Category Archives: engineering

Just try and reinstall Windows on this

I have had, for some time, an “Irulu W10” tablet. After “refreshing” Windows 10 on it, then reinstalling Firefox, then generating a new profile for Firefox, then reinstalling Firefox, I now want to do a completely fresh reinstall of Windows 10. This is more of a trip than the MSI WindPad I had been using previously.

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I have worse Internet than my boss

My immediate boss/supervisor lives on some nasty town road that is ill maintained (he says, I’ve never been there) and has even worse utility service. He can’t get anything but dialup or satellite and even the infamously reliable Bell System copper wire doesn’t last long in a power failure because the booster in the box halfway into town doesn’t have a long lasting battery.

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Sound test!

I have been using the best YouTube video I know of for sound testing when I plug in my speaker-monitors: cz3DEStqO-U – entituled, “Dale annoying Squirrely the broody hen“. I do not know the breeds, but the white broody “Squirrely” has the most interesting complaint voice.

I had a broody hen, I don’t remember her breed, who would make this sound that had a glottal stop in it. I think that is what you would call it. Anyway, this hen’s vocalization is very worthy of record.

Bonus: listen closely during the intermission when “Dale” stares at the lens. You can hear someone in the distance: “What are you doing in there?”

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.

Put that in your car and smoke it!

Browzing the backfile tuned up this gem from July 2, 1921:

11152017

For smokers

A little searching turns up the founder of the firm as a Charles Cuno, originally of Berlin. Further, his company, Cuno Engineering Corporation, was involved in a patent law case than ended up at the Supreme Court (!) and was decided in 1941, seen in raw text here.

Essentially, and as far as I can understand the Court’s writing, not being lawyerly, the dispute was over a reel-less version that superseded this one. Someone who knows the law or doesn’t fall asleep reading it is welcome to comment here.

Unfortunately, the ad does not list the names of the “seventeen well known makes of cars” that use this, but does encourage distracted driving!