2007-09-24

Special deals for tuning forks

A friend of mine [named Tom Yuval] went to buy a tuning fork. He explains that nearly all tuning forks are 415, 440 or 442 Hz. 440Hz would be the standard and the most popular one or something.

When he finished, he got a 442Hz fork and a gift from the salesman. "This is for you to remember our service, and also you got additional 2Hz for the price of 440Hz one", he said. [End of story]

(442 is said to be a different standard, allegedly used for tuning orchestras because some sound-producing devices are problematic with low frequencies so they raise the whole thing a little up. Which doesn't matter, at least not as much as the relative frequency ratios between such devices.)

P.S. Someone please remind me the source of this Russian quote (a real one), about an experimental physicist getting visited by a KGB agent:
- what is this part?
- it's a transformer.
- what is it doing?
- it decreases the voltage.
- intentionally?
- yes.

2007-09-22

ILPHO: Shush is now open

Nearly all ILPHO participants since 1993 know a lot about Dejour's grilled cat with rice and sauce. Those who don't, please skip to the next post. Others are welcome to get amused by this, take care to zoom in.

That was collected during the 2008 summer camp, held in August 2007.

Vilcus for sale

http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/vilcus/

:)


See also: http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/rozetkus/

2007-09-21

Sick of kernel-mode transitions?

We know that mode transitions are a performance killer of any application, but protected mode is a must for being any serious, secure and stable. Once upon a time, there was Windows 3.0 which supported the so-called "real mode" in which the hole thing ran in ring zero.

I am publishing this post only because a friend of mine googled for my today's gtalk status and discovered that nobody has come up with this wisdom before, so I want to index it:

Real men use real mode.

2007-09-20

Recalled: Clean desk - a sign of sick mind?

I was told an interesting observation recently that all cubicles in a typical workplace usually look different. Some employees always have clean desks and keep entropy levels very low. Others have huge piles of crap on their tables. This reminded me of a story from long time ago.

It was one day at TASE when I came in the morning and started ordering my table. When I was a kid, parents taught me that when I don't find something it's a good sign to clean up some mess. and then came my boss named B (who always has the biggest pile on his desk). "What do you think you are doing?!" he asked, very surprised. I told him that I cannot find something important so I decided to make some order. He replied "ah, so you are punishing yourself". Someone else at the place (ZC) nearly exploded from laughing. It was then discovered that what amused him was the idea that ordering things is considered a punishment.

Recalled: I'm feeling lucky

Remember the "feeling lucky" button on Google? Nobody uses it, but it's been there from the beginning. For those who don't, go to http://google.com and hit lucky button for a search string "french military victories".

The suggestion is to add a "I'm feeling lucky" button to food delivery sites like 10bis.co.il to order random lunch to your registered address (without telling you what's going to arrive, of course). I think this could really save some useful working hours..

2007-09-19

Use the force, Luke!


At last, I've solved all my keyboard needs and problems. I bought another three DASes and now I have them on all computers that I use frequently.

When I was a kid, I've been searching for a blank keyboard to buy and it appeared to be not an easy task, so I tried to wipe out signs off an existing keyboard, but the result somehow failed to please. And of course, it's not only the point that it's blank. The point is that it's just a very good keyboard. It's a little too noisy, but not as noisy as the old IBM PS/2 keyboards. Some people say it's also less good than the old PS/2.

So, no more wrong-insert-delete-block or function keys grouped by 5 (I wonder how stupid one has to be to design a keyboard with wrong layout though, like some keyboards which are found today in stores with these features). And, it's also cool. You can get one here - http://www.daskeyboard.com/ , to prevent some of your friends from impersonating your logins.

P.S. A month later, our sysadmin (who couldn't type blind) approached saying that those who use Das Keyboard should also have a Der Monitor, and turned my monitor off.

2007-09-15

Recalled: Cleaning guns

Many people are getting drafted these days. This creates some sadness, but also several cool recruitment parties and some funny stories are being recalled at these - usually by friends about their own service. One of these I want to share today. It's a story told by MK from his tironut (basic training course). It was long time ago, and I don't quite remember the exact reason why it didn't find its way to the honorable mentions on DarwinAwards.

The story is about a kid who was very stupid. It started with that he's locked his gun to his bed (so that it won't be stolen by the bosses) and when the time came for the night guarding, he couldn't find the key, so MK had to guard an extra hour (they were not allowed to exchange guns).

The following morning the key was found and they went to the shooting ground for their first time. As usual, it started with long gun cleaning with a stick brush (a stick with "flanelit" on it's end) but instead of putting the kids in a line like it's always done, they've let the soldiers to operate stick-brush themselves.

At some point it was discovered by the commanders that the soldiers are doing nothing, and the question about the location of the stick-brush was raised. They couldn't identify the guy who was using it the last, so they sent for another stick-brush. Then they repeated the same mistake again, and after an hour shooting safety talk they started shooting.

Group1, group2, group3. Approaching the targets.. And then they can't believe their eyes.. A piece of stick-brush stuck in one of the targets! Meaning, the guy was not only stupid enough to be ashamed and afraid to tell that he pushed that brushstick into his gun - he proceeded further with shooting and even shot at the targets.

It was in fact very dangerous, because guns are usually designed to hold gas pressure for only a very short time, and heavier bullets usually make them explode.

* * *

A short bonus IDF story. In IDF, the kitchens always get bread supply. They store it, and always use the yesterday's bread. Safety, they call it - what if something happens to the bread supply? So, every day soldiers find themselves eating yesterday's bread, while the kitchen management actually has today's shiny bread stored in the next room. We asked, "could we please have some of today's bread?". The answer from the kitchen boss [aka IW] was "But of course. Come tomorrow".