Post by flaminghotsauce on Jan 15, 2009 9:16:17 GMT -5
So I woke up this morning to -10, and Anchorage is +44. They warmed up overnight! My wife took pictures of our door, which due to being old and leaky, has iced up on the inside. I'm trying to get out of going to work, but I still have to go in later. I'd rather sit in front of the fire. Really.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Jan 15, 2009 10:57:38 GMT -5
I enjoy very much the warm winters we have here in northern Alabama where our average high temp in Jan and Feb is 55F and the low is generally above freezing. But I put in my time in The Cold Country. I had a morning paper route for several years in Minnesota, delivering up to 50 papers before school. Then I had a route with 100 papers in the afternoon. The tough part there was collecting. For that I had to walk a long way as the sun went down, repeatedly taking my gloves off to handle change. College was not much fun either at the University of Minnesota where I lived just off campus and walked both to classes and to work on campus. There were several mornings when it was below zero F when I left to walk to school. With those activities I was used to the pain-numbness-pain-tingling feelings. Frostbite was an every-day event. You'd go into class and spend the first 20 minutes thawing out before you could really pay much attention to the teacher.
Living here is like living in Minnesota except we skip from October to April and then have about three months like July and two months like August for our summer. There is no pain in the winter (unless you take long walks early in the morning and don't wear gloves). But I have had a few close calls in summer where I stayed out of the air conditioning too long.
It reached 18F this morning. I saw some flurries briefly. There is some question as to whether it will get above freezing before Saturday.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Jan 23, 2009 6:58:40 GMT -5
The computer came yesterday.
I posted about this on Tom's blog, but HP had a refurb deal on a pretty nice computer preloaded for gaming. Since my wife blew up her laptop, she's been unable to do much of the normal stuff she does, burning movies to disk, media stuff in general, some gaming, etc. So we bought one of these machines, and wifey gets my original HP quad core, and I get the new one.
Differences: Larger CPU be just a bit, 2.2 quad core up to 2.5 quad core. Also the Phenom 2.2 X4 had some math processor error that needed a patch. The patch cost is a 10% performance hit.
Windows Vista 64 bit that will handle more memory. This came with 6 gigs of ram versus 3
Nvidia 9800gt video card with 512 megs ram versus 8500 with 256. I did a little reading on the cards. The performance rating of the 8500 was in the 2000 range on whatever scale was used, while the 9800 was in the 10,000 range, so it's not the latest greatest, but it's 5X better.
Those are the main performance changes, there's other little goodies like built in wireless, larger PSU, and so forth.
So how good is it? Using mostly the same settings, if not all, I've seen a big increase in smoothness, although frame rates are only up slightly. In the default flight in FSX, I'm seeing 6-8 more FPS, roughly. But panning around to look at the scenery is glitch-free. It's as much fun to fly now as FS9.
Is it good enough to justify a whole new machine? No, but the wifey needed a new machine, I'm just the beneficiary. ;D PLUS, I get teh added pleasure of setting up another OS to my own specifications. I hate to admit it, but I enjoy doing this.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Feb 8, 2009 20:44:18 GMT -5
This morning I saw a news article about a lady swimming from somewhere in Africa, I think, crossing the Atlantic ocean and ending up in Trinidad. I couldn't remember where Trinidad was, and this led to an all morning research and exploration of Trinidad and Tobaga. They have a booming petroleum and gas exporting economy and asphalt? I didn't know asphalt was a naturally occuring commodity. School never ends here! There economy has been experiencing an 8% growth for the last several years except for the last couple of months, due to the world economic slowdown.
The official language is English, 26% of the population is Roman Catholic, there's 125 phones per 100 households, plenty of internet providers, and a Mardi Gras party every year. The rainy season is June to December, it lies off the coast of Venezuela, misses most of the hurricane paths, and has several airports, two of which are international. Unfortunately, FS9 and FSX only provide these two, so no airport hopping.
I did some flying around both islands this morning, just to learn the lay of the land. Mountains to the north, only rising to about 2,000'.
I'm thinking about taking a tour of all the islands, from Cuba on down, all the way to Venezuela. Anyone ever done this island hop?
Bill When I finish the GAAR 2009 I want to take my old P-Boat down that Caribbean tour of yours. Looks like a fun trip. I have sailed our boat down most of the way so am somewhat familiar with the area down there.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Feb 28, 2009 10:47:27 GMT -5
I hope you and Joe are enjoying the snow this morning. Its coming my way tonight and tomorrow. Here it will just make a slushy mess. I don't think I even have a shovel anymore. Next fall I may drive up to Nashville and get a new one.
The RW for the Caribbean will be best if you get it in early afternoon their time. If you are getting it at night, they will have fog just about every day.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Feb 28, 2009 15:39:04 GMT -5
We actually didn't get a drop of snow here. I was out driving all day, waiting for it, but it never happened. I'm driving down south about 100 miles tomorrow, so I'll get to see how they made out down there.
Post by flaminghotsauce on May 6, 2009 22:07:07 GMT -5
Messing around again.
I downloaded the Windows 7 Release Candidate 64 bit to try on my Flight Sim computer. I was hoping to see a big improvement. I think I'm seeing a small improvement anyway....
I took the "update" approach over my Vista, which saves all your documents, settings, program files, cookies, etc. Just saves everything. This took around two full hours, and it reboots itself a couple of times. When it's all finished, the task bar at the bottom is the only noticeable difference on the desktop, but the Start menu changes, and other things. Hey, an actual "shutdown" button!
When all is said and done, the FSX seems to run more smoothly, slightly better. It looks the same, the numbers seem to be similar, but it just feels a bit better. Maybe the numbers are actually better.
I also have previously installed Windows 7 Beta on my laptop, but I did a complete fresh install, and it only takes a little over a half hour that way. So far, I'm quite happy with both installations of the new Windows. I might actually buy it when my free trial expires in 12 months, twenty five days, two hours and four minutes.
While all that was going on, I also was testing another Linux distro (Mandriva One 2009.1) on my city computer, talking on the phone setting up work for a couple of weeks out, and watching our weekly Netflix episodes.
Post by flaminghotsauce on May 14, 2009 9:30:51 GMT -5
We had a tornado in Kirksville yesterday, made the national news. I was in town a few blocks from where it happened with six of my kids. My wife told me it was looking bad over the phone and we should be getting out of there. On the way home, we hit HEAVY rain for about 1/4 mile, and that was it, but we were watching some low hanging cloud rotation just west of the highway. We pulled over and watched for a bit, but it was disorganized.
I didn't learn how bad it was until I got home. They closed several miles of Highway 63 as the debris was across the road, gas lines ripped open and leaking, etc. Here's a couple of links to videos: