Hearing Footsteps

Many years ago, I worked at the University of Manitoba Cyclotron Laboratory. The accelerator itself was in an underground bunker with concrete and equipment all over the place. A lot of the machinery made whirring sounds but there was one place with a corridor that made you hear your footsteps as you walked along. It was startling and many times I turned around to look to see who was following me, especially if it was after midnight and I thought no one else was down there…

M$ is hearing footsteps in its dark labyrinths. In Ethiopia in the last year, there were 24 days when StatCounter recorded a larger share of page-views for GNU/Linux than “7”, it’s current leading product on the desktop. The first occasion was the weekend of November 16-17 of 2013 when GNU/Linux edged out “7” by a few percent. Starting May 21 of 2014 there was a 12-day stretch when “7” only beat GNU/Linux one day. The highest margin for GNU/Linux was 2014-May-25 when GNU/Linux reached 53% share of page-views and “7” only made 27.3%. GNU/Linux still has a ways to go. The average value for “7” was 49% and 16% for GNU/Linux, but the world of IT certainly has changed in Ethiopia.

In Ethiopia the big play for GNU/Linux is the student-desktop. Those students will eventually move to the world of work being familiar with GNU/Linux and choosing it for their IT at work and while shopping too. So, I expect as IT grows in Ethiopia, GNU/Linux will make louder footsteps.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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95 Responses to Hearing Footsteps

  1. luvr says:

    That Exploit Guy wrote: “Boy, this is getting really tiresome really fast!”

    That’s easily remedied, isn’t it? Let the nonsense rest, and go do something useful for a change.
    Or don’t you have anything else to do?

  2. That Exploit Guy says:

    The beam buncher was not an experiment, it was modelled, simulated on computer and put into regular production.

    Again, you are still talking about your old job at the laboratory. No one gives a toss about what you did in a laboratory. No matter how you spin it, it not going to turn into a factory or a household, so stop boring me with this kind of pointless garbage.

    It was essentially a consumer product once installed, no more complicated than an AM radio.

    I kind of look like Brad Pitt if you squint hard enough, too.
    Again, ruggedness, regulation compliance… Has the penny dropped yet?

    I built the replacement control system. I was the guy that repaired it on a moment’s notice if it broke down at 0300 to meet production schedules.

    Again, more lab-related BS.
    If you were in charge of producing replacement control systems for hospital radiology departments around the world, then I might just concede that what you are blathering about is indeed relevant to engineering for domestic and industrial uses. But no, you are just giving me more of the same U of M cowboy nonsense that no one wants to have outside of a lab.
    Boy, this is getting really tiresome really fast!

    The Laws of Nature.

    Holy goat cheese! Maybe I should get that last idiot that ran into a brick wall to build a refrigerator for me, you know, given Ft = mv – mu and what not.

  3. TEG wrote, “Engineering something for a household or an industrial environment is a completely different ball game to hacking up some strange doodad for an experiment. In a lab, you can easily manipulate the environment to suit the device you have built, and no one will ring you up and complain that your device is firing off too many lightning bolts that can electrocute someone in an instant.”

    The beam buncher was not an experiment, it was modelled, simulated on computer and put into regular production. It was very simple to use, one knob for amplitude, some digital switches for phase-shifting (or a length of cable at constant frequency) and another knob for amplitude of the second harmonic. A novice could learn to operate it in a minute. One just looked at the output of the cyclotron on a meter and adjusted the settings. It was essentially a consumer product once installed, no more complicated than an AM radio.

    TEG also wrote, “you have used a CS-30 cyclotron rather than designed and built one.”

    I built the replacement control system. I was the guy that repaired it on a moment’s notice if it broke down at 0300 to meet production schedules. It was an industrial environment. I understood every aspect of its design and operation: electromagnet, beam focussing by the main magnet and quadrupoles, extraction and injection of the beam, RF system, use with a variety of ions, and of course, the control system. That’s why they hired me at double my previous rate of pay.

    The control system of that CS-30 was a pain. It would deny permission to operate but the operator had to poll it to find out what the problem was: “Is it this? Is it that?”. It took a novice six months to learn how to use it. Even I took more than a week. The new system stated explicitly what the problem was on a status line: “You can’t run because …”. Novices were now being trained by the control system and it took only a month to go from complete unfamiliarity to operating normally.

    TEG also wrote, “what exactly is it about these H+ and He+ ions that magically grants you the ability to builds electronic devices suitable for domestic and industrial uses?”

    The Laws of Nature. Without understanding them, no engineering can work, without a heck of a lot of trial and error. Building multi-$million machines is not something you want to be error-prone. I designed and built a lot of systems that worked first time, every time. That control system was not one of them. On the first test every light that should have been on was off and vice-versa. The logic interfaces were poorly documented so I took the chance of being right. A few NOTs fixed that problem. Again, I weighed the risk of being wrong in a non-operational state and deemed it safe. That system that I designed in a week took only a few weeks to write and test and debug. It replaced a system developed over 6 man-years at TCC and worked much better.

  4. That Exploit Guy says:

    I provided evidence in peer-reviewed journals that I designed electronic equipment working at radio-frequencies and built it and it worked and TEG relates that to use of consumer-electronics

    Every scientific curiosity has a potential use in practical technology. Well, at least, that’s how people tend to present every scientific curiosity.
    Of course, when it comes to the crunch, it’s always about non-curious things like “Will it interfere with my toaster?” or “Will it melt my face off?”, and that’s where most scientific curiosities end up remaining scientific curiosity.

    The beam buncher was a principle component of the control system of a particle accelerator. Then there was the spin filter for which I designed the resonant cavity and the electromagnet and the electrostatic deflection channel. I also did the related optical calculations.

    Either there are households operating particle accelerators that I am not aware of, or this is one of the most irrelevant things that you can find to bring up.

    The machine development group consisted of a variable number of people but I was there and did that.

    You are still missing the point.
    Engineering something for a household or an industrial environment is a completely different ball game to hacking up some strange doodad for an experiment. In a lab, you can easily manipulate the environment to suit the device you have built, and no one will ring you up and complain that your device is firing off too many lightning bolts that can electrocute someone in an instant. In the outside world, you don’t have that luxury. In fact, mundane things like ruggedness and regulation compliance – the very things that you consider “bureaucracy” – are often what makes or breaks a product. This is why people prefer hiring engineers instead of scientists to build things for use in realistic environments.

    It is fair to state that the University of Manitoba Cyclotron was a scientific instrument of great cost and complexity but I operated and replaced the control system for a CS-30 cyclotron, an industrial production machine as well. My skills are transferrable.

    So you have used a CS-30 cyclotron rather than designed and built one.
    That’s really some really transferable skill to, say, teaching people to build their own UPSs, isn’t it?

    The UofM Cyclotron was a H- cyclotron and the CS-30 was a cyclotron for a variety of H+ and He+ ions so I was familiar with both kinds.

    Great. So what exactly is it about these H+ and He+ ions that magically grants you the ability to builds electronic devices suitable for domestic and industrial uses?

  5. TEG sneered, “Again, being acquainted with the scientific instrumentation side of “electronics” in no way qualifies you to be a proper electrical engineer. That’s how much I can assure you.”

    I provided evidence in peer-reviewed journals that I designed electronic equipment working at radio-frequencies and built it and it worked and TEG relates that to use of consumer-electronics… The beam buncher was a principle component of the control system of a particle accelerator. Then there was the spin filter for which I designed the resonant cavity and the electromagnet and the electrostatic deflection channel. I also did the related optical calculations. This was a great engineering project of which I was a big part. The machine development group consisted of a variable number of people but I was there and did that.

    TEG further got it wrong, “there is a gaping difference between building highly experimental devices used only in a laboratory setting and engineering something operable by an average person in a household or in an industrial environment.”

    It is fair to state that the University of Manitoba Cyclotron was a scientific instrument of great cost and complexity but I operated and replaced the control system for a CS-30 cyclotron, an industrial production machine as well. My skills are transferrable.

    Here, let me educate TEG:
    “Invented 80 years ago, the first cyclotrons were small. Now those being built for the production of medical isotopes are returning to the dimensions of their predecessors as they make use of the latest technologies….The routine use of radioisotope-labelled medical products and the demand for radiopharmaceutical injections for patients led to the creation of a new sector of industry: to supply cyclotron systems capable of the production of medical isotopes. Commercial companies started to design, build and supply complete cyclotron systems specifically for this purpose. The first generation of these industrial cyclotrons was made available by companies such as Philips in the Netherlands and The Cyclotron Corporation (TCC) in the US, but these machines were usually complicated instruments requiring considerable physics expertise for operations and maintenance. Second-generation cyclotrons, with more compact designs and improved engineering, were developed later by Scanditronix in Sweden, Thompson CSF in France and Sumitomo and JSW in Japan, all with designs that led to lower radiation doses to the operators. Around 1980, the first negative-ion industrial cyclotron, the CP-42, became available from TCC, with 40 MeV proton extraction.” See Medical-isotope cyclotron designs go full circle

    The UofM Cyclotron was a H cyclotron and the CS-30 was a cyclotron for a variety of H+ and He+ ions so I was familiar with both kinds.

  6. DrLoser wrote, “No, wait, let me guess … they give you three months off for good behaviour?”

    I think DrLoser has no idea what CSA is about. To carry the CSA label a device is submitted in prototype and is tested. Insurance policies and other regulations may require appliances that are CSA-approved but nothing prevents a device from being repaired by the owner. Nothing prevents a manufacturer from still shipping a defective product despite CSA-certification. APC shipped UPS units, a few of which actually melted down…

    I am a welder and at one point considered making a wood-stove for my home. Because the insurance company insisted on CSA certification. I checked it out. They wanted $5K just to open a file. We bought a wood stove which had nothing but problems over the years: warping components, door not sealing, and so on. I had to repair it several times, modifying the hinges, the baffle and the door-seals. A stove I would have built would not have had those problems. I know that differential heating can distort steel so I would have made a baffle with some freedom to move without distorting the body of the stove which was thermally insulated from the firebox. I would also reinforce the door-opening… The unit we bought cost ~$4K. I could have built a better one that looked just as good for ~$500. CSA-certification only ensures certain performance from a test-unit. Manufacturing defects, wear from use or abuse can also affect performance/safety. The CSA don’t test a unit for decades like we did…

  7. DrLoser being really annoying wrote, “Consider us your peers. Publish one of them again.”

    As you well know, such journals hold the copyright and it would be illegal to do so.

  8. DrLoser wrote, “It starts with a weird theory that you can save $400 on licenses and spend that $400 on a UPS.
    You cannot.”

    That’s nonsense. A single PC can easily be burdened with $400 for licensing fees to M$ and “partners”. Just go with pro this or that, an office suite this or that, PS, some CALs, whatever. I was at a school that spent $40K “to go legit”. That was for a system with ~100 PCs: a mess of classrooms, two labs, a few clusters, an office and 7 servers. That’s $400 per client. You can get a decent UPS for $100, you know the kind that lets you shut down gracefully when the main power fails. For $400 you can run for quite a while.

