Monthly ArchiveJanuary 2006

Flying stuff &Miscellaneous 23 Jan 2006 11:34 am

Hand/eye coordination/reflex tester

I received this link in an Southern Cross Gliding Club group email. The link takes you to a moving hand/eye coordination and reflex testing puzzle.

To ‘play’ the puzzle, click on the red square and ‘hold’ it. You must drag the red square around in such a manner that you don’t touch any of the moving blue shapes or the black borders. It is said that 18 seconds is a pretty phenomenal result. It’s also suggested that the US Air Force uses the puzzle to test out fighter pilots — and that they are expected to achieve two (2) minutes!

I got to six seconds before having a minor freak-out.

My boss has managed 21 seconds. I know this because he called me to his office to show me!

Have fun.

Miscellaneous 21 Jan 2006 12:09 pm

Snackshotz dog biscuit launcher

The Flying Nerd operates at (and sometimes beyond) the bleeding edge of technology. I always like to bring you news of new technology that will enhance your life and make the world a better place.

This is NOT such a technology!

I suppose if you were amongst the laziest 1% of the population, this device (a gun that fires specially designed biscuits for your dog to chase) may have some value. If not, you will probably be asking the same questions that I am. Questions like “Why?”, or “Why?”, or maybe even “Why?”.

Now if the Snackshotz people could just invent something that would help to get a good game of fetch going with a cat, then I might be interested.

Nothing happening here — move along now.

Miscellaneous 20 Jan 2006 04:03 pm

Read this before buying a digital camera

KonicaMinolta is exiting the camera business. This article describes the various steps that KM is taking to close down and divest itself of its own-brand digital camera business, and its film and paper manufacturing operations.

I remember fondly my old Minolta Dynax 3si SLR (a film camera) that I owned in the late 80s and early 90s. It was a good piece of kit that took nice pictures. In recent years, the high end KM d’Image cameras have been pretty decent units — usually leading the megapixel charge.

So, watch out for some KM bargains over the next few months. If you don’t expect to need a lot of long term manufacturer support, good buying awaits.

Miscellaneous &Nerd stuff 20 Jan 2006 10:34 am

Mythbusters: the lost experiments

We LOVE Mythbusters at our house.

Who’d have thought that 11 and 8 year old girls would love to sit down with their Dad and watch a couple of well-paid septic Nerds try to prove or disporove urban myths? Well, they do. And, like me, they especially enjoy blowing things up at the end.

This site contains a collection of out-takes and other unusual happenings during the production of Mythbusters. Well worth a look if you are a Mythbusters fan (and even if you are not). Thanks to Neil for the link.

By the way, Top Gear, which has replaced Mythbusters at 7.30pm on Mondays on SBS is also a lot of fun for rev-heads.

Computing - general &Miscellaneous &Nerd stuff &Video editing 19 Jan 2006 02:56 pm

Resources: free and cheap stock photos

Here‘s a good article containing links to sites that have free or low price stock photos (for use in PowerPoint presentations, for example).

Flying stuff 17 Jan 2006 12:16 pm

Nerd flights now viewable on line

My two good flights at Forbes can now be viewed on-line, courtesy of the AeroKurier international on-line soaring contest.

The on-line contest (OLC) operates through a web site onto which glider pilots from around the world can load their flights for scoring and viewing by others. I’ve loaded my flights for 10 January (Forbes – Narromine – Forbes) and 12 January (Forbes – Bogan Gate – Condobolin – Grenfell – Forbes) onto the competition site. Click these links to view the flights:

10 January

12 January

For each of the flights, the link will take you to a page with three distinct areas on it:

  • text details about the flight (turnpoint details, duration, etc.)
  • a map of the flight (the ‘jiggly’ bits show where I was going in circles in rising air to gain height)
  • a graph showing height versus time for the entire flight.
  • Have a look and see what you think!

    (By the way, my flights are nothing special — I’ve just used the competition site as a handy place to make them available!)

    Flying stuff 11 Jan 2006 06:26 pm

    Nerd flying at Forbes

    After a few busy weeks at home (Christmas, Test Match, sermon preparation), this week the Nerd really is flying!

    I have travelled to Forbes (central western NSW, south west of Parkes) to participate in the Southern Cross Gliding Club’s annual camp.

    Yesterday (Tuesday) was my first flying day. I flew the club’s DG-303 glider. It was a good (not great) day. I flew to Narromine and back (260km) as did 5 other club members. But the day wasn’t good enough for the 500km flight I had ‘declared’ (Forbes – Narromine – Cootamundra – Forbes). Maybe another day.

    Here I am strapped in ready for take off. Note my new Guantanamo-orange flying suit.

    Nerd set to fly

    Continue Reading »

    Flying Nerd site 05 Jan 2006 03:59 pm

    Flying Nerd updated to WordPress 2.0

    After following a relatively simple set of instructions, the Flying Nerd site has been updated to WordPress 2.0.

    Users shouldn’t see much different. But the management back-end is massively upgraded and looks very nice indeed.

    If you come across any issues, please add a comment to this post.

    (And yes, I know there is a slight displacement to the footer. I’ll figure this out shortly and fix it.)

    Computing - general &Flying Nerd site 05 Jan 2006 02:50 pm

    DreamHost upgrades hosting allowances

    The host that powers the Flying Nerd has just increased the storage and bandwidth allowances that apply to the $US7.95 per month plan that I use.

    I am now entitled to 20GB of storage and 1TB (yes, 1,000GB give or take a bit) of data transfers monthly.

    And both of these increase every week. The storage entitlement increases by 160MB every week I stay on the plan. And the data transfer allowance increases by 8GB every week I stay on the plan.

    The price has not gone up.

    At first glance, it all seems to be too good to be true.

    But since I am not even vaguely close to the old limits (and I suspect that MOST DreamHost customers aren’t close either), these fabulously high limits have no real meaning in my world.

    Pity no Australian hosts have plans that are even remotely as cost effective as this.

    If you’d like to signuup with DreamHost, click here and the Flying Nerd gets a little gift from DreamHost.