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Zap's Digital Lighthouse is
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Tue, 05 Jun 2012

June 6 is World Ipv6 Launch Day


Not only is today 2012 Venus Transit (see here), but it is also World IPv6 Launch Day (see here).

As I've said earlier, my home network is on IPv6 as can be seen here through the SixXS IPv4 gateway. Support the move to IPv6, NAT'ed IPv4 networks are really a weak solution.

/inet | Posted at 20:02 | permanent link

Recent vacation


As I am posting pictures today, here is a picture of the ship that we've recently sailed upon: the Ruby Princess... The picture was taken at night in the port of Venice, after coming back from a gondola ride in the late evening around Venice.

Beautiful ship and a great vacation. Lots of rest and relaxation. We will go back on a cruise at some point in the future.

Now, I have about 1256 pictures from that trip, but as a public service to readers of this blog, I am not going to post them all here :-)

/misc | Posted at 19:41 | permanent link

Venus transit across the sun


I am connected right now to NASA Edge over here to watch the 2012 Venus transit across the Sun... This is similar to a solar eclipse, but since Venus is quite far from us (and not that big), it appears as a dot moving across the face of the sun.

This is a fairly rare event, the next one being in 2117... so that makes the event fairly exciting (the NASA scientists on the webstream have been using words like spectacular and neat to describe it, and are obviously getting quite excited by the event :-)

Now, the fact that I am watching this in my Paris appartment as a webstream live on the internet from Hawaii is most definitely very neat.

/misc | Posted at 19:16 | permanent link

Sun, 03 Jun 2012

Ivybridge ultrabook performance

Still looking into upcoming ivybrige ultrabook laptops, I found an evaluation of the Intel reference design for an ivybridge ultrabook on thinkdigit here.

The article is a brief overview of the Intel ivybridge ultrabook reference design, and gives a glimpse of what we can expect from these machines... however, the comments on the DirectX 11-compatible HD Graphics 4000 integrated graphics are a bit sobering (to quote: "the graphics test scores were more ambiguous. The 'Ivy Bridge' HD Graphics 4000 are a real step forward compared to the 'Sandy Bridge' HD Graphics 3000, but a step doesn't equal a sprint: our gaming tests fell short of the 30 frames per second (fps) playability threshold").

Hmmm. I am looking for a light, take-it-anywhere laptop that I can use for gaming, development, and connectivity. Perhaps it's a couple of years too early for an ultrabook to fit the bill... so perhaps I should look for a lightweight Alienware, Asus, or Dell XPS 14' laptop !?!

/hardware | Posted at 13:27 | permanent link

Happy mother's day 2012

Today is mother's day in France, so this is a quick blog entry to wish my lovely wife a wonderful mother's day for 2012.

/misc | Posted at 12:50 | permanent link

Ultrabooks and Ivy Bridge

As I wrote a few weeks back (is it really June already?), I am quite tempted by an Ultrabook. This is a form factor that would be more useful for me than an iPad, as it allows more freedom in computing because of the keyboard, and especially because of the O/S: I do use an iPad as a neat mediam consumption device, but I am annoyed at the restrictions that it puts on me in the management of space (cannot easily share files with the rest of my computing environment) and connectivity (I do use issh for SSH connectivity to various computers, but this is unix inside: I should be able to juggle ssh, scp, firefox, and a whole bunch of things on it without feeling that I am stuck in a straightjacket :-( Perhaps I should just jailbreak my iPad... but is that sustainable as a model?

Back to the ultrabooks: there are a few very nice models out there, but I am going to wait until the ivybridge ultrabooks are out... and from what I've read, it may have to wait until September, as ivybridge is out for desktops and "big" laptops only.

So, nothing for father's day this year, I guess :-)

/hardware | Posted at 12:49 | permanent link

Batteries and laptops

A couple more words about my 2006 Macbook Pro: my current battery is at 105 battery load cycles. It is the second official battery I've had for this laptop. Now granted, I do not use it so often... but still, after only 105 load cycles, the battery is in 'Service battery' condition, and is down to a capacity of 2218 mAh, where it should really be at 5600 mAh.

Sigh. I should really be able to crack open the battery case and reuse any good cells from my original battery to replace any dead cells in my current (newer) battery. Batteries are actually really complicated, but I find that the industry is not doing very well with battery management... we should be planning for longterm usage (like 10+ years) and provide for capacity management on a longer term basis. At this point, battery management seems concerned only with cycle count and maximum capacity tracking, rather than proper recharge cycle execution.

Anyway, I assume that electric cars are managing this a lot better these days. Something to look into...

/hardware | Posted at 12:38 | permanent link