  9. DrLoser says:

    Is a home-made “UPS” a “CSA-approved appliance”? I am pretty sure you don’t need me to tell you what the answer is.

    No, wait, let me guess … they give you three months off for good behaviour?
    Maybe not. Amateur botch jobs are regrettably all too common, even in the Sub-Arctic.

  10. DrLoser says:

    I’ve published in professional, peer-reviewed journals on electronics.

    Well, let’s see. You’ve got yourself a blog here, haven’t you, Robert?

    Consider us your peers. Publish one of them again.

  11. DrLoser says:

    I’m the guy who has been out in the world and heard users’ gripes.

    You and literally dozens of privileged Westerners, Robert.

    For some reason, they all have a sob story to tell. It’s usually about how a mysterious “something else” deprived them of their chance to prove to the world that they are a genius.

    Speaking of which: how’s that web-hosted Pascal GEBC port going along?

  12. DrLoser says:

    DrLoser its all about scale. UPS Big vs UPS Small the cost differences are massive.

    Let us please end this appalling display of ignorance right here, oiaohm.

    The difference between “UPS Big vs UPS Small” is the difference between a local power sub-station and an actual UPS.

    That’s all there is to it. Simple. Robert’s example of a Kenyan village is a perfect example.

    But, go ahead. Let us know when you have an Uninterruptible Power Supply for the entirely of northern New South Wales.

    I guarantee you, it won’t involve lead-acid batteries.

    Or probably you, either.

  13. DrLoser says:

    Amazing, someone can Google Wikipedia, IEEE and CSA specifications…makes everyone an expert.

    Or at least slightly more adequate than you will ever be, Dougie.

    But, let us examine your proposition here from bottom to top. And let us assume a small, slightly retarded, child, to whit: oiaohm.

    oiaohm isn’t too interested in IEEE accreditation. (You appear to have confused the slightly retarded child with Robert, who had to actually work for it.)

    oiaohm doesn’t even understand what a CSA specification is. And, frankly, neither do you, Dougie.

    And, you know what? For the purposes of this conversation, it does not matter.

    Scroll down to the bottom. It starts with a weird theory that you can save $400 on licenses and spend that $400 on a UPS.

    You cannot.

    It then deviates into a weird oiaohmfantasy to do with lead-acid batteries. (I regret to admit that I rather led him into this fantasy. Well … y’know.)

    Following that, oiaohm’s extraordinary dangerous theories were demolished, first by TEG, and secondly by Robert. Two admirable and expert people, I think.

    In the middle of which, oiaohm managed to completely stuff up the concept of hydrogen diffusion, for which he was properly spanked by Robert.

    Now, Dougie, as a man without even a High School Equivalent …

    Who are you going to believe?

  14. dougman says:

    Amazing, someone can Google Wikipedia, IEEE and CSA specifications…makes everyone an expert.

    Actually, one could build their own UPS and get it CSA approved. The differences between UL and CSA/CE are not that different.

  15. That Exploit Guy says:

    I worked for years making/using/designing high-voltage/high-current electrical devices for the University of Manitoba Cyclotron Laboratory.

    So you spent years working on highly experimental devices that were in no way suitable for environments outside the U of M Cyclotron Laboratory. Big deal.
    It’s not unusual for science students to learn a bit of this kind of instrumentation, but that’s still a long way away from knowing how to engineer something properly. After all, would you trust a science student to build you a television set?

    I was a member of IEEE.

    The P1014 Working Group consisted of a grand total of 70 members. If Wikipedia is to be trusted, then only a handful of individuals out of these 70 members actually put significant work into developing the specification for VMEBus. For all we know, you could have been nothing more than a rubber stamp in the whole scheme of things.

    I’ve published in professional, peer-reviewed journals on electronics

    There are different journals for different kinds of “electronics”. Again, being acquainted with the scientific instrumentation side of “electronics” in no way qualifies you to be a proper electrical engineer. That’s how much I can assure you.

    I’ve operated two cyclotrons (etc. etc.)

    Again, there is a gaping difference between building highly experimental devices used only in a laboratory setting and engineering something operable by an average person in a household or in an industrial environment. After all, how often you see people heating food with a magnetron hooked to a rat’s nest of wires instead of a microwave oven? You are either a proper engineer that understands the “bureaucracy” inherent to the job, or you are simply not an engineer.
    There is no in-between.

  16. That Exploit Guy says:

    In the school where the UPS broke, any bureaucratic paperwork took 2 years, no matter how trivial, so we just ignored the bureaucracy and got things done.

    We are not talking about just any bureaucracy: we are talking about regulations that are specifically put in place to prevent the likes of you and Oiaohm from stockpiling dangerous materials and burning down the entire neighbourhood as a consequence. It is your own business that you want to apply that cowboy U of M fair in all parts of your life, but when you start persuading others to follow suit, it becomes something completely different.

    Fire regulations do not apply to plugging in CSA-approved appliances, for instance.

    Is a home-made “UPS” a “CSA-approved appliance”? I am pretty sure you don’t need me to tell you what the answer is.

  17. olderman wrote, “who are you to tell people to dump working software based on your gripes?”

    I’m the guy who has been out in the world and heard users’ gripes. One of the biggest gripes was that there’s not enough IT in schools. GNU/Linus solves that problem by being flexible and low in cost. Next gripe is that IT is slow. That’s because that other OS slows down and is a bloated software magnet. GNU/Linux solves that problem by being a true multi-user system and there’s no EULA preventing use of thin clients. Another gripe was that sooner or later that other OS becomes unbootable. GNU/Linux solves that problem by being designed by computer geeks rather than licence-salesmen.

    Some trolls hold that M$ solves these gripes if only the user stays on the Wintel treadmill. That doesn’t happen in my world. As IT increases in prevalence and complexity, the problems and costs grow. Folks are much better off to migrate to GNU/Linux sooner rather than later.

  18. olderman says:

    “Who are you to tell people what to do with the money they save? Who are you to tell people to waste money on M$’s stuff?”

    who are you to tell people to dump working software based on your gripes?

  19. oiaohm says:

    This is enough to prevent concentration in unclosed classrooms
    Robert Pogson this is very incorrect presume. Classrooms are horible places for airflow. Kids make items that end up hanging from roof teachers hang posters….. You end up with pocket space issues. Robert Pogson large units are safe because their environment can be more controlled. Students and Teachers should not be any where near the Unit if you go large. Only maintenance staff go near large and the environment is controlled. Risks reduced with large.

    He’s a big fan of tinkering with batteries and risking acid being sprayed all over the place, at the very least.
    DrLoser no I am not. Large DIY style UPS with Battery banks are in fact less likely to spray acid than a general home UPS unit. Also less likely to start fire or hurt anyone. Why once Battery banks get large enough shorting is impossible. A with battery banks a short will be burn off with the volume of amps that attempt to travel between the two battery rails this includes rail line. Big enough banks you cannot over charge or short them why any attempt to-do either is just vaporisation of connection between the batteries and the malfunctioning unit. Large UPS solutions fail safe but small UPS fail in harmful ways. Wires in small UPS units are too thick to fry off to prevent battery exploding.

    The biggest risk with large is electrocution. Ever other risk suggested does not match up with reality. Even using liquid lead acid you have to handle those very badly to get acid buried. This is also room design a battery bank room normally has a fire hose or pressurized water fire exhuseioner at door guess why. To wash self down of course in case of an acid event. Now a small UPS explodes next a a computer in room how far until you can wash the person down to remove the acid. Remember the sooner you remove the acid less harm. Reason why the are put in locked rooms is electrocution nothing else. Risk is not acid because big battery banks will not boil or do any of the other bad things. Also the mitigation against the acid issue is as simple as a wash down provide. That was the other fault in the drean-liner It was many small UPS units side by side. Yes it give a kind of redundancy but it comes a the price of being more unstable.

    dougman is partly on the right track. I take 20 batteries I make 1 super ups using all 20 batteries into a single bank and you make 20 individual UPS from the same batteries. What batteries last longer. The 20 in the in the single bank will out last their 20 identical brothers in individual UPS units. The high amp-age of the single bank prevents cell shorting so extend battery operational life. Lot of Lead acid and other batteries will die under 3 years solo are truly good for 10+ years in bank configuration.

    DrLoser with diesel generator option how are you going to perform maintenance on it and how are you going to be able have two of them. Even going the diesel generator route you end up with a battery or a capacitor bank. Battery bank is cheaper.

    Also beware when a diesel generator fuel is bad and it coughing and spattering it power spiking all over the place. With a inline UPS design between the computers and the diesel generator/s all you lose is at worse is the charging module. Directly hook the computers up to the diesel generator get bad fuel it does coughing and spattering you loss all the power supplies in the monitors, the boxes and so on. DrLoser third world country quality fuel can be a rarity so upset diesel generators are way more common.

    DrLoser like it or not with a diesel generator you have to have a inline UPS of some form if you are running items that are sensitive like computers. Preferably the large style to reduce the number of part a malfunctioning diesel generator will destroy.

    DrLoser something most people are not aware of there are network compatible compatible inverters and battery bank sensor devices. So power cut message will go out to all computers in network to shutdown once batteries fall under a particular percentage. You don’t need a per computer UPS to have a UPS shutdown message happen.

    The idea of thirty minutes in order to shut things down cleanly does not exactly work in schools. Students have to submit their work at particular times of year in every education system. Schools are in the same class as operating rooms in hospitals due to fixed dead lines to get stuff done.

    40₵ per AH up front cost is in fact expensive. Lead Acid is about 10-15₵ per AH in large batteries for front costs. On going is worse but thinking most governments are only in power for 3 to 4 years that is all they worry about. Something else to be aware of is deep cycle batteries used by solar are in fact design to charge and discharge over a 20 hour time frame. This is what makes them safe. So like a 12 volt 245 AH solar lead acid battery is in fact 20 times that. This is the problem build a system using Solar parts for under 12 hours of operations is almost impossible and be deploying the parts as per spec.

    $4 per AH or greater is what you find inside you generic per computer UPS units that give 15 to 30 mins. The cost difference in batteries is insane. So 20 to 40 times the capacity for the same money if you build using solar parts instead of off the shelf UPS. So worst case is now 6 hours best case is now 20 hours for the exact same amount of dollars spent on batteries. Of course you aim for 12 to avoid battery strain. Just big batteries not small ones. Its just due to the difference in cost at the different scales. You have to be able to build banks to be safe. Single batteries are too much of a risk of exploding.

    Even going Nife instead of lead acid (remember your general home UPS is lead acid) you still end up with 10 times the operational time DIY style. Nife can be completely sucked dry without issue. So instead of 15-30 mis 150 to 300 mins with Nife. 2.5 hours means a power failure at a start of class teacher will be able to complete class before computers have to shutdown. 2.5 hours is long enough to complete a double or tripple of general class time. Nife solution will out last general UPS units. Of course is having enough upfront money to afford Nife. Students not having their classes disrupted part way increase learning rates and improve outcomes.

