Post by flaminghotsauce on Jan 7, 2009 13:11:47 GMT -5
You know Tom, I think you should call the company and see if they'll get you an XP downgrade disk. You'll get a better performing machine, and one that will support stuff you have better. Well, I'm not sure about your DOS programs. It would be worth checking to make sure you could get all the drivers so you don't have my problem of no sound for example. They might even just mail you a disk for free. I don't know.
Vista is pretty. Vista is pretty big. Vista is too big for it's britches. I'm still trying to work out my sound issue, but I may just leave it noiseless for a while. It just runs so well under XP.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Jan 9, 2009 11:01:44 GMT -5
I doubt if Toshiba would or could send me an XP downgrade disk. It would probably violate their contract with Microsoft. If I still worked for the Goverbment, I would try to maintain number of PC's with XP so my DOS programs could work. I am sure the final nail in the DOS coffin only came from Vista.
I am starting to like Vista when I can get it to work. My wife and I share this laptop and it is nice that we each have separate User folders to work in. We don't use passwords but our interests are rather different so it is nice not to have much clutter from the other in our folders.
But yesterday I ran into another Vista trick that tried my patience. I have had a rogram obtained in 2002 on the Dell computer that lets me write music. It used to make beautiful prints on the laser printer that I could read better than most music books because they only held the part for one instrument rather than a piano part plus the melody on three staff liines which also require transposition for all my Bb instruments. That had worked great until lightning zapped the printer control chip on the Dell's motherboard. That program used to be a free download from Finale.com but is now sold for $10. They have enhanced it. I have no problem with the $10 as the program is certainly worth at least that much. But it is a 37 gig download and that is painful on my dialup where I must sit and touch the touchpad on the Toshiba every few minutes to keep it alive and working during the several hours of downloading.
So yesterday I tried moving that NotePad to the Toshiba. I made a CD with the hundred or more songs I had already written plus the executable and its supporting file. I read that CD into the Toshiba with no problem. When I went to run the program Vista informed me politely that the program was from an older version of Windows and asked if I would like to select an emulation of that version. They offered me choices ranging back to Win 95! I chose Win98 and began running it. It worked fine except that it could not find a music font file that was right next to it in the folder. It said I had to run Install again. Unfortunately, Install was embedded in the self-extracting executable version of the program that is downloaded. So I set those files aside in a disguised folder and proceded to try to transfer the self-extracting version.
I emailed it to myself. It worked fine although it took about an hour. The, on the Toshiba after I read in the email, Vista told me that "Windows has detected a dangerous file in the attachment has taken steps to prevent you from loading it." Gee, wasn't that nice of Vista to protect me from my own file! It was afraid of a little old executable. I was stumped and so was my son Craig who was visiting at the time. He asked me to forward him a copy. After he left, he emailed me the solution. It simply required that I go into Tools>Options>security on the email program and remove some checkmarks that provide automatic protection in many cases. Some would have prevented me from attachments coming from foreign sites (as if we did not get any junk from domestic sites)! It worked. I was able to move the emailed executable to a folder and do a proper installation. Now I have my music notation program up and running on the Toshiba.
Today the task will be to hook up the nice HP deskjet printer Craig gave me for Christmas. That should be more fun!
Post by Tom Goodrick on Jan 12, 2009 22:18:35 GMT -5
The computer education of Old Tom Goodrick continues.
I managed to connect the printer to the laptop with out trouble and got it working. I have used it two ways. One is that I make color copies of cropped and selected portions of the audio spectra of several mouth pieces playing the same notes on the soprano sax so that differences can be easily compared. Second, my music notation program is running fine and I have made copies of several songs to add to my library. The bad news is that 12 pages of nusic has eaten up half of a pair of ink cartridegs at $30 a pair. But they look great.
Today I was doing some more music entry using the touchpad on the lap top and had a very frustrating time. You move the pointer to the tool line at the top, grab a tool like a quarter note and then point to the spot in the music where you want to put the quarter note. Not too difficult. Only half the time you twitch as you tap the button to enter the note and the note comes out on the wrong space or line. Then you have to go get the erase tool, come back and erase that note, go get the quarter note again and place it in the right place. As I finished one piece of music, I began thinking about a mouse. I had used a mouse before on my old computer doing the same thing and it went much faster with less frustration. I had been holding back on getting a mouse for the lap top for the inconvenience it would bring.
