Sunday Apr 06, 2008

Gerhard's Law

If you place an order on an internet shop for something you need and then too reduce the shipping costs add to that order something you want, the thing you want will arrive before the thing you need.

The thing you need will arrive after you really first needed it.

Friday Mar 07, 2008

How to eject a manager from a chat room

Pasting some output from a kmdb session seems to work (I've changed the name of the manager to protect their identity):

(09:10:03) ChrisGerhardX26033: [1]> $r
%g0 = 0x0000000000000000 %l0 = 0x000002a87de1e000
%g1 = 0x0000000000000004 %l1 = 0x0000000000000002
%g2 = 0x0000000000000000 %l2 = 0x0000000000002c08
%g3 = 0x0000000000644000 %l3 = 0x0000000000002000
%g4 = 0x000000000000092b %l4 = 0x0000000000000001
%g5 = 0x0000000000000923 %l5 = 0x00000300114861e0
%g6 = 0x000000000000001c %l6 = 0x0000000000000004
%g7 = 0x000003002de327a0 %l7 = 0x00000000012bf65c kcopy+0x1c

%o0 = 0x000003004cfa68c0 %i0 = 0xfffffff88a113240
%o1 = 0x0000000000000000 %i1 = 0x000002a87de1e40c
%o2 = 0x000003006c9cd0c0 %i2 = 0x0000000000000003
%o3 = 0x000003004cfa68c0 %i3 = 0x0000000000000000
%o4 = 0x0000000000000000 %i4 = 0x0000000000000000
%o5 = 0x0000000000000000 %i5 = 0x0000000000000000
%o6 = 0x000002a107f30461 %i6 = 0x000002a107f30621
%o7 = 0x00000000012296e4 fop_getpage+0x90 %i7 = 0x000000000115fc98 uiomove+0xbc

%ccr = 0x00 xcc=nzvc icc=nzvc
%fprs = 0x00 fef=0 du=0 dl=0
%asi = 0x00
%y = 0x0000000000000000
%pc = 0x00000000012bf780 kcopy+0x140
%npc = 0x00000000012bf784 kcopy+0x144
%sp = 0x000002a107f30461 unbiased=0x000002a107f30c60
%fp = 0x000002a107f30621

%tick = 0x000744f67fbad093
%tba = 0x0000000001000000
%tt = 0x17e
%tl = 0x0
%pil = 0x0
%pstate = 0x016 cle=0 tle=0 mm=TSO red=0 pef=1 am=0 priv=1 ie=1 ag=0

%cwp = 0x01 %cansave = 0x06
%canrestore = 0x00 %otherwin = 0x00
%wstate = 0x0e %cleanwin = 0x07

(09:10:28) pointy hair left the room.

Sunday Feb 03, 2008

Putting the Prime Minister in the dock

I only just came across this and it is just wonderful. Mark Thomas continues his attack on the very silly law that prevents demonstrations around Parliament. This time by starting proceedings against the Prime Minister. Now the question is is the PM above the law!

Time to buy a badge or two to support this noble cause.

Thursday Jan 17, 2008

Opposite's in Service

When I read the announcement about Sun's acquisition of MySQL on Jonathan's blog I too was drawn to the fact that for every employee of Sun Service there is an equal and opposite employee. Check out the picture:

I'm left wondering what my opposite would be like. Clearly they would not ride a bike. I hesitate to suggest asking what other characteristics they would have but no one reads this anyway.

Wednesday Oct 31, 2007

Email Rules

Email can be such a poor way to communicate. I often write emails that are too terse and the people who receive them think that I am cross or that I am being deliberately rude. So I have decided I will now publish the rules by which I have lived for a while:

  • If I wish to convey that you are a fool I will use the phrase: “You are a fool”.

  • If I am bored of talking to you I will use the phrase: “I'm bored of talking to you”.

  • If you have upset me then I will use the phrase: “You have upset me”.

  • If I wish to upset you in an indeterminate way I will use the phrase: “I have a higher opinion of Conservative M.P.s than I have of you.”. Just trust me that will be an insult.

If you get an email from me that does not contain those phrases, but you are upset or insulted by it, then it is just my poor use of English. Please accept my apologies.

Tuesday Sep 04, 2007

Cycle farcility of the month

This month's Farcility of the month is quite simply mind boggling. One of the “best” they have had for a while.

Someone planned this and actually thought that this was a good idea and then spent a lot of tax payers money on all those blue signs.

Tuesday Jul 10, 2007

Laptop Mass

Here is a question that comes up again and again and I was asked it yesterday:

As I add more data to my laptop will it get heavier?

You would expect the answer to be yes, but it is not that simple. Since most data is made up of ones and zeros the ones, which weigh more are balanced out by the zeros so in general you don't notice.

The exception to this is when you store a lot of dark photographs. Since these contain more ones these photographs increase the weight of the disk. This is a particular problem for astronomers since most of the pictures they take through their telescopes are taken at night their disks tend to be heavier. They refer to this as “dark matter” and is one of the explanations for the apparent mass of the Universe.

While many think that digital photographs will not fade, this is not true if they are stored on rotating disks. The centrifugal force tends to throw the ones to the outer parts of the disk so photographs in the centre of the disk will fade while those at the edges get darker.

Measuring the effect is hard. With some really sensitive scales you may be able to notice this on your laptop, but remember to remove the battery otherwise the effect is overwhelmed by the difference in weight depending on whether the battery is charged or uncharged.

So that has cleared that one up.

For more information see here.

Thursday Apr 21, 2005

Two Ronnies training video

One of the funniest Two Ronnies sketches ever was a take off of mastermind, where Ronnie Corbett was in the black chair and his specialist subject was “answering the question before last”. What I have only recently dsicovered is that this was all a training video. The Ronnies were training all of us for Instant Messaging. I'm always doing it and seeing it. While I type the answer to one question the person at the other end asks another question so the whole conversation gets out of sync.

So from now on if I this happening I'm going to simply type “Two Ronnies” at which point the whole converstation needs to single thread again.


This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to


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