    DrLoser its all about scale. UPS Big vs UPS Small the cost differences are massive. The inverter and charger cost is lower than Small in big. The battery cost is not even close so big allows for 10 to 40 times more battery storage compare to small for the same money. Big has longer life span than small as well. No matter how you add it up needing 10 or more UPS units you need to seriously consider the building DIY style in a room from solar parts. Under ten its a big hard to get the inverters at right money.

  20. DrLoser wrote, again, as if anyone cared, “it makes no sense to save $400 on licensing in order to get a reliable and safe UPS solution.”

    Who are you to tell people what to do with the money they save? Who are you to tell people to waste money on M$’s stuff?

  21. dougman says:

    Robert is correct, larger UPS’s are better in the long-run then a vast deployment of smaller ones. Smaller batteries only last a few years, whereas large strings properly maintained, can last 10+ years.

    However, in all honesty, are UPS’s even required for the majority of desktop computers? Perhaps not, the only time I have seen batteries brought into the scheme of things, is for life-support, servers, emergency lighting, lubrication pumps for turbines, etc..

    The crux of the topic, is that M$ is beginning to hear the competition knocking on it’s door and by witnessing their actions, you can only laugh at the subconscious actions they are taking.

    UberLoser, is a troll that comes home from work and has no life to speak of, so to entertain himself he’s populates this blog with worthless drivel.

  22. DrLoser says:

    You will note, by the way, that oiaohm has gone silent on the subject.

    He does this every now and again, when he realises that every single other commenter realises that he is an ignorant fool.

  23. DrLoser says:

    You have it all wrong, DrLoser. Large deployments of small UPS is very inefficient.

    Not really, Robert. Other than trying to help TEG and your good self steer people away from the extremely dangerous home-bake solution proposed by oiaohm (it turns out that three of us understand the characteristics of lead-acid batteries, and one of us doesn’t), my major point, as you may recall, what with me having to repeat it over and over again, was that it makes no sense to save $400 on licensing in order to get a reliable and safe UPS solution.

    Which point, I believe, we have established between us.

    Other than that, it is, as you say, absurd to design a UPS system “in the small,” rather than “in the large.” Given certain possible variances, say a rural area that basically is best served via a diesel generator.

    So why even consider a large deployment of small UPS? That’s the sort of thing you task oiaohm with. He’s a big fan of tinkering with batteries and risking acid being sprayed all over the place, at the very least.

    Let’s take our small Sub-Saharan school as an example again. Would you recommend a “small UPS?” Considering that there may be dozens of them, I imagine that your “large deployment of small UPS” suggests that you wouldn’t.

    So, what’s left? Bulking up the power substation down the road? I’m not asking this to be supercilious. I actually think that is the solution — which comes with its own problems of cost and accountability.

    But under no rational circumstances would you consider this to be an Uninterruptible Power Supply.

  24. DrLoser wrote, “I invite the many smart and knowledgeable people on this blog to point out the various errors in this reasoning.”

    You have it all wrong, DrLoser. Large deployments of small UPS is very inefficient. First, there’s the capital cost per unit of backup, bigger is better. I’ve been in buildings that had some outlets under UPS so important equipment could be plugged in to it. Second, there’s the maintenance. Those small UPS with lead-acid storage need batteries replaced every few years, about 3 years give or take. A central unit might use NiFe cells that last decades and just need a glance at electrolyte levels every month or so. The large unit will have a lower parts-count and generally less trouble. The capital cost of the large central unit will be higher than a small unit but when you have 100-1000 small units compared to one large unit, the large unit wins. Further, the large units are safer because they are away from people, papers, carpets, … There is safety in distance.

    Just consider batteries. A cheap lead-acid cell might cost ~$30 for 7AH, about $4 per AH. A large unit might cost $400 for 1KAH, about 40₵ per AH. Get the idea?

  25. DrLoser says:

    To be fair, oiaohm is still probably thinking of something like this: Trust Oxxtron 1500VA Management UPS.

    £99 per … you could probably slot this in, if you happen to be in the Industrialised World. Good for twenty minutes, and definitely good enough for a server to save state.

    (You might want to be non-parsimonious and allot one UPS to one Beast. Advice to, ahem, he knows who I’m talking about.)

    But … that’s not really the UPS we were talking about, was it? Lovely, clean, no diesel generator, no massive lead-acid battery bank …

    … Just something that a normal business would buy as a UPS backup for about thirty minutes in order to shut things down cleanly.

    And absolutely no reason to go back to Microsoft and say “Hey, you guys ripped me off for $400! Where’s my fucking UPS?”

    Res ipsa loquitur.

  26. DrLoser says:

    oiaohm says:

    That Exploit Guy do you get now why its completely mentally insane to consider the idea of a UPS at each computer in large deployments.

    I invite the many smart and knowledgeable people on this blog to point out the various errors in this reasoning. (I count three.)

  27. DrLoser says:

    There are many reason behind my go big or don’t bother statement with UPS solutions in schools.

    Nope. Only a single reason.

    You have no clue what you are talking about, oiaohm.

  28. DrLoser says:

    In an attempt to further the scientific basis of this discussion, I reference http://conference.ing.unipi.it/ichs2005/Papers/120001.pdf.

    Robert is completely correct on the subject of hydrogen diffusion.

    However, any UPS relying on catalysis (ie all bar diesel generators and the like) will still have to deal with two things:

    1) Atmospheric pressure. (Please don’t go over 30 bar)
    2) Locality, which is probably more important. Briefly, too much hydrogen in too small a space means …

    … a lovely spray of raw acid at a relatively high temperature. Yummy!

    Not to mention the possibility of plumes. I have no evidence that lead-acid batteries can produce a hydrogen plume under certain circumstances. But, frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me.

  29. DrLoser says:

    And just to back you up (as, in this case, a more or less ignorant lay-person who appreciates your comments on diffusion):

    Robert Pogson hydrogen explosions from batteries are normally only a risk in rooms and other areas lacking upper roof ventilation resulting in Hydrogen accumulation.

    What a splendid bit of Post Modern Physical Chemistry there, oiaohm!

    “Hydrogen accumulation” inside an enclosed space for the Win!

    Don’t try this at home, kiddies. Let me put it this way: you can set fire to dust, owing to various properties of friction and so on. Any enclosed room with significant amounts of hydrogen hanging around is basically a bomb waiting to happen … and it sure ain’t gonna wait until it’s “accumulated” in some weird fantastical Lobster Quadrille dance.

    I take it back. oioaohm has practically no expertise in any subject whatsoever.

    But if you want an accidental and entirely avoidable huge explosion …

    oiaohm is yer man.

  30. DrLoser says:

    Yes, it is. see, for example, Kenya, page 3/11:
    * 1200AH battery
    * solar panels on the roof
    * inverters, various connections and lights

    Page 3, appropriately, has some very sexy colour pictures and no real information, Robert.

    Let’s lose the inverters and the solar panels on the roof, shall we? I’m doing you a favour. The source and the medium of transmission is not in question here.

    And before I go on to deal with the essence of your proposal, let me just point out that you have neatly skipped over/ignored my first point:

    Is this a realistic scenario for a UPS, Robert?

    I presume your professional opinion is that it is no such thing. Otherwise, I imagine you would have produced a counter-argument.

    And my third point:

    Can you cost this thing out in such a way that it’s worth the $400 you save on licenses?

    I believe that, between TEG and myself, we have completely demolished this stupid UPS argument, as championed by oiaohm. Which is good. Now let us get to the nub of the matter:

    There is no costing or pricing whatsoever on that cite from Kenya.

    It sounds like a really good idea. I have no doubt whatsoever that it is a massive step forward for the locality, what with powering local street lights and very possibly refrigeration units and other fine things.

    But it’s no sort of argument for shaving $400 off the school’s software licensing specifically to provide a UPS, is it?

    Let me refresh your memory. That was the original point of contention.

    So, we’re left with:
    a) No accountable cost.
    b) No accountable benefits.
    c) No way even to amortize the costs (debt, etc).
    and
    d) Absolutely no connection whatsoever between the cost of the storage mechanism and the savings from … well, actually, this particular cite didn’t even mention savings from not “going full-bore M$ monopoly.”

    Why not? Well, it’s obvious to anybody who doesn’t have a particular axe to grind. The costs of one particular consumable (software licenses) are practically orthogonal to the costs of another (solar panels).

    It’s always possible that this particular rural bit of Kenya swapped M$ software licenses for the odd panel here and there … there’s no evidence at all that they did … but, to be quite frank about it, this looks like one of the finer charitable schemes to equip a small village with a sustainable power supply.

    I doubt the organisers in question even considered the cost of software licenses.

    Oh, and that 1200 Ah battery array (still lead-acid, I notice)? Let’s see what happens to them in UPS terms when there’s a serious spike.

  31. oiaohm wrote, “Hot air rises so does Hydrogen. So the exact things you do to warm room results in collection points for hydrogen being formed.”

    Air and hydrogen also diffuse. This is enough to prevent concentration in unclosed classrooms. Diffusion is the movement of gas from A to B just by random motion of the molecules and movement from regions of high concentration to regions of low concentration. Hydrogen being a light molecule with the same average energy (temperature) as oxygen and nitrogen in the air diffuses very rapidly. Diffusion is the means of perfume spreading even in still air. It takes minutes for heavy molecules to diffuse from an area of high concentration to the rest of the space. It takes just seconds for hydrogen to do so. So, a sudden release of hydrogen can go from a flammable gas to an explosive mixture quickly or a gradual release as in charging a battery to dissipate out the doors and windows fast enough to prevent danger. In all my years of working with lead-acid batteries I’ve never seen an explosion. It’s a common theme in old war movies about submarines but there you have a very confined space. It’s not a danger at all in an African school without doors/windows. There just isn’t a storage reservoir or an over-charging condition involved.

  32. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson hydrogen explosions from batteries are normally only a risk in rooms and other areas lacking upper roof ventilation resulting in Hydrogen accumulation. Areas that can be lacking proper upper roof ventilation is school class rooms in winter. Upper windows closed to increase temp of room. Over winters days the hydrogen gets to collect in the upper space and if it lights when it at the right ratio you are in big trouble. Hot air rises so does Hydrogen. So the exact things you do to warm room results in collection points for hydrogen being formed.

    Personal UPS, laptop, tablet… charging batteries have ventilation to leak of produced Hydrogen to the room. This is were the big problem gets in with too many in a room that is not venting properly. 1 or 2 lead acids in a room leaking gas over 3 to 4 months will not be a problem 40+ leaking gas into room over 3 to 4 months you could be in for it unless the room vents properly. If unlucky it lights when its a the 2 to 1 ratio with the O2 then you have explosion with bad harm to people in room. If lucky you have a flash burn across the roof that scares the crap out of every one and does no major damage.

    Should put batteries charging of the types that produce explosive gas in same class of problem as bug bombs correct number to a room based on the room design no problems incorrect number the room might explode or it might just burn. In fact large number of batteries charged mixed with correct number of bug bombs can also equal by by building as the Hydrogen from the batteries push the mix bug bombs gas to air over safe limits. Some of the recent house fires have traced to people using bug bombs in winter when their house was not ventilated of the fumes from their electronic devices battery charging.

