Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Amazing build of a model V-12 engine

Perhaps the world's smallest motor of its type, this hand crafted V-12 air injection engine is constructed from stainless steel, aluminium and bronze. It has 12 cc displacement with a cylinder bore of 11.3mm and piston stroke of 10mm. Created by Patelo from Spain, it is dedicated to his four oldest grandchildren and not for sale.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cotton Candy (prototype) - a sweet little computer

This USB memory stick sized device contains a dual-core computer with a pre-loaded Android Operating System (and Ubuntu and embedded virtualization client for Windows, Linux, Mac).

Named Cotton Candy after its 21g weight, the device is powered from the USB port, outputs to screens via  HDMI, has Wifi and Bluetooth for connecting to networks and devices and uses the internal 1GB memory or up to 64GB on a microSD card for storage.

Designed for "Any Screen Ccomputing", it turns a TV, monitor, laptop, tablet or phone into a dumb-terminal device capable of browsing the web, running apps and even playing streamed HD video. When plugging the Cotton Candy into another computer it is recognized as a USB drive and starting the virtualization software opens a secure computing environment. Files can be transferred between the computers by drag and drop. This could be a useful environment for Android app developers - writing code on a desktop/laptop and testing it in another window on the Cotton Candy.

Read a full review at http://blog.laptopmag.com/usb-stick-contains-dual-core-computer-turns-any-screen-into-an-android-station and find out more about the device at Cotton Candy (prototype) « FXITech.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Two incredible nanotechology advances

Watch liquids just pour off this superhydrophobic coating:

The world's lightest metal has been developed by a team of researchers from Univeristy of California,  Irvine HRL Laboratories and the California Institute of Technology. The material is about 100 times lighter than styrofoam and could be useful for battery electrodes and acoustic or vibration absorption.
"so light that it can sit atop dandelion fluff without damaging it"
Photo by Dan Little, HRL Laboratories LLC

Read more at http://today.uci.edu/news/2011/11/nr_lightmetal_111117.php

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Flying motorcycle

My friend John alerted us to the work being done by Samson Motorworks on a very nicely designed flying motorcycle.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Roadable Aircraft

An update on the Transition Flying Car from Terrafugia.

I like how Anna Mracek Dietrich, one of the Transtion's creators says:
As a multi-purpose passenger vehicle, it is now officially "designed for occasional off-road use."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Remembering Turbo Pascal

I stumbled on this post about the history of computing.

Things That Turbo Pascal is Smaller Than
Turbo Pascal 3 for MS-DOS was released in September 1986. Being version 3, there were lesser releases prior to it and flashier ones after, but 3 was a solid representation of the Turbo Pascal experience: a full Pascal compiler, including extensions that it made it practical for commercial use, tightly integrated with an editor. And the whole thing was lightning fast, orders of magnitude faster at building projects than Microsoft's compilers. 
The entire Turbo Pascal 3.02 executable--the compiler and IDE--was 39,731 bytes. How does that stack up in 2011 terms? Here are some things that Turbo Pascal is smaller than, as of October 30, 2011: 
The minified version of jquery 1.6 (90,518 bytes). 
The yahoo.com home page (219,583 bytes). 
The image of the white iPhone 4S at apple.com (190,157 bytes). 
zlib.h in the Mac OS X Lion SDK (80,504 bytes). 
The touch command under OS X Lion (44,016 bytes). 
Various vim quick reference cards as PDFs. (This one is 47,508 bytes.) 
The compiled code for the Erlang R14B02 parser (erl_parse.beam, 286,324 bytes). 
The Wikipedia page for C++ (214,251 bytes).

This reminded me of the Turbo Pascal programming I learnt in 1987 and later actually used when I was working in a medical laboratory in the late 80s to early 90's. All of the lab's patient and test results data was stored on a Unisys mainframe (the original machine filled a room and had a tape deck taller than me). As the lab technology developed, they bought new analysis machines and to get data from them into the mainframe, we installed several DOS PCs and I wrote the various data capture and interface programs in Pascal.