Geeks With Blogs

Welcome to my blog.
Here's what we've got on the menu today:

Lorin Thwaits A geek says what? Efficiency I find it bewildering that science has already discovered so many better ways to use energy, but in most cases people just keep on doing things in the same wasteful way they always have. Hopefully society will eventually develop a mind-set where efficiency is vogue.
Want to cut your electric bill by $300 a year?
Over a million Japanese homes have a cutting-edge appliance that I'll bet you (along with 95% of America) have never even heard of. No -- it's not a singing toilet seat with a remote control, butt warmer, and built-in bidet. Why... here's one of those gleeking now: So I bet that most of you have heard about -- and some out there even used -- that particular Japanese contraption. Instead, the contraption I speak of is a heat pump that you add on to your water heater. It saves about $350 a year on ......

Posted On Thursday, February 28, 2008 4:05 AM

Can adding acetone increase gas mileage? -- Maybe.
A couple of weeks ago I tested fuel economy in my Volvo over a 5 mile stretch of freeway without, then with an ounce of acetone added to 10 gallons of gas. I found an immediate 6.5% drop in mileage between those first two tests. Then after 300 more miles I tested on the same tank of acetone-laden gasoline using the same conditions, and found I got an added 4.2% to mileage. I was intrigued. Now I've been through 15 more gallons, and haven't added any more acetone. I did two runs tonight to check where ......

Posted On Sunday, July 8, 2007 2:02 AM

Windows 2008 Server Core is worth a look
I've been experimenting with the Server Core version of Windows Server 2008 for a project I'm working on. You may be aware that Win2K8 ships with this great new streamlined "Server Core" mode that you can select during setup. Installation is lightining-fast, just 10 minutes on my Core 2 Duo machine. (And that's including the 2 reboots, hardware detection, and everything!) You end up with only a very minimal set of GUI tools, including notepad and regedit. The thing is lean and mean, and can run very ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 30, 2007 6:02 AM

Sony displays the world's first OLED panel, the XEL-1
Demo unit on display this week at CEATEC Japan Commercial unit to be sold in December Finally, an OLED panel that's reliable enough to sell. Unlike backlit LCD, which uses the same amount of power all the time, OLED only uses power for the individual pixels that are lit, saving energy. It's not a technology that has to "shutter" light, so contrast is incredible. As well, viewing angle is 180 degrees, both horizontal and vertical. There's no angle that you would see any funny coloration, so it becomes ......

Posted On Monday, October 1, 2007 2:59 AM

Anyone else going to the Maker Faire in Austin?
I heard about the first Maker Faire, which was spring of last year, after it happened. And from all the great stuff I heard it made me determined to go with my oldest son out to the second Maker Faire. He's into gadgets, and I figured it would be great for him to see all that ingenuity on display. That was back in May of this year out in Silicon Valley. It was tremendous. Well worth going. Contraptions of all sorts were out on display. Ended up that I found cheap $70 round trip seats on a Southwest ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 26, 2007 3:23 AM

Let's Tango
My old Porsche 944 has been on the fritz lately, so I've been ridesharing with a friend. Normally we leave the office around 6pm, and the commute takes around half an hour. Leaving any earlier is such a waste as it takes twice as long, the majority of the time spent parked on an interstate breathing in fumes. With two of us we can take advantage of the HOV lane, but still at that hour it is so utterly ineffective. And I'm not interested in lending any additional support to big oil with countless ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 26, 2007 2:51 AM

I've got a confession to make about last week's business trip
It seemed innocent enough to me. And to some of you out there (like Alex Bransky and Trisha Lacey) what I did last week will probably sound like a great idea. To others (like George Bush -- BTW thanks for reading my blog man) it may seem unAmerican. But I'd do it again, in a heartbeat! What is it, you're no doubt wondering? While making travel arrangements for a business trip to Washington D.C. I decided to skip the rental car entirely and bring along an electric scooter, checked as baggage. It's ......

Posted On Sunday, August 19, 2007 8:21 PM

How to sell electric cars to Americans -- call them "Plug in hybrids"!
We're painfully aware of the environment these days, with melting ice sheets and migrating species. Perhaps we can make enough lifestyle changes before end up with too many dying species. Topping just about everyone's list of changes to make is with transportation. Ten years ago GM was forced to prepare to sell zero emission vehicles in California, so they designed the EV1. Apparently they were surprised to find that people really wanted electric cars. Badly. Those that drove the EV1 were hooked. ......

Posted On Friday, July 13, 2007 12:36 AM

Speeding up prime number calculations -- Anyone tried this before?
People have been thinking about prime numbers for over 1700 years, so most of the neat tricks about them have been discovered. I've pondered on a trick that's probably already been thought of, but just in case it hasn't I thought I would blog about it. I actually got the idea for this a couple years ago, but just haven't taken the time to code a proof of concept for it until now. Lately I've been up against the wall with a crazy project at work, and tonight I just wanted to unwind a little and do ......

Posted On Monday, July 9, 2007 2:52 AM

Can adding acetone to the tank save you money at the pump?
We'd all like to get better mileage, some just for the pocketbook, and others for the environment as well. Where I live in Phoenix the ground-level ozone is atrocious, and I'd love to have any other option than burning a gallon and a half of gasoline a day to get to work and back. So what to do? Mass-transit doesn't have mass appeal due to how infrequent the service is. And it's often tough to keep consistent when ridesharing. So lots of us drive solo to the office. Well, there are still a few things ......

Posted On Friday, June 29, 2007 3:44 AM

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