    Limiting the number of rooms with a large number of batteries that are being charged is extremely sane thing to-do. In fact design room to-do it due to the fact the designed room can have enough ventilation to deal with the explosive gas as well as been reinforced to contain the worse cases. The strength of room of room not insanely high to contain it. 2 layer brick is enough.

    One laptop per child has charging cradles that can be sat out side the class room while they are charging so solving the ventilation problem.

    Something to remember a school has some of the high densities of people and computer to area. Issues schools run into with battery charging are far worse than homes and most businesses. Data centers have decanted battery rooms most due cooling and well ventilated really don’t mix.

    There are many reason behind my go big or don’t bother statement with UPS solutions in schools.

  33. oiaohm wrote, of charging lead-acid batteries, ” A battery room the ventilation can be fixtures that no one can change due to the fact it fixed explosion risks are low.”

    Yep.

    1. properly charged there is very little gas produced and sealed lead-acid cells are often used in confined spaces where personal UPS is involved.
    2. many of the remote sites in Africa don’t have doors and windows. Good ventilation is the norm.

    For the non-clued: Lead acid charging process involves releasing lead oxide on one electrode and hydrogen on the other, so the gas inside the cells is rich in hydrogen. Pure hydrogen won’t burn. It needs a mixture of oxygen. To get an explosion, one needs a proper ratio of two volumes of hydrogen to one volume of oxygen. Other proportions, from 10% to 90% hydrogen will burn more or less rapidly but they are mild affairs because less energy is released per unit of volume. Air is mostly nitrogen, too, so hydrogen explosions are moderate if they happen at all in a well-ventilated space. The Hindenberg calamity was a fire, not an explosion. The hydrogen burned slowly because it was pure and only burned on the periphery where it mixed with air. People escaped by going low and avoiding the rising hot gases. If the mixture was in the right proportions and there would have been an explosion, no one would have survived. A battery is usually a small portion of the volume of a building so, unless the hydrogen accumulates there can be no explosion. On the other hand, sealed units can burst from gross overcharging and some lithium cells contain a flammable liquid. When I was a kid, big city schools used battery backup in the basement. It consisted of lead acid cells. It ran the “exit” lights, bells and PA if I recall correctly. Schools in the North often have UPS per emergency light with no special ventilation.

    Overcharging is a different matter as oxygen and hydrogen are both released in the ideal proportion so the mixture in the cell is likely explosive. So, no smoking near the cells… Otherwise, limiting the charging rate limits the hazard to buildings. There are a couple of methods of charging lead-acid. Most common is charging at a constant low rate so the evolution of gas is not a problem, ever. Charging at a fixed voltage will charge quickly so it’s more of a hazard but again, over-charging may damage cells so it’s not done intentionally. Trickle charging is doing no damage to a cell except consuming water from the electrolyte.

    So, this fear of exploding batteries is overblown except in confined cases and lithium cells. I’ve tried to get an explosion near charging lead-acid cells and it’s not easy. Typically those cells are charged at a low rate, just a few Amperes and the rate of release of hydrogen is too small to be hazardous. Even in a quick charge, the hydrogen mixes rapidly with air and is safely diluted. An Ampere-hour of charging releases at most 6.28X1018/(2X6.02XZ1023)X22.4L of hydrogenX3600 = 0.42L. Even 1000 AH releases only 420L of hydrogen per cell and that might be over 8h, so it’s incredibly dilute in a room that might hold 30KL of air.

  34. oiaohm says:

    Please note the same kind of risk of filling a class room with laptops as filling a class room with UPS units if the batteries are leaking gas.

    There is a density and a safety reason to use desktop computers. Yet people saying the desktop will not go away miss this.

  35. oiaohm says:

    That Exploit Guy
    Let’s not kid ourselves here: it is a no-brainer as to why having a room full of charging lead-acid battery is generally ill-advised.

    To be correct your statement is so true its not funny but you next statement are kind off. That Exploit Guy miss a fact that suggested doing this without any safety considerations. If you have decanted room ventilation can be built in to prevent the build up issues. What is generally ill-advised is not always ill-advised if the issue can be mitigated. Battery charging gas issue can be mitigated.

    That Exploit Guy do you get now why its completely mentally insane to consider the idea of a UPS at each computer in large deployments. Yet for some reason you priced a per computer unit that was lead acid. Yes it would only support for 15 min it was undersized compared to what I can get from a decanted room that is safe.

    Lets play out what you suggested That Exploit Guy.

    Winter a cold day 40+ computers with individual UPS units you suggested That Exploit Guy charging their lead acid batteries leaking gas into the room with students and teachers. Disaster waiting to happen. This is why it strictly go big or don’t do. It does not take very much hydrogen stacked up in the top of the class room to make a explosion big enough to kill everyone in the room due to the shock wave. Go big if the battery room explodes at worst 1 person is in there and it contained by the walls directing shock-wave up away from the students and other teachers.

    That Exploit Guy the items you were looking at would kill a room full of students. Yet some how me suggesting building a huge version DIY style is unsafe.

    It too dangerous to deploy a lead acid based UPS per computer for a computer room. A battery room if it cold who cares. A battery room the ventilation can be fixtures that no one can change due to the fact it fixed explosion risks are low. Fixed ventilation is the mitigation to the risk. Building in ventilation is not hard its just correctly placed holes.

    Most batteries charging require ventilation. This ventilation must not be closed in fact you design it into room so it cannot be closed. A school room without means to close windows to control temperature is not practical.

    Room full of charging lead-acid battery in a room designed for charging a room full of lead-acid batteries is almost 100 percent safe. You will be more likely to die crossing the road than die from maintaining a lead acid battery bank room as long as that is what the room was built for it. DIY large UPS units are fairly simple todo correctly and safely.

    The person go out buying off the shelf UPS units is the one that normally ends up killing people due to too many lead acid batteries end up rooms without suitable ventilation.

    Risk mitigation can be performed on a large on-site constructed UPS that cannot be performed in individual per computer UPS units. Why people can end up putting too many individual per computer UPS units in one room.

    I was suggesting the safe path here.

  36. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser You need to read your
    http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2013/ra/c3ra45748f link again
    “The LFP cell yielded the least amount of gas”

    That experiment was intentionally treating the batteries wrong to trigger thermal run away in a unnatural way. This was packed heaters around them. This was not charging induced. There have been attempts to charge or discharge induce LFP. Every experiment with LFP to cause a thermal runaway by charging or discharging have all failed. Over changing or discharging of LFP results in a slower burn rate while the event is in effect causing loss of capacity in the LFP until capacity hits zero then nothing happens. No bang no disaster no major amount of heat. So the only way to have the experiment you are quoting happen with LFP is have a fire and if you battery storage is on fire you have way worse problems to worry about.

    LFP as well as least amount of gas as well as the most resistance to being triggered. In fact in the complete test the LFP did not go explosive. First cell venting that is always a pulse. If by some fluke you manage to get an LFP to go into a kind of thermal runaway it max temperate of under 450 C is containable by mud brick or concrete. 600-800 C combined with explosive shock-waves the other make is a little harder to contain. Lead acid batteries are also when in thermal runaway containable just by building a strong brick room. Reality a UPS per computer next to computer is a hazard waiting to happen if something goes wrong. Exactly what containment. There are many reason to my go big or don’t bother. Safety in case of malfunction is one of the reasons to go big.

    In fact figure 8 in quote document you need to read Dr Loser. Yes the first Cell vents due to being pushed into destructive state but them there is no follow up explosions with LFP. LFP is not a cascading getting worse event.

    LFP self destruct is not 100 percent safe but its does not require special materials to contain and its not explosive. LFP is really in thermal overload just burning. Small volumes of gas majority being CO2. Biggest risk from LFP is the H2 gas produced even the volume of that is low and in a fire event mostly burn off safely.

    DrLoser most third world Solar systems are put in DIY. No specialist engineering required. The battery systems for Solar systems most have the option of charging from mains or generator. Basically huge scale UPS’s are basically Solar/Wind battery banks without the solar or wind bit. Why those designs are cheaper.

    diesel generators to use them with computers you still need a battery or capacitor bank to make the power the output stable. There is a reason why I said 12 hours. To be correct its 8 to 12 hours is what you must have. You have a diesel generator it runs out of fuel or part breaks. You have to go and get fuel or part.
    1) 4 hours to drive to fuel or part
    2) 4 hours to drive back
    3) 2 hours to make the purchase of fuel or part,
    4) 2 hours to fuel or replace part with generator and get it running.
    Each of those parts add up to 12 hours. If you UPS runtime is 12 hours you have time to repair the generators. If its not 12 hours you don’t have a UPS with mandatory uptime.

    Fly wheel power storage like http://www.vyconenergy.com/pq/ups.htm are good compact high storage. Problem is getting them to remote locations and having them work in dirty locations and the fact you are looking at double the up front costs. Banks of batteries covered in dirt work. Fly wheels covered in dirt not good thing. Small volumes of dirt stuck to fly wheels can cause vibrations on a scale you don’t want to ever see.

    You’d still need a certified expert engineer to get the job done.
    I don’t know where you get this from. Fitting vycon energy or a DIY style battery bank UPS is a general electricians and builder job combined with general civil engineering(an architect to design the housing room that never has to come onto site) with a country like Australia with regulations. All the expert engineer stuff is done when the inverters and charging circuits are done that come inside the boxes with manuals. This is the reality never does any of the experts have to come to site. Obey manual/plans or die basically. Manuals of inverters and chargers nicely include recommendations for housing the batteries to prevent worst disasters.

    You only need a expert engineer of you are going to be making your own charging units or inverter units or deciding to assemble different to manual. DIY UPS units are not 100 percent DIY. Why you can build them DIY is the fact the engineering is done only thing not done is building the housing and assembly. UPS is one of the strange things where it cheaper to buy as individual parts than pre-assembled units. Most because locally source housing is not that expensive. Mud bricks and concrete are in fact better housing for containment if something goes wrong than general plastic and metal found around most pre-made UPS units. If you have a UPS built on site and it done right(that is not hard its obey manuals) it is in fact safer.

    Main reason for using inverters to take DC back to AC is in fact thickness of electrical wiring. DC requires heaver wiring and generates more heat.

    I am not exactly sure if you would call this modern art but I have seen the brick walls of a on-site UPS painted by kids in a school.

    Ethiopia lot of there schools are built from mud brick. That just happens to be ideal material to build on-site UPS walls.

    Drloser like it or not battery banks with individually sources chargers and inverters is common third world UPS due to costs. Badly enough big companies like IBM in many locations around the world resort to the same methods.

