Model testing the Almaguin, part 1: The framework

Computer simulations are pretty good these days, but there's still a lot they can't do. And as nice as it would be to have my own full-scale prototype of every boat I draw, that's just not feasible- there's never enough space or money for that. Models, though, are inexpensive, don't take up much room, and are fun to build- and, if done carefully with the right mathematical backing, can offer a lot of insight into how the full-size boat will perform.

Farewell old computer: Motherboard failure (and an easy recovery)

We'll miss you, computer.

Seven years isn't a bad run for a low-end desktop. But everything dies eventually, and the old Celeron-based eMachines desktop that's lived under Katy's desk since before university had its turn last night.

No viruses, here. No trojans, toolbars, keyloggers or other malware either, for that matter. The little beast was still on its original load of WinXP Home. Not bad for a computer that's seen as much use as this one has. No, this was purely a hardware issue, as the photos below will show.

Has display technology stagnated?

I came across an old Jakob Nielsen column this afternoon, dating from November 1995. He predicted / hoped that, when computer monitors and network connections caught up with the human factors research of the day, we ought to have 27" x 40" displays at a whopping 1200 dpi (that's 1.5 billion pixels), driven at 120 Hz by graphics cards packing close to 5 GB of memory.


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