely to
benefit your research
rather than hurt it.

A third is one both cavers and Apple computer has used --
put nonspecific but unique names on stuff that does not hint
on their location, but exactly tell you how "they" found it.

BTW, there's an outstanding Master's Thesis topic
waiting for somebody at N 33.16482 W 110.70876.
Especially if things turn out to be not what they seem.

August 7 , 2009 deeplink respond

A fascinating series of reprints to Desert Magzine
can be found here.

The "yellow boxes" that appear to be blatant
censorship are really just OCR screwups. More
often than not, you can second guess the missing

More on similar topics here.

August 6 , 2009 deeplink respond

Verified that the Firefox 3.5 bug that occasionally may
give you an unwanted white or black background is in
fact caused by an unexpected interaction with Windows
XP high contrast accessibility mode.

The problem is more subtle than Firefox makes out
in that it also seems to be file size dependent. I've
noted a trip point around a 250K file size.

The cure is to never use the high contrast XP
Always clear the flag in the accessibility
folder. Systems with the accessibility folder
removed entirely may behave erratically.

August 5 , 2009 deeplink respond

If you are listing several hundred or even several
eBay items at once, it pays to verify your
inventory quantity and location on each and every

Further, if your store listings auto rollover every
thirty days, it pays to carefully check your rollovers
for typos and accuracy once each month

Besides typos, your inventory might have started
out with a dozen new-in-box items and two slightly
scuffed or whatever. Since you normally sell
your best items first, the descriptions may
eventually need downgraded.

Naturally, you ALWAYS understate condition and

August 4 , 2009 deeplink respond

Some tips if you are planning your own hot tub:

It should neither go outside nor inside. Instead, provide a shelter
or well ventillated semi-building. Outdoors has problems with
uv degradation, dust and grime, convenience, privacy, and
heating costs. Existing indoors can cause mold and mildew,
rust, and excessive humidity .

Atriums or other plant intensive structures work well.
Good ventillation and separation from living areas are
both essential.
Isolation from the coldest winter
temperatures is also recommended. Either through
thermal mass, insulated walls, or actual heating.

The usual biggest tub size is 6 foot 8 inches, because this is
the largest size that will fit through an Arcadia door frame.
The door itself may have to be removed during installation.

While the tub itself is usually a ready-to-go dropin, a rather
expensive electrical installation is normally needed. 220 vac,
with manditory higher quality GFI. A low voltage safety
control loop and a timer is strongly recommended. A
professional electrician is usually essential.

A fully insulated cover is a must. It is also important
that the underside of the tub be spray insulated. All but
the cheapest tubs now usually include this feature

Hot tubs are quite heavy when full. Putting one on
the third story of a hundred year old home can
lead to rude surprises. 500 gallons of water is
around 4000 pounds or two tons! Plus people weight.
Your installation is best done over a reinforced
concrete slab. The tub must sit flat on its bottom
and never supported by any edge lip!

Most modern tubs are quite deep. You will need a
companion deck or ladder or whatever to conveniently
be able to step into them.

Solar heating or solar boosted tubs are usually
not remotely worth the hassle and inconvenience.
The confort temperature zone is quite narrow.

Retail markups in the industry are outrageous, so
always shop around. Older or used tubs can be bad
news because of cracking or crazing. And tub
refinishing is a highly specialized task that almost
certainly will be screwed up by any local fiberglass

August 3 , 2009 deeplink respond

Had a controller go out on our hot tub. The most
likely cause was excessive humidity getting to their
piezo switch sensors.
Two of the four switches
failed, the first one intermittently at first.

Hot tubs have improved dramatically recently.
But I still like those classic custom octagons that look
better architecturally, are easier to get into and
out of, and hold more people.

Everything essential is usually built into the tub
these days. A combination controller and heater
talks to the control panel via a RS422 Ethernet
type comm loop.
Apparently they did not use
a conformal coating on the controller or otherwise
prevent a humidity attack. Long after the warranty
was up but still an unacceptably early failure.

Balboa is a leading wholesale supplier.

The technology still has problems. It is usually
tricky to remove the final 20 gallons of water
A waterfall pump or a shop vac can sometimes
help. Siphoning usually does not have nearly
enough head. Tubs are typically filled from a
garden hose, rather than needing an actual
plumbing hookup.

An external windup or electronic timer can
significantly reduce your operating costs.
Even better if it is computerized and can anticipate
your warmup times. Perhaps using some sort
of table lookup to deal with ambient variations.

Electrically heated tubs are quite convenient but can
be very expensive. Eight kilowatts of heater for two
hours per day translates to fifty dollars per month.
And possibly double that if you are sloppy about
your lid covers or do not use a timer.

Curiously, using a tub every day costs about the
same as every second day.
The reheating costs
are surprisingly comparable.

There is an obvious solution of a heat pump.
While there is no particular reason that these
should be expensive, they typically will double
your installation cost today and are in no manner
cost effective.

August 2, 2009 deeplink respond

Did yet another update on our Gila Valley Day Hikes.

We are now up to 232 main listings, and nearly 365 mentions!
Enough to keep you busy for the next year.

Once again, I have personally verified almost all of the
. And tried to indicate where I have not.

I suspect that a few really glaring omissions remain, so
please email me with your experiences and suggestions.

August 1, 2009 deeplink respond

The Russians have just invented synthetic caviar.

It is absolutely indistinguishable from the original,
except by taste.

July 31, 2009 deeplink respond

As we have seen, "contents of cabinet" ond especially
"contents of room" auction lots can be exceptional bargains.

But it is super important that you view the lots and know
exactly what the room or cabinet purpose was.

Ferinstance, a maintenence stores should have all new or
nearly new stuff, while a "fix it someday" stash might
only hold abject trash.

And hour fourteen of a three hour auction can yield
exceptional bargains
if the auctioneer gets further behind.
Especially if it is 120 degrees in the shade and no shade
except for the four inch hail. And the rabid bats are not
having much luck driving the scorpions away. Plus, of
course, no restrooms.

A "bankruptcy" or "forced sale" might have bunches
of nice stuff in the stash, while an "excess inventory to
ongoing options" routine sale likely only has worthless
and obsolete and broken useless leftovers.

The nature of the business also tells you a lot. Electronic
components from a failed porno coin-op loop shop are less likely
to be mil spec quality than from a belly up aerospace custom supplier.

Your risk goes sharply up if you are unable to physically
attend the auction.
So much so, that it may not be worth the risk
unless the price is exceptionally low. Even then, you have to
ask why the price is low if others had the ability to preview.

Much more on our auction help library page.

July 30, 2009 deeplink respond

The "white background" bug I reported a few weeks ago
with Firefox 3.5 may be caused by an interaction with Windows
XP accessibility options.

Specifically, the "Use High Contrast" option on the accessibility
options menu on the control panel can cause problems if
it is set.

If you have problems, try clearing this flag. And please
email me
if you have further troubles with our Whats New 09 library page

Curiously, the XP test machine had no accessibility folder present!
Which might explain how rare ( but real! ) the bug reporting was.

July 29, 2009 deeplink respond

Freight shipments have dramatically improved in many
parts of the country recently.

First and foremost, there is now a UPS Freight that handles
LCL ( less than carlodd lot ) pallets of hundreds of pounds or
While kind of pricey by today's standards, they
completely blow away what the locals used to charge.
are ridiculously easier to deal with.

Two tips: Rates can be much cheaper if you pick the item
up at your nearest UPS dock rather than demanding residental
delivery. And few if any trucking firms will prep stuff for you.
Even tasks as simple as shrink wrapping a skid. But, for
a fairly steep extra charge, some UPS Stores can provide
pickup and packaging services.
Most now handle LCL as well
as normal UPS residental.

Some newer web sites are even better. I like U-Ship, but you
might also try Freightcenter. A typical rate for 400 pounds
two states away might be around $240.00
. Pricier alternatives
that offer additional services ( but may not be in your area )
include Intershipper and Craters and Ferighters.

Another alternative is to ask around locally who makes routine
truck trips back and forth.
These can be ridiculously cheaper and
can greatly simplify packing and prep. Or, use the shippers
yellow pages from your pickup city. Sometimes you can find
a hungry trucker that can cheaply shrink wrap and pick up for

Lastly, U-Haul can be an outstanding bargain at $19 per truck.
But the 60 cents per mile plus fuel can eat you alive on
longer distances. Note that the U-Haul one-way rates from
A to B can be obscenely higher than from B to A.

July 28, 2009 deeplink respond

If you are using this validator to bring your older
HTML code up to XHTML and modern browser
standards, it is not at all unusual for your high error
count to suddenly jump all over the lot.

While the usual explanation is that you did not make
the change you thought you did, some errors can
mask finding other ones. Such as a "&" in a URL
that has not been properly recoded as "&amp;"

Or, fixing a a semmingly minor omission that can have
all sorts of major structure implications. Such as leaving
a </td> off a table.

The usual rule is to attack the big lumps first,
Using search-and-replace to cause the largest
drops in error counts first. Plus doing the easy
stuff early and saving the subtle problems for
later. Chances are good that many of them will
disappear along the way all by themselves.

One crucial gotcha when doing a search and
replace is making sure your changes are very
. Ferinstance, changing width=4 to
width="4" might also force a width=47 to
an error generating width="4"7.

Sometimes leading or trailing spaces can help,
combined with manual replacement to catch
any erros of omission.

July 27, 2009 deeplink respond

Just picked up a bunch of the "nails" used in
bed-of-nails ATE testing
. These can be ideal for
your own custom test lashups and should shortly
be up on eBay.

The correct name for these are "music wire
translation pins"
. And they elegantly solve the
problem of getting from "standard" spacing on a tester
to "custom" pad patterns on the device being

Here is how they work: The pins are typically 3 to
4 inches long and have a crimp near one end.
A top plate matches your tester. A mid plate has
holes just big enough to catch the crimp and keep
the pins from falling out. A bottom plate matches
the pattern you are trying to measure.

The pins can typically be offset by as much as
0.4 inches
, letting you easily match the exact
test pattern you need without going to a totally
custom test setup.

We have these available in small quantity lots
in several sizes so they are ideal for your custom
test setups. Especially for jobs that could not
justify a full blown ATE tester.

July 26, 2009 deeplink respond

As we've seen a number of times in the past, it is
now often trivial to throw another million calculations
at a problem.
Which is how much of our Magic Sinewave
results came about. Per this tutorial.

Our puzzle of a few weeks ago had only 362,880 possible
solutions. PostScript can easily run theough these in
only a few seconds at most.

One off the more general issues that came up when
brute force solving this code was "How do you generate
all possible combinations of nine unique digits 1-9?"

Simply picking a random 9 digit number would have an
excessive number of false hits. And random shuffling
( Monte Carlo style ) would only give you a 63%
probability of success on the first 362,880 tries.

Here's a cute and fast approach to generate "all but only"
of the combinations...

/testall {

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

9 {8 {7 {6 {5 {4{

3 { do exch do exch
         3 -1 roll } repeat

4 -1 roll} repeat
5 -1 roll} repeat
6 -1 roll} repeat
7 -1 roll} repeat
8 -1 roll} repeat
9 -1 roll} repeat
       } store

For each iteration of do, a unique nine digit
pattern will appear on the nine top stack locations.

Loop time ( exclusive of do activity ) is around one
fifth of a

July 25, 2009 deeplink respond

Further expanded our Gila Day Hikes library page.

July 24, 2009 deeplink respond

Auctions that combine a bulk buy option with lot
sales are almost always a sucker bet. I've yet to see
any auction where the bulk sale was not a prewired
giveaway to a selected insider.

This gets even worse when the winning bulk bidder is
allowed to place a higher proxy. Ferinstance, at a
picture framing auction, the chosen bidder might
bid and win at 30K, but proxy bid up to 45K. If there
were 300 lots, the average lot price would have to
exceed $100 without the proxy and $150 with.

Which clearly is in the "ain't gonna happen" range.

Yeah, there can be exceptions. But these are often
few and far between. If what is being sold is remotely
near being a viable business, and if any owner or
employee is not in jail or drug rehab, chances are
that bulk will win.

And that you are wasting your time attending.

Exceptions might be when there are an enormous number
of poisioned lots, only one or two very pricey items that
are not obsolete, or some outrageous obligation ( such
as an epa gas tank dig up ) attached to a bulk sale.

More on similar topics on our Auction Help page.

July 23, 2009 deeplink respond

Another advantage of in-panel synchronous inverters
is that currents can easily be optimized by paralleling

Ferinstance, a one square meter panel could consist of
one hundred cell modules, connected as five groups of 20.
Each group might output 12 volts at 3.3 amps peak, and
five phase inverter arm would only have to deal with this
fairly modest current.

Depending on the cell technology used, the ratio of inverter
phases to cells could easily be optimized for the best efficiency
that is combined with the most reasonable per-phase cell
switching currents. Among other advantages, heatsinking
would be dramatically simplified.

By integrating cells with inverters on a per panel basis,
total system performance can easily be optimized.

More on pv fundamentals here and here.

More on efficient sinewave synthesis here.

July 22, 2009 deeplink respond

For many end users, the cost of a synchronous inverter
added to a home pv system can consume 150% of the
value of ALL the electricity sent through it.
Thus guaranteeing
you a gasoline destroying net energy sink, even with
completely free pv panels.

One emerging solution is to distribute the problem,
putting synchronous inverters on each and evey panel.

The electronics this way are far cheaper and simpler.
Once economics of scale and learning curves set in,
there's no reason the total inverter cost should exceed
$9 each,
nor any reason they should be larger than a
two inch cube.

There are many advantates to "plug and go" panels
that directly output 110 vac. The lower currents
make the electronics and its heat control vastly
simpler. "Sweet Spot" Thevenin optimization
is easily included. UL and local approvals are
dramatically simplified. As is utility standardization.

Interface could be a plain old line cord with
a minor and cheap safety interlock modification.
Just plug it in anywhere.

One approach to "internal inverter" panels appears
I feel it is obviously waaay overdesigned for the
task at hand.
Similar developments can be
found on an ongoing basis in Solar Industry

More on the absurdities of pv here.

July 21, 2009 deeplink respond

Expanded and updated our Auction Help Library page.

This page has also just been revalidated, so please report
any problems you may find, inside or out of Firefox 3.5.

I'm still trying to decide whether to add bouncy bricks
to the regional links. This would make the file size
quite long. Some other improvements and rearrangements
are probably also long overdue.

Your own custom regional auction finder can be
created for your per these details.

July 20, 2009 deeplink respond

One working definition of "engineering" that I prefer
is "A sense of the fitness of things".

One REALLY BAD IDEA that needs immediately
stomped upon is supersizing solar power towers.

This is an engineering rathole of the first order
that is CERTAIN to far exceed costs and CERTAIN to
NEVER deliver net energy.

Conventional solar power towers are marginally useful
and clearly about to be blown out of the water by
stunning new pv developments. pv with advantages of
negligible water needs, incremental expandability,
compatibility with other land uses, minimum approval
hassles, little labor, upcoming true net energy at
competitive rates, low termperatures, future
dramatic learning curve cost reductions, simple
structures, few moving parts that are both low tech and
nonprecise, minimal land disruptions, etc... etc...

The supersize towers would demand a federal land grab
of mind numbing acerage for exclusive use. They will need
water resources far above and beyond what is sanely available.
They demand new strucutres MANY HUNDREDS of feet higher
than any existing Arizona building
! I feel that convection
currents could easily create perpetual hurricane force winds and
conceviably disrupt both regional and global climate. Not
to mention military, bird, and general avaition hassles.

Alarmingly, the feds have been placed on "fast track
approval" for such stupidities.

It seems to me what happened is that a megacorporation spent
way too much money developing an unneeded and useless heat
transfer technology and is desparately trying to trump up uses for
it that would bail them out.

Fortunately, the concept has been thrown out of Nevada.
But certain areas in Arizona remain endangered.

Such "unfit" thinking, of course, could only have come from
spending long hours in the outhouse alone.

July 19, 2009 deeplink respond

It is interesting to watch magazines coping with
their inevitable death spirals.

Machine Design
has just gone from free to way too
much for digital and insanely too much for
their printed version.

Newsweek has tried "repurposing", giving their
current product new depth of meaning to the
term "mesmerizingly awful".

Normally, I am in favor of helping the handicapped,
but Newsweek obviously chose the wrong
remedial Special Ed class for their redesign.

July 18, 2009 deeplink respond

It turns out there are two "flavors" of BNC connectors,
rated for 50 Ohms and 75 Ohms. The 50 Ohm versions
have pins nearly a millimeter in diameter and are intended
for microwave and rf use. The more common 75 Ohm versions
have significantly smaller pins and are intended for video
and cable

For most people most of the time, using the "wrong" style
will not make much difference. Most modern BNC connectors
can safely be interchanged for all but the most critical
of highest frequency performance.

But cerrtain older 50 Ohm male plugs can distort some 75 Ohm
jacks to the point where their reliability could drop.

The rule is to try to keep 50 Ohm connectors in 50 Ohm
systems and 75 Ohm connectors in 75 Ohm ones.

But nothing bad is likely to happen if you mix up any
newer conenctions.

July 17, 2009 deeplink respond

Continuing our expansion and enhancement of our
Gila Valley Day Hikes library page.

We are now up to 222 main entries and nearly 300 mentions!

It is becoming obvious that very few places in the country
can give you so much close in variety
of neatly unique things to do.

Nonetheless, I strongly suspect I have overlooked some
glaring omissions. Please email me with your suggestions.

July 16, 2009 deeplink respond

How bad is the error if you use the "wrong" shuffling
algorithm from two days ago?

The number of possible combinations is n^n. The
number of possible results is n!. The ratio of the
two simplifies to n^(n-1)/(n-1)!.

For equiprobable odds, this ratio has to be an
. How do various "n" values fare?

At n=3, we have 9/2 or 4-1/2. 50% of the
results will have a 20% higher probability

than they should. And clearly is uselessly bad.

At n=4, we have 64/6 or 10-2/3 20% of the
results will have a 10% higher probability
than they should.

At n=5, we have 625/24 or 26-1/24 4% of the
results will have a 3.8% higher probability

than they should.

The bias rapidly becomes negligible for
higher n. And is essentially zero for n=52.

Once you get past the obserssive part, math
can be utterly fascinating.

July 15, 2009 deeplink respond

Two of my many early power control projects
can be found here and here.

Popular Science
completely rewrote and trashed
the concept of the dual control, making it look
ultra hokey. The intended use was for a dual
photoflood controller
for studio photography.

You would do your composition with low level
light to avoid the extreme heat. And then could
easily balance key and backlighting. Color
temperature was not that big a deal because
everything those days was usually black and white

Several refinements in either project simply
were not there yet. Such as adding a second
resistor and capacitor to improve late angle
phasing and eliminate low brightness "jumping".

These ate am radios for lunch
with their
incredible rfi. Adding a toroid dramatically
improved their am compatility.

And performance on drill motors and such
was rather wimpy till motor-specific controls
evolved that used simple but effective
torque feedbaack.

July 14, 2009 deeplink respond

I've long been overly enameled of shuffling algorithms.
Some detailed coverage appeared in my Apple
Assembly Cookbook

It turns out there are two different types of shuffling,
shuffling with replacement (such as dice) or shuffling
without replacement
( such as a deck of cards ).

Shuffling without replacement simply consists of
picking a random number. For dice, a 6 random using
my gonzo utilities works fine, per this tutorial.

Shuffling without replacement can have a sneaky
flaw that biases your results. The obvious ploy of
"interchange all cards with itself or another selected
at random"
creates subtle errors.

Here's why: There are only SIX different outcomes
when shuffling three cards, ABC ACB, BAC, BCA,
CAB, and CBA. But there are TWENTY SEVEN ways
to interchange all with everybody at random. 27 does
not divide into piles of six each very well; thus there will
be unavoidable bias.

Admittedly the bias becomes negligible when you get
up to 52 cards, but it is still definitely there. Instead,
the correct algorithm is "interchange all cards with itself
or another card LOWER IN THE DECK selected at

Again, this is easily done with the gonzo utilities.
Details vary with exactly what you have in mind.

July 13, 2009 deeplink respond

I've started to revalidate many of our website pages.
The home page, What's New 09, and Gila Hikes should
be finished. At least temporarily.

Please report any problems on or off Firefox 3.5.

A very few ( typically 6 or 7 ) problems remain, but these
seem to be false positives from the validator.

I've pretty much decided to stick with our older "retro"
or traditional look to our website.
Among other reasons,
this seems to be a good way to manage a site that has
many thousands of external links on it.

And if for no other reason than all of the innovative kicking
and screaming that I once had to go through for...

PDF Byte Range Retrival
.ASP subroutine availability
Custom Log Reporters
Efficient bouncy bricks.
Hassle free site searches
Automatic Banner Rotators
Banners load last

July 12, 2009 deeplink respond

Here's a summary of the Firefox 3.5 bug I found...

Something like 25% of the XP viewers may observe
a switching to a white background for files whose
length exceeds 250K of sample files such as

Older nonconforming files, such as
may revert to an illegible black background instead.
The problem does not appear on other browsers or on
earlier versions of Firefox.

Please email me if you experience this effect or if you
can find a cause or cure.

July 11, 2009 deeplink respond

A friend at dinner asked if, even without them being
in any manner renewable or sustainable or green, if
today's conventional silicon solar pv panels did not
in fact have a low carbon footprint.

The surprising answer is that, no, they do not.

First, the concept of "carbon free" is totally bogus.
"Carbon neutral" makes much more engineering,
ecological, and economic sense. Particulaly since
carbon appears to be an essential ingredient in
energy dense liquid fuels. And since its release
contributes significant energy.