  37. DrLoser wrote, “Can you cost this thing out in such a way that it’s worth the $400 you save on licenses?”

    This is a cost that is independent of the software on the system. It’s basic infrastructure, keeping the hardware warm. Such infrastructure probably has a useful life of ~25 years, so, if it costs a $few thousand it’s quite affordable for government, business, philanthropy etc. to support. The trick is to have a supply-chain delivering the goods at lowest cost. That can happen with volunteer labour training locals and wholesale shipments to points of centralized distribution. The FOB price of the hardware is just a few $K per school. Moving people around and setting up local industry costs more and once done keeps things going. Another approach that has been tried is to install the stuff in some kind of bunker that gets locked up at night and hoping it never breaks or gets stolen. The bad guys always figure it out so the best way is to have the local community trained to support the system. That’s pretty easy. It just takes beating the bushes. Usually some local entrepreneur will jump out. He supplies labour and distribution and makes a modest profit while supplying the local community with more than just a system for schools: systems for homes and businesses, solar lighting systems so the productive day can exceed ~12h, lamps, batteries, etc. Electrifying these remote schools can lift the whole community and cause the community to support the schools and the technology. It works.

  38. DrLoser wrote, “Is this even a realistic scenario to power a Sub-Saharan classroom with, say, four Pentium desktops?”

    Yes, it is. see, for example, Kenya, page 3/11:
    * 1200AH battery
    * solar panels on the roof
    * inverters, various connections and lights
    How else would it be done? Those guys are training local entrepreneurs and youngsters as salespeople of home systems so there will always be local tech people and a market for further business. It works.

  39. DrLoser says:

    IBM has built a 50 KW solar array on top of its software lab in Bangalore to run its servers. The plan is to add a DC server, an ultrafast IBM Power 775 (which can take AC power as well) and a “smart box” that will be able to take the DC power from solar panels and tweak the voltage to make it suitable to run the server, Schmidt said.

    Is this a realistic scenario for a UPS, Robert?

    No it is not.

    Is this even a realistic scenario to power a Sub-Saharan classroom with, say, four Pentium desktops?

    No, it is not.

    Can you cost this thing out in such a way that it’s worth the $400 you save on licenses?

    No you cannot.

    Blow me if I can work out why a seasoned professional such as yourself would bring this irrelevance up. Sounds more like what oiaohm would do, if you ask me.

    I was expecting better.

  40. DrLoser wrote, of solar+battery+inverter, ” under no circumstances would any sane human being with the slightest knowledge of the subject consider this to be a viable UPS solution.”

    You mean, like IBM?
    “IBM has built a 50 KW solar array on top of its software lab in Bangalore to run its servers. The plan is to add a DC server, an ultrafast IBM Power 775 (which can take AC power as well) and a “smart box” that will be able to take the DC power from solar panels and tweak the voltage to make it suitable to run the server, Schmidt said. The box also will monitor the power flow and make the switch to accept power from the grid when the solar panels aren’t producing much energy or not at all.”

    They are even skipping the inverters by using DC powered equipment. Replace grid with battery (in places with no grid…) and we have the desired result. DrLoser should get out more and meet people who think outside the box.

  41. DrLoser says:

    A battery is an energy storage device. In the event of a short circuit, where do you think that energy goes?

    Needs repeating, I think.

  42. DrLoser says:

    Incidentally, has oioahm figured out the difference between nouns and pronouns yet?

    I only arsked.

  43. DrLoser says:

    I don’t think “damned patents” are enforcible on home DIY projects. This is, unless, of course, you are planning on deploying your modern-art sculpture of a “UPS” in a school right next to a bunch of kids.

    You are insane, TEG. Are you seriously suggesting that the patent system has certain obvious benefits, to whit, discouraging a raging ignorant maniac in northern NSW from stealing ideas he doesn’t understand and building what is basically a home-made bomb, complete with some rather nasty acids to spray around?

    Insane, I tell you.

    Everybody knows that patents are fundamentally wrong, and that the odd instance of a class-room full of acid-scarred kids is a price worth paying for that principle.

    Rather like the National Rifle Association, really.

  44. DrLoser says:

    I pride myself on taking a more conciliatory position than TEG, btw, Robert. (Although I’d advise anybody out there to take TEG’s comments as a template for EE safety, rather than mine. I also recognise expertise in the field, when I see it.)

    Herewith, therefore, a conciliatory admission that you, Robert, are completely correct in this case:

    That doesn’t mean I advise others without my background to do the same unless they want to learn that kind of thing.

    Now, this means that oiaohm (to take one small putrid pitiful example) should never be left within a million miles of proposing, let alone designing, a suitable UPS system.

    Nor me, in fact, but then again I do not claim the expertise that rolls so easily off oiaohm’s Silver Wall Of Gibberish.

    You are right, Robert. You are completely correct. You have irrefutable, professional, knowledge of how to go about building a sensible UPS.

    That being said … how, precisely, would shaving $400 off licensing fees help you in any way whatsoever?

    I mean, ignoring the cost of things like diesel, or possibly a whacking great fly-wheel if we’re talking solar power … You’d still need a certified expert engineer to get the job done.

    Say four hours at $50 per. Oops, say $3000 for the return flight from Manitoba.

    The living should be cheap, though. Go for it, Robert!

  45. DrLoser says:

    I deliberately left out the possibility of solar power for a UPS there, Robert, because I knew very well that it’s your favourite subject and that you would just jump in and make yourself look temporarily very silly indeed.

    Now, you are a professional in the field of longstanding.

    Therefore you are very well aware that an array of solar cells, no matter how cheap and how extensive, are no substitute for a Uninterruptible Power Supply.

    They might well be a substitute for a local power station down the road.

    But under no circumstances would any sane human being with the slightest knowledge of the subject consider this to be a viable UPS solution.

    Go on, admit it.

  46. TEG, being a troll, wrote, “If you had a few years of electrical engineering experience under your belt, then I might just agree you had any business teaching people how to build a UPS.”

    • I worked for years making/using/designing high-voltage/high-current electrical devices for the University of Manitoba Cyclotron Laboratory. I controlled systems with multiple PSUs over 1KV all the way to 24KV. The biggest were the RF and magnet supplies, 12KW and 100KW, but most of them were lethal/destructive if used incorrectly.
    • I was a member of IEEE. You don’t get in without an invitation by other members. I was an active member of the IEEE 1014 committee which standardized an instrumentation bus still in use 30 years later.
    • I’ve published in professional, peer-reviewed journals on electronics I designed, built, installed and tested. e.g. An improvement to the beam buncher of the University of Manitoba cyclotron It took me a month to convince my boss that it would work (he had a fixation that he had heard it didn’t…) and 3 days to build and install it from parts. This involved bringing in a few watts of RF power and synthesizing a sawtooth waveform which was brought into the vacuum system.
    • I’ve operated two cyclotrons with room-filling control panels and I wrote the software for one of the control systems.

    You can bet your boots I know how to deal with electricity/electronics/radiation etc. For Goodness’ sake, what do you think I was doing all those years as a student and accelerator technician? I was learning to do stuff like this from 1965 to 1976 as a student and I worked as a cyclotron tech from 1976 to 1986.

    There is a summary of the history of the University of Manitoba Cyclotron at the university’s library. At the height of its glory, most of the nuclear physicists graduating in Canada came from there. I worked on several large projects: the PPB experiment, mapping of the magnetic field, redesign of the D-tips, the beam buncher and the polarized ion source. I also worked on the magnetic and electrical field calculations for a replacement cyclotron which was never funded. My record for blowing up the most high-voltage power-supplies in one day was 7, because my boss refused to allow current-limiting resistors on the leads into high-vacuum. A spark triggered massive failure… So, I do know my stuff. I’ve been there and done that.

    See also, STATUS REPORT ON THE UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA CYCLOTRON (1976)

    See also a crummy scan of An Improvement To The Beam Buncher Of The University Of Manitoba Cyclotron

  47. TEG wrote, “I don’t think “damned patents” are enforcible on home DIY projects.”

    Yes. The guy with the patents would let no one else build the things so NiMH cells above a certain size were unavailable for a decade or more. An oil-company bought the patent and protected its oil business. Damned patents… That’s patent-abuse but by the time anyone did anything about it the patents expired.

    What are you going on about, “300AH”? You need that kind of capacity to run more than a few PCs for very long. Are you aware of the capacities of electrical service entrances for schools? Those things are much more dangerous than typical batteries. Think three-phase 120/208V at hundreds of amperes. The last place I worked a guy had his desk right up against the service entrance… “The switch” was a lever several feet long.

  48. TEG wrote, “fire safety regulations”.

    Nope. We scarcely had anything but the occasional real or practice-fire-drill at university. Our building was more or less fire-proof and stuff that could burn was in concrete or steel containers. Our primary directive was to get results in those days. We worked 16h or longer and if something broke we replaced it or fixed it on the spot. I’ve lived my life that way ever since. In the school where the UPS broke, any bureaucratic paperwork took 2 years, no matter how trivial, so we just ignored the bureaucracy and got things done. Fire regulations do not apply to plugging in CSA-approved appliances, for instance. If I replace failed parts with equivalent ones, no one cares. That’s what I did except the old parts did not come out cleanly as the manuals described. The batteries were swollen and had corroded connectors.

  49. That Exploit Guy says:

    I spent years in high school learning the basics and studied the subject at university.

    Then I am pretty sure you are aware of these things called “fire safety regulations”, right?
    They are usually the kind of things the university makes sure you know during your induction as a postgraduate student (particular when you are in fields that require the handling of dangerous machinery or substances).

    Just as I am the kind of person who can install software from source and knows his way around the Debian repository, I am the kind of guy who can design electronics and understands the ins and outs of electrical circuitry.

    If you had a few years of electrical engineering experience under your belt, then I might just agree you had any business teaching people how to build a UPS. Statements such as “[I] can install software from source and knows his way around the Debian repository” simply don’t count as relevant qualifications – they are jokes. (Besides, I can teach a monkey to “know [its] way around the Debian repository”. What’s the big deal about that?)

    That doesn’t mean I advise others without my background to do the same unless they want to learn that kind of thing.

    Again, self-qualifications are just self-qualifications, and they mean jack squat as far as everyone else is concerned. No one cares if the Arctic is full of MacGuyvers that build their own cars with paper clips and toothpicks. You are attempting to give instructions on potentially dangerous activities that you are not qualified to teach, and that’s what’s makes you an irresponsible person.

    Small NiMH, the kind usually found in households are incredibly reliable and simple to use.

    Sure, if you have a proper charger and you are not planning to, to use Oiaohms words, “go big” with them, that is.
    There is a gaping difference between having a handful of batteries and hundreds of them lying around. In some places, you are probably not even allows to have five or six of them in your house. You live in Manitoba, Canada. What makes you so sure what you are encouraging people an ocean away to do is even
    legal where they live? Again, fire safety regulations come into play with this sort of things.

    The larger sizes of NiMH are used in commercial UPSes but the capital costs have limited that because of the damned patents.

    I don’t think “damned patents” are enforcible on home DIY projects. This is, unless, of course, you are planning on deploying your modern-art sculpture of a “UPS” in a school right next to a bunch of kids.

    Another example, 300AH single cell.

    Great. Don’t forget to accidentally short it out and leave it in a building full of children.

    The particular video shows a battery-pack being terribly abused, short-circuited.

    It’s easy to short-circuit a battery and you don’t need any particular skills, effort or even consciousness to do so. A battery is an energy storage device. In the event of a short circuit, where do you think that energy goes?
    Pfft… “Qualifications”.