I checked on the web and found a nice cheap mouse at Best Buy that had a wire connection to a USB port and an optical reader. On this old computer I have been using a cordless optical mouse for a long time. But I figured the complication of having to hook up a receiver to the lap top for a mouse a few inches away was ridiculous. I headed for Best Buy to get the cheap mouse. They had their display all messed up with a few mice in one area that I found right away but the mouse I wanted was not there. More expensive mice that do no better than the cheap mouse were in that first group. Then I found the real mouse area on the other side of the store and began browsing seriously. I found the cheap mouse and it was even cheaper. But I also found a nice Logitec cordless that showed its receiver. The receiver was a tiny thing that projected from the side of the laptop about 1/4 inche, was 1/2 inch long and 3/16 inche thick. It was $50 but I bought it and figured I was well ahead of the game considering all the frustration I'd just been through. I took it home, put the batteries in the mouse (good for one year), plugged in the receiver in a USB port (a driver was found imediately) and began using the mouse.
OK but that is not the part of the education Imean't to talk about. That came when I looked for the CD holding software that came with the mouse. There was none. The instructions said to go on the web and download the software. Obviously the mouse worked well enough already to do that. I moved the computer to where I can plug into the Internet and found the software for downloading. But there were two sets and I did not know which I needed. So I quit without downloading, muttered about it to my wife, askiing if Craig was coming over for dinner. Then resummed entering songs. While I did that, my wife called Craig and mentioned it to him. He asked for the exact model number, found the software and began downloading it while talking to her. Before supper he showed up and pulled a little "thumb drive" out of his pocket, plugged it into one of my USB ports (there are four of them). He then transferred several MB of software for the mouse into my system. That gadget is the cross-section of a USB port and about 1.5 inches long. It holds 8 GB of solid state memory. He carries it in his pocket with all kinds of stuff including 6 complete movies. If he has time on his hands, he can pop it into his laptop and watch one of the movies!
By the way it is a V450 Nano Cordless Laser Optical Mouse. The "nano" part is the big deal - oops, small deal!
The kicker was when my wife showed me an ad in Sunday's paper she remembers reading to me that had the same mouse for $30 at another store.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Jan 15, 2009 10:51:59 GMT -5
I doubt if Toshiba would or could send me an XP downgrade disk. It would probably violate their contract with Microsoft.
Actually, the immense numbers of Vista licenses out there touted by Microsoft includes those that are loaded with XP, so it's not an issue. But it sounds like you've moved in and set up shop, so it's better to continue on. I'm glad you found out how to shut down the user account controls!
Post by Tom Goodrick on Feb 1, 2009 11:38:46 GMT -5
MORE CAT TALES
We continue to live in a dynamic cat environment - mainly with regard to the outside neighborhood cats that my wife continues to feed on the back deck. Our three big guys - Alex, Buddy and Charlie who live in a bedroom of our house - continue to do well, maybe too well. They are more than fully grown, (the largest cats I have seen) and will soon have to be neutered to calm them down a bit before they demolish the house.
We gave away five kittens last October who had been living in our garage since they were 2-3 weeks old. We get reports on two of them from our son Craig as one went to the manager of his apartments and another to another resident of thos apartments. They are happy and well-adjusted young cats now.
"Little Kitty," a black cat who is their mother and who is also the mother of our three big guys, continues to live happily in our garage though she was spayed at the time we gave the kittens away. She has friends from the neighborhood pack - Tiger, Poppa Gray and Yellow Kitty - who visit her frequently and share the garage on cold nights. For a couple of months we had "Mr Gray", a very friendly big gray cat who even liked dogs. But Tiger chased him away. They all play around our house some of the time, checking the food dishes both on the back deck and in the garage. But normally they spend their time roaming the woods behind the houses in our neighborhood. Our address is 211 Pine Ridge Rd, Madison, AL, 35758. Its on a map the cats pass around to other cats they run into who are in need of a good bite of free food. It is also depicted well on Google's satellite view. It is the only house in the neighborhood with a light gray roof (which helps cut the A/C expense in the hot summers).
But here is a sad tale. Just after we gave away the five kittens, the neighbors to our north moved out and their house became vacant. (It has been a rental since we moved in 20 years ago. The driveway is so steep, nobody wants to buy it.) At about that same time, Yellow Kitty brought a new Momma cat with her two kittens to eat at our deck and they settled in living under the back deck next door. That deck is covered by a hard roof that keeps it dry. The kittens were about five weeks old at that time - one solid gray and one gray with white boots.