Second, the amount of energy delivered by a
conventional pv panel is so laughingly miniscule

that the carbon produced by a conventional
power plant for the same energy is negligible.

But the third and key reason is that today's
panels remain net energy sinks
. Most of their amortization
pretty much represent the average carbon
penalty of the rest of society.

Not to mention the carbon emissions during
manufacturer or those of the delivery truck.

Much more in this tutorial.

July 10, 2009 deeplink respond

Arggh! Found yet another insidious bug in Dreamweaver.

Validation of modern web code demands that you replace
every "&" in a URL with a "&amp;". eBay, search services,
and government websits are particularly adept at using
as many as a dozen ampersands that will need modified.

You can easily do a search and replace in Dreamweaver.
The only tiny problem is that the program will change them
all back to the way they were after an hour or two of
further work!!!

The solution appears to be to replace the ampersands
in an ordinary text editor. Dreamweaver will apparently leave
these the way they were.

July 9, 2009 deeplink respond

Am I the only one that sees some irony in today's
announcement that the Feds will spend 18 million
dollars "improving" a website on government waste?

Prediction: When all the dust settles, virtually any
middle school math class could come up with a better
website design in exchange for a bag of hamburgers.

July 8, 2009 deeplink respond

I remain convinced that there is a bizarre bug
in Firefox 3.5. Albeit one that is rare and
probably will not apply to you.

The symptoms are that a long and poorly validated
file such as
will switch to an illegible black background after
one second. A similar revalidated file such as will switch
to an annoying but still useful white background
after one second.

This only applies to files larger than 250K.
While it shows up on my Dell Windows XP,
at least three viewers report no problems.

But one does. Our sample size is somewhat
low, but this suggests a 25% problem rate.

Please email me if you get white or black
backgrounds on any of my website files
under Firefox 3.5. And especially if you
know how to make the problem go away.

July 7, 2009 deeplink respond

An interesting development in pv solar appears in
the April 10, 2009 issue of science.

Low cost organic materials are used in a wire
like geometry
. This greatly simplifies current
gathering.. The system also appears somewhat
self-focusing with a wide acceptance angle.

Sadly, efficiencies remain unnacceptable
at less than 4%. But this could turn into
quite a major innovation.

More on pv solar here.

July 6, 2009 deeplink respond

BLM has a number of interesting and free
web download papers..

#1 -- Sonoran Desert Prehistory
#2 -- Southeast Arizona Archaeology
#4 -- Pinenut Kaibab Anasazi Site
#5 -- Patayan Country Peoples
#6 -- Lower Colorado River Resources
#7 -- Aravapia Ecology & History
#8 -- Bonita Creek Ecology & History
#9 -- Harquahala Solar Observatory

July 5, 2009 deeplink respond

I've long found Midwest Products to be a great source
of modelmaking materials. Especially such things as
dimension cut lumber for models. They seem to have
newly added some hi tech carbon fiber tubing to their
product line.

I long ago did a review of places to go to get unusual
stuff as Resource Bin #10 you will find in this Archive.

An ouatfit similar to Midwest but a lot more plastics
oriented is Iasco-Tesco. K&S Engineering offers a
lot in the way of brass and aluminum shapes, but is
super snotty when it comes to dealer only sales.

Your best source for precut materials and whatever
you need to hold them together would be Small Parts.
Larger stuff can come from McMaster Carr, along
with electrics from W.W. Grainger.

And a superb but non obvious source for these
materials remains Model Railroader magazine.
Who still have by far the finest technical
writing anyplace ever.

July 4, 2009 deeplink respond

One of the more minor skirmishes in the "indian
wars" was our local "Battle Mountain". More
correctly called the Battle of K-H Butte.

The injuns won this one 4-0 in double overtime.

The actual battle ranged from Cedar Springs, thru
two other locations, and ended up at K-H Butte.
Very little remains in the area today.

The best info is available is in an expensive and
hard to find book. Titled, of all things, The
Battle at K-H Butte

Local copies can be found in the EAC Library or
the Pima Museum.

More on similar topics on our Gila Dayhikes page.

July 3, 2009 deeplink respond

Only in Thatcher...

The new construction project is a combination feed
store and beauty salon.


July 2, 2009 deeplink respond

Org. Found yet another hassle with Dreamweaver.

Should you copy URL's from one position in
a table to another, additional "loose" URL's
may remain in place.

These do not seem to cause problems by
themselves, but your files will get longer, and
hassles involving "&" conversions will get worse.

And, of course, your code is no longer clean.

July 1, 2009 deeplink respond

The web design rules have gotten stricter over the years.
So it is a good bet that any older web pages of yours
may now have hundreds ( or even thousands! ) of
compliance errors.

Although browers have gotten better and better in
dealing with sloppy code, the better your compliance
the more likely that every modern browser will view
your code in the way you intended

A useful free web validator is found here. Along with
a companion URL checker here.

Some modern compaibility issues...

LOWER CASE - strictly required
for just about any HTML command.

- most now
be in quotes just about everywhere.

- must now start with a
letter and not a number.

- Those in URL's
must now be spelled out as &amp;.

- Now required
instead of optional. Use alt=" " if

strictly be provided between all HTML

BLOCKQUOTES - Use <blockquote>
instead of <ul> and </blockquote> instead
of </ul>.

SELF DELIMITS - Each command
must have an ending. Such as <br />
instead of <br> and <img .... /> instead
of <img ... >

The validation site site sometimes may give a false
positive. Ferinstance, a visual basic script with
lowsrc in it may return an error even with valid
code. And there are potential mixeups between
HTML's onmouoseover and JavaScripts
OnMouseOver. Also, reuse of a unique id may
not necessarily be an error if it is offsite.

June 30, 2009 deeplink respond

Several goverment agencies have now placed alternate
energy proposals on a "fast track" approvial process.

This clearly has the same grevious flaw as "shovel ready"
stimulus programs that are clearly favoring really stupid and
utterly useless boondoggles over useful and needed projects.

The problem is this: Most alternate energy projects are
less than totally worthless.
And not even wrong. We have
such outright scams as corn ethanol and conventional silicon
pv panels.
And weapons in disguise as satellite focused
power. And fundamentally insane power tower supersizing. Or
ludricuous hydrogen anything.

A reasonable estimate is that only one project in
ten is potentially useful
when directed towards
renewable and sustainable true net energy at
fully burdened utility avoided cost peaking costs.

Thus, fast tracking virtually GUARANTEES
engineering ratholes.

Some realistic apprasials here and here.


June 29, 2009 deeplink respond

One underappreciated engineering concept is the threshold
. In which, before a key event happens, everything is
klutzy and expensive. And afterward, everything is cheap
and effective.

Three older examples are putting audio tape into cassettes.
Or helically scanning diagonally across a tape as the key
to video recording bandwidth. Or the recent revolution
in high resolution silicon image detectors.

Three thresholds obviously in the process of being crossed
are ultra efficient light emitting diodes based on multiple
point sources, flat planel displays now having blown CRT's
completely out of the water, and solid state flash memory
replacing moving media for dramatic improvements in power,
reliability, speed, and size. Plus, soon, cost.

It is fairly easy to predict our next probable thresholds...

techniques in mile long rolls promise to
finally deliver quarter-per-peak-watt power
that is truly renewable and sustainable.

is all over for printed books the instant that
they get over the DRM stupidities and klutziness
and deliver a product that is more pleasant to
use than a book.

The theoretical limit for lithium is around
1200 watthours per liter. Such levels would
revolutionize both automobiles and portable
power. Nanotechnology may be the key.

delivery of any and all movies and tv programs
from all time is poised to utterly and completely
blow away such quaintly arcane concepts as cable
or broadcast network television.


June 28, 2009 deeplink respond

Picked up an additional stash of Apple IIgs computers,
including some fairly rare Woz limited editions. Plus lots of
memory cards, keyboards, and some unusual plugins.

These should eventually become eminently collectible. I'd
rather sell the entire lot to a serious investor than one by
one listing them individually.

Please email me if you are interested in this unique opportunity.

June 27, 2009 deeplink respond

One of the leading indicator species of overgrazing
is -------------> cows.

June 26, 2009 deeplink respond

Uh, Oops.

There seems to be some serious campatibility issues
with Firefox 3.5 and several of our files, most notably
this WHTNU09.SHTML blog and a few earlier ones.

The symptom is that the file switches to black wallpaper
near the end of the load,
totally trashing everything,
especially black text. The problem kicks in above files
sizes of 230K or so.

Related factors may be HTML compliance issues with
older file structures, DreamWeaver, and Windows XP.
Preliminary attempts to sort all this out gave some
wildly conflicting results.

Present attempts are being made to make the files fully
HTML clean, so the problem can in fact be squarely
blamed on a Firefox 3.5 bug.

Please report any observations or solutions.

June 25, 2009 deeplink respond

Your tax dollars at work: In a stunning local
development, stimulus funds are being used to
move the turnoff to a very seldom traveled dirt
road by a few feet.

While transporting a ridiculous numer of
cubic yards of plain old dirt 30 round trip
miles to do so.

The 60,000 yards claimed in the press release
is fundamentally insane.
That would be 6000
trips of 10 yards each. There is, of course,
bunches of better dirt already available within
a few feet of the site.

All at more than the price of a sorely needed aerial fire
platform ( ladder ) truck.
Or many years of funding for a local
public library threatened with imminent closure.

It would be far cheaper to pay each road visitor
$100 cash for each time they are inconvenienced by
a slightly nonoptimal turnoff.

The key concept here is called "shovel ready" Which
translates as "Get this fiasco started before anyone
realizes that such thinking could only have come from
spending long hours in the outhouse alone.

June 24, 2009 deeplink respond

Bunches of pointless puzzles are of form...

? * ? - ? = 2
+    +   *
? - ? + ? = 7

+    -    +
?  / ? + ? = 12
=   =    =
21  3  24

in which ? are the used once digits 1-9
and the math operations take place in
correct order
of multiplications and
divisions first and additions and subtractions

You could easily brute force this using
PostScript as there are only 362,880 possible
. But the solution key is that there
are only thirteen possible ?/? integer
solutions lower left...

   2/1+10 will not work as 10 needed to sum to 12
   3/1+9 will not work as 24-9=15 requires 5*3
   4/1+8 will not work as 24-8=16 requires 4*4 or 8*2
   5/1+7 will not work as 24-7=17 is prime
   6/1+6 will not work as 6 is duplicated
   7/1+5 will not work as 24-5=19 is prime
   8/1+4 will not work as 24-4=20 = 4*5
   9/1+3 willl not work as 24-3=21 = 7*3

   4/2+10 will not work

   6/2+9 needs 24-9=5*3 and moves to next level <---
   8/2+8 will not work

   6/3+7 will not work as 24-7=17 is prime
   9/3+9 will not work

This leaves 7, 8, 1, and 4 as upper left numbers
and only eight possibilities remaining. We quickly
see we need big numbers in the upper left
column. And that the top center cannot be a
four because the product is too big.

For a solution of

7 1 5
8 4 3
6 2 9

June 23, 2009 deeplink respond

Totally pointless puzzles can end up ridiculously obsessive.
They also can drive home how much you can do with seemingly
unrelated web resources.
From thousands of miles away.

Six decades ago there was a distinctive radio tower that defined
a certain city skyline in the 1950's. At the time, it had a rather
specialized format. I noticed it was still around and wondered
just what it was up to recently.

Starting with Google Maps and Google street view, the tower
was quickly located. Strangely, the address was ambiguious.
Curiously, the building was totally unmarked. Possibly because
of terrorism considerations, and possibly because most radio
stations sell so often that changing the signs gets expensive.
The dual coax feeds on the tower stuggested it was still
commercial FM and now served two frequencies.

An adjacent property was next located on a county tax
roll site similar to this one. From which an older owner
of the site was found. This owner was a radio megaconglomerate
who sold to someone else for $10. This was not a half bad price
for the property, which had a rather decent view.

Some tower info was found from a FCC site similar to this
. Next, a list of local stations of the required distance
from city center was found from a radio resource site
comparable to this one. Their GPS coordinates rapidly
confirmed two active commercial FM stations using the tower.

Both of which were owned by yet another radio megacomglomerate
from a different city. They apparently are using the extra space
in the building to provide web media services to other broadcasters.

June 22, 2009 deeplink respond

Got several emails pointing out that subsidies encourage
sales of pv panels.

Panels that are in no way green, renewable, nor sustainable.
And are gasoline destroying net energy sinks. Using
conventional silicon technology, they always were and always
will be.

Which is precisely the point: There should be a $1000 per
kilowatt TAX on every installed conventional pv panel that is
incapable of net energy.
Rewarding the losers both penalizes
and delays innovation.

Net energy breakeven can be anticipated eight years
after the fully burdened panel costs drop under twenty
five cents per peak watt. Subsidies of loser technology
can only further set back net energy breakeven.

More pv fundamentals here.

June 22, 2009 deeplink respond

Expanded and improved our Gila Hikes library page.

We are now up to TWO HUNDRED main entries!

June 21, 2009 deeplink respond

Is it intentional ecopornography or just an "accidental"
coincidence? A battery company just announced a
minor improvement in internal lithium battery resistance
as a density of 4500 w/l.

Surely nobody would notice the missing "h", would they?

An ENERGY density of 4500 wh/l would be a stunning
breakthrough in lithium technology. Approaching gasoline.
Unfortunately, this is about THREE TIMES the

But a POWER density of 4500w/l is no big deal at all.
It is a minor improvement that most battery manufacturers
are working on by nanotech modifications of internal

One more time kiddies: Energy is how much; Power
is how fast.

One trade journal for such developments is this one.

Much more here and here. And here and here.

June 20, 2009 deeplink respond

Yet another extremeophile is found here. This
one is ultra small, super cold and amazingly

The best guess to answering "are we alone" is
called the Drake Equation. One convenient
calculator of which is found here.

Several things have recently happened to
dramatically raise the odds on the Drake
Equation. First, we are discovering one new
exoplanet a week and it seems that planetary
systems are much more common than were
even recently believed.

Second, we are finding more and more of the
extremeophiles here that can dramatically
extend what life is and where it can be found.

Admittedly, the snottites may not be into high tech.

Third, we are learning from our own
stupid mistakes. The frequency most searched
for SETI hints is the one in which worldwide
transmission is specifically forbidden!

Other civilizations are equally likely to stay
out of the waterhole.

Fourth, we are learning that watts on a satellite
or milliwatts on a fiber or cable beats kilowatts
blown out a broadcast tower.

More intelligent species are unlikely to be blasting
rf energy all over hell and gone. Especially if
there is a "come eat us" message attached.

But one negative is this: An earth-moon combination
might be essential for climatic stability
. And may in
fact end up quite rare.

My own feelings remain that we are not alone.

I'm still curious what "they" are going to do when
they receive their first clip of Roller Derby as
the sum total of our civilization.

Yeah, right.

June 19, 2009 deeplink respond

It is super important to NEVER let an old URL
go dark!
There might be hundreds or thousands of
third party sites linking you. And they will get
mightily pissed over your forced 404.

Worse, your url may be stashed in search
engines that also will hang.

Instead, you leave the old URL name in place
and change it to a redirect...

<meta HTTP-EQUIV="REFRESH" content="1;

Very important: The content is your time delay in
NEVER use a zero time delay, or your
user's back arrow will fail to operate properly!

Such as this example that gives the user enough
time to back out should they want to.

Named destinations are easily added using the
full version of Acrobat. If you want to get
fancy, programatic solutions are found in the
PDFMark Reference Manual.

June 18, 2009 deeplink respond

One of the many enigmatic mysteries of the 1898
Safford to Morenci toll road is "Why is there a
PVC pipe inside the shoulder rockpiles?

My guess is this:

The original road construction consisted of removing
rocks and piling them on the ( usually southern ) edge
of the ten foot wide pathway. These rocks were then
loose and formed a continuous bunker some three feet
or so wide and two feet or less high.

Ranchers like to bury their stock tank PVC to keep
the water cooler, minimize damage, and prevent
ultraviolet lifetime trashing. Digging a "real" trench
through extremely rocky soil is both expensive
and time consuming. Not to mention painful.

So, my guess is that they simply laid the
pipe BESIDE the shouldder rockpile and then
MOVED the loose rocks over to cover.

June 17, 2009 deeplink respond

One forever popular helpline and email question is
the two way linking between HTML and PDF files.

I've long had the older demo linked above. But
things have gotten obvious and easy since.

To get from .PDF to .HTML, you do the same
thing you would do HTML to HTML...


To get from HTML to PDF, you either use
a preset and prenamed destination similar
to an anchor...


Or, you can go to a specific page...


Using a position named destination lets
you magnify or go to a specific position
on the page. But requires a custom
destination definition inside the PDF file.

June 16, 2009 deeplink respond

I've combined two earlier files here to make them
more linkable and accessible....

I am mystified why the State of California would blow eight
billion dollars
(plus admin and transfer costs that likely
triple this figure) paying people to put gasoline destroying
net energy sinks
on inappropriate rooftops.

By how many DECADES will the California 8 billion
dollar rathole fiasco SET BACK the development of
renewable and sustainable pv solar electricity?

Clearly, conventional silicon PV panels will never reach
sustainability and renewability. And every cent poured into
this particular rathole can only set back the time when
true renewability/sustainability can emerge.

Let's instead postulate a "pioneer panel", the very first
real world sustainable and renewable pv solar energy
system. What would its characteristics have to be to
allow pv solar energy to be anything but a monumental
"feel good" energy sink and net destroyer of gasoline?

A nominal pioneer panel size would be one square meter
delivering internally synchronously inverted "plug and go"
110 volt 60 Hertz consumer ac power with utility buyback
and storage option.

The at-the-terminals efficiency would have to be in the
forty percent range, brought about by an absolute minimal
material use and ultra low cost processing that involves
spread or multiple workfunctions probably combined with
MEMS nanotechnology techniques using nanoantennas.
Plus possible photonic lattice techniques.

CIGS may also help.

Let's see. Such a panel would generate something like 400
peak watts at appropriate sites, or about 2.5 kilowatt hours
per day. Naturally, only a tiny fraction of the delivered energy
could be renewable and sustainable
, owing to materials cost
and amortization. Let's assume the fully burdened panel can
deliver ten cent per kilowatt hour energy at an infrastructure
cost of eight cents per kilowatt hour for two cents per KWH
of genuine net honest renewable and sustainable energy.

The "old energy" breakeven pay for itself would then be
about twenty cents per day. Assuming a ten year lifetime and
a ten percent interest rate, the retail cost of the zero-installation
hassle panel at Home Depot would have to be under $454.00
total. Or more like $378 in an area with 300 days of available
sunshine. Per this amortization calculator.

I very strongly feel that such a pioneer panel is definitely
acheivable within a one decade time frame. Provided that all
of the ludicrous sideshows are immediately flushed

Naturally, if you build these pioneer panels, they WILL sell.
"Beating your customers away with a stick" comes to mind.
And absolutely ZERO in ludicrously counterproductive and
pointlessly "not even wrong" subsidies would be needed.

The key point is that NOTHING ELSE MATTERS long term
but acheiving pv renewability and sustainability. Clearly, dollars
blown on anything but this specific goal simply set back the
time when solar electricity ever becomes viable.

More in our Energy Fundamentals tutorial.

So let's do some numbers...

Let's assume the 8 bil only costs 8 bil, rather than its
true triple cost after transfers and admin. And that
there are ten million of our pioneer panels per the
above in fact installed and working.

Our projected panel returns two cents of genuinely
renewable and sustatinable pv solar electricity per
kilowatt hour for eight cents of "old energy" gasoline-
in-disguise invested. A 400 watt panel would generate
about 2.5 kilowatt hours per day, or around five cents
of renewable and sustainable net pv solar electricity.

At 300 effective days per year, each panel year would
generate $15 worth of renewable and sustainable
electricity per year. Ten million panels would thus
generate 150 million worth of renewable and sustainable
electricity per year.

8 billion divided by 150 million leaves 53.3 and change.
Thus, the California pv fiasco will likely set back the
development of renewable and sustainable net pv electricity
by a grand total of 5.3 DECADES!

Assuming a zero interest rate, of course.

More in our pv solar summary tutorial.

June 15, 2009 deeplink respond

Certainly one of the most extreme of extremeophiles
are the snottites. Little known is their increbible acidity
comparable to concentrated sulphuric acid. Their
ph is sometimes less than unity

Stuff like this makes extraterrestal life a virtual certainty.

No, I am not making this up.

June 14, 2009 deeplink respond

There's a new product called Elmer's Foam Sheets
that can ease and improve your eBay backgrounds.
Especially if you are using a scanner.

Their rainbow assortment consists of fifty half page
sheets in a dozen or so colors. While readily available,
they do not yet appear to be on their website.

I have several approaches I use to knock out color
backgrounds on eBay. Thus, this program can make much
of your background white. A little manual intervention
may be needed on undercuts and detail. Before use,
it is super important to make sure there are no true
whites within the image itself. Using this or a similar
routine. Otherwise, you will get horrible punchthrus
that are quite hard to fix.

This program can do an auto backgrounder for you
to any of a dozen or so colors. With or without an
optional artsy-craftsy vingnetting.

And this bmp file can instead give you any of a
number of stock backgrounds. These subtle
patterns have been optimized to minimize any
.JPG artifacts.

Should you go with Elmer instead, you scan with the
color sheet near the item. You then pick a very small
color area and expand it into a pleasant and artifact
free background. And then repeatedly cut and paste
to create your knocked out background.

I feel it is nearly always super important to distortion
correct your images to one pixel accuracy, converting to
architect's perspective. This program can be of help.

And this program can let you improve bitmap
lettering to optimal sharpness.

June 13, 2009 deeplink respond

Got back to the tollgate area. Turns out that
Tollgate Tank has several rather impressive
dams associated with it. And that there are
several layers of historic interest.

So far, I've been unable to find any vetted
historical documentation of the toll road. But
I think I convinced myself that such docs
do exist somewhere.

A popularization and extraction for the December
1953 issue of Desert Magazine has these possibly
accurate facts..

     The main honcho was one Francisco
     Montes, aided by Vicrtoriano Corrasco,
     Andres Serna, and Emilo Lopera. And
     later by a Luther Green who was involved
     in a stage route over the toll road.

    The toll road was apparently built in 1899
    and used through 1917
. Toll charges were
     originally fifty cents, later dropped to thirty.

Please email me if you have any more credible docs
on this.

June 12, 2009 deeplink respond

I very strongly feel that pv solar panels are totally
inappropriate in any location that has an adequate
water supply.

Contrary to popular belief, economies of scale are
very alive and well with pv solar
. To the point where
net power producing utility scale systems should have an
unbeatable econonic advantage over home or neighborhod
systems. Especially with grid storage.

pv sites require negligible to very little water.
Thus often making them the highest and best use for
any large site that is water critical.
Conversely, if there
is adequate water, then other land uses clearly
become the better choice.

Additional tutorials here and here.

June 11, 2009 deeplink respond

I just got a call from an individual who just invented
an instant solution to energy problems and would I
please lend him two billion dollars to prove his
untried and undeveloped concept.

He did proudly report he got a patent on the process.
Which involved a long term energy rathole.

A reality check...

For most individuals most of the
time, any involvement with patents
is virtually CERTAIN to end up
as a net loss of time, energy, money,
and sanity.

There is surprisingly little demand
for genuine energy breaktrhoughs.
Instead, big bucks are thrown at
outright scams such as corn ethanol
or silicon pv solar.

To interest others in your development,
it MUST be in beta test with working
models under extensive third party

While grants are available from
PIER and others, virtually all of them
go to organizations with grantmanship
skills rather than competent innovators.

Subsidies are less than useless because
they reward individuals for placing
gasoline destroying net energy sinks
on inappropriate rooftops. While their
true costs can SET BACK net energy
production by as much as five decades.
Per this file for February 19th.

At the very least, you need your own
  with a thorough and complete
description of your developments to

A genuine breakthrough in energy efficiency
appears here and here.

June 10, 2009 deeplink respond

I find it apalling that most classic technical papers remain
utterly unavailable on the web. Especially if they
involve electronics, history, or archaeology.

I very much favor revision of the copyright laws. For an
individual 36 months with one-time negotiable renewable.
For a corporation, heir, or other non-originator, 18 months
with no possibility of renewal.

Plus, of course, REQUIRED and AUTOMATIC posting
to appropriate websites at the end of the copyright.

June 9, 2009 deeplink respond

Here's a technique to minimize the JPEG artifacts along
knocked out edges of eBay and similar images...

Instead of knocking out to a single fixed color, do so
to a slightly mottled and random patterned background
Making sure that the pattern is not regular
against any
one edge.

This will eliminate nearly all .JPEG "edge ghosting" at
the price of a slightly larger file and some attention to
detail during prep time.

One pattern source appears here.

June 8, 2009 deeplink respond

Several new developments in heat pump water heaters
have recently been announced.

But there is a huge gotcha in their ad campaigns.
First the efficiency of a heat pump depends largely on
the ambient temperature difference
it has to work against.

But more crucially, if the heat is removed from the air,
whatever was putting the heat in the air in the first place must
drop in its efficiency. Thus, in winter time, your building heating
costs may go up more than you will save in your hot water system

What is really sad is that the place where heat pumps are truly
and genuinely needed -- for hot tubs --, the prices remain
outrageously and uselessly expensive. To the point where they
are not remotely cost effective

June 7, 2009 deeplink respond

For several years now, cavers have known about a
serious and dramatic decline of bat populations known
as the white nose syndrome.

Apparently it is finally getting the media attention that
it sorely deserves.

Many cavers have sharply cut back on their cave visits.
Some going to the extreme of buying all new gear anytime
they visit out of area.

More on caving here, here, and here and here..

Meanwhile, the colony disorder that was decimating commercial
beehives may have been solved.

June 6, 2009 deeplink respond

One of the seldom mentioned advantages of all
these "alternative to eBay" sites is their
tremendous savings in bubble wrap, strapping
tape and other shipping materials...

Altec Trader
Atomic Mall
Auction Quests
Auction Warehouse
Buy It Sell It
Buy Sell Trades
Craigs List
Deal Tent
Hi Bidder
Intershop Zone
Mighty Bids
Online Auction
Quick Bargin
Powersellers Unite
Really Smart Deals
Specialist Auctions
Storm Pay
Treasure Soft
U Bid Right
US Auctions Live
Web Store
Your High Bid

This site tracks the popularity of some of the
above services. They are all, of course, ( with
the sole exception of Craigs List "noise on
the graph"
below eBay.

June 5, 2009 deeplink respond

The recently improved Gila Valley Satellite
has revealed bunches of new stuff.
But remains frustratingly ambiguious when
it comes to prehistoric artifacts and such.

There appear to be a dozen or so what we
might call thumper loops. These are circular
"roads to nowhere" that are always on a flat
mesa, always close on themselves, and
always remain within a few feet of a steep
mesa edge.

Some hint at internal evidence of CCC
water projects or prehistoric ag structures.

My best guess is that they are "post GPS" roads
for geophysics access, such as seismic exploration
or core drilling.

More on similar topics on our Gila Hikes page.

June 4, 2009 deeplink respond

A series of spectacular Hubble astronomy
can be downloaded from any of a
number of online sources, including this one.

A Powerpoint reader is required.

June 3 , 2009 deeplink respond

Added some more entries to our Gila Day Hikes library.

June 2 , 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder that the Keelynet is unintentally funny
with their extensive coverage of pseudoscience
topics. Especially magnetic perpetual motion
machines, zero point energy, cancer cures,
overunity motors, and wireless power transmission

On the other hand, they cast a wide enough net
that real and genuinely useful news often sneaks
through. Making their site a "must visit".

Such as this link to Twenty essential science websites.

More on pseudoscience bashing here.

June 1 , 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder to keep an eye on the small stuff.

We saw a few months back how an outrageously
heavy and obsolete materials test machine included
some fractional ounce diamond tooling of high
value that very much remains in demand.

In a more recent example, much of the advertised
test gear turned out to be horribly and uselessly
obsolete. But tucked in the bottom of the boxes
were some platinum/irridum tension sensors,
riciulously expensive brand new absolute humidity
sensors, and precision vacuum gauges.

May 31, 2009 deeplink respond

An outfit by the name of Gainspan that is an
Intel spinoff seems to have some new ultra
low power WiFi chips that should work well
into our Isopod energy monitor devices.

The GS1010 chips are currently rather pricey at $29
but eventually should prove of value.

May 30, 2009 deeplink respond

We have just made a major server upgrade.

Please report any missing or broken files or any
other problems that you may run across.

Especially missing eBay images or unreadable

May 29, 2009 deeplink respond

As a general rule, any topo map feature named
"cave" or anything remotely suggestive has long
ago been checked by Southwestern cavers.

Cavers use binary geology: There are two kinds
of rock, limestone and shit. Except for some
minor lava and gypsum examples, juat about
all decent caves demand limestone. Not just
limestone, but a karst topography where water
can create sinkholes and such.

One intriguing area I have yet to explore is the
"Pothole Country" six miles north of Mule
. There's also a "Cave Canyon" and
a "Pothole Canyon" in the immediate area.

"Pothole" can have several meanings. No
telling exactly what they had in mind.

The geology is almost certainly a useless
volcanic mudstone, and the area seems little
known to cavers. While on Gila National
, a long ago exploration attempt
met with distinctly unfriendly local ranchers.

There's new high resolution imagry on
Acme Mapper. But, as usual, the best
is suggestive but not good enough.

Real cavers can be found here, here, and
here and here. Although somewhat out
of range, I've added this site to our
Gila Hikes library page.

May 28, 2009 deeplink respond

All is not well on the Arizona Auction scene.

Apparently shilling and buybacks have gotten so bad
that other auction houses are rallying against these
At least one alleged crook is in alleged jail after
allegedly ripping off alleged locals for alleged millions.

And "deep pocket" theory lawyers have unjustly sued
prefectly innocent ( and highly reputable ) bystanders.
Meanwhile, another auction house just added a ludicrous
$150 minimum bid. And local mil surplus is now no
more with nearly all Southern Arizona items being trucked
to Northern Utah to save on costs.

A major source of high tech auction items has sharply
scaled back their offerings while moving some of them
out of state. While the type of auctions that I need the
most -- aerospace closures and industrial liquidations --
just do not seem to be happening.

All of which is highly conterintuitive. There should be
zillions of distress auctions these days. The Tucson
is up to thirty house forclosures per day from
its years ago norm of one per week.

May 27, 2009 deeplink respond

We try to be as accurate as we can in our eBay
listings and try to reasonably test and refurb and
clean all items. We feel we go exceptionally and
obsessively out of the way to offer the best products
as the best prices.

But every once in a while, something sneaks thru.
Our recent red snap switches turned out to
be normally closed rather than normally open.

If you recently bought these and cannot use them, please
contact us for an adjustment.

May 26, 2009 deeplink respond

A local library has stupidly shot themselves in the
foot by instituting outrageous card charges for
half of their users.

Libraries in general are in deep shit because they
( sadly ) no longer serve any useful purpose. At
present the WiFi at Burger King is a better library
than most libraries.
With far fewer food and
drink restrictions.

Many of the fundamental premises of what a
library once was now border on the ludicrous...

- That information is scarce.

- That info is only available at a special

- That only one copy of info is available.

- That a specialist is needed for info loan.

- That info is only available during restricted

- That control freaks should be in charge of
   anything ever.

If libraries are to survive, they will have to totally rethink
what they are and what services they are going to offer
to which people in what manner.

May 25, 2009 deeplink respond

A highly artistic concept called marbeling was sometimes
used for inner cover liners of centuries old books. It was
apparently based on floating various color inks on a
denser liquid and then transferring to paper.

A mathematical analysis of the process appears here. With
a PostScript demo here, and some viewable results here.

I've added some limited annotation here.

The PostScript code is amazingly compact and clean and
is easily modified. It apparently exactly models the
underlying physical processes once used.

The artistic possibilities are stunning.

I'll try to analyze and expand on the code as I get a
chance. Meanwhile, most any PostScript routine
can be analyzed by noting the big lumps are usually
at the end and the working utilities in the middle

or earlier.

The IP situation on these routines is not totally clear.
But use as a personal learning experience is nearly
always permitted.

May 24, 2009 deeplink respond

A fantastic number of original Life Magazine photos
can now be freely downloaded from this site.

May 23, 2009 deeplink respond

One of the unintended consequences of the imminent
switchover to all-digital tv broadcasting is that most
analog tv instruments have suddenly become nearly
worthless and of little demand.

Particularly such items as dot and bar generators,
vectorscopes and standalone VHS editing systems.
Thus extreme caution is needed when "scooping up"
older analog tv standard bargains.

On the other hand, the same lots may include items
of extreme interest for home theater or security
uses. Such items as equalizers, patch bays, switchers,
or ultra cheap survelliance monitors come to mind. .

We'll have some of these upcoming in our eBay store.

May 22, 2009 deeplink respond

It sure is interesting to watch conventional technology
fighting back against newer developments. Ferinstance,
conventional internal combustion engines are advancing
much faster and much further than is fuel cell research.

Even more intriguing, it turns out that the efficiency of
a plain old incandescent light bulb can be dramatically
simply by whapping the tungsten filament with
a laser and creating a super efficient radiating surface

Some details appear here.

May 21, 2009 deeplink respond

Someone pointed out a curious error in our
Energy Fundamentals Summary:

While you have degrees Fahrenheit,
degrees Celsius, ( still wrongly called
"Centigrade" in some circles ) and degrees
Rankin, you simply have Kelvins.

"Kelvin Degrees" is the same kind of
four paw as the Sierra Estrella Mountains.

Fixing it raises a dilemma, for it would appear
as a typo or poor layout to the majority of
intro viewers. And stopping to explain in an
intro tutorial gives far too much detail to a
more or less trivial sideshow.

May 20, 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder that we have two extremely rare classic
Eastman commercial silent 1908 movie projectors
available. Provenance is from the Clifton AZ

They are currently disassembled and easily UPS
shipped. We guarantee them eminently restorable.
They are also available for local inspection and

Please email me or call (928) 428-4073 for further

May 19, 2009 deeplink respond

After TWO WEEKS of no service at all, I have had to
rate the Cable One web hosting as TOTALLY

They seem utterly incapable of fixing even the most
minor of server errors.

May 18, 2009 deeplink respond

Texan, bragging about the size of his spread --
"Why, I could drive all morning and not get half
  way across my place"

"Yeah? I had a truck like that once, too."

May 17, 2009 deeplink respond

Added new trips to our Gila Dayhikes library page.

Should have at least TWO HUNDRED sometime soon.

May 16, 2009 deeplink respond

A few non-eBay auction services stupidly include
automatic auction extensions. Their desirability
lies somewhere between Herpes and AIDS.

All these auto extensions do is reward monumental
stupidity while grossly insulting the value of a serious
bidder's time and needs.

If you must deal with these epsilon minuses, your
otpimum bidding strategy is as follows...

Proxy bid your max ONCE and do so
only VERY LATE in the auction.

Carefully place your bid TWO MINUTES
before the auction extension trip time.

NEVER respond to any extension bids!

More on our Auction Help library page.

May 15, 2009 deeplink respond

Made several changes to our home page, including
easier eBay access.

May 14, 2009 deeplink respond

A rather stunning image of the repair Hubble mission
transiting the sun appears here.

Except that it probably would have been a lot cooler
if they had gone at night

May 13, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated and improved our Arizona Auction resources.

Your own custom regional auction finder can be created
for you per these details.

May 12, 2009 deeplink respond

It is now official: The next release will be named
Vista Edsel.

May 11, 2009 deeplink respond

Found the original documents for the McEniry Tunnel!

This was a scam ( then called a swindle ) to tunnel
clear thru Mount Graham for a total distance of
twelve miles,
revealing untold riches in gold and
silver, besides $300,000 worth of timber and 45,000
horsepower worth of hydro. The leftover water
would irrigate at least 25,000 acres by using 30
miles of canals.

The total known mineralization of Mount Graham,
of course, is approximately zero.
There are only
the tiniest mineral explorations of no consequence
at the extreme range ends. The rock is all intrusive
precambrian gniess or granite. Neither PD nor FM
has expressed the slightest interest in this range.

Getting info on this "somewhat optimistic" proposal
has been tricky. First because it originally was
called the Triumph Tunnel, and later referred
by locals as the Mammoth Graham tunnel.

Over the years, a number of misspellings of
"McEniry" confused the issue. The spelling
here comes from his signature on the above
document. Many credible sources ( including
Arizona Place Names ) have gotten it wrong.

The tunnel was only driven a few hundred feet
and remains of interest today. It is just a plain
old empty horizontal mineshaft. Easily visited.

More on similar topics in our Gila Dayhikes library.

May 10, 2009 deeplink respond

An outfit called TuneCore now offers to produce your
CD for $31
in upfront costs and distributes them on
demand with a 40% authors royalty. Sold via Amazon.

Hopefully, this will finally stake the RIAA to an anthill.

May 9, 2009 deeplink respond

It is interesting to compare personal computing against
personal aircraft use and ownership. The latter is
clearly an abysmal failure. Part of which was caused
by lawyers eating the entire industry for lunch.

Some thoughts on our local airport situations...

    The FAA identifier of "SAD" for Safford Regional
    pretty much sums it up.

    The Flying J sometimes is a good choice
    for aerial surveys or local photography.

     The High Mesa Airpark is a private homeowners
     association and sees little traffic. Greenlee
     sees even less.

     Sharp eyed pilots flying into Thatcher International may
     note minor debris on the runway, such as refrigerators or
     evaporative coolers.

More on our Gila Dayhikes library page.

May 8, 2009 deeplink respond

For several reasons, opportunities in US Military
surplus have largely dried up in many parts of the country

First and foremost, many surplus sites now ship their items
elsewhere to hell and gone and back. Ferinstance, Southern
Arizona sites ship everything to Northern Utah to save on costs

There are, of course, no roads between southern Arizona
and Northern Utah. You can't get there from here.

The few items that remain available are largely limited
to term scrap contracts, huge lots of obsolete IT items
with stripped drives, and worn dorm furniture.

Even worse, the leading reseller of US government surplus
has now instituted a $150 mininmum on most lots. For items
that once routinely went for $2.50 per lot.

At least for me, the best deals are now mostly found in the
area of community college auctions and industrial bankruptcy
liquidations. Per details here and here.

May 7, 2009 deeplink respond

When are you allowed to use the eBay logo?

With one exception, the usual answer is "practically
. Although written and negotiated exceptions
are sometimes possible.

eBay does let you put a logo and link on your website
if you exactly follow their rules. The logo is quite tiny
and must not be altered in any manner. It is only allowed
to reference your own current eBay auctions or store.
Or the generic eBay home page.

The legibility of their small link can be improved by going
to a bitmap from their .gif and retouching. But even this action
is probably technically illegal.

We'll shortly have a variation on this on our front page
header. Meanwhile, you can use the auctions button
on most any of our web library pages.

May 6, 2009 deeplink respond

Then there was the dyslexic agnostic insommniac
who stayed up all night wondering if there was a dog.

May 5, 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder that several dozen of my "best" papers
and stories are also now available on Wesrch.

Who have recently posted their 1500th paper
. While
not yet a definitive resource, they are certainly backing
up for a good start.

Wesrch, or a similar service, is the solution to outrageously
overpriced scientific journals. To date, their quality
remains outstanding.

May 4, 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder that surplus items items are subject to availability.
First come, first served.
First payee wins.

Cash counts. We always do try to let you know if only a
partial quantity remains available.

May 3, 2009 deeplink respond

Chemistry 101: If you are not part of the solution,
than you are part of the precipitate.

May 2, 2009 deeplink respond

Turns out the "stripeyness" in our bicubic interpolation
was an imaging issue. The math all checked out,
the curves were all smooth, and inverse math returned
to the original data. Meanwhile, an independent Wiki
entry came up with exactly the same math we used.

Here's a bicubic interpolation summary:

Bicubic interpolation is an obtuse and calculation intense
method of finding intermediate pixel data values. Such
values might be needed for image resizing, rectification,
rotation, or distortion correction.

It starts with sixteen data inputs: the value at each corner,
the x slope at each corner, the y slope at each corner,
and the diagonal xy slope at each corner. It then creates
an "inside" surface that matches these data inputs.

The rather ugly math of the match is...

p(x,y) = a00*x^0^y^0 + a01*x^0^y^1 +
              a02*x^0^y^2 + a03*x^0^y^3 +

             a10*x^1^y^0 + a11*x^1^y^1 +
             a12*x^1^y^2 + a13*x^1^y^3 +

              a20*x^2^y^0 + a21*x^2^y^1 +
              a22*x^3^y^2 + a23*x^2^y^3 +
              a30*x^3^y^0 + a31*x^3^y^1 +
              a32*x^3^y^2 + a33*x^3^y^3

Here axx is a magic coefficient, while x and
y range from 0 to 1 over the inside surface.

The a values are related to the input data...

w0 = f(0,0) = a00
w1 = f(1,0) = a00 + a10 + a20 + a30
w2 = f(0,1) = a00 + a01 + a02 + a03
w3 = f(1,1) = a00 + a10 + a20 + a30 +
                      a01 + a11 + a21 + a31 +
                      a02 + a12 + a22 + a32 +
                      a03 + a13 + a23 + a33

x0 = fx(0,0) = a10
x1 = fx(1,0) = a10 + 2a20 + 3a30
x2 = fx(0,1) = a10 + a11 + a12 + a13
x3 = fx(1,1) = 1*(a10 + a11 + a12 + a13) +
                       2*(a20 + a21 + a22 + a23) +
                       3*(a30 + a31 + a32 + a33)

y0 = fy(0,0) = a01
y1 = fy(1,0) = a01 + a11 + a21 + a31
y2 = fy(0,1) = a01 +2Aa02 + 3a03
y3 = fy(1,1) = 1*(a01+a11+a21+a31) +
                       2*(a02+a12+a22+a32) +

z0 = fxy(0,0) = a11
z1 = fxy(1,0) = a11 + 2a21 + 3a31
z2 = fxy(0,1) = a11 + 2a12 + 3a13
z3 = fxy(1,1) = 1*a11 + 2*a12 + 3*a13 +
                         2*a21 + 4*a22 + 6*a23 +
                         3*a31 + 6*a32 + 9*a33

Here wx is a corner value, xx is a corner
x slope, yx is a corner y slope, and zx is
a corner xy diagonal slope.

