Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Sunday, February 17, 2013

  • Feb 17 / 2013
  • 9
hunting

Hint: When Hunting Pythons, Use Bait

"You can go out there for days and days and days and not see one python," snake hunter Justin Matthews said last month. "I don’t care how much experience you have. It is going to take some luck."
see Plenty more where those came from — final take in Fla. snake hunt is 68 pythons – CNN.com.

Achh! With possible 10K+ pythons to be culled in the Florida Everglades, people have been walking around looking for patient and camouflaged hunters… That’s just stupid. I have never seen a python in the wild and don’t want to but they are snakes and I know how snakes hunt, by smell… Hint: Use bait and guard the bait, 24×7. Pythons also sense heat so it may help to have live mammalian bait.

These snakes hunt in the trees and swamps so make a trail of scents at the boundaries of forests and swamps and leave the bait where you can watch it. Watch the snakes pile on. Be patient. Snakes move slowly but waiting and letting them come to you is much more efficient than walking miles where your motion alerts the snakes to be still and their camouflage developed over millions of years works for them.

Many years ago I had plenty of experience with garter snakes. They live in similar although colder terrain and they hunt by smell. Let a frog, earthworm or small fish come withing metres of them and the tongue (the sense organ) will flick more and more rapidly with the head moving from left to right to judge direction as they home-in on the prey. When they are really close and the tongue touches the prey, they lunge and it’s all over. They can catch a jumping frog in mid-air. Amazing.

Once again, knowledge is key to a successful hunt. I have been hunting more than 50 years. Simple things like knowing what the quarry is doing makes the job much easier and faster.

Here’s how not to do it. You can see a snake tracking a rat here. See that tongue flicking? That’s what it uses to hunt. If you want to hunt snakes you have to guard the bait at night, too. Smell and heat-sensing work best then.

Smell can also be used against the pythons using dogs.
“So far Jake and Ivy have located 19 pythons, one of which had 19 eggs.”
Two dogs did better than 1000 humans walking around.

  • Feb 17 / 2013
  • 8
technology

The Price of Wintel

From time to time the world needs to be reminded of the terrible cost of using Wintel. Here’s an example. ViewSonic makes a lot of electronics. They make thin clients. Two new models have these characteristics:

Feature SC-T35 SC-T45
OS Linux

M$’s OS

size 39.5 x143 x 103 mm

39.5 x143 x 103 mm

display Dual 1080p DVI

Dual 1080P DVI and VGA

Protocols Citrix ICA/HDX, VMware, and MS RemoteFX

Citrix ICA/HDX, VMware, and MS RemoteFX

Power Consumption 8W

14W

CPU ARM

Atom

Price $220

$410

So, for about half the capital cost and half the cost of operation giving the same performance, you should use GNU/Linux rather than that other OS. It makes sense. When you add to these obvious advantages, which alone are sufficient to make the choice, the advantages of freedom from M$’s EULA, and the freedom to run the code, examine, modify and distribute the code under a FLOSS licence, it’s a no-brainer. Use FLOSS. Use GNU/Linux. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux.

  • Feb 17 / 2013
  • 0
firearms

Firing An M1A-like rifle

I had a rare opportunity to fire an M1/M14/M1a-like rifle yesterday. It was fitted with a very nice muzzle-brake which practically eliminated recoil and muzzle-jump. The trigger was very crisp and from the standing position I was able to hit the “X” on a 25 yard target at 50 yards. I did have trouble with my thick glasses and the rear peep site. It appeared egg-shaped because I could not get my eye down low enough for normal incidence. I tried to centre the group in one end of the “egg” and it was decent. Certainly good enough for deer to hundreds of yards. The ammunition was 7.52×51 NATO, probably a 147 grain bullet (not sure).“Most of the M1A rifles manufactured since 1971 were made for the commercial market and thus were only capable of semi-automatic fire.see M1A rifle – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This rifle, while evolved from a design of the 1930s, is certainly beautiful and with the muzzle-brake, very easy to shoot. It was brand-new and still has a few rough edges but those will polish out with use. Even the ejected brass were well treated and in a tight group. That’s good news for reloaders like me.

  • Feb 17 / 2013
  • 20
technology

Kim Komando Blesses LibreOffice

Kim Komando does reach the masses.
“Kim’s weekly three-hour call-in talk radio show is heard (via her own national radio network called WestStar) on over 470 stations. In addition, she does a Digital Minute radio feature five days a week; has written ten books about life in the digital age; sends out close to 10 million e-mail newsletters weekly; and authors a widely syndicated newspaper column, which also runs in USA Today.com. “

For her to publish this information about LibreOffice is a huge advertisement, reaching far beyong the GNU/Linux crowd and FLOSSies.
“Microsoft is relaunching its Office Suite. While the redesign has great new features, there’s one major drawback – it’s going to cost you up to $100 a year to use it.

If you can’t afford Microsoft Office, there’s good news. There are several great and free alternatives. LibreOffice is one of them.”
see A free substitute for Microsoft Office – Komando.com, Website for The Kim Komando Radio Show®, Komando Downloads.

The growth of FLOSS seems to be growing exponentially with few corners of the world remaining ignorant of FLOSS and therefor having choice in IT. What a refreshing time in which we live.

She is not quite so generous with GNU/Linux:
“Ubuntu and other Linux varieties aren’t for everyone. I only recommend using it if you know what you’re doing.”

She doesn’t seem to get the concept that not “knowing what you’re doing” can be fixed rather quickly by running GNU/Linux. Most users I have seen are quite comfortable with GNU/Linux in a few minutes just by running a few applications and learning a bit about the file-system. One does not need to be an expert to use GNU/Linux. My 3 year-old grand daughter is quite comfortable with both GNU/Linux and Android/Linux.