Monday, December 27, 2010 

a snowy arrival in BOS


But not exactly snowmaggeddon. By the time we got there it was easy to get around.

Posted at 14:16:39 GMT-0700

Category: photoplacestravelweather

Time Zones, how do they work?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 

Time Zones are a peeve of mine I’ve been trying to get sorted out for years. I’m not alone either, at least one rant has been cross-posted. The gist of the problem is embodied in the following:

You are in California on the phone with someone in Boston planning a phone conference from 10:00-11:30 am for next week at which time you’ll be in London. What time should you set the conference for? Can you do the math? How about if you’re in Phoenix in April? There are 31 time zones and almost all contain some regions that observe and some that do not observe DST. This is the sort of irritating arithmetic my computer should do.

Time zones are actually very easy to handle – and it is also easy to give reminders to people as to what time zone they are in all in one simple modification to the “new appointment” and “new task” dialogs: just add a start and end time zone for each that defaults to the current time zone the computer is in. Why both start and end? Because when you get on a plane you very frequently start in one time zone and end in another and airlines give you takeoff and landing times in the local time zones.

We’re using Zimbra ZCS these days, a pretty nice program, but they handle time zones worse than any modern program I’ve used. Hopefully they’ll fix it to something like this:

Posted at 12:23:43 GMT-0700

Category: Linuxtechnology

Rental car review Toyota Avalon

Sunday, June 29, 2008 

Rental Car Review: Toyota Avalon

Toyota Avalon.jpg
The Toyota Avalon is a very nice car – comfortable and large. The engine is powerful and the car is spry for it’s size, quite capable of zipping past a string of cars to make an exit.

We took it up commonwealth avenue in Boston, a street with a far, far less than perfect surface and it the suspension never got upset, nor did it get noisy in the car. While the car is roomy it is easy to navigate though narrow streets filled with stochiometric Boston drivers and pedestrians.

We found the stereo plenty loud and very quite good. The car came with satellite radio, which is kind of entertaining – a punk channel even – but doesn’t work all that well under trees or on narrow urban streets; just blacking out is a bit more annoying than the fade out of standard radio and we find ourselves tuning into the very fine local radio. The radio cover door is a bit over the top: why would you want to cover a radio? It isn’t for security – it’s just aesthetic and makes the radio hard to control when closed by the door edge is ugly when open.

  • Quiet – very quiet, very silent.
  • Comfortable – extremely comfortable and easy egrees. Well designed controls.
  • Engine – fast, powerful and quiet.
  • Suspension – very agile and stable. Never got upset.
  • Basic amenities – everything that could be reasonably powered is.
  • Stereo – excellent sound quality though the low frequency isn’t hip hop friendly.
  • Security – a large, roomy, secure trunk.
Posted at 08:00:28 GMT-0700

Category: photorental carsreviews

Ghost Highway

Friday, May 9, 2008 

This is a really cool post about some vestiges of a highway that was almost built through Boston and Cambridge. When I was in school I heard a rumor of this 695 project and that MIT, for obvious reasons opposed to having a freeway run through the middle of campus, did a few things along the way to deter construction:

  • Building 20 was declared a national historic landmark (where radar was invented during world war II) though it was originally intended as a temporary structure and in the time it took MIT to undo that declaration it became increasingly rickety. It is now the site of the new Stata center.
  • Parking structures (W45) were built along the path (it was said for the difficulty in demolishing them, thought that makes less sense now than it did as an undergrad)
  • The MIT nuclear reactor was built right in the path. My favorite lab experiment ever was testing neutron wave/particle duality in 8.13
  • A couple of fusion reactors were built along the same path, though these came later I think. I remember that test firings, especially of the tandem mirror confinement, caused some cool effects even in the control rooms.
Posted at 01:00:42 GMT-0700

Category: odduncategorized

Boston snow!

Thursday, December 13, 2007 

I came here from Toronto tonight leaving in a narrow window while BOS was open. Others were not so lucky. Most of the north east was shut.


First task was shoveling the driveway so I could park. Then off to miracle of science to have a bass and beef skewers and watch the snow through the windows.

Posted at 22:00:16 GMT-0700

Category: photoplacestravelweather

New ICA Boston

Friday, August 3, 2007 

The new ICA in Boston at dusk.

Posted at 09:45:14 GMT-0700

Category: photoplaces