Solving the above equation for axx values

a00 = w0, a01 = y0a02 = -3w0 + 3w2 -2y0 - y2
a03 = 2w0 - 2w2 + y0 + y2

a10 = x0
a11 = z0
a12 = -3x0 + 3x2 - 2z0 - z2
a13 = 2x0 - 2x2 + z0 + z2

a20 = -3w0 + 3w1 - 2x0 - x1
a21 = -3y0 + 3y1 - 2z0 - z1
a22 = 9w0 - 9w1 - 9w2 + 9w3 + 6x0 + 3x1 +
         -6x2 - 3x3 + 6y0 - 6y1 + 3y2 - 3y3 +
          4z0 + 2z1 + 2z2 + z3
a23 = -6w0 + 6w1 + 6w2 - 6w3 -4x0 - 2x1 +
           4x2 + 2x3 -3y0 + 3y1 - 3y2 + 3y3 +
          -2z0 - z1 - 2z2 - z3

a30 = 2w0 - 2w1 + x0 + x1
a31 = 2y0 - 2y1 + z0 + z1
a32 = -6w0 + 6w1 + 6w2 -6 w3 -3x0 - 3x1 +
            3x2 + 3x3 -4y0 + 4y1 - 2y2 + 2y3 +
           -2z0 - 2z1 - z2 - z3
a33 = 4w0 - 4w1 - 4w2 + 4w3 + 2x0 + 2x1 +
          -2x2 - 2x3 + 2y0 - 2y1 + 2y2 - 2y3 +
           z0 + z1 + z2 + z3

May 1, 2009 deeplink respond

It is no secret that utilities are madly scrambling towards
automated remote meter readings. First to reduce costs,
secondly to eliminate estimating errors, and thirdly to
be able to eventually do selective load shedding.

Meanwhile, users have a crying need for real time monitoring
of their electric and other usage. Rather than having two
separate systems, to me it makes the most sense to build
web friendly remote reading directly into the meter that
EITHER the utility or the user can monitor at their comvenience.

Chances are that some sort of WiFi scheme, with or without
repeaters or concentrators would prove the most reasonable

My own approach to this was something I never quite
developed called the Isopod. But these days, direct
web access for utility OR user makes far more sense.

Meanwhile, there is a new Smart Grid newsletter.
While free trial subscriptions are available, they are
deluding themselves in dreaming that they could
charge for their information.

Subscription pricing is in the "What are they on
and where can we get some of it?"
range. AKA
from spending long hours in the outhouse alone.

And off by at least two decimal points.

April 30, 2009 deeplink respond

Expanded and updated our Gila Valley Dayhikes page.
We are now up to 172 main entries

Some mineral links are newly added.

April 29, 2009 deeplink respond

A U-Haul truck rental can be an incredibly good deal.
Provided you only use it locally for less than a day.
Rates start at $19. Which can be much less than
renting a car instead!

But there are some gotchas. There is a mileage charge
of 59 cents a mile. Which racks up alarmingly on longer
distances. And U-Haul is a master at nickel and diming
over insurance, mats, and other add-ons. Their $169
trailer hitch can easily cost you $400+ out the door.

But their real secret is their one way charge adjustments.
It costs a lot more to go one way from a location with
scarce equipment to one with lots of equipment than
vice versa. This varies from day to day and time of
week as well.

Ferinstance, San Diego to Thatcher might cost you
$442 plus fuel, while Thatcher to San Diego might
be $724 plus fuel!

In general, the one way and round trip rates will often
end up around the same
if both locations have
a "normal"inventory. Total time and "second
driver" considerations may shade points one way
or the other for you.

Two of their lesser known ( and somewhat rarer )
offerings are their 5x8 or 6x12 open trailers.
Weather permitting, these are easier to load
and unload and may travel easier.
does not like these going out of area.

A general tip: four wheel trailers back much
easier than two wheel ones
. The larger size
might be less of an overall hassle. Also, their
trailers do not unhitch worth a damn for
intermittent use when loaded.

I never could justify owning my own trailer.
For occasional trips, the insurance and road
service alone is worth any cost difference.
Especially if your needs vary per trip.

April 28, 2009 deeplink respond

A related electrocity: There is NO SUCH THING
as "pulsed DC"
. Using the term simply displays
your monumental ignorance of all things Fourier.

A repetitive asymetric waveform will consist of
a continuous direct current offset plus a number
of continuous sinewaves of various fundamental
frequencies and related harmonics.

Fourier Series absolutely and positively GUARANTEES
this equivalence. There are no "gaps" in the waveform!

Meanwhile, Faraday's Law GUARANTEES that only
the dc offset contributes to electrolysis
. All the sinewaves
and harmonics can do is create cell heat and trash the

Thus, no "pulsed DC" can possibly be as efficient for
conventional electrolysis as "continuous DC".

What "pulsed DC" does is make it trivially easy to
make monumentally stupid and invariably underreported
voltage, current, and power measurements. Per this
And this one.

Yes, there are two molecular resonance frequencies of water.
Hydrogen checks in at roughly 1420.40575 MHz . This is
MILLIONS of times higher than the pulse frequencies
used by the electrocity folks. No unusual properties of
resonance have ever been credibly demonstrated.

Yes, intermittent cell operation (with possible
reversals ) could conceivebly introduce some
mechanical "bubble release" activity. But
cell turbulance and temperature variations at
sane production levels likely would utterly overwhelm
any such effect.

Yes, there is one paper that shows mid-Megahertz
rf applied to saltwater creates a flammable
gas. So far, the paper utterly trashes its credibility
by referencing Meyer and has zero specifics
whatsoever as to how much of what is being
produced how. The most likely outcome is yet another
highly inefficient approach to conventional
And ( as GUARANTEED by
exergy ), of no commercial value.

More in our Energy Fundamentals Intro and

April 27, 2009 deeplink respond

They are just not getting the message. One more

Except for scamming members of the church of the
latter day crackpots. Tesla, of course, is their
patron saint. And electrocity is their watchword.

Here's some starting resources...

Energy Fundamentals Intro Summary
Energy Fundamentals
More Energy Fundamentals
Trashing Auto Electrolysizers
Electrolysis Fundamentals
"Its a Gas" Hydrogen Library
PV Panel Intro and Summary

Summarizing the key points: Electrolysis is the process
of stupiidly converting very high value kilowatt hours
of energy into very low value kilowatt hours of energy.

A fundamental thermodynamic principle of exergy
GUARANTEES that the process is exactly the same
as 1:1 converting US dollars into Mexican Pesos.

Faraday's Law
ain't broke. Continuous direct current
is GUARANTEED to be more efficient than any
possible pulse scheme. All the pulse schemes do is
make "not even wrong" deceptive measurments
ridiculously easier to do.

Electrolysis is a current driven process. ALL older
current sources are inherently inefficient by definition.

Only when exotic switchmode techniques are used can
reasonably efficiencies ( at destroying value ) be created.

Stainless steel is utterly useless for efficient electrolysis
because of the hydrogen overvoltage of iron found in
any intro electrochem book. If you must do serious
electrolysis, platinized platinum electrodes are a must.

An ordinary car alternator is only around 45 percent
efficient and the maximum available excess power that
can be sent through an ordinary fanbelt is a few hundred
watts at most. Thus, the primary product of onboard
vehicle electrolysis is trivial quantities of useless low grade
heat. And is exactly the same as running with your
emergency brake partially on.

The bottom line is this: If you do not understand exergy,
you SHOULD NOT be pissing around with electrolysis.

If you do understand exergy, you WILL NOT be pissing
around with electrolysis.

Either way, the outcome is not the least in doubt.

April 26, 2009 deeplink respond

Got one of the usual phone calls on where to go to
get obsolete integrated circuits.

One highly useful resource is OEMs Trade. The newsgroup can also prove of

One traditional supplier of discontinued integrated
circuits is Rochester Electronics. Many times, though,
a really old ic can be replaced with a PIC or a gate
array faster and cheaper.

April 25, 2009 deeplink respond

An interesting mineral site appears here with
some local references found here.

April 24, 2009 deeplink respond

A possible explanation for the "orange stripey" bug
from several days back is that the slopes are only

Slopes were taken as half the difference between the previous
and the post value. Which works reasonably well for many
possible data values.

But consider the case of previous=0, current=0, and post=1.
The true current slope should be zero with a sudden transition
halfway to post. An average gives you 0.5.

Finding a fast way of determining the derivative at the
current point may be tricky.
A five point fit to a quartic
function would probably take forever. Something wierd
and simple might be an interesting compromise.

Please email me with your solution.

April 23, 2009 deeplink respond

Apparently Arizona Highways magazine failed to
make even the most cursory fact finding check on
their latest issue. In which they recommend a
dangerous and highly sensitive cave as being ideal
for casual family trips with small children.

And not even checking the contact info in the story
Yes, magazines in general are in deep shit,
but this is clearly excessive and unacceptable.

The cave in question is arguably the second or third
"finest" in the state
. Exploration is quite difficult,
rather strenuous, and demands advance rope
techniques and extreme physically fitness and
endurance for virtually all participants.

There has been one fatality
involving a fall down a
90 foot pit. Plus numerous high tech rescues of supposedly
experienced and highly skilled long term members of
the cave community.

Worse, the story implied that there was a commercial
adventure-for-hire service that routinely would take
anyone on this cave tour. In reality, this group is an all
volunteer organization whose foremost goal is preserving
the cave and tightly restricting its access.
Even public
knowledge of the cave or its location is strongly discouraged.

Well, maybe a hint. At least some of the better known portions
of the cave are located south of the Mackenzie River.

April 22, 2009 deeplink respond

I'd like to show you our specific"click to expand"
tricks, but some browsers may choke when listing
their own commands.

To see what we are up to, use your View Page Source
feature for April 21.

While code to thwart eBay's new miniscule images
might look something like this...

   <ul><ul><ul><a href="
     images/bargs/keith196.jpg"><img src="http://" align=

April 21, 2009 deeplink respond

Here's a "click to expand" image of the cliffhanger

Many thanks to Harry Swanson for this photo.

April 20, 2009 deeplink respond

We may be in the process of a major upgrade to our
Guru's Lair servers. Please report any problems you
may encounter.

April 19, 2009 deeplink respond

Made two more trips to the cliffhanging canal. And
the engineering remains orders of magnitude beyond

What we have here is a thirteenth century canal system
literally hung on the TOP edge of a steep mesa. Often as
much as NINETY FEET above the valley floor. As part
of a system that is at least 12.5 kilometers (or eight
miles) long. Not to mention several hundred feet of
above grade aquaduct!

Major portions of the system are still amazingly well
preserved and undisturbed.

Besides the obvious question of "WHY?", many
questions remain. Was water hand carried to the mesa
top? What happens at the East End of the mesa where
the terrain simply quits? After miles of carefully controlled
slope, are steep drops inevitable? What leveling instruments
were used for such precision? Why is much of the canal
brim full of fine sand?

Watch out for the cliff. "What Clliiiiffffffffffffff.... ?"

April 18, 2009 deeplink respond

eBay may be in the process of "improvements"
that drastically limit the maximum image sizes they will
host for you in a normal listing.
Which can severely
impact the usefulness for such things as test equipment
front panel details.

At present, there seems to be a mix of "old" and "new"
offer formats, seeingly presented at random. Getting
solutions that work for both schemes can be tricky.

If you are only interested in inserting your own larger
picture into your offer, this code works...

    < img src="">

If instead, you want to provide one picture that you
can click on for a second picture, use this...

    < a href="">
    < img src="">


You can also use the above code to link different
file types, perhaps to access a data sheet or whatever.

The "big picture" link should also show up in your
log files. Which gives you another route to
response tracking.

Their "small pictures only" restriction is so bad
that I expect enough complaints will rescind
it. If permananent, all of your listings that are
image size critical will have to be changed

A picture to get a picture example appears here.

And additional info on this general technique here.

April 17, 2009

deeplink respond

Three recent photo image postprocs that did not
turn out half bad appear here, here, and here.

The sweep gen was built up out of three separate
exposures and done by turning the scanner upside
down on the instrument.
The ends near the "ears"
had to be built up from scratch.

Our bitmap typewriter techniques play a crucial role

Similar instruments are offered on our eBay site.

April 16, 2009

deeplink respond

Here's a summary of the more common stupid beginner's
mistakes that many eBay newbie sellers make...

     on one of these has at least one problem. Most
     of it has been higraded. Much is unsuitable for
     eBay sales. Shipping charges can be outrageous
     and your opportunities for personal value added
     are often severely limited.

     something near a 30:1 sell/buy ratio. Even with a  50%
     commission, you only have a ludicrous 2:1 SBR. Worse,
     price expectaions of outsiders is usually outrageously
     out of line. Besides "them" not understanding the
     nature and obligations of UCC contract law.

     FOREIGN SALES - If you are a success with domestic
     sales, foreign sales are not needed. If you fail domestically,
     foreign sales will not help you in the least. There are
     far too many ripoff opportunities, misunderstandings,
    bureaucratic keytowing, outright lies, and third party costs
    to make foreign sales even remotely worthwhile.

     DROP SHIPPING- Problems with dropshipping ( more
     correctlyl called "dropshitting" ) are (1) There are
     waaaaay too many fingers in the pie.  (2) Far too many
     competitors WILL panic and WILL trash prices.
     (3) The sell/buy ratio is ludicrously too low.  (4) Any
     opportunities for personal value added are sorely limited.
     (5) The majority of products offered are outrageously
     overpriced unsellably useless trash. And, of course..
     (6) It is YOU that gets hung out to dry on the inevitable
    noship, lateship, or wrongship.

    GOUGING ON SHIPPING- Your shipping charges should
    always be revenue neutral and the most reasonable method
     for your buyer. Tracking should always be provided. Your
     best route for insurance is an unannounced self-insure.
    Protected, of course, by your 30:1 SBR.

    SHILLING- Bidding up your own prices simply does not
    work on eBay. First because shillers will be making enough
    other stupid mistakes that they guarantee failure. Second,
    because the two key elements of shilling ( mark demeanor
    feedback and auctioneer bailout ) are totally absent in the
    eBay venue, and thirdly, because any intelligent buyer will
    bid only once very late in the auction. Thus thwarting any and
    all shilling attempts.

Much more on eBay selling secrets here.
And buying stuff here.

April 15, 2009

deeplink respond

Updated and improved our Arizona Auction resources
listing. Which is part of our Auction Help library.

Your own custom regional auction finder can be created
for you per these details.


April 14. 2009

deeplink respond

Sometimes the smallest bugs can be maddingly infuriating.
And digging them out can become obsessive. The bicubic
map on our Pixel Interpolation GuruGram seems to have
some minor "stripedness" in the orange that clearly
should not be there.

It is not clear whether this is a coefficient error, an algorithm
error, a rendering error, a truncation error, or inherent
limits in PostScript's 32 bit math.
It does seem more
"vertical" related and "rightside" related.

The usual approaches of simplify, then make the problem
should be a useful avenue of attack. And then making
actual numeric printouts to verify that the stripes are real
and which coefficients are the cause.

I invite you to try and find the problem. Please email me
with your findings.

April 13. 2009

deeplink respond

We are about to do a major upgrade in our Guru's Lair
web servers. It is interesting to review how much of
the kicking and screaming innovations we neecded a
few years back is now more or less routine on mid
level servers...

was once a really big deal but is now stock.
PDF files, of course, are the way to
deliver tech info.

PDF SEARCH - Routinely handled by
Google Search, so long as the files have
had OCR text conversion.

by .asp files. As are similar server side
file customizations.

BOUNCY BRICKS - Client side JavaScript
is now the accepted norm. BTW - really fast
JavaScript is a feature of Chrome.

LOG FILE ACCESS - Log reporters were
once outrageously expensive and now are
routine. Your own custom log reporter is
easily done using these routines.

Easily included in your custom log

SELECTIVE EMAIL - Leaving emails
on the server is now a stock option for
systems with multiple users. Just be sure
you do erase them in a timely manner.

April 12. 2009

deeplink respond

Google Maps has just upgraded all of the really bad
satellite photos of the Gila Valley. And possibly other areas
as well.

Resolution is still not good enough to resolve many prehistoric
artifacts. Although the more blatant CCC projects and the
main Safford grids are now quite apparent.

Further improvements are supposedly in the works.

Particularly improved are the Fort Thomas area, Morenci,
the Haekel portion of the San Simon, and the Lower Blue.

Acme Mapper is often the better choice because it includes
scrollable topo maps, USGS DOQ B/W imagry. and more.

April 11, 2009

deeplink respond

The minimum breakeven eBay sale is somewhere around
. Our usual opening price on electronic components
and such is around half that. With the hope that the average
buyer will pick up at least two lots per order.

We work with buyers to minimize their shipping costs, to
offer modest price breaks above a $79 order, and very
generous discounts at three times that purchase level or

But what we WILL NOT do is let you try and nickel and
dime us into breaking up a minimum order quantity. Try
this stunt and you are history. Flushed. Gone. Bye Bye.

More on eBay seller strategy here and here. Plus
our ongoing skills enhancing files...

Enhance I
Enhance II
Enhance III
Enhance IV
Enhance V
Enhance VI
Enhance VII

April 10, 2009

deeplink respond

We picked up quite a collection of larger motor brushes
at a recent power utility surplus buy. And now have thes
up on our eBay store.

They are all in "as new" condition and priced at a tiny
fraction of their normal value. They appear suited for
mid size GE electric elevator motors. But otherwise
should be a useful electrographite carbon source for
any place you need a sliding or rotating electric contact.

April 9, 2009

deeplink respond

A tactic approaching dollar cost averaging can
increase your yield at a distress auction. It goes
something like this...

Chances are you will win a few lots for much less
than you intended paying for them
. Your "savings"
can be applied to somewhat overpay for other lots
and you still will be within your cost goals.

But only when and as accumulated.

Naturally, you should apply this ploy only to items
that you find genuinely of value. And always
strictly stay within your average maximum bid

More on similar concepts on our Auction Help page.

April 8, 2009

deeplink respond

Updated and expanded our Gila Dayhikes page.

We are now up to 165 entries in the main listing
and well more than 200 total.

April 7, 2009

deeplink respond

Several other cavers have been wondering if it
is possible to make microtemperature measurements.
Accurate enough to track airflow through unexplored
breakdown leads.

Doing so would probably involve measurement to
. And almost certainly, the presence of
people or instruments would trash the results. Not
to mention hunidity and other side effects.

I was recently playing with a Keithley 196 precision
standards DMM that had beyond a 6-1/2 digit
capability. It had a RTD temperature accessory that
clearly allowed measurements to one tenth of a millidegree.

The system easily detects a human hand at a range of
two or more feet. It is fascinating to watch a room's
temperature change on a second by second basis. And
should have all sorts of heat flow and insulation
experimental properties.

Sadly, it is probably too klutzy for serious cave use.
And probably misses by several orders of magnitude
for what would be needed in a cave instrument.

We have this item up on eBay.

April 6, 2009

deeplink respond

Just saw a PR release for a pv panel that was supposedly
generating 1200 watts from 20 square feet. Is this a
stunning breakthrough, wishful thinking, or totally
bogus bullshit?

10 square feet is 0.929 square meters. The normal
best incoming solar energy would be around 1000 watts per
square meter. If ordinary silicon solar panels were in use,
you would be lucky to get 180 watts at the battery terminals.

That is assuming you have a super efficient and complex
"sweet spot" optimizing battery charger, that the cells
are 100 percent active, and that the panel is optimally
tracking under noon Arizona conditions.

A more reasonable estimate would be 120 watts peak
under best possible conditions for the system described
if used in the real world .

More on pv system bogosities here.

April 5, 2009

deeplink respond

The NFPA in their infinite wisdom has decided
that firemen will not be allowed to wear helmets
in fire trucks. Your insurance rates are certain
to go up because of this.

NFPA approved helmet storage clips are now
newly available for a mere $249.00 each. No, I
am not making this up.

April 4, 2009 deeplink respond

Mysterious artifacts abound in the desert southwest
and especially here in the Gila Valley.

One of the more obviously intriguing examples are
the "hotdog formations" 5 miles SxSSE of Swift
Trail Junction. AKA SW quarter of section 9 or
somewhere near N 32 39' 45" W 109 41' 39"

These are three foot high dirt "bunkers"
with rock
buttressing that are several dozens of feet long.
Also nearby are ( apparently useless ) rock check
dams piled much higher than usual. Use is, to say the
least, nonobvious.

They do not seem prehistoric in that there is no
association with potsherds, lithics, fields, or habitation sites.
The rocks also seem to have been moved a significant
distance, most likely by wheeled transport. They also
look "too new".

The nearest 4WD track is 900 feet south and the
property is BLM Rangeland. Expanations of rifle
range backdrops, scouting projects, erosion control,
cattleguards, hoaxes, movies or vid commercials, kids
pissing around, drug dealers, UFO landing sites, or
rancher improvements all seem unlikely. There are
no obvious trash artifacts, modern or otherwise.

I am at a loss to explain these. The simplest thing
is to blame them on the CCC
. Who have proven
adept at doing totally useless stuff in strange ways.

Nearest CCC camp was 8 miles away at Noon Creek.
The artifacts do not show on available images.

A tiny bit of supporting evidence is that some of
the rock arrangements show "Italian stone masonry"
careful arrangement and placement
quite similar to
those of other known CCC sites. No concrete is used.
The motif is distinctly unsouthwest.

Your comments welcome.

Some similar projects are found here.

April 3 , 2009 deeplink respond

A wind turbine efficiency claim of 85% is obviously
bogus bullshit and can be dismissed out of hand.

Turns out there is a fundamental law of windmills
and wind turbines called Betz' Law. Which says that
you ain't gonna get 60% under perfect conditions.

The absolute limit is apparently 59.3 percent.

The law is also fairly intuitively obvious. A 100%
efficient windmill would require zero exit velocity
and thus no air flow through the device.

Amazingly, the original Aermotor Windmills are
still availalble. They remain outrageously expensive
and their top secret efficiency is best described as
mesmerizingly awful.

April 2 , 2009 deeplink respond

Dead Pool is a new book by James Powell that
traces the history and predicts the future of his
namesake lake. Plus water in general in the
mountain west.