  50. DrLoser wrote, of supplying schools in sub-Saharan Africa, “let’s design us an Uninterruptible Power Supply for this particular situation.”

    That’s a very sunny location. They may not even have a rainy season so I would go with solar power and NiCD batteries with an inverter. No need for a UPS at all then as the supply is uninterruptible. The Chinese have been catering to Africa seriously lately and since they make these batteries in sizes up to ~1K AH it should be possible to cover a roof with solar panels and keep the battery charged. These cells do require maintenance, topping up water a couple of times per annum but they last decades as do the solar panels. One might have an “A” and “B” inverter, then, as the only backup needed. Inverters can be rated for many thousands of hours MTBF. I would not use P4s for this although those machines are often donated to schools. Freight to Africa is expensive. The Chinese could likely donate some Atomic or ARMed systems and save the cost of freight. There are projects like this. The limiting factor is to find crews to distribute systems and to train teachers. Many young people from all over the world volunteer their services and provide such systems. OLPC did too. Negroponte reported that they did an experiment just dumping off computers and the kids figured it all out…

  51. DrLoser says:

    Small NiMH, the kind usually found in households are incredibly reliable and simple to use. If slightly overcharged, as in leaving them in a charger for long periods of time, they just electrolyze water which is catalytically oxidized to form water again when the temperature and pressure in the sealed units is high enough.

    Okey dokey. As I pointed out, Robert, you qualify as an expert here. (Unlike the fantasist oiaohm.)

    I don’t have the figures to hand, so could you do me a favour here?

    Assume a small school room in Sub-Saharan Africa. (This is the sort of place we were talking about.) Assume (without going off on a tangent about how a thin client solution would be preferable) a set-up of, say, five PCs.

    These PCs, say Pentium IVs, will run with the normal power requirements, and let’s also assume that they have a very robust PSU, let’s say 300W from a reputable manufacturer.

    Now, let’s design us an Uninterruptible Power Supply for this particular situation.

    Would you go with the oiaohm design?

    I think not.

  52. DrLoser says:

    To oiaohm and TEG:

    Hey, guys, let’s not get too hung up on the difference between Manganese and Cobalt salts (and consequently acids), shall we? What’s a couple of places on the Periodic Table between friends? I mean, we’re all friends here, aren’t we?

    Apart from oiaohm, who is apparently a dangerous and deluded maniac who should be locked up in a padded room for the safety of the general public, just in case he decides to build his own UPS prototype out of lead acid batteries. Luckily, oiaohm is nothing more than a weedy little fantasist, so I don’t need to repeat the following wise warning:

    I only hope that a responsible adult is looking after you and generally keeping you from doing stupid crap that puts yourself and others at risk.

    But, just in case anybody else is tempted to build a garden-shed UPS capable of several hours of powering a small hamlet, or worse, I’ll take the liberty of re-quoting TEG’s cite, this time with the title in place as an Awful Warning:

    Thermal-runaway experiments on consumer Li-ion batteries with metal-oxide and olivin-type cathodes.

    Why does oiaohm, who amongst his other “special” abilities is completely ignorant in the field of lead acid batteries, flammable electrolytes, the relationship between energy density and a specific need (or lack thereof) for recharging … why does oiaohm persist in making himself look like an ignorant little twerp?

    Speaking of which, ignorant little twerp, have you finally reconciled yourself to the obvious fact that you have no clue what the difference is between a noun and a pronoun, and that this “Oxford/Cambridge” nonsense has absolutely nothing to do with the notionally assigned gender for either Germany or Russia in native speech?

    No? Thought not.

    Bone-head.

  53. TEG wrote, “It’s actually just the kind of battery you use for model planes or boats, you know, general hobby stuff. Nothing special, really, and definitely not something you would want to have more than one or two of in your house.”

    Just as I am the kind of person who can install software from source and knows his way around the Debian repository, I am the kind of guy who can design electronics and understands the ins and outs of electrical circuitry. I spent years in high school learning the basics and studied the subject at university. I learned from the best in physics and engineering there. I also learned to be a welder, a not unrelated field with inverters and high-current rectifiers. My workshop is full of electronics that I know how to use. I build rather than buy gadgets like battery-chargers out there. So, when I write that I hacked a UPS, you can bet I know what I was doing, including RTFM and researching the topic. The places I’ve worked often did have the necessary tools and I know how to use them. That doesn’t mean I advise others without my background to do the same unless they want to learn that kind of thing.

    Small NiMH, the kind usually found in households are incredibly reliable and simple to use. If slightly overcharged, as in leaving them in a charger for long periods of time, they just electrolyze water which is catalytically oxidized to form water again when the temperature and pressure in the sealed units is high enough. As long as the consumer is using an appropriate charger they are just about the most reliable battery there is. I bought some D-cells and a flashlight around 2001 when I worked at a place where I often walked 2 miles into work in the dark of the winter’s nights. Half of those cells still take a charge today. That’s 14 years of neglect, overcharging and deep discharges. The larger sizes of NiMH are used in commercial UPSes but the capital costs have limited that because of the damned patents. Now that those patents have expired larger sizes of NiMH are feasible.

    Another example, 300AH single cell.

    The particular video shows a battery-pack being terribly abused, short-circuited. The packaging actually burns before anything serious happens. Plastic burns. Cells leak. It’s hard to identify the product but that looks more like a lithium ion behaviour. Those cells contain an organic liquid which does burn. NiMH is full of inert ingredients, a filler, a basic electrolyte and such. When severely overcharged, they typically burst and cease operation while the cells in the video continued to burn. I’ve blown up my share of devices. Here’s a video of a lithium cell being ignited by a flame. It does burn.

  54. That Exploit Guy says:

    Cost is not that simple. Lead-acid have to be replaced every few years so the cost add up. Shipping all that weight matters too. NiMH is a great technology that now has escaped the patent-hole it was in. Even the NiCd and NiFe are still feasible (incredibly long life span v rather poor efficiency) although only China and India manufacture them and ship by sea. Then there’s plain old hydrogen technology and fuel-cells. It’s good to have choice.

    See this burning NiMH battery? See how easily it is to set alight with just the two terminals shorted together? It’s actually just the kind of battery you use for model planes or boats, you know, general hobby stuff. Nothing special, really, and definitely not something you would want to have more than one or two of in your house.
    Let’s give you a benefit of the doubt. Let’s just say you just wanted to keep Dolding away from the potentially dangerous idea of MacGuyvering a “UPS” with a bunch of lead-acid batteries. Let’s also say you were just stubborn and didn’t want the “trolls” to “have it”. Let’s also just say you didn’t quite get the idea behind people putting all those warnings in those battery charger manuals. A charade is a charade, however risky, unthinkable, idiotic it might be.
    Then there is the immediate, no benefit-of-the-doubt giving, obvious conclusion, which is that you are fascinated with the idea of “hacking” your own UPS, and will under no hesitation convince others to perform such “hacking”.
    I don’t want to come off as too inflexible, so I’ll just let you choose what kind of irresponsible person you want to be, because, trust me: you will need to choose anyway when people start asking in a really serious way why you are encouraging others to engage in ill-thought-out pursuits that put themselves and those around them in harms way?
    And when that time comes, it’s too late to shift the blame to a sketchy website like “WikiHow”.

  55. That Exploit Guy says:

    @ Peter “I fear not death; or public safety, for that matter” Dolding

    Cost is a factor DrLoser. Deep cycle lead acid is still the cheapest and badly enough one of the most stable if not over pushed by charger.

    Let’s not kid ourselves here: it is a no-brainer as to why having a room full of charging lead-acid battery is generally ill-advised. The potential of having a built-up of hydrogen and oxygen gases (from the electrolysis of dilute sulphuric acid, which consist of mostly water) and igniting them through as little as a spark (from whatever “UPS” monstrosity you are “hacking”) simply overweights any benefit you can gain from having this kind of safety hazards around.
    I only hope that a responsible adult is looking after you and generally keeping you from doing stupid crap that puts yourself and others at risk.

    Lithium iron phosphate battery thermal runaway is impossible due to the chemistry shutting the battery down.

    A US congressman has a line of reasoning somewhat similar to that. Had I not been reading so many of your posts and understood that you were pretty much a mental case, I would have seriously thought you were just trolling.
    “The chemistry shutting the battery down”? I really wish I could find a way to reply to this without sounding like I was just pointing out the obviously, but, c’mon now, that’s just silliness in the extreme.
    I’ll leave this here in case someone wants to read more than just hand-waving BS.

    So they only really have a safe choice of two batteries in Lithium but then choose the unsafe one…. Lithium Manganese Oxide is able to thermal runaway while charging or discharging in fact can explode if draw too much too quickly as well then will explode if over charged or discharged too far.

    I assume you mean lithium cobalt oxide, because that was the only lithium-ion based option Boeing had when the contract was made for the batteries.

    DrLoser the worst battery for a UPS you could suggest is Lithium Manganese Oxide as the 787 DreamLiner used.

    DrLoser, as far as his posts are concerned, has suggested nothing even close to a “UPS” for the 787 DreamLiner. If I am reading correctly, it appears he was simply mocking you for believing in a silver bullet for all the battery woes. In fact, he even suggested using you as a test subject for any rechargeable battery technology that might be deemed “state-of-the-art”:

    Speaking of which, I wouldn’t necessarily trust a “state-of-the art” Lithium ion battery, either. Best test it on oiaohm first — he seems game for a challenge.

    Well, are you game for a challenge? (Actually, no, on second though, I shouldn’t really be putting any more ideas in your head, however hilarious they might seem.)

    Any general wiring electrician can do this.

    Backpaddling, aren’t we? Perhaps your neighbours can finally breathe a sigh of relief?

    Do note DrLoser I said go big or don’t do it at all.

    … Or not. Let’s just hope this won’t end up in the news.

  56. oiaohm wrote, “Deep cycle lead acid is still the cheapest and badly enough one of the most stable if not over pushed by charger.”

    Cost is not that simple. Lead-acid have to be replaced every few years so the cost add up. Shipping all that weight matters too. NiMH is a great technology that now has escaped the patent-hole it was in. Even the NiCd and NiFe are still feasible (incredibly long life span v rather poor efficiency) although only China and India manufacture them and ship by sea. Then there’s plain old hydrogen technology and fuel-cells. It’s good to have choice.

  57. oiaohm says:

    Lithium iron phosphate battery thermal runaway is impossible due to the chemistry shutting the battery down.
    I should be more exact. Lithium iron phosphate does not thermal runaway it becomes a complete brick as it internal chemistry becomes inert so will never charge or act as a battery again. Lithium iron phosphate is a fail safe battery. Lead acid not exactly fail safe but not exactly hazard either. Lead acid has limited conditions to go into thermal runaway. The fact that Lead acid voltage increases before thermal runaway starts. Only reason a Lead acid would thermal runaway or a Lithium iron phosphate fry is incorrect or failed charger that has been modified. In fact both chargers have a fuse in them for a reason the back pressure from the battery will break the fuse in the charger so stopping the charging. Yes the fuse is designed to fail if the electronic circuit fails to cut voltage before battery enters overload. To thermal runaway either of them requires the wrong charger or incorrectly modified broken charger where someone foolish fits a larger fuse. Very limited conditions with many levels of safe guards designed into the hardware. You are more likely to have issues with Lead Acid from lack of ventilation leading to a hydrogen exposition than thermal runaway if you are using off the shelf parts in a DIY UPS setup. Now if you decide to solder up your own charger you are nuts. I am not suggesting anyone makes their own charger.

