Archive for August, 2003
Last night I was flipping through the new issue of Business 2.0, and one of the “new products” caught my eye. It’s really not the kind of thing that would catch most people’s eye but it definitely caught mine. It was a 2-way radio which used 802.11b for transmission instead of typical radio waves.
The reason this caught my eye is that we have a 2-way radio system at work which costs us 6K/month in subscription fees, so anything we can do to get those costs down is likely to catch my eye.
The problem, obviously, is that 802.11b doesn’t have a very fantastic range at all. So, I looked around for a company that might have technology that could increase the range while still allowing decent throughput offsite so that these 2-way’s might be worth getting.
I came across an article in an old Wired magazine which talks about just such a company.
The article is a bit old, so I called the company up and they’ve started pushing consulting more than this particular product, but they do still offer it.
It’s an idea I’ll leave on the shelf for now until our general wireless initiatives have matured a little, however it is an interesting technology as, theoretically, you could outfit one entire “metro campus” with just 3 of these devices, and connect over 3000 PC’s to it.
Yes, that’s right, you could outfit an entire University for Wi-Fi with just 12K in equipment.
Anyone using Linux will at one point or another need to look up how to use a particular command. The age-old favorite ‘man’ command (short for manual) comes in handy for green lads and grizzled veterans alike. The variety of applications that can be made using simple commands is astounding, with a bit of creative attributing – a term I just now made up referring to the use of the many attributes that make each command flexible.
Here’s this week’s Linux tip.
man -k keywords
Instead of just browsing the manual one page at a time looking at commands, run an in depth search for the command you are looking for. Also particularly useful when you don’t know what command you are looking for…
Running the following command generated a list of all the manual pages with consecutive string of letters – xml – in the command:
man -k xml
Hope this helps.
Gas prices are high. Really high. Well, at least here I know they are, and I’m told they are uncharacteristically high everywhere.
The Angry Economist has something to say. Having managed a gas station I know about supply/demand/volatility/covering your next tanker, etc. That still doesn’t explain a recent 20c/L increase across the city of Toronto in a period of 30 minutes.
I wouldn’t mind anything so much if there were the differentials TAE is describing. Apparently where he lives you can save 15c/G by shopping somewhere cheaper. Here you can’t. Everywhere’s the same in a given neighbourhood. There are oddities around the city, but you’ll generally drive 50 miles to save 1% of your total bill.
The price, after calculating exchange rates and converting the measuring units is nearly 50% higher here in Toronto. The cost to extract, refine, distribute and sell gas is cheaper. There is less market volatility and less national volatility. Yet I pay 50% more for my gas over Aaron.
Alright you say, maybe Aaron’s area is just more stable. Maybe because of the power outage in Toronto, right? Well, here’s a comparison between us and New York City which was hit far worse.
Not only is gas still far cheaper in NYC, the price it’s at now is basically our lowest price in quite some time. (here’s a 6-month history of Toronto’s gas prices)
Maybe it’s just the different economies of our nations, which is possible. I just hate that I pay 50% more for gas and more than 100% more for insurance than Aaron does. Ah well, he pays for health care so it basically evens out.
And he owns a house, which must be incredibly stressful. I don’t envy Aaron, I just dont’ want to hear him or any American complain too much about gas prices!
For all you .NET guys who are sick of not having a decent RSS class library, here’s RSSMaster.