Thursday, February 28, 2008

Encinitas Library

The new Encinitas Library recently opened after being closed for several years. Here is a panorama photo I took of the old facility shortly after it closed.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Art Theft

If you are thinking of getting into the business of armed robbery, don't bother with liqueur stores and watch shops where the proprietors are most likely better armed than you. Just head to the local private art museum, wave a gun around and walk out with $163 million worth of paintings. Its just that easy.
If I had an art collection worth that much, I would have better security than a few guys that roll over when "threatened with a pistol" and "forced to the ground."

Then & Now: FLOPS

FLOPS (floating point operations per second) are one way of measuring raw computing power.
Techreport has a review of a three-way SLI graphics card system. This system has 1.7 teraflops just in the graphics subsystem, not counting the CPU. This configuration would cost around $2,000 just for the graphics cards. A lot for a PC these days, but peanuts compared to the old days.
According to Wikipedia, in 1961, a single FLOP would cost you over $1,000. As recently as 2000, a $1,000 buys you a gigaflop; a billion-fold increase in cost efficiency.
With Moore's Law alive and well, who can tell what the future will bring.

Weekend Activities

* Very muddy pipe hike
* Encinitas library grand opening
* Cleaned rooms during another rainy weekend

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend Activities

* Attempt to keep dog alive after she ate a bunch of chocolate (she made it)
* Hike at Manchester Open Preserve
* Kids at Grandma's
* Clean carpets and other stuff around the house
* Jog along 101 from Java Hut to Chesterfield
* Lunch with wife
* Trail walk beside El Camino Real from Lavante to La Costa

Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekend Activities

* Walked dog at Viewpoint Park and checked out soon-to-be completed Encinitas Library. Went down D Street and strolled in the Seaside Bazaar.
* Kids had a piano recital and both did great.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

SAN Tour (part 2)

Interesting things we learned about San Diego International Airport:

  • There is a runaway plane catch area at the west end of the runway. It looks like a bunch of gray boxes in a big pit that is designed to stop a plane with little damage to it.

  • The airport is home to very successful California least tern nesting sites. The areas have tiny fences around them to keep the chicks from wandering onto the tarmac and taxiways.

  • There is a pet relief area between terminals 1 and 2.

  • Human waste from airliners is disposed of in a little shack just off the east end of the runway. Trucks pump it out of the planes and then pump it into the sewer system.

  • Due to their limited space, SAN is quite anti-general aviation. Since they accept FAA money, they have to allow GA aircraft, but they only have a small area for them. There is only one FBO which is a jet company. I counted only about 10 jets, 1 turboprop and zero piston aircraft.

  • The runway can support large jets like the 747 and 777 but they takeoff with a weight penalty due to the hills of Point Loma directly in the takeoff path to the west. This means they can't carry a full fuel load and wouldn't be able to make it to Asia non-stop, thus they are not cost-effective for the airliners. They also don't see the A380 coming to SAN for similar reasons. They hope that the 787, with its greater fuel efficiency, would be able to make it non-stop even with the weight penalty.

  • Another reason you don't see a lot of 747's is that they must taxi on the north side of the runway due to the narrow south taxiway. This means they have to cross the runway which is not good. Plans are in the works to enlarge the south taxiway by removing some of the old Teledyne-Ryan buildings in the southeast corner of the property.

Friday, February 08, 2008

SAN Tour

The kids and I took a tour San Diego International Airport. It was very interesting and informative. We starting in the commuter terminal and took a bus to terminal 2. When then walked though terminals 2 and 1 learning the history of them as well as the planned expansion. Terminal is interesting in that it was designed from the start to be expandable to two levels both inside and outside. We then took the bus around the entire runway. We even stopped near the tower to watch some takeoffs and landings. I highly recommend it to those interested in aviation.

Looking south from the north side of the tarmac. Commuter terminal on the right, UPS cargo plane on the left.

Southwest 737 landing; shot taken from near the tower