  58. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser Lithium ion depends on the battery how easy thermal runaway is to trigger.

    Cost is a factor DrLoser. Deep cycle lead acid is still the cheapest and badly enough one of the most stable if not over pushed by charger. Using larger banks equals less draw per battery under load also lower charging rate per battery both reduce thermal runaway risk. This is why its go big or don’t do it. Small you are too close to limits.

    Lithium iron phosphate battery thermal runaway is impossible due to the chemistry shutting the battery down. Problem is price and weight. 787 Dreamliner choose to use Lithium Manganese Oxide or in other words explosive type that is cheap and light. There is a stabilized form of Lithium Manganese Oxide made in 2008 Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide but that is even more expensive than Lithium iron phosphate for power storage. Price vs Storage vs Safety. Out of the Lithium batteries its Lithium iron phosphate. If you want safe and you care about weight and not price options are Li-Air or Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide. Li-Air is not suitable for aircraft. So they only really have a safe choice of two batteries in Lithium but then choose the unsafe one.

    DrLoser the worst battery for a UPS you could suggest is Lithium Manganese Oxide as the 787 DreamLiner used. Lithium Manganese Oxide is able to thermal runaway while charging or discharging in fact can explode if draw too much too quickly as well then will explode if over charged or discharged too far. You cannot get a worse battery. A deep cycle sealed lead acid is many times safer than Lithium Manganese Oxide. Only a few minor things to watch out with Lead acid. Very simple to mitigate. Lithium iron phosphate is very much like Lead acid where it develops resistance with voltage rising to say bank is full. Voltage rise directly aligns to temperature of a lead acid or Lithium iron phosphate battery so you don’t need thermal monitoring per battery. So a lead acid and Lithium iron phosphate thermal measures itself by how they voltage respond.

    Yes there are other batteries that can be chosen a lot of research has been done as DrLoser stated. Issue is lot of batteries don’t have large voltage rises when full. Lithium Iron Phosphate is over 4 volts same with Lead Acid. If you charger is set lower voltage the simple back pressure of the battery stops the charging process hopefully. Bigger the bank the more tolerate it is to malfunction. Larger back pressure when charged.

    Out of mild curiosity: wired in parallel, or in series?
    That is clearly based on the charging unit what it design to charge safely also based on what voltages inverter takes. Yes some inverters run on 48 volts or higher. Mostly assembling these large scale UPS systems obey the manufactures instructions of the charger and the inverter and you are at no risk. Any general wiring electrician can do this. Its not specialist to make these things.

    INCO Battery Research is one of the places that made the useful data.

    Do note DrLoser I said go big or don’t do it at all. In fact INCO Battery Research did bank testing on charging tolerance of deep cycle lead acid batteries compared to charger per battery. So from what you just said you use to work at one of the places that is responsible for the advice 20 batteries wired up correctly is better than 1 single lead acid.

    Due to wanting larger storage and same voltage the answer of course is parallel is what your banks are. Good thing about lead acid is that it does not have a min charging voltage or ampage.

    DrLoser I never said I was writing a deployment guide here. Acid risks like wearing protective gear around the batteries is part of the manufactures instructions. Not over charging is advised against with Lead acid. No issue with under charging or slow charging lead acid. Not all batteries will tolerate under charging or slow charging Lithium Manganese Oxide does not like it neither does salt batteries that have to maintain a particular temperature to charge.

    DrLoser really go sit down with a few people you know about INCO Battery Research and ask them to explain trickle charging to you and why correctly set up on lead acid or Lithium iron phosphate can never explode. Then also have them explain how a large bank of batteries require more input to move the bank by a volt and how due to this slower change make overload so many times harder to happen. Slower this happens less heat each battery is producing. The trickle chargers and inverters you use when making large UPS units are the same people use when having solar power with mains top up.

  59. That Exploit Guy says:

    Interestingly, less than 12 hours ago I wrote the following:

    Then it may surprise you that the configuration that you thought was only possible on Linux has been specifically supported by a Windows edition called “MultiPoint Server” for quite a long time, though you can always count on a rabid FOSS fanatic like Bob Pogson to downplay or deny its existence.

    Either I was very good at predicting the future, or Bob was just that predictable.
    And I have doubts about the former.

  60. That Exploit Guy says:

    Read the damned EULA

    So I have read. Now, could you tell me for what reason on earth the Windows XP EULA might just be relevant in this discussion?
    What Next? Are you going to show me the Windows Phone EULA and then tell me that Windows (in a general sense) can’t be legally made to serve thin clients?
    Seriously, are you aiming so low that you just expect your readers to be hopelessly stupid anyway?

    It didn’t exist in XP, nor “7” unless you pay extra. When I refer to that other OS, I’m not talking about a server OS unless that’s the subject.

    Now, what exactly is your reason to deliberately use a Windows edition that is not meant for the purpose in a comparison if your goal is not to mislead your readers?
    Heck, let’s not beat around the bush here – you are being deceitful to your readers. After all, if the truth doesn’t suit the narrative, then fallacies and outright lies will just have to do. AnythingToPromoteFOSS(TM).

  61. DrLoser wrote, “He has had at least four separate careers: nuclear physics, two other variants on his nuclear physics background, and latterly a successful career in Sub-Arctic teaching. Take advice from this man regarding battery backup, given normal common-sense precautions.”

    One of the roles of education in a modern society is to prepare students for a life that may well include five careers. I must be at least there. Strangely, I enjoyed each one and was never seriously bored by any. I count 22 years of my life in formal education and I used it all, even the French… Today I went out for a walk and discovered the coprinus mushrooms are go… I filled my pockets and used the product to seed my mushroom garden which still has not produced a single mushroom but it will happen eventually. Multiple careers is a reflection of intelligence, mental agility, a thirst for knowledge and a desire to make the world a better place. I’ve had a good life and I don’t see it ending soon if I can help it. Life’s too much fun.

  62. DrLoser wrote, “do not consider travelling on a 787 Dreamliner”.

    I watched a documentary on Aljazeera about that. It seemed a silly proposition, but I was just too tired to change the channel… It turns out Boeing built the thing like a house of cards, just like that other OS. The battery was just one of many weak links, like farming almost everything out to the lowest bidder. Even M$ doesn’t do that.

  63. DrLoser says:

    1 battery is more likely to explode than a bank of 20.

    Bwahahaha!

    Out of mild curiosity: wired in parallel, or in series?

    You are allowed to specify your own choice of wiring gauge and any other relevant environmental conditions, oiaohm.

    And if you don’t, I suspect it’s fair to assume that you are full of dangerous uninformed shit.

    Which, btw, will kill or injure or possibly permanently deface any poor sap that listens to you by spraying acid all over the place.

  64. DrLoser says:

    For those who believe that there is no such thing as “thermal runaway,” btw, I strongly advise you not to buy a Sony laptop, even if it comes with Debian pre-installed.

    Also, do not consider travelling on a 787 Dreamliner.

    Speaking of which, I wouldn’t necessarily trust a “state-of-the art” Lithium ion battery, either. Best test it on oiaohm first — he seems game for a challenge.

  65. DrLoser says:

    And, back to UPS and lead-acid batteries. (There are other kinds. There are many preferable forms of UPS back-up … indeed, I can’t really think of a worse one, but this one is the one that oiaohm has kindly foisted on us.)

    Robert Pogson is a polymath. He has had at least four separate careers: nuclear physics, two other variants on his nuclear physics background, and latterly a successful career in Sub-Arctic teaching. Take advice from this man regarding battery backup, given normal common-sense precautions.

    oiaohm is a clueless and, according to his recent posts here, dangerous idiot. Do not take advice from this man regarding anything involving current measured in anything greater than a few milliamps. Or voltage that, when applied to a moist bit of your body, makes it tingle. Oh, and no advice about chemicals whatsoever, please. Particularly acids.

    Me? I’m just a sad old git who started his IT career at INCO Battery Research. A research establishment based in Birmingham and full of PhDs in chemical engineering and metallurgy and material sciences and the like, with a full-on maxi hell-in-a-crucible Furnace to test out possible alloys for use in long-life batteries.

    And, by “long life…” I mean, we had batteries of all sorts in test rigs, and those test rigs were testing for a safe life of at least five years. Literally. Not via simulation.

    I hope, therefore, that TEG will not object to me re-inforcing his trenchant attack on oiaohm’s dangerous ignorance by repeating TEG’s very apposite warning once more:

    It is, of course, due to the fact that battery-powered UPSs are meant to last only for as long as your machine needs to shut down gracefully. If you are looking for “12 hours at full load”, you are better off with a diesel generator or a hamster on a wheel – anything but a battery-powered UPS.

    Translated?

    Do not try this at home!

  66. DrLoser says:

    German is funny they use the term motherland as well.

    Not in reference to Germany, they bloody well don’t. I am going to stretch a very, very long way in the direction of your supposed “thinking,” and admit that Germans will use “die Heimat” (f) as an equivalent in many cases.

    But they never, not once, use “Die Mutterland” when they are referring to Germany. Not that they would. It would be “Das Mutterland,” in the same way that it is properly “Das Vaterland.” I imagine that bringing a neuter pronoun into the discussion would just blow your tiny little mind, wouldn’t it?

    Once again, you are babbling incoherently. Oh, and as a kicker … even if Germans did so refer to their country, no English language authority whatsoever does so. Not Oxford, not Cambridge, not even Rutland.

    Naturally I omit oiaohm as an English language authority here. In fact, I will go further. oiaohm is not an authority for any language whatsoever. In fact, I will go still further. oiaohm has a many-times proven lack of authority in any field whatsoever, linguistic or otherwise.

    Some germen text also uses the female as well.

    Also “gerwimmen” and “mermen” and “mermadeintaiwans,” I would guess.

    Never “use the female,” oiaohm. Always “use the feminine conjugation.”

    I believe I have made this fairly simple but important point before. It is not a point of contention. It is impossible to argue about these things unless you use commonly accepted terms.

    But you just never listen, do you? Bone-head.

  67. TEG wrote, “assuming that Windows MultiPoint Server didn’t exist”.

    It didn’t exist in XP, nor “7” unless you pay extra. When I refer to that other OS, I’m not talking about a server OS unless that’s the subject. We’re talking about a client OS here. It’s you who are fooled by the M$ian double-speak. GNU/Linux can do the job on a typical PC. XP, “7” etc. can’t or at least M$ won’t let the user get the value he paid for in his purchase of hardware. Ballmer was always talking about “getting value” from M$”s sale of licences. The value he was talking about was taxing peoples’ PCs.

