Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bilingual Typing

I recently converted my keyboard to the following keyboard

The Dvorak.
It is the only other keyboard recognized by ANSI. Th Dvorak Keyboard was developed as a way to speed up typing and efficiency with typing. If you didn't know, the QWERTY was developed in order to slow down typists. Back in the day when typewriters were in use, typewriters would often jam if a typist would type too fast. Hence, QWERTY.

I began using the Dvorak back in October near the beginning of my quarter in school. For the first few weeks I would switch back to the QWERTY when I had papers longer than 2 pages to write. At some point, I don't remember when, I stopped switching back, even for long 15 page papers. That was probably only four weeks into using tho keyboard. One thing I can say, is that i can definitely feel a difference in typing. At work where I use a QWERTY my fingers fly all over my keyboard, but at home my fingers barely move, and at first it felt VERY strange.

I decided to make the switch, even though it created challenges at first because it is a technelegical advancement, that is appropriate for computing and is much more efficient. Appropriate technology and efficiency, if you haven't noticed, are two (of many) things that I try to live by.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pomona Massacre of Dec. 11th 2009

On December 11th in the still of the night, masked bandits made their way into my yard and opened the door to my chicken coop.

Unfortunately I was partly at fault. It was the night that i did not make sure the coop door had latched.

When I woke up in the morning I found that only one of my fifteen chickens and ducks were left alive. It was the sole rooster.

Raccoons massacred all but one of my birds overnight.

Raccoons are jerks. Let me tell you why; they did not eat most of the birds, in fact only one and a half were actually eaten. most of the rest were just killed, many of them with their heads severed.

I have already set a preliminary fence around the coop so that it will be harder for the raccoons to get to them and so that I can let my dog out to protect the birds. (i've successfully gotten our dog Nova to stop chasing chickens thanks to a dog whisperer episode) I will also be setting some humane traps for these bastards and will be sending them to the mountains.

Let this be a lesson, if there are critters in your yard call vector control services and also if you've got birds, keep them safe at night!

p.s. i would share pictures but it's pretty disturbing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Back with a Hobbit Story

Hi All, I've been out for some time since Grad school Started. you can imagine why. It's VERY time consuming. But I've been up to a LOT. Really, I've been putting my money where my mouth is.
so in November a classmate of mine Kim P. and myself designed and built a test cell for thermal comfort. We also had help from my classmates Jacob, James, Melissa, and Alexandra. yau can go see it for yourself at the Center for Regenerative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona.

Essentially it is a hobbit hole with a large door facing south. We open up the door during the day and let in some sun that heats up stone tiles on the floor. We had initially been closing the door at around 3 pm but after we pulled the data we discovered it'd be best to shut the door no later than 1pm. I talk about why building underground is beneficial in a previous post.

The blue line is the temperature range inside the house and the red line is the temperature range outside. The yellow bar is the typical temperature range for thermal comfort. As you can see it did ok, but next time we should close the door at the peak of it's temperature gain. The lowest it got outside is just below 35 degrees and the lowest it got inside is just under 60 degrees while the warmest it got outside is just over 60 degrees but inside it got up to just over 85 degrees. This is all with passive methods and no energy usage.

When it's hotter in the summer we'll probably just need to keep the door closed and it'll stay cool all day.

Here's the opening line to The Hobbit
"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort." - Tolkien