Archive for March, 2006

Britannica takes umbrage

Friday, March 24th, 2006

Apparently the Encyclopedia Britannica has worked up a bit of indignance at having Wikipedia compared favorably to it. I suppose they see it as being unfavorably compared with Wikipedia. The BBC has a story on it.

Minor grap release

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

There’s a new grap release. It really is a very little thing. Unless you’re compiling grap under g++ 4.1 or later, you don’t care about it. But the nice guys at Debian are moving to that in the near future and the sooner I fix my dumb typo in grap_draw.h, the better. I’m not going to change the FreeBSD port for this.

Update: I changed the CHANGES file to properly attribute the changes from 1.38 to 1.39 on 23 Mar 2006.  The checksum of the dist file changed, but no code did.

Spring is in the air

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

Today, for the first time I can remember, I left work while the big glowing round thing was still visible.  Actually I do remember leaving work one other day when it was up, but that was when I’d been up for 40-odd hours (and for that matter, forty odd hours) so I think it doesn’t count.

I think I may have some kind of problem.

New Book Review

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

A short review of The Age Of Gold is up in Bell, Book, and Candle.

Whoops: grap re-update

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

I had a couple small problems with the grap source I posted in 12 Mar.  Those problems have been fixed.  It was an install bug, so if you’ve got the code, you have good code.  New source is on the grap page, but I didn’t bump the version.

Conductor Mulder?

Monday, March 13th, 2006

Oh, how I love the BBC.

Hey! New grap release!

Sunday, March 12th, 2006

New grap release is available.  Go forth and graph great things.

As always, we thank you for your support.

E-mail visualization

Sunday, March 12th, 2006

An e-mail archive visualizer, caught by the eye of Warren Ellis (or someone he knows…)

Traffic Tracking and Cell Phones

Friday, March 10th, 2006

This is making lemonade given lemons.  Traffic reporting via cell phone tracking.  I mean if people are dumb enough to turn the things on every time they get behind the wheel, and governments are going to track them…
As with many wonderful things, Warren Ellis saw it before me.

Weekend jaunt to California City

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

I found some time to cruise out to California City Airport this weekend. California City is in the high desert, north of the LA basin near Mojave. I took one of my student solo cross-country flights there and I like to go out and check in every once in a while. On weekends the field is usually bustling with gliders and skydivers and others having a good time. There’s been a restaurant there on and off, but when it’s there it’s always very hospitable.

I headed off at a reasonable 10:00 AM hour, planning to head up north of the airport and do some air work. Work has kept me on the ground lately and I wanted to shake some rust off. The weather was nice and I was able to cruise out pretty easily.

On the way out, talking to Joshua Approach, I heard the worst radio discipline I’ve ever heard on an approach frequency. Now, admittedly the frequency didn’t sound busy while it was going on, but protracted air-to-air communications between pilots discussing the flatulance of one pilot’s dog is really out of line. Don Brown would have had a heart attack.

As I say, I went up north of the airport to get some air work in and did some credible slow flight, a couple pretty good steeps (if I do say so myself), and some decent stall recoveries. I was pretty happy with all of the work. While I was doing it I got to hear Joshua Approach deal with some confusion from one pilot squawking the code assigned to a different aircraft while in a restricted area. The plane that was supposed to be squawking that code didn’t clearly state its position and it took a while to work it all out. Nice debugging on the fly by the controller, though.

I settled in to the airport and had lunch. The restaurant has been taken over by the folks who run Foxy’s Landing at William J. Fox Field in Lancaster. The food’s good here and the people friendly. There was a car club and some other folks hanging around that day, so the place was pretty busy. I think under the Foxy’s folks it’ll stay open for a while, which is great news. I also learned that Foxy’s is running a restaurant at Mojave, which means I have an incentive to stop by there now, too.

On the way out I took some pictures, including a beautiful restored Culver Cadet and some sky divers.

The flight back was pretty routine, but clear and beautiful. I got to pull a pretty nice “plan minimal time on the runway” landing at SMO, too. Fun day.