Thursday, October 4, 2012

bloat

Remember way back in the days of Dos, or with the early versions of Windows, when a monstrous hard drive was 10 MBI remember getting my first 20 MB hard drive and thinking wow, so much space!  So much empty room on this hard drive!  Same thing with the RAM.

Of course now we're talking terabytes and growing. 

While it is nice to have so much more hard drive space and also in a smaller package, I believe that the earlier limitations on space forced software designers to create more elegant, efficient solutions. They had to figure out how to write programs that were compact enough to fit on the limited hard drive space of the day, and also make do with the amount of available RAM.

As hard drives and RAMS kept increasing, it did allow for expansion of features, etc., but it also meant an increased tolerance for sloppiness and bloat - you didn't have to be elegant and efficient anymore with your code because there was room on the hard drive for it. 

So this results in software that grows increasingly large, bloated and inefficient.   Also software that is more easily and frequently corrupted.

Now, just do a search and replace of what I just wrote, taking out the word "software" and replacing it with "government."


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

bread

Back around Christmas time I bought ourselves a Zojirushi breadmaking machine for a Christmas present. 

Unlike so many other gadgets I buy, this one is actually being put to good use. I started making bread right after Christmas and am still making bread to this very day. 

The first efforts didn't turn out too good. That very first loaf came out decidedly lopsided and dry. After a few tries, and making slight adjustments to the ingredients, the loaves got much better. Now, most of them are looking and tasting really, really good. Much better than store-bought. 

I'm not very imaginative, though - aside from a couple of raisin loaves that we gave away, everything else has been whole wheat seven grain bread. Not that I am not adventurous, but I am trying to be healthy. The bread comes out really tasty.

Many of the reviews for the breadmaker caution the user to make sure and precisely follow the directions, including the measurements, and don't get careless. So when it says add one cup of this, then make sure it is exactly one cup of this, and not about one cup of this. 

Well, I wound up adding just a bit more water than called for by the recipe, as well as substituting honey for the powdered sugar. Both make obvious improvements in texture and taste. I also add some wheat gluten that helps the texture as well. Thankfully I am not gluten-challenged. 

The machine is so easy to use. Just add the ingredients into the bread pan, set the pan in the machine, close the lid, program the machine, and then press the start button. The machine does the rest. Amazing.. the bread comes out so tasty. 

Here's a couple of pictures of the machine. I neglected to take a picture of the latest loaf but take my word for it, it came out nice


    

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

furnace filters

Today's post is more mundane than the past two days but no less mind boggling. 

I normally buy our furnace filters from Home Depot.  When I go there, I am always confronted by a myriad of choices at varying prices. The expensive ones tout all sort of hygienic features, telling you what sort of nanoscopic harmful creatures are screened out because of the fineness of the filter material. There's always a "good," "better" and "best" choice.  Is that sort of like how eggs come in "extra large," "jumbo" and "Flintstones" sizes

Naturally I want to get a filter that does its job properly but also naturally, I don't want to spend an arm and a leg either. 

As I stood there pondering the selection, here is the logic that I used. The air duct where the filter is located is inside of our house. That means that the air being circulated is air that is already in the house. Air that we've already been breathing. 

Granted, the air gets sucked through the filter and the filter catches the particles before letting it go through the duct to the air conditioner (or heater, although it seems like we have a perpetual summer) where it gets cooled off and shot back into the house. So the air coming back into the house is cleaner, or theoretically so, than the air coming out of the house. 

That's fine, but what happens when it cools off outside and we open the windows?  Then all that dirty air comes flying back into the house. So what is the point of having a furnace filter that catches particles as small as .000000001 of a micron and even filters the air out of the air?  

I guess we could keep the house hermetically sealed and continue living off the recirculated air, but (1) wouldn't we eventually breathe all the oxygen so what gets circulated will not do us any good, or (2) wouldn't we eventually have to open the door for some reason?  Plus, leaving the air conditioner on constantly would mean bankruptcy filing because of our electric bill. 

But think about it - doesn't what I say make sense?  If you have outside air coming into your house when the air conditioner or heater isn't running, then why spend all that extra money to get real expensive filters?  You can't escape from all the ewww stuff they catch anyway.       

Monday, October 1, 2012

irresponsible part 2

Hey, two days in a rowI've got something on my mind so I'm writing. Does that follow that for all the days during the long gap prior that I was mindless? I'm afraid so.

Along the same vein as yesterday's post, The Onion published another article, this one saying that 77% of rural white folks in this country would rather vote for Iranian president Ahmadinejad than Obama. Even the Iranian news agency believed it - they picked up the story and ran with it as fact. 

Does that go to show how dangerous the press is, or how stupid people are? Probably a mixture of both, although I'd have to say I would probably vote for Ahmadinejad myself rather than Obama. At least the other guy says what is really on his mind. 

If you'd like to see the story, click here.  

Like I said yesterday, these days it is difficult to tell fact from fantasy, and even what is supposed to be fact (the mainstream media) is questionable. A recent poll said 60% do not trust what the media says. However, I believe that while a majority say they don't trust the media, they are still more than happy to quote from them whenever something fits with the agenda they are trying to push.