Tuesday, October 7, 2014

autumn window prepared for winter

Yesterday, from our breakfast table window, Fredericton

RealTime IT process monitor

CS tech and IT get realtime in late retirement : your last move has come when you part with the OS/2 memorabilia.

Friday, September 26, 2014

red flashlight app HTMLonly alternative

These "red flashlight" and "astronomy flashlight" and "telescope flashlight" app's claim that they need to know WHAT about my identity and wireless connection and ...

So here is the minimum: a simple red HTML-only web page ( no 9-LED lamps )


It has a description ; if has some blank space ; it has a background colour ; it has a few paragraph and span elements to keep your browser content.  But they are empty.  Just non-breaking spaces.

Excuse me for no using a real Unicode hyphen above.

If you want a different shade of red, copy the page and alter the CSS style settings.  There is no Hidden JavaScript or 1-pixel iframe or FLASH or any other crap of any kind.

And wishing you clear night skies free of your neighbour's light pollution.

PS  Note that its extension is dot HTM to save you a keystroke after the keyboard "minus sign" nuisance in my URL.


I have added an alternative for those north of 25N as http://www.aule-browser.com/astro/lacerta_iau_red.svg for which the trick is to hit F11 and then to use CTRL-minus and CTRL-plus to go from mostly red screen to a simple star chart for Lacerta and environs.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Open Command Window Here Win7

The old XP "Power Toy" Open Command Window Here became a menu option in the Windows 7 Explorer (the desktop file explorer for "Computer" or "Documents" etc.) but you must do more than Right-Click on a folder to Open Command Window Here — you must SHIFT-RIGHT-CLICK to be offered that super-user pop-up menu option.

The SH-Right-Click Open Command Window Here selection will open a cmd session on the selected folder as the presentworkingdirectory (sic).

But the 'w' key will also go to New !

If you peek at the HTML of this blog post you should see some of the worst HTML that a Google asset can generate.

Oh, had the web only embraced MIT Curl as Markdown+Styles+Scripts ! #MSS

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Observing left of Cygnus

Observing "left" of Cygnus and a bit "down" reveals first a prominent pair of stars and then a remarkable large triangle of stars.

What is lost when a culture no longer offers an OLD story about these ? Far from Deneb and Sadr, I would be happier with a story about Antares that preserved both its distance and its size relative to our Sol and, say, Betelgeuse.

What is most worrying is if we lose the habit of observing the night sky, whether we construct our own asterisms or follow the houses of constellations from The East or from The West or those of a sci-fi series gone viral or whatever.

Observing the night sky through a lens has aspects which would surprise ... whether "splitting" binary stars or learning to "SEE" faint non-stellar objects.

Arendt missed so much when she went after the telescope, mouthing the certainties that Heidegger had flung at his old master, Husserl. The sons of Husserl are a story so unlike the Heidegger story.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jetty file server refresher

Jetty HTTP server has left MortBay for Eclipse and since version 9.1 there are some things that I needed to know when I looked to take a little Jetty refresher.

Over at jetty you will see this important note:

Demo Base

Since release 9.1.0, the jetty distribution does not deploy any demo web applications, so to see a more interesting demonstration of the server you need to run from the demo-base directory as follows:
> cd $JETTY_HOME/demo-base/
> java -jar ../start.jar  
Pointing a browser at http://localhost:8080, will now show a welcome page and several demo/test web applications.
What that meant in my case on Win7 when running cmd from my own jetty install directory 
cd demo-base
java -jar ../start.jar
which then gave me the full Jetty demo at

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Theism and consciousness in light of stellar astronomy

Theism should not take much consolation in the problems which philosophy and neurology face in accounting for the simple fact of consciousness.

Prior to quantum theory, the creationist could take shelter in theism because the evolutionist had no chemical explanation of a sun of solar mass "burning fuel" for billions of years.

But it was chemistry itself that was to receive a new foundation which would permit a nuclear theory of stellar 'evolution'. Neither the subsequent discovery of quasars or black holes or the hypothesizing of dark mater or dark energy have placed this stellar model in question.  Quite the opposite is the case.

The solar story is not trivial : the time for a photon to reach the surface of the Sun from a fusion event in the core of the Sun is astonishing ... as astonishing as the roughly nine minutes to reach the Earth.

With the Hubble use of Cepheid variable stars as a standard, the size of the visible universe became truly astonishing.

We can expect to be just as astonished by an account of the emergence or appearance of "what it is like to be a young crow observing an older crow accomplishing a task" in a universe that at one time did not have the form bird or the substance of individual birds let alone problem-solving birds or the observing of those performances.

The issue is not materialism or mechanism. The double-slit experiment involves no clear commitment to either, but the theories proposed do reveal some surprising mathematical affinities and some very high confirmation of experimental predictions.

Chemistry has no option to return to pre-quanta days and philosophy has no prospect of returning to the "rational soul" of Aristotle or Aquinas — nor is there any hope of animal souls being material while human souls are "rational". That ship has sailed off the end of a flat earth.

See: Thomas Nagel: Mind and Cosmos