Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bad Weather

We have a thunderstorm, right now, raging outside. I'm glad i closed my windows.

If you closed your windows, how did you post to your blog?

I mean, the windows in my car.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Coolest new app

Well, it's new to me.

sudo apt-get install dict
sudo apt-get install dictd
sudo apt-get install dict-web1913

This gives you a 1913 English dictionary with definitions, from a local dictionary. That means it continues to work even if you are off line. From the command line, this example gives you a definition:

dict synopsis

Friday, June 08, 2007

How fast is your thumb?

My beloved 128 MB Jump drive is lost. Stolen, actually. One of the things that i really liked about it was that the cap really sealed the stuff inside. It survived being left in a pocket and going through the wash. Twice.

My 512 MB Firefly was lost, so i had no thumb drive at all for several weeks. Well, not exactly. My iPod Shuffle is 512 MB (discontinued), and often has 100 MB free, and can be used to transfer arbitrary files too. But, I finally broke down and went to a store. My Jump drive cost something like $35 way back when, and being somewhat short on cash, i wasn't going to spend more than $20. I'd just have to get a small one. In a bin by checkout at MicroCenter, were 2 GB Kingston drives for $15.95. With tax, that's $16.90. So much for settling for a small one.

The Firefly turned up shortly thereafter. Both drives are in use. And something odd turned up. I downloaded interesting audio books from LibriVox, which turned out to be several gigabytes. The Kingston drive seemed to take quite a while to fill compared to the Firefly. Yet, transfer speed at home was much better.

At first, i thought that perhaps the computer at work had an older USB 1.0 interface. That's absurd, though. It's nearly three years younger than my computer at home. And, why would the FireFly be so much quicker? Well, the firefly is a quarter of the size, so maybe that's it. There's no way to get to the bottom of this without some measurements.

It turns out that i'm only writing data at work, and only reading it at home. And the Kingston is nearly nine times slower writing than reading. The Kingston is about 20% faster at reading than the Firefly. But the Firefly is only half as fast writing than reading. So, the Firefly is four times faster writing than the Kingston. And, since it's a quarter the size, filling it takes a 16th of the time.

OK, so the speed of the device is not listed anywhere. Would it be a deal breaker? No. It's quick enough, cheap, and has large tracks of land.