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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

How much power you can save (debian +mac mini/peplink manga/...?

Do you believe you can get a 3watts debian box? Those power saving 'geeks' show how amazing you can do with equipments on hand, as drawn in following lines:
Peplink Manga (integrated) 3.1 2.3 kWh /month
x86 laptop plus Linksys switch 24.3 ~ 17.8 kWh /month
Debian Mac Mini plus Manga switch 15.2 11.1 kWh /month
For more detailed info, refer to here

Sunday, May 22, 2005

[UtilRec]: Metric Conversion Tables

I always forgot the how to convert from metric to imperial measurement, as I seldom use imperial or US measurement. The tables below may help when you forget it.

US/Metric Conversion Tables
Area Conversions

Multiply By This Number To Convert to:
hectares 2.47 acres
square kilometers 0.3861 squaremiles
square meters 1.196 square yards
acres 0.4047 hectares
square feet 0.09290394 square meters
square inches 0.00064516 square meters
square miles 2.59 square kilometers
square yards 0.83612736 square meters

Length Conversions

Multiply By This Number To Convert to:
centimeters 0.03281 feet
centimeters 0.393700787401575 inches
cubic meters 35.3145 cubic feet
kilometers 0.62 miles
meters 3.2808 feet
meters 39.3700787401575 inches
meters 0.0006214 miles
meters 1.0936 yards
millimeters 0.0393700787401575 inches
feet 0.3048 meters
inches 2.54 centimeters
inches 25.4 millimeters
miles 1.609347 kilometers
yards 0.9144 meters

Mass (weight) Conversions

Multiply By This Number To Convert to:
grains 0.0648 grams
grams 0.002205 pounds
metric tons 0.9842 tons (long 2240lb)
metric tons 1.1023 tons (short 2000lb)
grains 0.0000648 kilograms
grams 15.4324 grains
pounds 0.4535925 kilograms
tons (long 2240lb) 1.016 metric tons
tons (short 2000lb) 907.1848 kilograms
tons (short 2000lb) 0.9072 metric tons

Temperature Conversions

To Convert Do This Results in:
Fahrenheit (ºF - 32)/1.8 Celsius
Celsius ( ºC * 1.8) + 32 Fahrenheit
Celsius Add 273.15 Kelvin
Kelvin Subtract 273.15 Celsius

Power(Energy) Conversions

Multiply By This Number To Convert to:
British thermal units 1055.056 joules
calories 4.1868 joules
kilowatt-hours 3600000 joules

Volume Conversions

Multiply By This Number To Convert to:
Canadian Gallons 4.5461 liters
hectoliters 2.8378 U.S. bushels
liters 0.2642 gallons
liters 0.1135 pecks
liters 1.8162 pints (dry)
liters 2.1134 pints (liquid)
liters 0.908 quarts
liters 0.9081 quarts (dry)
liters 1.0567 quarts (liquid)
cubic feet 0.02831685 cubic meters
cubic inches 0.00001639 cubic meters
cubic yards 0.7645549 cubic meters
fluid ounces 0.00002957 cubic meters
fluid ounces 29.57353 milliliters
gallons 0.00378541 cubic meters
gallons 3.7853 liters
pecks 8.8096 liters
pints (dry) 0.5506 liters
pints (liquid) 0.4732 liters
quarts (dry) 1.1012 liters
quarts (liquid) 0.9463 liters
U.S. bushels 0.3524 hectoliters

Another interesting metric conversion table for cooking is below:

Conversion Table for Cooking

U.S. to Metric
1/5 teaspoon = 1 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 fluid oz. = 30 ml
1/5 cup = 50 ml
1 cup = 240 ml
2 cups (1 pint) = 470 ml
4 cups (1 quart) = .95 liter
4 quarts (1 gal.) = 3.8 liters
1 oz. = 28 grams
1 pound = 454 grams

Metric to U.S.
1 militers = 1/5 teaspoon
5 ml = 1 teaspoon
15 ml = 1 tablespoon
30 ml = 1 fluid oz.
100 ml = 3.4 fluid oz.
240 ml = 1 cup
1 liter = 34 fluid oz.
1 liter = 4.2 cups
1 liter = 2.1 pints
1 liter = 1.06 quarts
1 liter = .26 gallon
1 gram = .035 ounce
100 grams = 3.5 ounces
500 grams = 1.10 pounds
1 kilogram = 2.205 pounds
1 kilogram = 35 oz.

Cooking Measurement Equivalents
16 tablespoons = 1 cup
12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup
10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons = 2/3 cup
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
6 tablespoons = 3/8 cup
5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon = 1/3 cup
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons = 1/8 cup
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons = 1/6 cup
1 tablespoon = 1/16 cup
2 cups = 1 pint
2 pints = 1 quart
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
48 teaspoons = 1 cup

stardict on debian (voice problem)

My stardict on debian has never output any voice util 10 mins ago. You can see the problem here > > >
> > >
> > > On Fri, 2004-10-22 at 11:31 +0800, Zhao Li wrote:
> > > > hello,
> > > > i'm a newone of debian. moved from fedora just now.
> > > > and now i met a problem about audio.
> > > > i installed kernel 2.6 and enabled alsa modules.
> > > > seems everything is ok before i try stardict, i.e., i can use aplay,
> > > > alsaplayer, active arts based on alsa, etc.