This highly readable history of reclamation stupidities
and boondoggles gives us a choice: You can keep
Lake Powell or Lake Mead, but not both.

I, of course, vote to keep Mead and Restore the place
no one knew

April 1 , 2009 deeplink respond

Few people realize that the word "gullible"
does  not appear in any major dictionary or
spell checker.

March 31, 2009 deeplink respond

An extremely interesting history of Southwestern fire
lookout towers and trees appears here.

I personally worked Gentry, Barfoot, Monte Vista, and
Miller Peak. And climbed many more. Besides using the
names of many others in our Marcia Swampfelder spoofs.

One day an untrained relief lookout worked a neighboring
tower. "Dispatcher Dispatcher there's a fire!". Showing
extreme restraint over blatant radio protocol violations,
Dispatch asks where the fire is.

"Right over there in those trees!".

March 30, 2009 deeplink respond

Boy, a whole flock of 'em flew over that time.

Check out the reader comments on the above
link. It is utterly amazing what happens when obvious
scams and wishful thinking overlay real science.

One more time kiddies...

1. There is credible, peer reviewed
    real science that a modest amount
    ( 5% ) of hydrogen injection can
   significantly improve the performance
   of a carefully redesigned ICE internal
   combustion engine. As reviewed below.

2. Thermodynamic fundamentals involving
     exergy positively, emphatically and
     absolutely GUARANTEE that such
     hydrogen ain't gonna come from onboard
     electrolysis by way of an ordinary fanbelt
     and a stock alternator.

It has yet to be shown where the hydrogen
would safely and economically come from for
(1). Obvious candidates are exhaust gas
reformation, catalyitic cracking of the
input gasoline stream, or tanks prefilled at
the hydrogen store. As of this writing, no
solution is known.
Despite many attempts.
And despite many of the papers being as
much as three decades or more old.

A detailed analysis of the ludicrosity of (2)
appears here. Five of the many absurdities
are the assumption that an alternator does
not disproportionately load the engine, that
an oridnary car alternator is more than 45
percent efficient, that stainless steel can in
some manner be used for efficient electrolysis
( the hydrogen overvoltage of iron guarantees
that it can not per any intro electrochem book ),
that more than a few hundred new watts can be
run through an ordinary fanbelt, or that the
usual scam setup is anything but an useless
generator of worthless
low grade heat

The latter category killer is similar to keeping
your emergency brake partially set at all times!

At any rate, here are a few of the "real
science" papers involved....

Publication #740187, February 1974:
Adding hydrogen to gasoline resulted in significant
efficiency improvements due to the extension
of the lean operating limit.

Publication #740600, February 1974:
A compact onboard hydrogen generator has been
developed for use with a hydrogen-enriched
gasoline internal combustion engine. .

Publication #810348, February 1981:
Adding hydrogen  to gasoline showed a potential for
very low pollutant emissions with increased energy efficiency .

Publication #830897, April 1989:
Adding hydrogen to gasoline produces improvements
in engine efficiency and emissions due to accelerated
flame speed and combustion rate. .

Publication #960603, February 1996:
Adding hydrogen to gasoline produces improvements
in engine efficiency and emissions, due to accelerated
combustion. .

Publication #2000-01-2206, June 2000:
Adding hydrogen to gasoline can reduce exhaust
emissions and increase efficiency. A large reduction
in nitrogen oxide emissions can be achieved without
a catalytic converter due to very lean operation under
certain conditions. .

Publication #2002-01-2196, July 2002:
Adding hydrogen to gasoline increases the flame speed
at all gasoline air/fuel ratios, so engine operation at very
lean mixtures is possible. .

Publication #2003-01-0630, March 2003:
Adding hydrogen to gasoline extended the lean limit of
engine operation,  resulting in greater efficiency and
reduced emissions, both hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. .

Publication #2003-32-0011, September 2003:
Adding hydrogen to gasoline resulted in improved engine
performance. .

Publication #2004-01-0972, March 2004:
Adding hydrogen to gasoline results in lower emissions
and a significant increase in engine efficiency. .

Publication #2004-01-1270, March 2004:
Adding hydrogen to gasoline produces improvements
in engine efficiency and emissions. .

Publication #2004-01-1851, June 2004:
Adding hydrogen to gasoline reduced knock due to
accelerated fuel burn  and shortened combustion period. .

Publication #2005-01-0232, April 2005:
Adding hydrogen to gasoline produces lower emissions
due to increased flame speed and resultant accelerated
fuel burn. .

Publication #2005-01-0251, April 2005: Adding hydrogen
to gasoline can extend the lean limits of the air/fuel ratio.

Free abstracts of the above papers are available here.
There is a charge for actual full paper copies, but you
may be able to find them at a larger technical library.


Some more fundamentals of electrolysis appear
here. And more on Pseudoscience bashing here.

March 29, 2009 deeplink respond

May have found a pair of related reasons why
Dreamweaver can be so slow on longer files:

If you use an excessive number of %nbsp hard
spaces, It seems to take Dreamweaver an extremely
long time to process them.
Besides making your
files longer than needed in the first place.

The simple workaround is to use <u> and </u>
formatting tabs when and where appropriate instead .

At least on these blog entries, the speedup for me
has been dramatic

March 28, 2009 deeplink respond

With some recent discoveries, I guess I want to revise
my list of high technology in the Gila Valley. Presented
here in order of cubic wonderment....

1. The safford grids
2. The AD 1300 cliff hanging canal and aquaduct
3. Mount Grahm International Observatory
4. Morenci solvent extraction and electrowinning.
5. The Mount Graham Aerial Tramway
6. The five Morenci Southern Railway Loops
7. CCC infiltrating water spreaders.
8. Ubiquitious WiFi webb comm
9. The Ash Creek flumes
10. The Emigrant Canyon Marble Quarry
11. The tomato factory
12. Cotton drip Irrigation and real time GPS

More on similar discoveries here.

March 27, 2009 deeplink respond

Found the cliffhanging canal! This is part of a AD 1300
era canal system that was at least eight miles long and
included above-grade aquaduct features.

The engineering on this is orders of magnitude beyond
stunning. At places, the canal is EIGHTY to NINETY
feet above valley floor. Not yet sure exactly why they
did this.

Professional papers by others are in process. I will post
links to them when and as preprints become available.

March 26, 2009 deeplink respond

An interesting EPRI paper on the future of US energy
appears here. While exceptionally well done, there
is an apparent total lack of pv solar anything.

Bassed on the fact that present net pv solar energy
production has not ever happened yet

There is every reason to believe that pv solar is on
the edge of major economic breakthroughs that will
soon approach a quarter per peak watt.

Unlike adding nuclear or coal plants, the potential
rate of pv solar expansion would clearly be exponantial
The instant avoided cost competitiveness becomes real,
pv should clearly be able to run away with all the marbles.

March 25, 2009 deeplink respond

Recent advances in amateur astronomy have been
utterly amazing. Particularly in the areas of cost
effective auto tracking and computer control. In
addition to ( literally ) quantum leaps in CCD and
silicon imaging technology. Not to mention new
"stitching" postproc techniques that allow hour long
exposures over hundreds of images.

You can now rent telescope time world wide 24/7
from Global Rent a Scope at rates as low as $25
per hour. Remotely web controlled from anywhere.
And allowing absolutely professional astrophotography.

Meanwhile, larger instruments ( up to 32 inch! )
are available for your rental access from Tenegra.

The old Skywatcher's Inn is now the Astronomer's
Bed and Breakfast in Benson AZ. And less
formal astronomy up to 10 inch instruments is
a hallmark of Casitas De Gila. Check out the
real time planetarium simulator above their hot tub.

There's also this twenty inch telecope literally
in my front yard.
Whose only tiny problem is
some pretty bad light pollution. You can gain
free access through the Desert Skygazers
astronomy club or volunteering as a docent
to Discovery Park. Operator courses are offered
by EAC. As are seasonal tours to the real
up on the hill.

The Tyndall scope includes a CCC camera capability and
a companion 5" instrument on the same mount.
The latter includes special filters for solar

March 24, 2009 deeplink respond

The Gila Valley is littered with hundreds ( and possibly
thousands ) of CCC project remanants. To me, the
overwhelming majority of these appear to be utterly
pointless busy work boondoogles.

The definitive source for CCC anything is the National
All 725 cubic feet of it.

Two useful free books that are easily downloaded
appear here and here. A national support orginizition
appears here with an Arizona chapter here. And more
Arizona stuff here. Direct appeals for research help
can be made here.

Local camps included Sanchez, Noon Creek, Treasure
Park, and Colombine. Plus possible subsites at Guthrie, Eden
( Aravapia Road ), Pima , and Fort Thomas.

Useful local projects included the Noon Creek campground,
the Jacobson Canyon bridge, Heliograph, Webb Peak, and
West Peak Lookouts, and the Colombine Ranger Station.
Larger spillways in Fort Thomas and Eden appear to have
long been breached or rendered useless.

Projects that appear worthless to me do include
the entire rock city at Sanchez and many hundreds of
serpentine check dams that seem to me to be of no use
whatsoever. Supposedly, these were "water spreaders
for water infiltration".
I'd guess that virtually all of the
water simply evaporated. Some of these exhibit exceptional
quality stone masonry work.

For some strange reason, landfills remediated
in the 1970's seem associated with certain CCC projects.

A very real problem is effectively separating the CCC
constructs from legitimate prehistoric water control
Some guidelines appeared here.

In general, if it was larger, more obvious, "newer", more anal,
and pointless,  chances are it was CCC rather than prehistoric.
Especially if it clearly shows up on satellite photos.

More on local Gila Valley adventures here.

March 23, 2009 deeplink respond

There's an apparently new seized and liquidations website
up here.

If you want to search for all listings in a given state, try
using a keyword of "2009". A null keyword seems to be

More auction assistance appears here and your own custom
regional auction finder here.

March 22, 2009 deeplink respond

The resolution of the DOQ Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles
on the Acme Mapper is one meter. These are digitally
corrected aerial photography that the USGS uses
to generate their topo maps. They are often black
and white only.

For certain areas, DOQ may be the best resolution that is
freely available to you.

Google color satellite photography varies with location and
age. Resolutions of remote portions of the southwest remain
pathetic at approximately 20 meters or worse
. Resolution

for typical areas is often around one meter, and the best of
their city imagry is half that.

The latest satellites offer sixteen inch resolution to the feds
that is downgraded to twenty five inch resolution to future
Google updates.

Google street views are done from roving vehicles and
can offer exceptional resolution. Depending on range,
signs on buildings can often be read.

As we saw a few weeks ago, street views dating from
April of 2008 are newly available for the Greater
metropolitan area.

Now if we can only get Craig's List attention...

March 21, 2009 deeplink respond

Brown's Gas seems to be rearing its ugly head
once again, both on newsgroups and question answering
web sites.

We last looked at this here and did a detailed analysis
here. Brown's gas is both exceptionally dangerous and
utterly useless
. Most proponent claims are either totally
bogus or else "Golly Gee Mister Science" normal and
expected parlor tricks.

Brown's gas is another name for a plain old stoichiometric
mix of hydrogen and oxygen.
Its two main features are its
exceptional explosive range and its pathetic energy density.

It does not in any manner allow anything overunity, or destroy
radiation, or implode, or create subvacuum pressures, or involve
long term monotonics in any form. It cannot melt tungsten,
and its temperature is easily beat by acetylene. It certainly can
not adjust its flame temperature to suit its use.

The number of present users of Brown's gas is approximately
Of the former users, the incompetent ones have blown
themselves off the map in an attempt to simultenously win
the X prize and a Darwin award. The competent ones decided
the ludicrously pathetic energy density of their torch took
forever to do anything useful and was thus absurdly noneconomic.

March 20, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated and improved our Gila Day Hikes page.
Some new links to useful resources such as topo
maps, food guides, and place names have been added.

Along with several new hikes and updates on others.

March 19, 2009 deeplink respond

Received an email asking about the Music Modules.
This was a project series I did for Popular Electronics
Starting in June 1976 and following an earlier series
of tutorials.

The modules are obsolete today and were based on
electronic style top octave generators and dividers
followed by VCA style envelope generators. Advantages
at the time included full polyphony and accurate tuning.
Disadvantages were the "locked in timbre" and phase
of the generated notes, and background noise problems
caused by "always there" but unvoiced notes.

Since then, there have been major developments in
electronic music. First and foremost is the MIDI
standard. The second is FM Synthesis pioneered
by Chowning. The third is the use of personal computer
sound cards. The fourth is the use of sampled data

Useful resources include Ensoniq ( now E-MU ) , and
Yamaha. Their YM3812 was a definitive FM synthesis
product, while the Ensoniq Xboard 61 is a good example
of a modern MIDI synth instrument.

March 18, 2009 deeplink respond

Three interesting developments in low cost Santa
Claus machines
appear here, here, and here.

March 17, 2009 deeplink respond

Upgraded and improved our classic TV Typewriter
reprint. It is now one .PDF file and somewhat searchible.
But still has size and quality issues. Along with a few

March 16, 2009 deeplink respond

A useful website for Arizona land ownership appears

The generic name for this sort of thing is GIS. As in
geographic information systems. A tutorial site appears

And pictures of nearly every house in an entire county here.
Usefuleness elsewhere depends on who is offering what
for why.

March 15, 2009 deeplink respond

eBay is apparently dropping their Dutch Auction format.

There were several problems. First, a "true" Dutch
Auction is nothing like what eBay was offering. In which
the price starts high and drops till sold. This takes a
very alert live auctioneer to maximize returns and
prevent fistfights.

Second, the eBay charges were based on the assumption
that all items would sell on first listing.
Leading to
utterly outrageous fees for higher quantity offers.

Third was the Dutch Auction Trap. In which a buyer
ended up paying his FULL PROXY PRICE
if they
bought all n items. Rather than n-1 or fewer.

March 14, 2009 deeplink respond

The handiest way I have found to email a location of most
anything to anybody is to use Acme Mapper.

Usually, you will select satellite and an appropriate scale.
Center the item on the crosshair and click mark. Then link
to this page.

Since the email link may end up over one line long, be sure
to prefix and postfix any link with "<" and ">".

Three areial resolutions are typical: Really bad ( such as
aound Fort Thomas AZ ), about a meter ( such as around
Safford, AZ ), or better than half a meter ( such as downtown
Phoenix ). Sadly, prehistoric structures are hard to spot
even with the finest resolution offered today.

The highest resolution is sometimes available using
Acme's DOQ feature. But this is black and white and
at best only marginally better.

Decimeter resolution everywhere sure would be nice.
In stereo with uv and ir options, of course.

March 13, 2009 deeplink respond

A church in Gila Bend has decided not to get a
chandelier. Turns out nobody in the congregation
knew how to play one.

March 12, 2009 deeplink respond

We looked at the Fundamental Factors Underlying
Technological Innovation
a while back. And made two
additions here and here. Yet another factor that might be
added is the end of scarcity.

businesses and services were once based on
picking up a pile of arcane equipment or expertise and
being the sole local source for what was being offered.

Innovative new solutions now give most anybody the
ability to knock out better product. Faster, simpler,
and cheaper.
Where competitors were once few and
far between, there are now hundreds of thousands or
even millions of them.

Some examples of stuff already shot out of the saddle...

    PRINT SHOPS - At one time, you had to buy
    a fancy printing press and zillions of support
    items like litho cameras, artwaxers, platemakers,
    joggers, punches, binders, green eyeshades, etc.
    These days, anybody with an inkjet or a laser printer
    can instantly produce what they need when they need it.

   PHOTO FINISHING - Here you had to have an
   enlarger and a darkroom, along with all of the
   "slopping in the slush" accessories. Now, you
   can use Imageview32 or any of hundreds of
   free computer programs to do much more
   image postproc much better. And ridiculously faster.

   TRAVEL AGENCIES - Specialized contacts
   and insider info clearly have been replaced by
   online services newly available to anyone 24/7.

    RESEACH SERVICES - At one time,
    profitable consulting could be based on knowning
    which libraries to use when, agressive subscriptions
    to trade journals and industrial shows and such.
    Because accurate and useful info was scarce.

    Now just about anybody can do an instant Google
    Search to come up with more and better information.

    FONTS - Long ago, adding a new font capability
    to what you were doing was a gut wrenching experience
    Fonts, of course, were one size and one weight at a time.
    Today, thousands of fonts are available free, and hundreds
    of them are included in standard publication software.

    CREATIVE WRITING -Magazines typically had "room"
    for a small stable of regular authors. At least some of
    which quickly established reps as sought out resources.

    The explosive onscene arrival of the blog now means
    that there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of new
    info and entertainment sources
. Like it or not, some of them
    are better than you. At the very least, there are now many
    thousands of highly competitive clones.

    SPECIALTY STORES -It used to be that if you needed,
    say, some candles, that you would go to a brick and mortar
    specialty store. But today there are great heaping bunches
    of candles available 24/7 on eBay, Craig's List, or Kijii.
    The scarcity of sources is clearly gone.

There's bunches of obvious stuff that is about to get unscarce.

Books about to blown out of the water by eBook readers.
Newspapers whose economics are now absurd. Over the air
and cable tv laugingly obsoleted by web delivery. Outrageously
expensive, slow, and hard to obtain peer reviewed scholarly
pubs shot out of the saddle by instant web distribution.

Trade journals, again due to ludicrous economics. And, of course,
music delivered from tens of thousands of sources that are much
more cheaply produced that the cost of one hour of traditional studio

The bottom line is that there are no more reject slips. Nor any valid
reason to limit the selection and availability of most any product.

Scarcity is now gone.

March 11, 2009 deeplink respond

Things may not be quite as bad as they seem. But
easily could get a lot worse if the government continues
to blatantly reward stupidity.

To me, the bailouts make no sense whatsoever in that
they penalize the winners by rewarding the losers.

Locally, restaurants seem even more crowded at
lunchtime. Of, the few folks who lost their jobs that I
know of, several were glad it happened, and others
quickly found alternate work. And the bustle seems
back at the UPS terminal. Crime is actually down a
tad because many of the bad guys left town.

Both oil and copper seem to have stabilized at
"normal" and "expected" pricing.

I was anticipating some super opportunities involving
auctions. But they do not seem to be happening. At
least not yet.

At a recent major computer store auction, some 10,000 lots
of somewhat dated items all went for better than
eBay or WalMart prices. Even in huge quantities. And there
seems to be few if any local business failure or liquidation auctions.
If anything, these seem fewer and further between.

The key secret appears to be looking for the more
obscure listings from the more unlikely auction houses.

And to attending fewer auctions but striking fast and
hard whenever genuine opportunities crop up. And
paying extreme attention to detail to the resources
available to you
. While always leading with your
specific expertise and personal value added.

Many auction house listings appear here. Your own
custom regional auction finder can be created for you
per these details.

March 10, 2009 deeplink respond

Many people have trouble visualizing exactly how big
a Joule is. Leading to all sorts of fundamental misunderstandings
on alternate and regular energy fundamentals. Which is
why I overwhelmingly prefer to use kilowatt hours instead.
regardless of whether we are talking electrical, mechanical,
or some other form of energy.

A Joule is unit of energy ( the capability to do work ) defined
as one watt second. Very roughly, a Joule is somewhat the
same size as a foot pound of mechanical work
. More exactly,
a Joule is 0.736 foot pounds. Which you can look up here,
or get by dividing the 550 foot pounds per second horsepower
definition by the 746 watts in a horsepower.

By simple time scaling, there are 60 Joules in a watt minute,
3600 Joules in a watt hour, and 3,600,000 Joules in a kilowatt
A kilowatt hour of electricity often sells for a dime.

The relationship of a watt second being roughly a foot pound
gives us a second method of estimating the performance of
a water pumped storage system.

For a ten foot head, you get ( before scaling for efficiency )
ten foot pounds of stored energy per pound of water. Or
22.05 foot pounds of stored energy per kilogram of water.

Or an energy density of just over 16 watt seconds per kilogram
of water at a ten foot head. Or 0.00444 watt hours per kilogram.
Which in the case of water is identically 0.00444 watt hours
per liter. By way of comparison, gasoline is 9000 watt hours
per liter.

Much more in our energy fundamentals tutorials here and here.

March 9, 2009 deeplink respond

Can't put one over on her. Nosiree.

Little old lady at an auction to her friend "Why, that
man has been talking all morning!"

March 8, 2009 deeplink respond

As we recently saw here, there is NO pv or wind energy
storage problem because synchronous inversion to the
power grid completely and effectively solves the problem for the
overwhelming majority of real world users.

There are some utter fantasies kicking around the newsgroups
over home scale pumped storage.
Even a casual glance at the
numbers shows how utterly ridiculous the concept is.

Yes, properly sited utility scale pumped storage works
amazingly well and can approach 85 percent efficiency. The
profit in the scheme comes about by filling the upper whatever
with two cents per kwh baseline energy and emptying it with
eight cents per kwh avoided cost peaking energy.

We will forget about how "water anything" creates major
and largely unsolvable legal issues,
especially in the southwest.

Instead, let's look at the underlying math. Say you have two
ponds differing in elevation by ten feet and you want to store
10 kilowatts of power delivered at least over a ten hour
storage time. For 100 kwh total.

How much water is involved?

Let's see. A horsepower is 550 foot pounds per second or 746 watts. A
kilowatt is then 550/.746 =  737 foot pounds. Lets assume a 50%
efficiency, which is insanely unlikely for, say roughly 1500 foot pounds
of input water. 150 pounds of water per second will need continuously
moved over a ten foot head. Or almost 20 gallons per second. For 10
kw peak delivery, 200 gallons per second.

200 gallons per second is 12,000 gallons per minute. Or the
equivalent flow rate of TEN typical city fire engines!

