Wednesday, June 28, 2006
So, in total we're using about 240 watts to the around 10,000 watt (!) air condition unit we have. Some serious energy savings.
After leaving the house for many hours, things gradually get very hot - much hotter than the air outside. When we run the fans for a few minutes previous to engaging the A/C, we don't have to re-cool all that extra hot air.
I suspect in a bigger house four fans could do the same thing, ideally with the intake fan close to the ground and the exaust fan close to the ceiling, as hot air rises. Two story houses could handle this beautifully by having the intake fans on the ground floor and exaust fans on the second.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
This notice is something I post at the bottom of all my emails:
Folding@Home - program that runs completely in the background to help cure major diseases. Do something useful with your machine: http://folding.stanford.edu
Folding @ Home is a software that makes thousands of separate computers behave like one supercomputer. The idea is that they take millions of simulations that need to be done, cut them into parts, and send them over the internet for other folks' computers to run. There are lots of projects out there like this but Folding @ Home is solving major problems in biology that are behind many types of cancer, mad cow disease, and more. Further, this project is run by Stanford University and all results produced are fully open and not restricted to big, greedy drug companies.
Most people only use their computers for Word Processing and email ... computers even 15 years old can do basic tasks like that without any trouble. So we have these hyper-powered computers that are really only being used some 3% of the time, usually while playing video games or creating mp3s. Why not put all that spare processing power to some use?
1. The program uses up a small amount of memory that can slow down your computer IF you're running a lot of applications all at once - otherwise it stays completely and totally in the background.
2. It can heat up your apartment slightly, but that's really only a problem during these summer months. Also, older computers or machines with a lot of dust running at 100% all the time will get really hot and can (in rare cases) damage the hardware. So its important to either turn down the CPU usage percentage or make sure all fans are working and the interior of your computer is fairly dust-free.
NOTE: If you have an AMD 64-bit in your computer (including the Sempron series), your computer can run these simulations *considerably* faster than other computers (my tests have shown between 2 and 4x faster).
Saturday, June 24, 2006
- Get together a short presentation on some kind of computer stuff - the old staples are always winners: back up your computer, get virus scan software, safe computer practices, etc.
- Connect with local library or community center or where-ever than handles this stuff. Confirm a time and a space to talk about shit.
- Create and post a flyer in places where people might read them as well as on craigslist.
- Show up and see what kind of involvement you get and answer some basic computer questions. Involvement with community occurs.
Figured out a trick to use WAY less electricity and water. After a friend went into the Peace Corps, I started thinking about how much water developed nations use. This made me much more conscious of my water usage.
- Get cloth, wet slightly and rub it in a bar of soap or whatever.
- Wet hair slightly.
- Get nekkid.
- Wipe down with moist cloth and apply whatever hair cleaning stuff you want.
- Run shower and just rinse off. Do the conditioner thing if need-be.
- Hang up the cloth so it doesn't mildew. The soap that’s still in it can be reused later.
I have estimated that my showers use around two gallons of water and approximately 30-100 watts of electricity. It also ends up saving a lot of time. If I can figure out how to take cold showers, I could knock this down considerably but I'm too much of a wuss.
This takes all of like three minutes and is - for all intents and purposes - the same thing you get with a normal shower, except conceivably for a moisturizing effect from warm water.