We made no attempt to befriend the new cats but watched the kittens play just outside our picture window which shows the area between our deck and the neighbor's deck. The Momma is a Calico cat so we called her "Cally." You could say she is a white cat with large orange and black spots or an orange cat with large white and black spots. We did not name the kittens until very recently. They were inseparable and fun to watch as they practiced doing cat things like climbing trees and fences and chasing leaves. we eventually deduced that the one with boots was a female and the other was a male. It also becae evident that Poppa Gray was the father as he was to two of our three guy cats. Alex and Buddy are copies of him as is the little gray guy. Charlie and the five kittens Little One had last summer are distinctive "Tuxedo Cats", mainly black with various amounts of white around the throat and face. Charley is almost an exact twin of his father, even to his four-inch tail. But after going off with Little Kitty to make the five kittens, the father has never been seen again.
So we watched these kittens grow and learn in our back yard for several months. They even survived the visit of son Scott's two huge dogs, Clark and Maggy, at Christmas. We were careful to make sure our yard was clear of cats before letting the big dogs out. I thought they might choose to go some place else but they didn't. Then two weeks ago, things began to change. Poppa Gray showed up one day when Cally and the kids were eating on our deck and playing and he had a talk with Cally. It seemed that he was saying the kittens needed more training in serious things like hunting their own food. So he began taking them out for hunting trips during the day. We would see them eraly in the morning and late at night as they stocked up on good food or made up for not catching much. This continued for about a week.
Then one morning as I watched the kittens playing on the patio next to the deck where there were some chairs with carefully set dangling ropes for kittens to hit and drag around, the kittens suddenly stopped play and looked up the hill at Momma who was approaching. She had been a very loving and caring mother cat who always watched out for possible danger while they were playing. We had given the name "Tuffy" to the gray one as he'd defended his sister's right to eat against some other cats like Tiger who is a trouble maker. We named the other kitten "Boots." Yellow Kitty and Poppa Gray tolerated his impertinance.
Tuffy ran to his mother and she biffed him. He was shocked and stepped away. Momma turned and trotted up the hil. Boots went bounding after her. They disappeared into the woods behind our back fence. Tuffy went chasing after them. Later that day tuffy came back for food. We never saw Boots again. Tuffy spent a few days away from the house, probably looking for his sister.
Tuffy still hangs out on our deck, getting good fresh food and sunning himself on the railing of the porch. He watches for his sister. But there has been no sign of her. He still defends the food from Tiger.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Feb 3, 2009 20:33:00 GMT -5
The latest chapter in the CAT TALES unfolded today. Yesterday, with a forcast of cold weather ahead, my wife decided to try to help Tuffy stay warm. She fashioned a box covered with a garbage bag with insulating foam rubber inside just a little bigger than the kitten is now. Months ago we had fashioned a protected corner on our back deck with a large plastic covered top and withe plastic covering the side and back walls to protect from wind and rain. She put the box under this protected area some distance from the food dishes.
Tuffy liked the box and stayed in it for a few hours during the late afternoon. But in the evening, when the racoons visit to clean up any food the cats have left, he went elsewhere. This morning we saw Poppa Gray violently trying to discourage Tuffy from staying in the box. Poppa beat him up a little and chased him up into the woods. I think Poppa correctly deduced that the racoons were a threat to the kitten in the box near the food.
So I made a shelter in the far corner of the deck which is separated visually from the food by a plywood board stuck on edge under the cover for the food shelter. These playwood boards are 3ft by 4ft and we have several of them left over from a repair we did inside the house. I took one of those boards and made it a cover in the far corner and hung more plastic (of which we have plenty from covering the dirt floor in our crawl space under the house) around the outside lattice-work wall of the deck. In this space the box would be safe to an extent from the eating area, sheltered from the forecast rain and snow, and would be warmed by the rising sun in mid morning.
While we were working on the deck, Poppa and Tuffy were wrestling on the deck of the empty house to our north as they both watched what we did. Several times it looked like Tuffy wanted to come see but Poppa sat on him! Later they dissappeared into the woods.
Tuffy has yet to come back. After we finished the work, Poppa came back to eat in the afternoon. The box remains empty waiting for Tuffy. It neither rained nor snowed but it has gotten cold with18F expected by morning. The wind has been blowing quite hard but the plastic is holding.