12,000 gallons per minute is 720,000 gallons per hour. Or
7,200,000 gallons total storage for ten hours. An acre foot is
about 330,000 gallons, so we are talking almost 22 acre feet
of water. Enough water to irrigate at least three acres of cotton
for an entire year.

Wait. It gets even uglier. If the water level in the ponds is only
going to be allowed to change by less than a foot, then
nearly FIFTY ACRES of pond surfaces will be neecded.

Further, this assumes that the water charge and discharge rates
are the same. Typically, you will want to fill the upper pond
MUCH FASTER than you empty it.
Which compounds the
flow rates and pump sizes.

Ten feet of effective head can be enormously difficult
to find in certain parts of the country. A typical river
has a slope of five feet per mile or less.

March 7, 2009 deeplink respond
There are many rock structures here in the Gila valley.
Some of these are prehistoric indian agricultural work,
and some are CCC busywork projects from the 1930's.

Telling which from what can create problems. Here are
a few guidelines...

      CCC projects tend to be anal. Prehistoric projects tend
      towards zen and in harmony with the land..

      CCC projects are often obvious on satellite photos.
      Prehistoric projects are usually subtle or invisible.

      CCC projects are usually linear. Prehistoric projects are
      often associated with grids, fieldhouses, cairns,
      or roasting pits..

     CCC projects may have obvious modern features
     such as survey markers, railroad rails, concrete,
     wire grids, or integrated wide farm roads.

    Prehistoric projects may have lithics, trincheras, or
    checkdams with aprons associated with them.
    But potsherds are often rare at an ag site.

    CCC projects tend to be wider, with three to
    four feet being typical. Stones are often
    precisely fit "masonry style" with tight
    tolerances and well defined project edges.

    Some CCC projects tend to be crisp and
    pristine. Prehistoric projects tend to show their
    age and are often partial or ill defined. Or
    show flood damage.

   Prehistoric projects usually use nearby rocks. CCC
   projects may truck or otherwise import different
   rock styles from remote areas.

More on similar topics on our Gila Dayhikes library page.

March 6, 2009 deeplink respond
The USGS has a website with fascinating and
highly useful minerals info you can find here.

March 5, 2009 deeplink respond
One of the major myths of pv and windpower is that
"storage" is in some manner needed or unsolved.

In reality, synchronous inversion to the power grid
provides an exact equivalent to storage
and does so
ridiculously cheaper, simpler, more reliably, more
safely, and far more convenient than any other known

The actual process is called "displacement", but you
can view a utility's buyback of wind or pv as a super efficient
solar to coal converter.

As more and more pv or wind peaking is returned, the pile of
coal at the baseline plant
does not diminish as fast. In fact,
if improperly rescheduled, the pile of coal will actually get

Yes, synchronous inverters remain expensive today, but
there is no reason for them not to drop from their $2500
end user installed cost to around $9. Brought about
simply by standardization, learning curves, and volume.
The inverter is actually less complicated than a PC power
supply whose volume costs are under $10.

So long as wind or pv peaking remains a relatively small
fraction of the total energy consumption, this storage
equivalent will continue to be a complete solution. Above
about 30% peaking, some system stability issues might
arise. These are unlikely within the next fifty years.

More on energy and pv fundamentals here and here.

March 4, 2009 deeplink respond

The Post Office now has a very small flat rate box that you
can ship with unlimited weight for $4.85.

This can prove most economical for such things as
our eBay sales of smaller pneumatic and electronic
components. Sadly, UPS is not remotely competitive.

You can order the free boxes through Most
evrything can be done online with minimum waiting
at the post office.

March 3, 2009 deeplink respond
Found the "horses mouth" document on measuring
sheet resistivity. It is Measurements of Sheet Resistivity
with the Four Point Probe
. By F. M. Smits in the Bell System
Technical Journal for May of 1958.

A somewhat poor scanned reprint appears here.

The magic number of large sheet resistivity being 4.53 times
the resistance is apparently pi divided by the natural log of 2.

This assumes the sheet is much larger than the probe spacing
and that the sheet is thin compared to the probe spacing.
Full correction factors appear in the docs.

It might be interesting to apply our improved Fun with Fields
techniques to this problem.

March 2, 2009 deeplink respond
To me, there is not the slightest doubt that we are
within a few months at most of completely and utterly
obsoleting books
. Sadly, the current crop of eBook readers
misses the mark badly. And it is not at all clear whether
the "killer ap" book replacement will be an eBook reader
at all. Or perhaps a plain old laptop variant.

But its gonna happen, and happen soon. Already, such
publishers as the New York Times could save zillions of
dollars yearly by buying each of their readers one of the
marginal eBook readers available today. The economics
are not even close.

First and foremost, the legibility has to blow away a book.
This means full PDF at the very least and the ability
to magnify with improving resolution. The quality of
presentation must at a bare minimum match a full page
color Newsweek ad.

Second, of course, is that DRM should be a seldom used
, and by no means a restriction to most of the available
materia from most of the available sources.

Third, of course, is that the ebook appliance supplier should not
in any manner be involved with the sale or distribution
of existing books.
To do so is an obvious and clearly fatal conflict of

Fourth, if a propriety format is ever used at all, it should be an option.
All popular "open" formats MUST be supported. Especially
and most crucially PDF.

Fifth, the owner of the appliance MUST be able to freely upload
any content at any time
, to or from any source or destination.

Sixth, the winning appliance will also allow the watching of
HDTV movies
from the hundreds of emerging web sources.

March 1 , 2009 deeplink respond
I'll occassionally "backfill" an older missing
date entry. Or make corrections, adjustments, or
additions. Particularly if I missed a crucial detail
on the first pass. Or if your email feedback
provided more input.

So it often may pay to reread older entries a week
or two after they first appear.

February 28, 2009 deeplink respond
We looked at the Fundamental Factors Underlying
Technological Innovation
a while back. And made an
addition here. Yet another factor that should be added
is immediacy.

People want things to happen 24/7 aka NOW. Stuff can
now easily be bought and sold online at any time of day.

Digital cameras are an obvious example
. At one time
you took your pictures, sent them out for development,
and then, possibly weeks later, made your final prints.
Now it is click and publish. Not to mention the hidden
benefits of full color, easy postproc, reuse, and preserved

The demise of the trade journal is being directly caused
by their obsene ad turnaround times.
You'd create and
submit your ad and it would not appear in print for weeks
or months later. More weeks and months for some
bingo card results to dribble in. More weeks and months
for them to respond to your mailings and ad followups.
And then maybe -- just maybe -- a sale or two.

The new video sites coming online like Gangbusters is
yet another example.
Theee now deliver thousands of
movies and tv episodes whenever you want to start them
with full pause, fast forward, and rewind. And are utterly
and completely blowing away on-the-air and cable tv
services in the process. Besides block busting Blockbuster.

The upcoming ebook readers or similar appliances can
shortly be expected to do the same thing to print and
. A reasonable authors royalty rate is now
90 percent, and publishing turnaround time from submission
to publication should be less than fifteen minutes max.
Acceptance of your material is, of course, a certainty.

CGI and similar techniques have revolutionized moviemaking.
We can shortly expect someone working at home to come
up with an experience comparable to a major motion picture
at a total cost of $67.73 and a total time involvement of
three weeks. Thus leading to a one million to one reduction
in the cost of watchable entertainment.

Recording studio time is now around $800 per hour. But you
can now easily build your own better recording studio for
around $790.
Producing your own music ridiculously faster,
higher quality, and with infinitely fewer ripoffs than before.
And, once again, with acceptance a certainty.

February 27, 2009 deeplink respond

There's always proposed "improvements" to the
internal combustion engine. The majority of these
are pipe dreams that never see the light of day.
Others were investigated decades or even centuries
ago and found wanting.

But the upcoming possibility of electric valves may
add credibility to any of a number of emerging
ICE concepts. Many of these are based on six
cycle or even eight cycle operation.

In one of the simpler six cycle variants, after the
exhause stroke, ambient air is input and then
This further purges exhaust gases and
cools the cylinder walls. Both improving efficiency
and making for cleaner combustion.

The engine does have to run at 50% higher RPM's
for eqivalent power, so this is primarily a technique
for stop-and-go slower urban driving.

In a "steam engine" variant of the above, water is
injected after the exhaust stroke.
Which provides
a bottoming cycle and increased efficiency. Unlike
previous steam engines, the water is condensed and

In some more complex variations, the compression
and expansion are done with different mechanisms.
Allowing each to be separately optimized. A technique
dating from the 1890's. Yet newly exploitable.

Sources for credible info on these developments
include Machine Design, The SAE orginazition,
and various Elsevier publications.

February 26, 2009 deeplink respond

Added several more entries to our Gila Day Hikes
library page.
Including amygdaloids and the Twin

February 25, 2009 deeplink respond

Here's my selection of the better places to go and
eat locally. In rank order...

  1. Toni's Kitchen
  2. Bricks
  3. Gabi's
  4. Casa Manana
  5. Branding Iron
  6. China Taste
  7. Golden Corral
  8. Super Wok
  9. Nathan's Ribs
10. Meechi's

Things get downright grim when you try nearby
towns instead. The 'best" is probably Coronado
in Willcox. Who also has Rodney's BBQ
place ( ask Rodney about his Rex Allen painting )
and a newly reopened Saxon House.

Solomon, of course, has La Paloma. Surprisingly
good is Gimees in York. Take the loop thruway
between the theater and industrial districts. Try
to avoid the rush hour traffic. Which is tricky,
because you are the rush hour traffic.

Pima gives you the choice of the new Sunrise
very good burgers at Pima Freeze, and
Bush & Shurtz. You are not allowed in the latter
unless you clearly know the difference between
"hunker" and "mosey". Besides, only Pima natives
can find it. It has been their since 1880. Valet parking
is strictly limited to John Deere tractors only.

The custom sammiches from the Mt Graham Market
deli are superb for any mountain trip. When and if they
are open, the Morenci Hotel also has decent food at
reasonable prices.

February 24, 2009 deeplink respond

This year's EntConnect Midnight Engineering
Conference will be held in Denver Colorado from
March 26th to March 29th.

Special discount rates are available here.

February 23, 2009 deeplink respond

An Assertiveness 101 review, starting with the biggies...

(A)  The best way to prevent something from happening is to
              just say no.

(B)  The best way to get something to happen is to specifically
              ask for it.

(C)  The best way to defuse a personal situation is to tell them
              exactly how you feel

      (D)  Exactly repeating yourself a second or third time can be   
               devastatingly effective.

      (E)  Should things prove obtuse after three attempts, use
: "I'm sorry about your hearing problem".

And some lesser guidelines...

      (F)  Avoid ever being an "enabler". You might be causing or at
               least worsening the situation.

      (G)  A tug-of-war can always be prevented by not picking up your
             end of the rope
. Or else suddenly letting go of it.

      (H)  Delay is the surest form of denial. Dwell on trivia.

      ( I )  The fundamental magician principles of misdirection, diversion,
             collusion, and deception can sometimes be of value.

     (J)   Third party all unpleasantries. Let someone else clean up the mess.
             Or play the role of the bad guy.

     (K)   The other person will have the last word. All you can do to your
             advantage is determine when and where this will happen.

     (L)  Reinforcement can be eliminated by switching from positive
              experiences that happen often to vaguely negative ones that
              occur much less frequently. Or, better yet, not at all.

The best way to tell if your assertiveness is adequate is if you have just been
arrested for aggravated assult.

February 22, 2009 deeplink respond

The "standard" line cord used these days on just
about all computers and test equipment is called an IEC
or connector.

Older electronics had some other solutions that can
be hard to work with.

Some older gear used hard wired line cords. These could
easily go bad, especially when a heavier unit was set on
end. If you must replace a cord on these, changing to a
socketed IEC connector is often the best choice.

The latest assemblies combine a switch, fuse, connector, and
optional voltage selector.

The most common problem are the three pin connectors
used on earlier Hewlett Packard HP gear. This remains
available as a Belden 17280. Many larger electronic
distributors still stock these.

Volex is apparently the current Belden manufacturer.

It is important to note that there are two identical
styles of 3 pin connectors, namely HP and "everybody
else". Safety issues come up if you use the wrong
connector as the fuse and switch will no longer be on
the hot side. The "wrong" line cord is the 17952.

Older television sets had a two pin safety interlock
that kept you from applying power when the back
was removed. The workaround is called a "cheater
" and these remain available from many sources.

Genral Radio ( GR or GenRad ) used ordinary male
three pronged power plugs that were chassis mounted
to their gear. Sometimes restricted by a circular hole.
Some hardware store extension cords can be used directly.

Often a cheaper and better substitute is the Tripp Lite
P002-002 IEC to NEMA5 adaptor
. You simply plug
this into an ordinary IEC line cord. On some GR
gear, this will fit unmodified. Others may need a
minor and safe amount of insulation carving using
an Xacto knife or a file.

February 21, 2009 deeplink respond

Just in case you have not met them yet, the
Acme Mapper website is an incredibly useful
resource. This combines Google streets with
aerial photos with topo maps and bunches more.

Particulaly useful is their center crosshairs that
instantly gives you latitude and longitude.
can also dial in lat lon to reach any referenced
location. An Options link gives you a choice
of lat lon formats.

Their "DOQ" gives you the original BW aerial
photography on which topo maps were based.
This often is the highest resolution you can get
but is limited to black and white.

It sure would be nice to have better resolution,
especially of the lower res areas. Stereo would
sure be handy, as would two more planes of
IR and UV imagry.

February 20, 2009 deeplink respond

One of my projects I never got around to finishing and
whose need is long overdo is the isopod. This was a
tennis ball shaped object you clamped onto your incoming
ac power wires ahead of the meter.

Inside was a current transformer, a dc energy harvester,
a current transducer, a micropower chip, and a wireless
transmitter. Your computer would then receive and process
your power consumption real time. With a trivial installation
and minimal safety or compliance issues.

Somebody else has apparently come up with half of
the solution. By simply combining an ordinary plugin
wattmeter with a stock wireless module.
Its only
limitation compared to the isopod is that it monitors
only a single appliance or whatever at a time.

February 19, 2009 deeplink respond

Turns out there are fairly simple instruments
available to measue the thickness of the copper on
printed circuit boards. At least accurate enough to
tell the difference between one ounce and two
ounce copper.

Apparently these simply measure the dc sheet
resistivity using a four point Kelvin setup.

One ounce copper has 0.68 milliohms per square
resistivity for 25 micrometer thickness.

Two ounce copper would be one half that.

Curiously, resistivity is measured "per square"
Square what does not matter in the least because
if you double the length you double the resistance
and if you double the width you half the resistance.

The math behind the machine is found here. A four
point measurement is done by applying current to
the outside two terminals and measuring the voltage
across the inside two.

While the general field solution is messy, if you assume
the thickness is very small and that the sheet borders are
at least four times the electrode spacing, the sheet
resistance will be 4.3 times the current to voltage ratio.

And the sheet resistance will be inversely proportional
to the foil thickness.

February 18, 2009 deeplink respond

Many older pieces of test equipment will have
bad NiCad battery packs in them. These can be
outrageously expensive, even if and when they can
be found.

In the years since, the "sub-C" Nicads started
being offered wit solderable tabs. The energy
density of NiCads doubled and going to NiMH
doubled again. Then lithium came in at ten times
the performance.

Often a much smaller and cheaper battery pack
can be kludged up that will fit in the same space
as the original. This can be a cost effective solution.

One recent problem involved a GR 1232A tuned
amplifier and null detector.
This required a tubular
mercury batter pack that is no longer available.
A GR NiCad charger replacement is also virtually
impossible to find.

The power needs are a mere 12 volts at 2.5 ma.
There is lots of space inside the unit for a pair
of plain old Radio Shack AAA quad or a single
octal battery holders.

But an even better solution is to use one inch
lithium coin cells. These are rated as high as
1000 maH and easily fit the existing battery
tube. A spacer ( perhaps made from foam and
two wired contacts ) will have to be added to
shorten the effective length of the battery tube.

Four of these 3 volt cells cost about $5 on the web
and should give hundreds of hours of operation at
five cents an hour.

Your best solution depends on whether you are
restoring the unit as a collectable or actually
using it as a null detecting tuned amplifier.

February 17, 2009 deeplink respond

I thought I was fairly familiar with our local Marijilda Canal
system. Which I had wrongly been crediting to early farm
pioneers in the 1800's. Turns out it was a small part of a much larger
and more complex native american system dating from the 1300's.

Apparently they simply stole the plans.

I just received a portion of a yet to be published paper and map
of this original system. It is clearly one of the more stunning of
many early Gila Valley water projects.

Firstoff, the origional system was at least 12.5 kilometers
( or nearly eight miles ) long! It was designed with cutoffs
so that any catastrophic flood would completely miss nearly
all of the system except for an easily repaired head end.

Amazingly, there was an aqueduct or "above grade" portion
where the canal crossed a drainage. And a fairly long
"cliff hanger" portion where the canal was literally stuck
high on the side of a steep mesa.

Finally, the far end of the canal ended in a large loop.
Exactly why it does so is a mystery, since any canal
( especially a prehistoric one ) has to have a gradient
to deliver useful amounts of water.

Portions of the canal system remain remarkably well
preserved. I'll try to post a better reference when the
paper becomes available.

February 16, 2009 deeplink respond

Added some more entries to our video and tv links
directory on our home page.

These sites are expanding much faster than we can
keep up with them. The best directory and link-to-the-
appears to be ov guide.

They are currently approaching 200 referrals. We will
try to include any site they have given a rating of
500,000 visits or higher to.

On-the air television and cable services are, of course,
now utterly and totally pointless.

BTW, the Las Vegas TV series is newly available once
again. Albeit it with lower resolution and Chinese (?) subtitles.

Two I am waiting for: The Macavillean Profit series. And
of course, rediscovering the long lost Captain Video
kinescopes. Profit shows up on Chiller sometimes, but
only at their time convenience.

February 15, 2009 deeplink respond
Have had several more "expect the unexpected"
when it comes to refurbing older equipment.

Older vacuum tube gear normally has problems
with its electrolytic capacitors or the tubes themselves.
But a plain old and usually reliable power switch

was the cause of a recent GR failure.

A newer power supply was marked "blows circuit
breakers". The usual suspect here should have been
a shorted electrolytic or possibly a bad diode. Again,
the problem was the input 110/220 switch. Poor
assembly soldering got hot too close to case.

A student lab breadboard can reasonably expect
damage from students inputing the wrong voltages in
the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet this item
had two hairline cracks in its printed circuit board
that almost certainly were a manufacturing defect
that finally opened by themselves without any help..

All of the power supplies in a HP function generator had dead
shorts on them. Yet the regulators checked out
perfectly. Turns out the instrument was dropped which
broke the plastic ends on a connector. The connector
shifted just enough to short adjacent contacts.

In one infuriatingly difficult to fix programmable wire
stripper, the polarity completely reversed on one of
the power supplies. Turns out that someone tried to
replace a bridge rectifier and got it in backwards.

An emergency lighting source can expect bad nicads
after years of unused storage. Yet the problem here
was simply a bell clapper that somhow jumped the track.
Had the clapper end been a quarter inch longer, the
problem would never have happened. Clearly this
was a design defect.

An autoclave was shipped across the country and
received nonworking. They sent it to a local repair
shop who pronounced it unrepairable. We refunded
and got it back. Snapping an obviously shaken switch
back together immediately fixed the problem.
February 14, 2009 deeplink respond

Here are the arguments against the hydrogen economy:

       1. Terrestral hydrogen is ONLY an energy
           carrier or transfer media and NOT a
           substance capable of delivering net NEW
           BTU's to the on-the-books economy.

      2. Terrestral hydrogen creation is inefficient
           as considerably more energy of usually
           much higher quality has to be input than
           is eventually returnable.

     3. No large terrestral source of hydrogen gas
         is known. Water, of course, is a hydrogen
        sink and, by fundamental chemical energetics,
        is the worst possible feedstock.

     4. The CONTAINED energy density of terrestral
         hydrogen by weight is a lot LESS than gasoline.
         And drops dramatically as the tank is emptied.
         The energy density of hydrogen gas by volume
         is a ludicrous joke.

    5. Virtually all bulk hydrogen is produced by methane
         reformation. And thus is EXTREMELY hydrocarbon

    6. Hydrogen has one of the widest explosive ranges known,
        the least spark energy required for ignition, and
        has no known colorants or odorants. Its flame is
        often invisible or nearly so.

    7. There is more hydrogen in a gallon of gasoline
         than there is in a gallon of liquid hydrogen.

     8. No effective vehicle compatible means of hydrogen
         storage is known that is remotely as cheap, safe,
         dense, and convenient as carbon bonded hydrides.

     9. No infrastructure exists for gaseous hydrogen
         distribution. Pipelines in particular raise major
         density and embrittlement issues.

     10. Electrolysis from high value sources such as
          grid, wind, or pv is totally useless as a hydrogen  
          source because of the staggering loss of exergy.
          There ALWAYS will be more intelligent things
          to do with the electricity.

    11. Improper burning of hydrogen produces highly
          polluting nitrous oxides.

   12. Terrestrial hydrogen is basically a POLLUTION
         AMPLIFIER that INCREASES the pollution of
         its underlying sources. It is utterly ludicrous to
         claim that hydrogen is in any manner, way,
         shape, or form "nonpolluting".

   13. Hydrogen rots most metals through embrittlement.

   14. "Carbon Neutral" solutions would appear better
         than "Carbon Free" because (A) A significant
         measure of the energy of most fuels is in its carbon
         fraction, (B) Carbon appears to be essential for
         convenient and safe room temperature liquids,
         and (C) Reformation is not required or else
         is simpler, cheaper, and wastes less energy.

