Author Archives: FlowCoef

About FlowCoef

A hopefully entertaining blogger, frequently of technical things, but some artistic commentary too.

Cover image of Ponzimonium"

Well that only took forever

I don’t like to hate on government agencies, especially the underfed and underfunded. This, however, is annoying to me…


The United State Government Publishing1 Office lets you buy books and pamphlets the various parts of the United States (but not the States themselves) have reduced to written form. I have bought several copies of the official text of the Constitution from them for ready reference.

Some publications just go to show that there is a certain amount of stodge that always goes with government, such as the bizzare choice of smiley face on this document about bridge inspections. It make it look a little untrustworthy to me, like “It’s OK, really (wink)”.

Anyway, I wanted badly to read this entertainingly titled Ebook on investment frauds from a sometime Commissioner of the CFTC with a mullet that is supposedly available free. Well:

  1. There are two entries for this media on the GPO’s website, for some reason.
  2. The PDF link in the one is bad.
  3. I can’t find the “Add to Cart” link mentioned, even if logged in to my account.

Anyway, after fussing around (I didn’t call them up, because when I reported a spelling mistake in their ecommerce user management, it took over a month to get a reply. And it still isn’t fixed. As before, underfunded) I found a link to the PDF and EPUB files on their… FTP server.

Anyway, go here: https://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo68567/


  1. Ex-Government Printing Office. I understand the name change, but the older one was headed by the supremely titled “Public Printer of the United States”. The new one is run by a “Director”. Boring!! 
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Warning to that Iraq user of KENPAVE

Someone, I think from Iraq, recently visited my now somewhat famous (but not as famous as the “pranque”) page on KENPAVE. WordPress reports their referrer is through the so-called handy-tab malware site.


I strongly suggest that you, if you are that user, visit this site: https://malwaretips.com/blogs/remove-handy-tab/ and follow the instructions to remove the offensive software on your browser. I have not used it myself, since I don’t have that malware, but at the same time, find the instructions given to be reasonable.

Microsoft screwup in Windows 10, v. 1803

SO!

I just installed Windows 10’s April 2018 update, version 1803.

Part of this update entails removing XPS reader software that was part of all previous versions of 10, and instructing us to find an app in the Store for it.

I download Microsoft’s “Reader” app and install it from the Store.

Opening an XPS file with the new app brings up an error message… that I have to use XPS reader (the one installed with Windows).

Agfh! Is Microsoft trying to annoy me?

I, civil servant II

Although I don’t think I had mentioned it, but can’t remember (which shows what comes of leaving your blog alone for too long), I had been for some time looking for a new posting in the State service. To my enjoyment, last Thursday it came true.

I am now posted to the Health Department as an engineer, environmental. This difference is quite significant for me, as the old one (civil) wasn’t what I went to school for and made me feel out of place.1

In this case, good things did come to those who waited, since I was passed over for one position further north, but made a good enough impression to be recommended by those interviewers for a new position open closer to where I was working already. An interview and some paper shuffling on their part and I was offered the position!

Now I get to go through another year long probational period, but all told I think it will be a nice one. I no longer have a half-office but a full cubicle in the back of the back of a building that houses another State function. Not bad, only there is no way to open the windows and get fresh air, but I can survive I think (:

Your author.


  1. Note that my co workers and supervision did not contribute to this problem, only the my self. 

A new paper game for engineers

Here is a new game for science and engineering, to determine between two people:

Supply:

  • Two pairs of scissors. If someone is left-handed, they should have left-handed scissors.
  • A large sheet of paper with perfect 90° corners
  • Some witnesses
  • A planimeter or something like it

Instructions:

  1. Select by mutual agreement the distance in from the edge to cut. For an A4 or 8½ × 11, maybe 3 cm or 1 in.
  2. At the same time, start each person starts cutting a strip off their side of the paper by using the scissors.
  3. When complete, the witnesses use the planimeter to determine the variation from a true straight line of each of the two cuts. The person with the smallest total area above and below the perfect line wins.
  4. If both are identical, the person who did it using fewer cuts wins.
  5. If both are identical, the person who did it more quickly wins.

This is best done with waste or scrap paper that is blank on one side, to prevent paper waste.

As an advantage over the other paper based game, rock-paper-scissors, it is based on skill and not chance.