Edit: Tuffy came back as I wrote this. He was looking for fresh food. He got some.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Feb 3, 2009 21:06:27 GMT -5
On the Idiocy of Space Diving
I have just seen a report on the History Channel (it may be a 10-year-old report) about a proposed new sport - Skydiving from space! A physics professor who looked a lot like Fu Man Chu was telling how neat it would be. A man in a space suit wearing a parachute straps onto a platform that has four rocket motors underneath it. The platform lifts at a low speed straight up until it "puts him in orbit where he can look around and see the stars as well as a larged portion of the Earth." When done gazing at the stars, he unstraps from the platform and dives to earth like stepping off a high diving board. They said the jump would be made from about 160 miles above the surface. The man has attitude control jets in his gloves to control his attitude.
There are several problems with this that I have seen in my studies of re-entry devices. First, you don't get to orbit by merely going to a high point. Once your rockets stop, you are falling, no matter how high you are. The term "zero gee" is a falacy. You'd fall to Earth from the Moon if you did not have an adequate horizontal velocity component. When the rockets stop, both you and the platform are falling back together. You must separate yourself from the platform. Secondly, to descend from such an altitude in a free fall, you are faced with a dillemma you can't win. Either you will be crushed to death from the high gee's as you plunge suddenly into dense air (the density variation is highly non-linear) or you must get a good horizontal speed and use lift to reduce your vbertical rate (drag won't do it). This is how you defeat the high gee's. But then you run into a VERY BIG heating problem. They mentioned 400 F that the suit could handle. Try 1500 F.
Extending an arm or a leg would get that member torn or melted off.
I can sim this on my NASA entry sim so I'll take a good look. But don't buy any tickets for this ride. Of course you could take my skydiver for FS9 and see how he does from 90,000 ft. The show on TV has him deploying a round drogue chute when down in the atmosphere and then going to a Parfoil at 3,000 ft. We can do this all in FS9 from 90,000 ft. I've tried the skydiver from 20,000 ft and the Parafoil from 3000 ft. That works fine. 160 miles is a bit much.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Feb 12, 2009 20:59:09 GMT -5
Regarding skydiving from space, I tossed out my skydiver in FS9 from high altitudes and learned or relearned a few things. (This is not the first time I have considered it. A friend who was a professor of Aerospace Engineering presented a paper on the subject 30 years ago. I thought it was an interesting paper. Then 20 years ago just after I joined NASA, a firend and I were summoned to NASA HQ to hear a presentation by two researchers who felt it should be possible to inflate a parafoil in space and ride it into the atmosphere. I was expected to supply a written comment.)
I think it is far fetched but it may not be impossible. I tried setting up a trajectory on my orbit/entry program, but, it is so different from the normal trajectory (starting at 7.6 km/sec) that I had calculation problems. To get good performance from the program, I had mad the time interval variable based on speed and deceleration. This gave me problems starting from zero speed at orbital altitude. NASA has more versatile programs and some of them would work.
The center of the problem relates to dynamic pressure and the relation to thermal loads during flight in extreme low density. Drag force is proportional to the product of density and airspeed squared. Heating rate is proportional to the product of density and and airspeed cubed. [Re-Entry Vehicle Dynamics by Frank J Regan, AIAA 1984]. (It may more properly be related to the square root of this product as I remember from the "Chapman Equation.")
The point is that the the drag that slows you as you fall into the atmosphere does not vary in the same way as the heating rate. Thus when you get a high drag force (from the pressure difference, front-to-back) with very low density, airspeed must be very high. But this will cause a high heating rate. If you are falling vertically, that high speed also brings you very quickly into higher density so the drag rises steeply resulting in high G's. Simultaneously the heat rate rises greatly. So if the trajectory is not carefully managed, the skydiver is crushed by G forces and then burned to a crisp.
My trials with the skydiver in FS simply showed that speed does build up quickly. At high altitude in thin air, a falling man gets to a high speed before reaching equilibrium. His speed becomes limited by the transonic darg rise which forces most falling bodies to stay just below sonic conditions. This would put unusual forces on a man, particularly as he tried to change his configuration to maintain stability. That might be impossible. My skydiver lost stability many times. In reality he may have spun and tumbled so fast he'd lose consciousness. But my FS model does not take Mach conditions properly into account.