     15. An optimal hydrogen storage solution exists by
          carbon bonding as in heptane or iso-octane. Both
          of these room temperature liquids ain't broke.

More details on our It's a Gas hydrogen resources
library page.

February 13, 2009 deeplink respond
Updated and improved our Auction Help page.
Added some new auctioneers and corrected a
few others.

Your own custom regional auction finder can
be created for you per these details.
February 12, 2009 deeplink respond
All a desert rat has to know about boats: The
binnacle goes on top and the barnacle goes on the

Interchanging the two is a serious breach of
maritime etiquette.
February 11, 2009 deeplink respond

One of the more intriguing entries in our Gila Day
library page are the "Old Tunnels" of the
Morenci Southern Railway.

This long abandoned route ran from Guthrie,
crossed the San Francisco River, then went on up
Morenci Wash to the original town of Morenci.

Which long ago was eaten by the open pit mine.

Easiest access is off the Back Country Byway
about half a mile or so north of the Gila River

If you look at the entire history of all US railways,
there were a total of fifteen well documented
loops in which a train crossed itself in attempting
to gain altitude. Amazingly, FIVE of these loops
were on the Morenci Southern Railway.

Today, the four trestle based loops are long gone,
but the lowest and tunnel based loop remains and
can be visited.

The best documentaion I know of for the Morenci
Southern Railway appears in Myrick's Railroads
of Arizona,
volume III.
This book is pricey and
hard to find, but remains readily available in
appropriate libraries and museums

February 10, 2009 deeplink respond
Added some new sites to our Gila Day Hikes
library page. Depending on how you count them,
somewhere between 155 and 214 trips are now
February 9, 2009 deeplink respond

Yet another source of endless confusion is
that there are two totally different meanings to PFC
or Power Factor Correction.

IF you have predominately fundamental frequency
sinewaves involved ( very rare these days ), PFC
consists only of shifting the phase of the waveform to
maximize the real component and mininize the
reactive component.
Typically, power companies
will add capacitors to cancel out the reactive
effects of inductive loads.

But these days, you are more likely to have a
rectifier that tries to draw pulse currents out of
the power line. Leading to big time harmonics.
Modern PFC attempts to minimize any harmonics
drawn by making the input current as much of
a fundamental frequency sinewave as possible.

The "old way" simply places a capacitor across
the line. The "new way" involves very elaborate
and specialized switchmode techniques.

The two PFC schemes are most assuredly NOT

February 8, 2009 deeplink respond

There still seems to be some major "not
even wrong" misinformation both on Wiki and in
electronic distributors catalogs over "axial" versus
"radial" leaded components. Especially electrolytic

One more time: As any 1929 radio book will tell you,
axial leads point out the axis. Radial leads point in
the direction of the radius
of a cylinder.

Here is a photo site that shows you the differences.

The two most common types of electroytic
capacitors are single ended axial where both
leads come out one of the cylindrical shape,
and double ended axial where one lead comes out
one end of the cylindrical shape and one or more
leads come out the other end.

Radial leaded electrolytics are very unusual and
rare. More photos on our eBay store listings.

February 7, 2009 deeplink respond

We usually answer our phone with the four digits
. Which we have found quite useful when
combining a personal phone system with a number of
business services with a technical help line.

Among other things, we have found that Eastern
callers seem to want more formal responses
Southwestern ones. With some practice, you can
get dialect down to a fractional state area.

Or, in the case of Pittsburgh, within six blocks.

This numeric response also makes a really great scam
, as they instantly lose their place in the script
they are reading. Several key phrases can then set off
alarm bells worthy of a Pink Floyd "money" concert.

Ferinstance "Is this a business?" is a dead giveaway.
There is no need for any legitimate caller to ever
ask this. Never.

"How are you today?" is another obvious scam.
Few legitimate callers will ever ask this, and those
that do will merrily go on with their conversation
even if you do not answer. The key rule is "Whoever
speaks next -- loses!
". Try it. Works every time.

The instant we suspect a scam, we respond with
"What is the purpose of your call?" Any irate
response is a dead giveaway that they have been had.

Promptly terminating any foreign call makes infinitely
more sense that spending lots of time patiently explaining
why you are ALWAYS going to terminate any foriegn call
anyhow .

"Surveys" are best deal with by announcing your $89
minimum consulting charge and repeatedly requesting
their VISA number. Which we don't accept any more
anyway, because Paypal is much more cost effective
and convenient .

"English as a third language" calls are best gotten
rid of as soon as possible.
Intentional rudeness can
be a valuable tool here.

The old standby "You have reached this number in error"
can also be useful. Moreso when repeated repeatedly.

We have also found that it usually pays to flush any problem
. Better now than after having to issue a refund
or get negged on eBay.

February 6, 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder that I will be presenting a pair
of lectures on Alternate Energy tomorrow, Saturday
at 6:30 PM in the Discovery Park Jupiter Room.

Admission is free. Access to telescopes and flight
may also be free. Discovery park is
located at 20th avenue and Discovery Park Blvd
( aka 32nd street ) in Safford, AZ.

Safford lies within the greater Bonita - Eden -
Sanchez metropolitan area.

See you there.

February 5, 2009 deeplink respond

Someone has come up with a new product that might
be incredibly more useful than you might think at
first glance. This is a $40 USB adaptor that accepts
most any old SATA disk drive

The obvious use is to use older and smaller disk drives
to expand existing machine capacity in a hassle free
way. Such drives are typically available for fifty cents
or less each as palletized community college surplus.

Should a modern computer fail other than its disk
drive itself, this gives you a very fast way to recover
all the data. Just move the hard drive over to another
machine and read it.

Should you have an ancient pre-USB computer, the
same scheme gives you a fast and simple way to
recover old files. I'd sure like to see someone make
this Apple IIe compatible, as I still have thousands
of disks and tens of thousands of files I would like
to archive on my website.

February 4, 2009 deeplink respond

Our ancient grid systems here in the Gila Valley
are much more extensive than most people even imagine.

Besides highly concentrated northern grids, there are
many isolated and smaller examples to the south. Typically
these are gently sloping near mesa tops in areas with
bunches of loose rocks in the 2 to 10 pound class. The
rocks are typically rounded river cobbles and are not
worth a damn as higher wall construction materials.

Several classes of rockwork are apparent...

     Rectangular grids, often 12 x 25 feet or so,
     singly or in groups. In a somewhat erratic

     Round rockpiles perhaps three feet in
     diameter. Some with internal depressions.

     Arc shaped check dams across small
     drainages, some with distinct downstream

These tend to be well away from habitation sites of
multi room ruins. Potsherds are almost entirely
absent, and lithics are somewhat scarce.

Some of these are masked by more modern
structures such as early Mormon irrigation canals,
CCC projects and even modern rock walls and
rearrangements. In general, the CCC projects are
far more anal and precise. But proper attribution of
simpler structures remains a problem.

My latest discovery is a linear feature that extends
nearly a mile and exactly follows a constant elevetion
topo contour. Calling it a "canal" is premature and it is
not at all obvious what the water source or its destination
was. There seems to be no modern interest in the area.

Aerial and satellite photos are maddeningly infuriating
because their resolution is way too low. Their copy
protection features are easy to misinterpret as well.

A few more details here.

February 3, 2009 deeplink respond

Speaking of Walmart, their latest stunt to piss
off customers goes something like this: A monitor
is offered for $160 online and $200 in the store.

Yet the store will not give the better price.

But you can have the online monitor shipped free
to the store, get it in a day or two, and pay only
the online price.

I strongly suspect that filling the custom order and
custom shipping costs a lot more than simply filling
the order out of existing stock would. And that
is BEFORE hassling the customer over a needless
delay .

February 2, 2009 deeplink respond

The Hewlett Packard computers sold at
Wal Mart seem to have marginal power supplies.
If used in a dusty environment, the power supply
may overheat and cause all sorts of problems.

Similarly, any grunge piling up on the fan blades
may slow the fan down and cause similar hassles.

One workaround is a thorough blowdown cleaning
of the entire inside of the computer
every few
months. Around here, the symptoms seem to crop
up yearly if this is not done. It pays to physically
wipe the fan blades as well.

One possible defense is to add an input filter consisting
of a piece of antistatic foam. Be sure to tape this
on the input grill and not on the fan output!

February 1, 2009 deeplink respond

The number of free web television and movie
is expanding much faster than we can list
. But your best starting points still remain
hulu, fox, USA network and cbs.

A new site called seems to have
a directory and links to several hundred sources.

Meanwhile, the number of movie and tv web downloads
continues to expand at a 30 percent per month rate.

There is, of course, no point whatsoever remaining
for on-the-air or cable broadcasts.
Larger monitors give
sharper and better images these days. And, video projectors
now completely blow away larger tv sets for image quality.

January 31, 2009 deeplink respond

This photo for one of our latest eBay listings
did not turn out half bad. So, I thought I would
once again review some of the insider tricks of
image postproc.

The image was first available light photographed
by a 5 Megapixel Nikon Coolpix camera outside
in uniform shade. Flash tends to burn and provide
non uniform lighting.

The image was then rotated using Imageview32
and its tilt corrected by our older and newer custom
routines. The left knob was a little hot, so a double
exposure was done with Inageview32 and Paint.
We probably should have made the knob even
darker with a lower gamma.

The fancy vignette is done with our fully automatic
custom autobackgrounding code. A further gamma
reduction, brightening and very slight sharpening
completes the process.

A reminder that versions of Acrobat Distiller above
8.1 default to PREVENTING file manipulations
. The
usual workaround is to run Acrodist -F off your windows
command line.

Also a reminder that the image must be at your
final crop before doing a vignette.
And that double
exposures often must be at the same magnification
and rotation as the original. Unless you are up to
something special. Such as realigning a cable end.

Custom consulting services availalbe.
email me for details.

January 30, 2009 deeplink respond

Our local "Southern Grids" area has an incredible
variety of prehistoric grids, roasting pits, ruins,
trincheras, and such. Some of which are covered

Trouble is that the same area has great heaping
bunches of CCC water control projects. And the
two can easily be confused. More to the point,
it is difficult to accuratly guarantee any particular
simpler construct is in fact prehistoric.

In general the prehistory folks had more potsherds
and lithics. And were much more in tune with nature.
The CCC was far more anal and rectangular. Plus
may have included obvious survey markers or
chunks of railroad rails. Some structures obviously
had an Italian stone mason as a foreman. With
transit accuracy and one inch tolerance.

Sometimes deciding whether you are looking at one
or eight centuries worth of erosion can help. On
lesser features, the distinction is far from obvious.

A further confusion is that depressions attributed to
Mescal roasing pits could in fact have been natural

and caused by the hugely trunked mesguite trees once
in the area. Almost always, though, a depression in
any non-karst area is man caused

Enigmatic are the check dams with downsteam
aprons. At present, these appear in use by both cultures.
one possible explanation is that the CCC liked what they
saw and simply stole the plans.

January 29, 2009 deeplink respond

We looked at the Fundamental Factors Underlying
Technological Innovation
a while back. Another factor
that should be added is fewer mechanical parts.

The breaker points in an automobile were by far
the least reliable and highest repair item. By going
to electronic switching, most service needs were
eliminated. At the same time, timing and dwell
became ridiculously more flexible.

A piano might have thousands of mechanical parts
in it. By switching to electronic synthesis, the number of
moving piano parts got reduced to zero.
And one instrument
can now sound like any size or shape piano. Or, for
that matter, any other instrument. Real or imaginary.

Mechanical adding machines were horribly complex and
hard to maintain.
Not to mention that even such simple
math functions as multiplication or division added horribly
to the system cost. Solid state calculator chips blew these
away completely.

A VHS tape cassette had dozens of parts in it, and the
VCR load/unload mechanism was quite elaborate.
A DVD replaced the cassette with one round piece of
. And the player mechanics reduced to a moving
shelf, a rotating spindle, and a linear positioner.

The DVD itself is in the process of getting blown out
of the water by direct web distribution. With zero moving
parts and incredible flexibility.

Ultra precision rotating disk drives are now being replaced
by thumb drives
and similar solid state flash memory.
With dramatic reliability, speed, and power improvements.

Turning to stuff not yet here yet, compressor based cooling
is an obvious candidate for solid state substitution.
possibly higher efficiencies, less noise, reduced environmental
impact, and far less maint.

Automobiles can use fewer parts by going to electric valves.
Similar gains are to be made by changing to electric power steering
and electric variable rate cooling. Or even no ICE parts at all
by going to fuel cells.

January 28, 2009 deeplink respond
I will be presening a pair of alternate energy related
lectures on Saturday February 7th in the Jupiter Room
of Discovery Park at  6:30 PM.

This is part of Discovery Park’s continuing series of
weekly lectures and talks of interest to the general public.

The first lecture is on "Energy Fundamentals" while the
second is "An Intro to pv Solar Panels".

There is a huge amount of wildly wrong material circulating
on these two topics; the lectures are aimed at focusing on
accurate and verifiable fundamentals. And doing so at a
popular audience level.

Material covered will largely be based on web tutorials and .
Reprints will be provided to those interested.

Admission is free. For more info, contact Discovery Park
at (928) 428-6260 or . Discovery
Park is located at 20th Avenue and Discovery Park Blvd.
January 27, 2009 deeplink respond

Another local auction house that sometimes has odd
tech items buried in and among the routine obsolete
school stuff is Auction and Appraise.

They typically have one surplus auction per month
intersperced with their other offerings. Items of
interest have included burned out traffic light
controllers with perfectly good solid state relays
in them, HVAC controllers, and mint vacuum pumps.

These auctions tend to be competitive. If possible, you
should actually attend since many of the pallets are
covered with murky polywrap. If you must bid online,
(A) make sure you are registered ahead of time, (B)
place a nuisance lowball bid early in the auction to
verify you are in fact registered and online, and (C)
proxy bid your max bids once eight items early
during the live bidding.

Your own custom regional auction finder can be created
for you per these details.

January 26, 2009 deeplink respond
We have quite a collection of classic General Radio
Test equipment in various stages of cleaning and refurb.

First to go up on eBay is a rare 1564A audio analyzer
and a 1310B classic Wein Bridge sinewave oscillator.
A really strange 1311A should also go up shortly.

All are believed fully functional and guaranteed
servicible with a fifteen day inspection privilege.

More to follow shortly.
January 25, 2009 deeplink respond

It is surprisingly easy to damage an electric blanket
by kneeling on it or otherwise stressing the internal
wiring. The usual symptom is that it does not heat
as well as it used to. Or not at all.

A plug in wattmeter is the simplest test method.

The power readings should reasonably reflect
your temperature settings. Older controllers will
be off-on style and may draw little standby power.
Newer controllers will switch half power cycles in
or out and may have a few watts of standby power.

An Ohmmeter check will also work if you already
know the expected resistances and pinouts. An
infrared camera also does wonders but clearly would
be overkill.

January 24, 2009 deeplink respond

There's apparently yet another approach possible
for solid state cooling. As championed by the Cool Chips
folks. Trouble is that, at least to me, they seem long
on bullshit and short on products.

Hot electrons apparently will tow heat energy along
with them. By taking an ultra thin vacuum and applying
a positive potential, in theory you can create a solid
state heat pump
. One whose theoretical efficiencies
can be significantly higher than conventional. And
one that can be greatly aided by quantum tunneling.

Using potentially cheap and nonhazardous materials.

All heat pumps are limited by Carnot's Law. My
tutorial on same appears here. To date, nothing
has seriously challenged conventional compressors.
While they have been hampered by less efficient
but more environmentally safe fluids, their efficiency
continues to increase through such techniques
as scroll compressors, computer control, and
variable speed compression and air handling.

The COP or Coefficient of Performance of a heat
engine determines how much electrical energy it
takes to move a given amount of heat
. Resistance
heat has a COP of 1.0. Modern heat pumps with
a reasonable temperature differential may have
a COP of 5 or so. The COP drops with the
temperature differential.

The best of current practice air conditioners
approach 45% of theoretical efficiency, so
there is a lot of improvement still possible. Not to
mention eliminating any noise or moving parts.

Solid state Peltier Coolers have long been
available, but earlier units had a pitiful COP
of 0.15 or so
. The key problem that makes them
utterly useless above five watts or so of
heat pumping is that the temperature rise
of their heatsink above ambient can easily
and grossly exceed their net cooling
. Some
present Peltier research involving nanotechnology
and newer formulations may improve their
capabilities somewhat.

A really cute solid state device is the Vortex
. This is nothing but a Tee shaped pipe.
You blow ambient air in the middle and hot air
comes out one end and cold air out the other.
While mind bogglingly simple, the COP is very
low, there are noise and frost issues, and a
compressed air system is required. Little new
has happened on these in decades.

Another slow starting solid state heat pump is
called Magnetic Refrigeration. Heat energy
can be transferred by switching a magnetic
material above and below its Curie Point.
These have limited temperature ranges,
many of which are well below ambient.
They also involve exotic materials.

There is obviously a zillion dollar market
for an improved solid state heat pump.
Especially one that is HVAC efficient and
cost effective. Time will tell if the Cool Chips
can get their act together.

January 23, 2009 deeplink respond

As any geologist will tell you, there are three
kinds of rocks: Ingeneous, Sedentary, and Metaphoric.

January 22, 2009 deeplink respond

There seems to be a lively argument on one
of the newsgroups on whether tidal power plants will
slow the rotation of the earth.

Of course they will. As guaranteed by thermodynamic

Any system at a given time has energy, entropy, and
. If you take a fraction of that system and
dramatically raise its exergy ( or energy quality ), the
exergy in the rest of the system has to drop at least
by a corresponding amount.

Anything else is a second law violation and a perpetual
motion machine.

Much more in our Energy Fundamentals tutorials.

January 21, 2009 deeplink respond

The bureaucrat's answer to eBay is Public Surplus.

Which typically offers crashed 1982 pickup trucks
with no titles and unrepairable highway paint stripers.

Despite its "ain't got a clue" aura, an occasional
stunning bargain or two sometimes can be found.
I've done well with such things as theater lighting
dimmers and industrial controls. Both at much
less than a cent on the dollar.

The other bidders here do not seem very bright,
which is another plus. My only competition on
the industrial controls placed his bid a week ahead
of time and limited his proxy to the opening price.
And forgot to monitor auction progress.

Optimum Public Surplus strategy is to proxy bid
your max once precisely fifty two minutes into the
last bid hour.
And do not respond to any action
by others. Especially any infuriating five minute

More on our Auction Help library page.

January 20, 2009 deeplink respond

While Black Range Lodge remains my favorite
bed and breakfast because of long term friendships,
I can also highly recommend Casitas De Gila.

Casita's highlights include remote hot tubbing under
the stars
in one of the finest dark sky locations in
the country, a bunch of easy new riparian stream trails,
a superb mini art gallery, free WiFi, panhandling horses,
and acess to a group of telescopes and terrestrial optics.

The two B&B's are an easy two hour trip apart. Both are
in the parts of New Mexico you can't get to. With superb
stuff in between to visit. Stop off and buy our wilderness
while you are on the way.

January 19, 2009 deeplink respond

Government Liquidation is now apparently using
shilling to raise the minimum opening bid on certain
surplus test equipment lots from $50 to $175.

$50, of course, was outrageously and unacceptably high.

January 18, 2009 deeplink respond

For years, I've been creating what, for a better name, we might
call Lancasterisms. These are intentional but apparent
typographical errors intended to reveal a higher or greater truth.

Such as a groundswill of popular demand. Or what those French
Veternarians call a "four paw". Or being overly enameled on some
idea. Or winning an election by acrimination.

Or seeming a few bricks shy of a full deck. Frosting the lily or
guilding the cake. Or not being able to hit the barn side of a broad.
Or sources close to an associate of the barber of a usually reliable
spokesperson. Or anything mesmerizingly awful.

Many of the web perpetual motion schemes and those electrolysis
fantasies clearly involve electrocity. Geological rocks are often
ingenious, sedentary, or metaphoric.

Perpetual motion nuts and desciples of the Church of the Latter
Day Crackpots ( Tesla is their patron saint ) often get their physics
and thermodynamics"not even wrong". Their usual problem is
confusing useful adjuncts to porcine whole body cleanliness with
total hogwash.

The best source for eBay drop ship items is Norfolk & Waay.

Curiously, rectocranial inversion can be both chronic and
acute at the same time

All in one swell foop. Provided there's no oint in the flyment.
Thuzzy finking fer sure.

These are somehow related to the Stengleisms of others, such as
"Nobody goes there because it is too crowded", "Deja Vu all over
again", or "Let's keep the Status Quo right where it is. Or "When
you come to a fork in the road, take it".

Or Ed Abbey's classic "Androgynous Ammonia". Or the eBay
classic "All fright arrangements to be made by the buyer."
Which presumably also applied to their WWII swash stickers.

I have a hollow feeling I've lost some of the better ones of these
somewhere along the way. As you go through some of my older
books and stories, please report any that may be missing in
action. Or let's hear those of your own.

Because Opporknockity tunes but once

January 17, 2009 deeplink respond

Farm and ranch maintenence 101:

If it does not move and is supposed to, use WD-40.
If it moves and is not supposed to, use Duck Tape
or bailing wire .

But the foremost secret to successful farming or
ranching is knowing the difference between
"hunker" and "mosey".

January 16, 2009 deeplink respond

As we have seen, not one net watthour of pv photovoltaic
electricity has ever been generated
. And the breakeven
date is clearly falling further and further behind with
heavy new investment in CIGS and related technologies.