(gnome-sound-recorder does > > > > not work, i think it is normal, as i start arts, right?)
> > > > i installed voice files for stardict, however, i cannot hear any
> > > > voice from it, while i can use artsplay to play these .wav files. ( i
> > > > can hear voice from stardict under fedora core 1-2 with alsa+arts)
> > > >
> > > > who can help me, highly appreciate.
I ask the author of stardict-ed () why?
Thank him so much, the reason is quite simple.

stardict use two methods for playing wav files:
on Windows it use PlaySound (WIN32 API)
on Linux gnome_sound_play (Gnome API).
So if you not use Gnome and use Window Manager/Desktop Environment which
have its own API for work with sound, may be some problems with sound
output. For example, if you use KDE it blocks /dev/dsp, so
gnome_sound_play didn't work.

stardict-ed use three methods for playing wav files:
all that use stardict +
if it compiled without gnome support for play wav files
((./configure --disable-gnome-support))
it execute "play" utility ("play" utility is part of sox package).
You can change play command for whatever you want,
just change in preference dialog appropriate value,
but before doing make certain that it play wav file,
if you call it with wav file as argument.
For example in KDE "play" command didn't work:

$play /usr/share/stardict/sounds/buttonactive.wav
sox: Can't open output file '/dev/dsp': Device or resource busy

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Self-replicating Robots

From http://abc.net.au/science/news/tech/InnovationRepublish_1365242.htm
Engineers in the US have created a machine out of intelligent cubes that can make copies of itself.

They say it is a small step towards developing robots that can repair and replicate themselves in space or hazardous environments where it is difficult for humans to venture.

Assistant Professor Hod Lipson of Cornell University led a team that reports the research in today's issue of the journal Nature.

"Self-reproduction is central to biological life for long-term sustainability and evolutionary adaptation," say the researchers.

"Although these traits would also be desirable in many engineered systems, the principles of self-reproduction have not been exploited in machine design."

The machine Lipson's team developed is made up of a set of modular cubes, called molecubes, which each contain the machinery and a computer program necessary for self-replication.

The 10-centimetre cubes use electromagnets on their faces to selectively connect and disconnect from each other and they draw power through contacts on the surface of the table they sit on.

Each cube is divided in half along its diagonal and this enables a robot made of a number of the cubes to bend and move its own, and other, cubes around.

The researchers have shown how a robot made of a stack of cubes can replicate itself.

camera For a video of the replication process, click here (requires Windows Media Player).

"A three-module robot is able to self-reproduce in just over 1 minute," say the researchers.

The robot bends around, moving its own cubes and new cubes 'fed' to it by the researchers. Because it is not possible for the original robot to reach across another robot of the same height, the new robot must assist in completing its own construction.

"Although the machines we have created are still simple compared with biological systems, they demonstrate that mechanical self-reproduction is possible and not unique to biology," the researchers say.

"The design concept could be useful for long-term, self-sustaining robotic systems in emerging areas such as space exploration and operation in hazardous environments, where conventional approaches to maintenance are impractical."

Imitating life Australian robotics expert, Associate Professor Richard Willgoss of the University of New South Wales, says mechanical replication provides building blocks towards doing a lot of other things that biological systems do, albeit at a much larger scale.

"If biology does it so well, why can't we do it too."

Willgoss, who is working on a modular robotic arm, says intelligent modules can communicate with each other, as cells in the immune system do.

He says such developments could lead to robotic systems that provide "tool kits" capable of, for example, making a vehicle one day and a bridge the next.

The idea is that if a module breaks down the robot can repair it, or perhaps a whole entire new robot can be built.

"If we can make robots that have distributed intelligence, we can perhaps give them a global request and they'll do the rest for us. It's very fanciful but you have to start somewhere," says Willgoss.

Grey goo from nano-robots While these self-replicating robots are 10 centimetres across, some scientists have discussed the idea of self-replicating robots the size of molecules.

This has led to the nightmare scenario of self-replicating nano-robots, or nanobots, reducing the Earth to a mass of seething "grey goo".

So do the new developments make this more likely?

"The intelligence behind making that assembly could easily be taken down to the nano scale but the practicality of making the unit is a different matter," he says.

"We've gone to the micro scale where we're making tiny little cogs in wheels on a substrate with integrated circuits but nanotech involves the atomic scale and that requires very specialised equipment to do that."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Tips: Categorize Blogger Posts (version2)

In a previous post, a tip to build blogger category list is given. It is a trick based on a site search engine --- pico. The idea is simple: for a post belonging to a category, insert a keyword that appears only in this category, and provide a list, where each entry links to a search result of 'pico'.
The reseaon to use pico is for it can rebuild index when u want, and it can index words in very detail.
The shortcoming of pico is that it can only rebuild index on demand, it will never index automatically. Now, I shift from pico to blogdigger, a very nice blog search engine. You can see the effect of blogdigger in the right panel's category list. Most parts are the same as the previous post.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Changing of site search

I want to change my site search engine to blogdigger. Seems it only index the rss/atom, and does not crawl history posts, so, I ask blogger to list all posts I made, hope blogdigger can work properly.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Blogdigger + Ping-o-Matic

To increase visibility of your blog, to send a XML-RPC ping to those blog search engine is a good idea. Ping-o-Matic thus is a super idea that let u ping multiple engines in one click. Even you can just bookmark pingomatic and ping engines by access this bookmark only.
Maybe u think to ping those engines is not important at all, as they will crawl ur site soon or later. I also think so until today.
Now, I found blogdigger is another super sevice i love so much. It provides search features like those of PICO, i.e.; it can index all details in ur blog, unlike google search that only do very rough indexing. After each time u post on blog, and ping blogdigger, it will reindex ur blog, thus, research results of ur blog will be updated automatically.
What a goodie.
However, blogger cannot ping blogdigger itself, i doubt. So, after u post on blogger, just by one click on ur ping-o-matic bookmark, then u can get up-on-date index provided blogdigger. Is that attractive?
Good luck