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Craig Sawyers

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Everything posted by Craig Sawyers

  1. When Voyager 1's camera was turned back towards earth, five and a half light hours away in 1990 (it is now 23 light hours distant), Earth was captured in less than a single pixel in the image. Of this pale blue dot, Carl Sagan said "From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. — Carl Sagan"
  2. Last night saw Kenneth Branagh playing King Lear in London. https://kinglearbranagh.com/ from third row from the front. Branagh has developed a policy of using young and not well known actors in the other roles - and they were all superb. He'd pared the script down from the normal 3h15m to 2h without an interval, but kept the key themes intact. At the end Lear carries his dead daughter Cordelia onto the stage, and after some tough lines simulates dying from a heart attack and also dies. With only them on stage, the stage rotated - and neither of them were perceptively breathing, viewed from close up. That takes some doing. Now we have seen some great Lear productions. Glenda Jackson, Ian Mckellen, Frank Langella (Nixon in Frost-Nixon), and the Branagh was right up there. The only slight criticism is that Branagh looks too young (he's 62) to be the elderly and progressively dementia suffering Lear. Jackson and McKellen were in their 80's in their productions and really looked the part. Now I'm nit picking here because when Branagh was on stage you simply could not take your eyes off him - his stage presence and the force of his portrayal is why he is one of the acting titans.
  3. Fawkes was caught and tortured in the Tower of London. Being sent to the Tower for interrogation was a truly fearsome prospect, and the torture chamber had all sorts of horrors. At the end of several days of this, his signature on his confession was nearly illegible, probably at this stage missing fingernails and with finger joints broken with a thumb screw. And perhaps a session on the dreaded rack. But in the end he defeated the executioner. The first stage of hanged, drawn and quartering was a period of slow hanging. To that end a step ladder was set up, and the condemned was forced to walk up, noose around neck and dangled there. Fawkes forced himself much further up the ladder and jumped, so that the drop, rather than just strangling him a bit, broke his neck. So the gruesome bits they did to his already dead body.
  4. On the basis of your measurements for PSU applications perhaps they have the edge. But for audio signal use they are absolutely lousy. It is latish here in the UK so I'm not going to haul my HP gear out. But I'll try some stuff tomorrow.
  5. Time to power up my HP 4275A LCR meter https://www.testequipmenthq.com/datasheets/Keysight-4275A-Datasheet.pdf and put this to the test 😉
  6. OK - I've been through the whole thread trying to answer the question of why tantalum bead caps for the four 47u (C7, C9, C13, C15) and the two 10u caps (C3, C16)? I failed in the quest. So - what is the reason for using tantalum bead rather than aluminium electrolytic in those locations?
  7. That is truly amazing. I actually have tears in my eyes.
  8. My wife at the time was the CEO of a residential care charity - Brendoncare https://www.brendoncare.org.uk/. When the government came up with the wheeze of sending thousands of recovering Covid patients from hospital to residential care homes Carole refused point blank, as did the Trustees, to do this. Turns out that this directive was in fact unlawful, and is something that will be a feature of the enquiry. As will the idiot policy of "Eat out to help out" in which the government, via Rishi Sunak (who was Chancellor then) stumped up a billion in subsidy to reduce the cost of going out for a meal. Many months before there was a vaccine. Not surprisingly with restaurants crowded there was a surge in infections and death as a result. And how come those in the government staff and ministers who were found to by guilty of parties during lockdown received a nominal £50 fine. But those of the public who did something similar have been financially ruined with fines of £10k plus. Still three years later being processed in the courts. Different rules for those in power. All this and much more will come out in the public enquiry.
  9. Thanks guys. That is a good steer to transistors that I can buy! What about the driver transistors? I have a load of MJE340/350 that might fit the bill. Also very linear with flat beta vs Ic? Any thoughts?
  10. I thought that was some sort of joke, until I looked at the Guardian - and those foul mouthed outtakes are all absolutely correct.
  11. Here's a question. Has anyone tried replacing the discrete Darlingtons of Q5/7 and Q9/4 with power Darlingtons such as the MJ11015 and MJ11016? At least I can get my hands on them!
  12. Well, because OnSemi are a bunch of fuckwits who seem to have forgotten how to make semiconductors Example from Mouser for the MJW21193 308 Expected 23-Aug-24 1,020 Expected 03-Mar-25 Farnell reckons 33 weeks, which is consistent with Mouser. FFS! Same with the high current version with TO3 power transistors. MJ15023 no problem but MJ15024 1,997 Expected 19-Mar-24 2,200 Expected 24-Jun-24
  13. That is so truly awful. On many levels.
  14. Happy Birthday Marc! (Blame time difference)
  15. How did I miss this? Happy birthday Chalk man!
  16. My son has two cats. Where has one of them gone? Has he got out onto the road? Is he lost? They eventually, after a good deal of panic, found him fast asleep in speaker wadding, having gained access through the reflex port of a very large bass guitar loudspeaker he has. I suggested he discourage this behaviour by firing up his 1kW bass amp and playing a few notes when the cat was in there. Meeeooow!
  17. This instant reaction to catch something is common. Back in the day my soldering iron was an Antex 25W yellow handled one. Astonishingly half a century on, they still make them https://www.antex.co.uk/products/precision-range-soldering-irons/xs25/ . Note there is no stand. So it sat on the table while I was building something - and then the mains power cable pulled it off the bench. Instant reaction - catch the hot stick. Number of times there was the smell of cooking meat when I grabbed the business end as it fell. More recently (couple of years ago) I was stripping ptfe sleeved wire with a scalpel, which skittered off the bench. So some hardwired reaction in the brain caused me to catch the falling scalpel between my legs. I then had the horrid job of pulling the scalpel out of my thigh into which it was embedded. Really makes you wonder why the brain's wiring causes us to do something so daft.
  18. I bought a 8 inch thick, 6 foot long plank of London Plane from a guy, and asked if he could reduce the width so it would go through my planer. He fired up the scariest table saw I've ever seen. Three phase, 48" blade "it can take 60 inch" he chirped up, and massive riving knife to suit. It took a good 20-30 seconds to get up to howling speed. He took this monster plank, and it went through the 6 foot length like through butter. He walked away from the machine (still running with the plank in place), I thought to get a push stick. It was to get a wedge to hammer into the cut end to stop it gripping this howling blade and riving knife. The craziest thing is it got towards the end, and he pushed the last bit through with one hand on one side of the blade and one on the other. I could not watch this. I actually closed my eyes when I realised that is what he planned.
  19. Happy birthday you tall ex pat Brit!
  20. The horrors of Derna, with an estimated >20,000 dead as a result of two poorly maintained dams bursting, is alas a direct result of a state ruled over by two opposing political parties and inevitable lack of maintenance of infrastructure. That said, there have been apocalyptic storms battering central Europe and North Africa over the last month or so Madrid Spain https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/subway-train-lines-roads-closed-madrid-central-spain-after-heavy-rain-2023-09-04/ Greece https://floodlist.com/europe/greece-floods-september-2023 Bulgaria https://floodlist.com/europe/bulgaria-floods-september-2023-update Georgia https://floodlist.com/asia/georgia-floods-landslide-september-2023 Slovenia https://floodlist.com/europe/slovenia-floods-august-2023 Turkey https://floodlist.com/asia/turkey-black-sea-floods-july-2023 Russia https://floodlist.com/europe/russia-hundreds-evacuated-after-floods-damage-200-homes-in-sochi
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