Net energy breakeven can reasonably be expected
something like eight years after total fully burdened,
subsidy free panel costs reach twenty five cents per
peak watt
. Until then, the pv panels are clearly
gasoline destroying net energy sinks. And are in
no manner renewable nor sustainable.

Meanwhile, because of the total absence of net
pv energy, not one power utilituy is yet using pv for
routine avoided cost peaking
that is free of subsidies,
credits, r&d or greenie pr.

The so-called "breakeven payback" dates on pv
panels seem to me to be something between a
cruel hoax and an outright lie. I remain amazed
at how many individuals continue to get sucked
into these totally and obscenely bogus figures.

Some considerations...

-- I strongly
    suspect the answer is somewhere between
    zero and negligible.
And "paid" frequently
    means "return on stolen federal and state
    funds", rather than net energy return.

A subsidy is an energy penalty, not
   a benefit. Because of the "iceberg effect"
   the true energy costs of a subsidies admin
   and whatever will be at least three times its
   face value. Thue each $1000 subsidy is at
   least a $3000 net energy loss.
And possibly
   much more.

   is the date at which the entire project has finally
   become totally pointless, rather than being a net
   energy and dollar sink. Only long after breakeven
   do any significant benefits accrue.

-- comapring conventional
  panel technology to, say, eight track tapes
  is unfair because the eight tracks represent
  much more advanced technology than today's
  panels. I strongly feel that virtually all of
  todays current pv installations will never
  reach breakeven. Partially because of galloping
  new technology, and partially becuase many
  property sales tend to disable or de-emphasize
  solar pv installations. And mostly because
  projected breakevens are wildly overoptimistic.

  For many home installations today, the fully burdened
  cost of the synchronous inverter alone can consume
  as much as 150 percent of the total value of the
  electricity sent through it. Assuming free panels.

  More in our Energy Fundamentals and More Energy
  Fundamentals tutorials.

January 15, 2009 deeplink respond

Expanded our free web television links.

I don't see what the big flap is over stopping analog
air broadcasts, as there is no point whatsoever in any
non-web tv distribution any more.

A tv program is clearly not worth watching if you cannot
start and stop it at your convenience, pausing, replaying,
and fast forwarding. Certainly being expected to start at
a specified time is now clearly ludicrous.

Now, if only they would eliminate the totally arbitrary
distinctions between a tv set and a larger hidef monitor.
No reason either should cost more than $350.

January 14, 2009 deeplink respond

Added several more entries to our Gila Hikes
page, along with some corrections and expansions.

Actual hike total is now 151, not counting the CNF
and BLM trail lists and the don't-gos.

Additional entries are getting progressively more
difficult, so we seem to be approaching a definitive
collection. Please email me with anything obvious
I have missed or any new suggestions.

January 13, 2009 deeplink respond

One of the real dangers of attempting humor in any
public or semi-public form is "them" not getting the joke.

I was recently appalled at a failed humor attempt when nobody
in the audience had the slightest idea who Dilbert was!

One glance at our local rock grids dating from the 1300's
and their astonishing similarity to the Dilbert cubicals jumps
right out at you.

In fact, If I took my Marcia Swampfelder skills and
combined them with a one time ability to sling the shit
on anthro papers, I bet I could come up with a credible
peer reviewed paper that these were in fact the prehistoric
Dilbert originals.

This would take no more of a leap of faith than most
other archaeological papers routinely make.

Meanwhile, free Dilbert movies are offered here.

January 12, 2009 deeplink respond

If ghee is a form of clarified yak butter, would
ghee whiz be a form of clarified yak piss?

Also, a more politically correct term for "Hunky
" would be a "mideastern European rowboat".

January 11, 2009 deeplink respond

Here's a starter list to get you up to speed on our
eBay stuff...

eBay selling secrets
eBay buying secrets

auction help library
Regional auction listings

Arizona auction resources
Your own regional auction finder

Image Postprocessing tools

Enhancing your eBay skills I
Enhancing your eBay skills II
Enhancing your eBay skills III
Enhancing your eBay skills IV
Enhancing your eBay skills V
Enhancing your eBay skills VI
Enhancing your eBay skills VII

January 10, 2009 deeplink respond

A digital camera optimized for Draganfly
use could be made ridiculously lighter, smaller,
and less power hungry than an ordinary one.
But whether the quantities would justify the
engineering is another matter entirely.

Firstoff, you would get rid of the "Heinz
Catsup Bottle" effect
and make no attempt
whatsoever to make the design look like a
classic 35 mm camera. Fixed infinity focus
will work just fine
, eliminating any and all
autofocus needs.

There would be no need for a LCD display
and its ungodly power gobbling backlight.
Nor for a conventional viewfinder. Much of
the digital signal processing could possibly
be downloaded to the base station. With less
than half of the camera actually in the air

And you might actually put a dozen or more
of these on a single platform
, eliminating the
need for pan and tilt. You simply pick and
power the one that is pointed in a useful direction.
most of the circuitry could be shared, so only
the sensors and lensing would be multiple.

The potential for integrating camera and
platform, power and nav here is enormous.

January 9, 2009 deeplink respond

The cute special effect of January 8,2009 is
done by using a bold equals sign on one row and
a regular one on the other.

Curiously, the gapped equals sign results from
the bolder HTML font.

January 8, 2009 deeplink respond

The Direktor of the Ministry of Propaganda for a
major government bureaucracy sends this along:
            “Gila Valley Day Hikes” Topic of  
                  First 2009 Brown Bag Talk


Author and researcher Don Lancaster of Thatcher
will present the first talk of 2009 in the Bureau of
Land Management’s (BLM) popular Brown Bag Lunch
seminar series. “150 Gila Valley Day Hikes” will be the
topic of Lancaster’s talk on Tuesday, January 13, at
noon in the BLM conference room.

The public is both welcome and encouraged to attend.
Bring a lunch or snack and a drink and enjoy the talk
and accompanying audio-visual presentation.

Hikes to be discussed vary in difficulty from easy
walks for families with small children to extreme
canyoneering. Most hikes have recently been verified
for access and conditions.

Anyone that has attended one of Lancaster’s evening talks
at Discovery Park can attest to his knowledge and sense
of humor. When asked what locations will be discussed,
he said “Most hikes are less than an hour’s drive from
the Greater Bonita-Eden-Sanchez Metropolitan Area.

Lancaster has posted brief descriptions of many of trips on
his website at

Places to avoid will also be briefly covered.

The BLM office is located at 711 14th Avenue, at the
intersection with 8th Street, in Safford. For more information,
contact Diane Drobka at 348-4403 or Dave Arthun at 348-4428.

January 7, 2009 deeplink respond

Was looking for come cost effective way to
photograph the Safford Grids, as well as search
for newer ones. Not to mention cave exploration.

Apparently there have been some stunning
improvements in radio controlled model helicopters

One leader in the field appears to be Draganfly.

Their best units appear to be a triangular platform
with six electrical motors, two at each apex. A
complex gyro and computer system makes the
sysstem easily flyable and quite stable.

These remain pricey, but there should be some
lower cost systems evolving from them. GPS
tagging is also newly included.

January 6, 2009 deeplink respond

A reminder that I have a pair of eminently collectible
and restorable commercial silent movie projectors
available from the 1908 era. Both Eastmans that
served in the Cliffton, Arizona theater for decacdes.

They are presently in pieces and are UPS shippable.
Please let me know if you are intereted in acquiring

January 5, 2009 deeplink respond

Got yet another "nobody is paying attention
to my perpetual motion device
, and its been ten
years now" email. This one involves the usual
square wave from a battery going to a transformer.

Thus proving that they know absolutely nothing
about either square waves or transformers.

Some condsiderations:

     Conventional meters are TOTALLY USELESS
     when measuring unusual waveforms.
Only recently
     have economical true RMS techniques become
     available. Even then, because of crest factor issues,
     doing the power measurement job right may demand
     a pair of ultra high speed synchronous A/D converters and
     a companion digital multiplier.

    There is no such thing as "Pulsed DC". Instead, you have
    the exact Fourier Series equivalent of a continuous dc level
    plus various continuous ac harmonics. Ordinary transformers,
    of course, have no dc response.

    Any simple combination of batteries and transformers
    has already been screwed up by lab students.
If there
    was the slightest possibility of anything overunity
    on simple routine connections of ordinary components
    in normal ways, student mistakes would have found it.
    And done so centuries ago.

   The way electricity and electronics is taught to technicians
   and ordinary students is wildly different from the way it
   is taught to engineers.
There is, for instance, no such
   thing as Ohm's Law. Thus, most of what you think you
   know about electricity is not even wrong. And more of an

  Should you observe an exception to established physical
  laws, your formost goal should be to stop everything and
  go out of your way to prove yourself wrong.
There is not
  the slightest doubt of the outcome here. None whatsoever.

  There is no point in repeating an incompetent experiment
  from a misguided researcher
. If a fundamental simple test
  cannot show a credible theoretical basis for an observation,
  then that observation is wrong. Ferinstance, if EIS researchers
  cannot find overunity in a drop of water, there is no way that
  less skilled individuals will do so driving coast to coast in
  their water powered car.

  A fundamental question would always be "How many people
  would have to be how wrong in how many different ways for
  how long in order for you to be correct?"
Most fundamental
  electronic experiments are inadvertently and routinely run
  millions of times daily. With consistently expected results.

  If you do in fact have overunity, simply connect your output
  to your input.
If you end up vaporizing everything within
  a six block radius, I'll STILL not be convinced. But at least I
  might be willing to look further into your claim.

 The probability that an extraordinary claim is valid drops
  dratmatically with time.
If strong supporting evidence does
  not emerge in a few days or weeks, it likely never will.
  "Publish or Perish" remains supreme in acadamia.

  Finding overunity would be one of the most unimaginably
  henious crimes against humanity.
It would make Hitler
  look like Mother Teresa.
For it would inevitably turn
  the planet into a cinder. If you find a free energy souce,
  you damn well better find a free energy sink as well.
  Even then, the relative flux rates will still nail you.

  The scientific method DEMANDS that you prove yourself
  right, not that others prove you wrong. Extraordinary claims
  DEMAND extraordinary evidence.

  Much more in our Pseudoscience Bashing tutorial.

January 4, 2009 deeplink respond

As you may have already guessed, I closed out
our WHTNU08.SHTML blog file and started a new one

January 3, 2009 deeplink respond

We also have a unique five acres for sale in
an extremely remote ( think survivalist ) area
immediately adjacent to the East Fork of the
Gila River
and nearly surrounded by New Mexico's
Gila Wilderness.

3 074 074 248 118 District-02N Section 11
Township 13 S Range 13W PT NH 4.7Acres

Taxes are currently $2.79 per year.

Access is by foot or horse only over National
Forest land
. You can email me for more details
on this stunningly unusual opportunity. Asking
$6900 per acre with financing available.

January 2, 2009 deeplink respond

We have a Southern Oregon Gold Hill spectacular
view property for sale. Asking $8900 per acre.

We have just secured a new full access easement for
these 20 acres.
Power is on the property. We are
now working closely with a professional land use planner
and fully expect Jackson County homesite approval.

Legal description is T36 R3W S16 Tax Lot 400.

Very attractive financing is available. Mid-size city
amenities are twelve minutes away at Medford. The
property borders directly  on the town of Gold Hill.
The Rogue River  is nearby; beaches and mountains
are an hour away.

Here's some photos...

You can click expand these. Then click again.

This steep to sloping parcel is immediately adjacent to the Gold
city limits and offers absolutely outstanding views. It is in one
of the most in-demand rural areas in the country, and has really great
access both to recreation and to midsize city resources. Plus superb
climate, low crime, and good schools.

Here is a map. Property is the green rectangle "pointed to" by
Thirteenth Street.

A professional certified apprasial has just been
completed and came in at $160.000.00. Additional
apprasial details can be made available to you
under NDA by contacting us or else by phoning
(928) 428-4073.

You can click here for an aerial photo and flyby.

Guided tours are newly available by contacting  or by
calling Anne Marie at (541) 292-3535 .

January 2, 2009 deeplink respond

One of the handier "rules of thumb" that
sometimes apply some of the time and can be
enormously useful is this:

Very often, one percent of what happens
nationally happens in Arizona
. And one percent
of what happens in Arizona happens in the Gila

Thus, roughly, there are 300 million people in
the US, 3 million in AZ, and 30,000 locally.

While not super accurate, this rule can quickly
give you a rough estimate of an amazing variety
of events or tasks.
Where you otherwise may
not have the faintest clue as to scale.

Naturally, the "rule" does not apply to anything
with a regional bias. I suspect Thatcher has
more cotton module fires than Bangor, Maine
does. And that walrus attacks may be rare in


December 31, 2009 deeplink respond

Supporting small electronic parts for eBay
scanning can get tricky. Sometimes simply
grabbing them with needle nose pliers will give
you enough flatness and mass for stability.

You can always take out the pliers with your
image postproc. To get fancy, you could add a
rubber band to the plier handles
. Or actually
use a real hemostat.

The pliers ploy also has some nnobvious uses.
Such as making sure an object is horizontal.
Or showing correctly positioned lettering.

December 30, 2009 deeplink respond

Never store carbide in a non-locking carabiner.

December 29, 2009 deeplink respond

Expanded and improved our Gilia Hikes library page.

Not sure how many hikes total we will end up with,
but anything beyond 150 is proving difficult. At
least within our guidelines of "mostly easy drives"
from the Greater Bonita-Eden-Sanchez metropolitan
area and in fact a one day project.

BLM is actually working on a pair of new trails,
A Cottonwood Trail to loop the flying "W" with
the watchable wildlife platform and Bonita Creek.
And Arizona's first Water Trail providing a short
intro swimming, kayaking and whitewater route.
These are not quite listable yet.

BTW -- The "Flying W" has nothing to do with
ranch brands. That is the shape of the steel
supporting roof structure on the group picnic site.
And is far beyond instantantly obvious.

Please email me with any suggested further hikes.
No, not that one.

December 28, 2009 deeplink respond

Once you have your grazing permit, you do have
have to actually eat the grass.

Such despicable stunts as land stewardship,
allotment retirement, or range improvement are,
of course, specifically forbidden by admin decree.

Your tax dollars at work.

December 27, 2009 deeplink respond

Many ranches appear to be for sale on or near
Mount Graham. Some for as little as $45,000.
Here are some typical listings.

Only it is not clear to me exactly what you are
buying. Very often, there is no deeded land. The
fences and corrals may need major repairs, the wells
and springs might range from low to dry, and the
tanks and windmills often need major work.

You do, of course, gain the right to steal grass off
of the state or feds with grazing fees whose rates
are utterly, obscenely, and unconscionably low
. And
basically comparable to outright theft. These are
typically only valid for a few months out of the year.

Grazing fees are approaching one tenth of their
admin costs. And have recently been slashed.
And half of that is routinely rebated.

What you do with your cows ( the few dozen that are
supportable ) the rest of the year is up to you.

There is, of course, no grass because of the drought.

Thus, the payoff these days on both stock markets is
about the same.

December 26, 2009 deeplink respond

I've been revisiting some of our local indian
ruin sites
. Despite competent researchers,
the Gila Valley has lacked an obvious champion.
Yet its population and influence apparently
were among the highest in the American

The area is confusing to say the least, as
pottery styles represented Hohokam,
Salado, Anasazi, Mongollon, and Mimbres,
among others. Clearly complex trading
routes went through the area.

There were elaborate irrigation systems.
Both from the Gila River and riparian
side canyons. Not to mention many thousands
of water enhancing grids that may have been part of
an elaborate aguave to mescal booze factory.

Or possibly the world's very first prehistoric Dilbert

Many of the sites have been outrageously
pothunted. Others have been obliterated by
anglo constuction.

Modern agriculture has also  trashed the tops
of many sites. But they may lie pristinely buried,
awaiting subsurface radar techniques for modern
excavations. When all is said and done, plows do
not normally go all that deep.

Some interesting reading appears here, here, and here.
More on our Gila Hikes library page.

December 25, 2009 deeplink respond

I've always wondered why we do not have
more heat pumps for water heating apps.

With low temperature differentials, a heat
pump can be as much as five times more
efficient than electrical resistance heat.

Sadly, as the temperature differential
increases, the COP drops dramatically
Breakeven is around a 50 degree differential
and an electrical resistance backup has to be
provided for higher differentials

A hot tub or a spa would seem to be an ideal candidate
for a heat pump. With a potential energy savings of
as much as 80 percent. But the available heat pumps
cost something like $3000 custom installed. At a dollar
a day resistance heat costs (10 kw heater for one hour
at ten cents a kilowatt hour ), the energy breakeven
would be something like ten years. Or longer than
a typical spa life

It also seems faintly ludicrous to put a $3000 heat pump
on a $2500 hot tub. "Ten dollar horse and forty dollar
saddle" comes to mind.

Still, an integrated heat pump should add no more than
$100 or so to a high volume tub manufacturer. And
might pay for itself quite rapidly.

Meanwhile, there is a new $500 plus installation
heat pump for ordinary hot water heaters
. But it
seems to me this system has a grievious flaw:
Since the air is cooled, the amount of space
heating has to go up during fall, winter, and
spring months.
For an apparent ZERO benefit.

If the air being cooled is outdoors, the efficiency
will often be far lower. And even during air conditioning
season(s), the benefit is not clear, since the hot
water energy may be released into the air conditioned

Things are rarely what they seem when it
comes to energy alternatives.

December 24, 2009 deeplink respond

The four "R's" of Arizona politics: Rightwing,
Racist, Reactionary, and Redneck.

In Arizona, a "political moderate" is anyone
who is moderately to the right of Atilla the Hun.

December 23, 2009 deeplink respond

Updated and improved our GuruGram library page.

December 22, 2009 deeplink respond

Seldom discussed is the fact that a pv energy farm
needs very little water.
Which makes them a near
perfect use
for government and indian lands in
the arid southwest.

If you start doing an economic analysis based
on highest and best use, a case can be made that
any site with adequate water is an inappropriate
location for a pv energy panel.

December 21, 2009 deeplink respond

The rescheduled date for our BLM brown bag
lecture on 150 Gila Day Hikes is Tuesday
January 13th from 12 to 1 pm.

Much of the talk will be based on our Gila
library page.

The program is free and you are certainly
welcome to attend. Bring your own lunch or
snack and a drink. Location in Safford is
in the BLM conference room at 711 14th
Avenue. This is the corner of 14th Avenue
and 8th Street.

December 20, 2009 deeplink respond

There seems to be a revival of interest in
wireless power transmission. The bottom
lines remain that most of Tesla was utter
bullshit, and that severe issues are likely
to forever remain with distance, efficiency,
safety, and sensor comm.

There are three probable approaches. The
first is to use inductive coupling via an air core
. This is the approach used in electric
toothbrushes. The coefficient of magnetic coupling
in air is absurdly low, so distances of even a fraction
of an inch will totally trash efficiency. The amount
of power transferred drops as the fourth or fifth
power of distance beyond a very close in point.

The second approach is to go to a resonant system
similar to a Tesla Coil
. Power levels as high as
60 watts have recently been shown. The coils have
to be physically large and their orientation is
critical. Again, efficiencies are low.

It is interesting to note that there was a well known
but little used resonance phenomen. If you place a
large resonant coil near an am radio, you can dramatically
increase the sensitivity if you tune the coil to the same
frequency as the station being sought. The large size
and awkward tuning largely prevented this from seeing
much popular use.

A third approach is to use a focused beam, similar to
a flashlight or a laser.
The antenna or mirror doing
the focusing has to be many wavelengths larger than
the energy transferred for a minimially divergent beam.
Orientation of the receiver is super critical, for there
will be near zero power outside of the beam.

For even modest amounts of power, there are very real
safety issues with anyone coming near the apparatus.

In addition, because the efficiency is very low, some sort
of two way comm would be needed so that the system is only
active whenever the receiver (such as a laptop or cell phone)
is in need of power.

A practical result may be a foot square plate that you place
a laptop or cellphone or whatever on for recharge. Anything
larger or needing longer distances is likely to remain fictional.

December 19, 2009 deeplink respond

I was asked what the "next big thing"
will be in high tech. It seems like the time of
year for predictions, so here goes...

   technology and learning curves are now
   finally in place for emergence of photovoltaics
   that are genuinely renewable and sustainable.

  The advantages utterly overwhelm
  traditional cable and over-the-air broadcasts.
  There is no point for either to continue.

  much better than the traditional touch
  and feel of a book that books themselves
  will virtually disappear in an astonishingly
  short time.

  First by the dozens, then thousands. Caused
  by ongoing hitech breakthroughs and vastly
  expanded research.

  GYROS AND GPS -- extending to the lowest
  cost, simplest, and least elegant products.

  Creating a humongous bandwidth crunch
  and seriously impacting the very future of
  the web.

  Along with most other magazines and newspapers.
  The economics are now ludicrous.

  IMPROVED WALL WARTS -- Modules only
  slightly larger than an ordinary ac wall plug and
  standardized "one size fits all" wireless schemes.

-- Free internet access at
  ultra high speeds available nearly everywhere
  all the time.

  Revolutionizing the economics of solar
  electricity. We are talking $9 here, not $2500.
  Including new max power optimization algorithms.

  EYEBALL SIPHONING -- New social web
  services continuing to drain interest in
  classic websites and most everything that
  has gone before.

  by aging membership and easier web access to once
  priviledged information and resources.

  most television and video will be web distributed,
  the utterly abritrary distinctions betwen HDTV
  television sets and larger computer monitors should
  vanish entirely. HDTV's in particular must end
  up with greatly improved web nav.

  Dramatic price reductions are long overdue in
  three dimensional printers that can produce
  anything from a roast beef sandwich to a new

  ( earlier material appears here. )


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