Links: April 29th

And now for something completely different for this week’s links… Read more…

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Links: April 22nd

I’ve decided I’m going to start a new series for my blog: This series will be classified as “interesting links” and is scheduled to appear every Wednesday. It should be a great way to spice up the middle of the week! Anyway, the links will be selected from an assortment of news, articles, or current events that I happen to find interesting and may be edited throughout the remainder of the week. Consider it a polymorphic post. I won’t be tagging it at all, that way it won’t interfere with the tag cloud. Instead, you’ll need to access older entries by clicking on the Links of the Week category.

Software and Programming

We have a selection in this week’s line up from the “I could’ve told you that before” category or… Writing Software is like … Writing.

I think I’ve mentioned something about that before. Oh, would you look at that, it seems as if I did.

Updates Friday, April 24
It appears that Lifehacker’s Keir Thomas has a nice write up on Ubuntu 9.04. I can see some improvements but to say that Ubuntu’s default install is “on par” with Windows and OS X in terms of its UI might be a bit optimistic at best. I really dislike Gnome.

Astronomy

We also have a little treat I’d like to classify as “I can see my house from here” or… Lightest Exoplanet Discovered.

It is unlikely to harbor life–it’s so close to the parent star that it completes an orbit in a little over three days!

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Popping like Popcorn: A Tale of Four Capacitors

…and Why I Haven’t Updated in a Few Days

An astute reader might recall the so-called “capacitor plague” from the earlier part of this decade. The general consensus holds that the plague of failing capacitors originated from corporate espionage and the theft of an electrolytic formula minus a critical component. Without the critical component–a stabilizer–charge and discharge cycles combined with their respective heating a cooling would eventually generate a build up of hydrogen gas, triggering a potentially catastrophic failure of the capacitor.

I recall reading about that in 2005, because it was then when the influx of failing boards that had integrated these capacitors from the years previous began to hit computer repair shops. I was working for TCI during my fall semester of that year, next door to MDC Computers, and I recall that for several months, they were tending to nearly a machine a week suffering from “bad caps.”

When I left to finish my studies, I thought that the faulty capacitor problem would be destined to become a distant memory. In December 2006, I built my existing workstation; it was reasonably inexpensive, and I’ve always had an interest in building and integrating the components of my own volition, but I never realized that a fairly critical component would fail about three years and three months later due to precisely the same reason that had kept the guys at MDC insanely busy for months. Read more…

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