Incidentally, I recently was playing with a "person locator" on my new computer and decided to find my self - Thomas Goodrick. By golly there are 10 of us in the US. That ignores two other versions that actually referred to me but had me in the wrong places - Huntsville and Bellingham, MA. In April it will be 20 years since I left Belliingham. I lived in an apartment in Huntsville for one month while closing on my present home in Madison. Those other nine guys really are Thomas Goodrick but with different middle initials. Mine is F. Others are L, J, M, P, .... I suspect this all goes back to a Thomas Goodrick who was a well-known Bishop in the Church of England. He was famous for some things and infamous as a chaser of women. But that was about 350 years ago. My branch of the Goodrick tree is quite small. I have two sons and my cousin Ken in Houston has two sons. The name will not pass on from my side because it looks like one granddaughter is all we'll get. Ken's sons are not yet married.
So it goes.
I used to publish papers using the name TF Goodrick. But I found there were papers published by another TF Goodrick, but, her name is Theresa. Fortunately, she publishes in another field!
Now are you so sure that your ancestry goes back to a Church of England Bishop??
As I'm now past the halfway mark on the GAAR, and some bludger in a flying ute is pulling away from the field ( Good on ya, Ed - since when did Holden make aircraft, I ask you?), I'll be firing up a Twin Comanche to tour the Carribean in a week or two.
Veering ever further off-topic, your A320 FDs could be used with an Airbus A319 model (+ additional tankage) to produce the Airbus CJ with 6,000miles+ range. Remind me to come back to that idea.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Feb 14, 2009 11:31:42 GMT -5
I did not understand what you were trying to show with that link, Allan. I clicked on it and then searched "Goodrick" in the Wicipedia. I found only a reference to one of my son Scott's recent papers/magazine articles. He has been publishing quite a bit (trying to remain employed) in the fields of math, physics, fire weather and atmospheric science.
Incidentally doing a Google search on "T.F. Goodrick" will turn up som,e of my papers. I did that and was reminded of a few things I had learned back in the distant past.
One thing I learned is rather interesting and may require a little work in FS9 to build some interesting demonstrators. The parafoil I posted on my site and on avsim.com is one example. In 1975 I set out to determine what parameters affect the longitudinal stability of a gliding parachute. The results have interesting applications for other types of aircraft - like, for example paper airplanes. I showed how tail-less aircraft can be made to fly with good control. The key is in the position (in 3 D coordinates) of the Center of Gravity. This is how hang gliders have been working since before there were airplanes.
We could make a vehicle that is simply a wing attached to a fuselage with a small jet engine that flies with full climb, turn, cruise and descent control. The pilot controls all aspects of flight with slight movements of the CG - fore and aft and left and right in combination with the throttle. I'll post more info on this later.
While the ancient hang glider is a classic example of this type of aircraft and the gliding parachutes currently so popular demonstrate the same principles, I learned more about the value of this methodology while doing research for NASA on hypersonic aerobrakes and lifting bodies for entry into planetary atmospheres. The SR-71 uses CG movement technology to maintain control in some phases of flight.
Post by Chris Ross on Feb 14, 2009 15:30:57 GMT -5
Its the picture Tom. My facial hair just covers my face but yours appears a work of art
Interesting idea about the CG I thought CG like understeer in a motor car was always deigned to give a constant out of control If it was more balanced the less skilled steerer would never know in which direction they were going to have to correct.Hence more work load?
Post by Tom Goodrick on Feb 14, 2009 18:01:03 GMT -5
For a particular airfoil where the variation in lift, drag and moment coefficients with angle of attack are known, positions of the CG relative to the chordline and to the 1/4 chord point in the center of the wing can be shown to produce stability at certain angles of attack having desired flight performance. With no need of a tail structure, the craft will be very stable or 'in trim" at the desired angle of attack.
I envision in FS9 using flap deflection to attain climb, cruise, descent and landing control for a fixed CG. But moving the CG is always an option.
In hypersonic vehicles we looked at CG movement because external control surfaces would burn off!
These hoods are obviously jealous of your good looks Tom. The beard was great and now the mo is magnificent. Well done.
A friend has flown a powered parasail thing where one has a power unit strapped on one's back. An extreme case of low CG. He reckons it is a trap for young players who get too enthusiastic with the power on take off. A spectacular event happens it seems.