Tuesday, February 09, 2010

If Global Warming Isn't Happening, Then Why Is It So Hot?

One of my favourite bloggers, Daring Fireball showed me this take on global warming...

In response to this, I would like to ask a counter-question: if global warming is not happening on this 3rd planet of Sol, then how come it's so damn hot where I live?!

Tasmania and Victoria broke records last year. And this summer in south east Australia saw the highest averages for summer in the last 4 months. So please don't tell me that global warming doesn't exist.

And perhaps on a related note... what about the high incidence of UV radiation over Australian lands in the last 20 years?


—tonza

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Newton OS Signs of Bit Rot?

Newton MessagePads running Newton OS may be showing signs of old age, as of last month. Today, my MessagePad's battery got flat accidentally to the point where it lost its clock settings, and as I tried to set the clock back to today's date, Newton OS failed to set the clock correctly.

Attempting to set the clock beyond 4th January, 2010, 2:00 AM causes the Newton OS to either set a date back to some time in 28th December, 1975 or later, or not respond until you reset it, in which case, the clock gets set to the 9th July 1996, 5:00 AM.

In short, the Newton OS has lost its timekeeping capabilities. While many Newton applications can deal with a wider span of dates and times, the Newton OS and/or the MessagePad's real time clock seems to have exceeded some internal bounds, leading to the date system wrapping around to 1975.

Newton applications should not fail as a result of this, but they may not operate according to manufacturer specifications anymore, because the real time clock cannot provide dates later than 4th January, 2010. Many applications require obtaining real time clock information, including the system itself where the Newton OS timestamps documents that you create or edit. And a few applications may require accurate time-of-day information from the Newton OS—such applications may fail, or no longer be useful.

Maybe finally, it's time to retire the MessagePad. And just as well Apple released damn good gadgets to replace it in due time!

But one thing is bothering me... resetting my MessagePad now causes it to revert back to the date on 1996, which may indicate a hardware failure, and may make this blog a false alarm. Sorry if this is indeed the case! But on the other hand, not resetting the system still exhibits the above difficulties, and hence, this observation of the end of Newton OS's useful life is still pretty much valid.

Any other MessagePad owners seeing the same thing here?

Article last updated: 11 November, 2010: added a couple of links to more useful products that could replace my MessagePad 2000!


—tonza

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