  68. TEG wrote, “Windows does not allow multi video cards in a single computer to provide multi user seats.”

    Read the damned EULA:“Except as otherwise permitted by the
    NetMeeting, Remote Assistance, and Remote Desktop
    features described below, you may not use the Product
    to permit any Device to use, access, display or run other
    executable software residing on the Workstation Computer,
    nor may you permit any Device to use, access, display,
    or run the Product or Product’s user interface, unless
    the Device has a separate license for the Product.”

  69. That Exploit Guy says:

    Actually, it’s kind of funny that Bob mentioned “the Arctic”.
    If a battery heat up, just throw it out the window. What’s a “thermal runaway” in an outdoor temperature that is under 30 degree celcius anyway? The damn thing will probably turn into a popsicle in an instant.
    (Seriously, though, don’t try that at home.)

  70. That Exploit Guy says:

    @ Peter Dolding

    Lead acid batteries only enter overload if you over charge.

    Unless your point is being that an unskilled, untrained individual (i.e. the exact target that you explicitly encourage with this DIY UPS exercise) won’t accidentally overcharge a lead-acid battery, I am not entirely what are getting at.

    1 battery is more likely to explode than a bank of 20. So if you are going DIY build a UPS lead acid based go big or don’t do it at all.

    Because Peter Dolding says so?
    There you have it, folk: you should totally trust a person on the Internet that speaks like a manual for a cheap Chinese toy on things that may have devastating results to your property and your well-being. Also, don’t try your luck on just one mere act of foolishness – max it the crap out by twenty folds – because nothing can possibly go wrong with a room full of charging batteries, right? Right?
    I don’t know what’s sadder: an obviously insane person called “Oiaohm” that dishes out unthinkable advices, or a foaming-at-the-mouth FOSS zealot called “Robert Pogson” that will say the damnedest things just to get back at the “trolls”.
    Disgraceful.

  71. That Exploit Guy says:

    That’s insulting.

    So, are you replying to me to encourage people to construct their own UPSs according to the instruction Oiaohm cited? If not, then what on earth are you yapping about, Mr Bob “Windbag” Pogson?

    I was in the Arctic when a UPS failed threatening a whole bank of servers. We figured out that the batteries had failed and swelled. We did hack them out of there and replaced the corroded terminals and added new batteries.

    Did this involve building your own UPS using “a charging circuit, inverter and batteries” (to quote Oiaohm himself). If not, again, then what exact are you getting at?

  72. That Exploit Guy says:

    DrLoser you are USA person. You would go out and buy a UPS. You would not go out and by the 3 parts and build your own.

    1) Isn’t DrLoser British?
    2) I am pretty sure it’s an Aussie custom to throw some lamb chops on the barbie one the 26th of January and then go to Jaycar to get those “3 parts” for their hack-your-own UPSs. Either that, or you are simply full of crap.

    Multi-seat option of Linux is critical. Microsoft wants in to some of these markets Microsoft needs to support it. Of course Microsoft does not want to have to support it.

    Again, that’s patently false.

    This cost difference only exists because Windows does not allow multi video cards in a single computer to provide multi user seats.

    Ditto.

  73. That Exploit Guy says:

    So Dolding’s nonsense continues as follows:

    The problem here is it not that expensive. Its about 200-300 dollars a seat with Linux when you can multi seat but that is saved by the computer boxes you don’t have. 4 users per computer make it affordable.

    Again, this is assuming that Windows MultiPoint Server didn’t exist, although at this point I can’t honestly say that it surprises to see Bob Pogson or his acolytes basing a biased Linux vs. Windows argument on the false assumption that Windows is fat-client only OS.
    Pathetic.

    Single computer with single screen and is about 800-1200 dollars for the UPS for 12 hours of running.
    Again, “12 hours” is a gross overstatement of what a ~AU$1000 UPS can actually do. Of course, this is not counting some idiot trying to build his own fire hazard… I mean UPS.

    Very large diesel generators is fact incorrect. 4 to 1. Means class room 40 user seats is 10 PC. 1500 dollar generator will support that.

    You know what? I was born to check prices. A budget around of AU$1500 will get you a diesel generator along the line of this, which doesn’t leave you with much head room as far as the VA rating goes. Also, this is assuming you have only one classroom in the entire school, which is unusual even in remote parts of Australia.

    You still use batteries why computers don’t like nosily power-supply.

    Actually, it is not unusual in Australia to have a backup generator for servers given in many places utility power is just not stable enough to rely on.
    Also, you know what’s noisy? The switching power supply that goes into your typical desktop computer, you know, being switching and all.

    Even if Microsoft was giving the licenses to the school for free the hardware difference in cost between multi-seat and not multi-seat will cover it.

    Again, MultiPoint Server. It wouldn’t hurt you rabid FOSS zealots to give an honest, informed comparison between Linux and Windows for once, would it?

  74. TEG wrote, “hack-your-own UPS nonsense anyway”.

    That’s insulting. I was in the Arctic when a UPS failed threatening a whole bank of servers. We figured out that the batteries had failed and swelled. We did hack them out of there and replaced the corroded terminals and added new batteries. Underway in a few days without hurting the budget. Our cost was about $200, including air-freight. Those pro UPS units could detect damaged batteries but did nothing to prevent damage. The batteries became weak and the thing just kept over-charging them. Up there our lives depended on UPS because the utility was from diesel generators always going down for maintenance. So, I would hack a UPS if it was important enough. Otherwise one just doesn’t know what’s inside the box. I think it was a deliberate design flaw for once the batteries failed it was almost impossible to get them out of the UPS. I did it by disassembling the UPS. Even then, the batteries were tight in the compartments and brutality was required to get them out. None of this opening the door and sliding them out… This whole affair wasted hours of my life. We made a note to replace batteries periodically rather than as needed after that. These were lead-acid batteries. The whole world knows how to charge them and to detect over-charge/weak batteries.

  75. oiaohm wrote, “Each video card on a Linux system can have a independent login and X11 servers..”

    Yes. With on-board plus five dual-PCI cards 10-11 is doable. You do need more RAM for more users. I used to budget 50MB per user + 500MB for OS+applications. Theses days, I would double those numbers. CPUs in desktops are usually idling to ~10% utilization so 10 on a PC is doable. With X we can get 50 users going from thin clients to a powerful server. Largo does up to 400 but they pay up to $40K per box.

  76. oiaohm says:

    That Exploit Guy
    Thermal runaway can only occur if the battery is at high ambient temperature and/or the charging voltage is set too high. As the battery accepts currents, its internal temperature rises.
    Read your quotes. Set charging voltage for max ambient plus a good 15C with a large bank and you are fine. More batteries the slower you are required to refill them. So the less heat per battery each battery has to get rid of. Smaller a UPS unit is the more risk of Thermal runaway.

    In fact the problem you have with prebuild UPS units is that they can be configured for the wrong ambient temperature range in the charger. Yes wrong ambient temperature range will be a very big problem if set for colder and you are warmer. There are sections of Australia with ambient temperatures out side most off the shelf UPS units.

    That Exploit Guy custom built large UPS is a lot safer than a stack of small. Yes its a lot simpler to check a custom built.

  77. oiaohm says:

    That Exploit Guy you did not read your own link.
    Thermal runaway only occurs when a battery is being overcharged
    This is from your own Link.

    Lead acid batteries only enter overload if you over charge. Incorrectly selected charging unit that is over sized is require for lead acid to go into Thermal runaway. Correctly selected or incorrectly undersized charging circuit is blocked by the natural resistance of the full batteries from charging it any more and triggering an Thermal runaway. Its one of the nice features of Lead Acid batteries. Now if you are using some other types of batteries you have to be more careful. In fact the larger the battery bank of Lead acid the harder it is to end up with run away.

    1 battery is more likely to explode than a bank of 20. So if you are going DIY build a UPS lead acid based go big or don’t do it at all.

    I said it was about $1200 per machine in UPS cost. I did not say that would be single UPS units per machine. 1 huge UPS is cheaper than many small by a huge factor. Why http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0034G5DHM/ref=twister_B00KAA1Q9O a Inverter to support at least 10 machines. This is also no where near the best price for that size inverter. Charging unit is cheaper. You end up with a lot more in battery this way. Individual Charging and inverter per computer is downright expensive.

    “MultiPoint Server” That Exploit Guy only supports a single user using the video card properly. Not Like Linux that allows 4 users to use independent video cards fully on the one system. Extra seats on a Windows MultiPoint server is “RemoteFX capable thin clients” MultiPoint Server is thin-clients. In fact Remote FX clients cost more than video cards. Not true multi-seat without thin clients.

    That Exploit Guy please stop over claiming what MultiPoint Server can do.

    Windows 98 supporting up to 9 at a time.
    As how many independent users. Its not just the number of video cards supported. Its the means to multi-seat them. Each video card on a Linux system can have a independent login and X11 servers.. Windows 98 does not support multi-seat at all.

  78. That Exploit Guy says:

    For the sake of everyone’s well-being (even though some will see me as an “M$ troll” and attempt this hack-your-own UPS nonsense anyway), here’s an excerpt of a manual for a certain brand of AGM batteries:

    Thermal runaway is a condition in which the battery temperature increases rapidly resulting in extreme overheating of the battery. Under rare conditions, the battery can melt, catch on fire, or even explode. Thermal runaway can only occur if the battery is at high ambient temperature and/or the charging voltage is set too high. As the battery accepts currents, its internal temperature rises. The rise in temperature reduces the battery impedance, causing it to accept more current. The higher current further heats the battery, and so on, causing the battery temperature to “runaway”. An upper limit will eventually be reached when the electrolyte starts to boil, but once the electrolyte has boiled away, the temperature can climb even further to the point of plastic meltdown and possible fire.

  79. That Exploit Guy says:

    DrLoser the price saving is not Windows licenses. 4 video cards, 1 motherboard, 1 cpu and 1 case vs 4 video cards, 4 motherboards 4 cpu and 4 cases. Problem here the first configuration with Windows does not give 4 user seats but with Linux it does.

    Have you been living under a rock or something? Multiple video cards on Windows has been a no-brainer since the 90s with Windows 98 supporting up to 9 at a time. It’s plain hilarious to see you and Bob talking about it like some sort of voodoo magic.
    Also, “1 CPU”? So we are now going back 40+ years in time to rediscover the wonders of “time sharing”, aren’t we?
    Seriously, old techs are old.

    The money for the large UPS is coming from hardware savings due to the configuration Linux allows.

    Then it may surprise you that the configuration that you thought was only possible on Linux has been specifically supported by a Windows edition called “MultiPoint Server” for quite a long time, though you can always count on a rabid FOSS fanatic like Bob Pogson to downplay or deny its existence.

    200 dollars will get you a few hours but that is not enough.

    AU$200 budget will probably get you a Chinese piece of junk from MSY that claims to have a “1500VA” rating and has an unconvincingly sized battery. I don’t know if it can give you “a few hours” of runtime, though I am quite sure the ACCC needs to be made aware of this “K-star” thing before someone’s house gets burnt down by it.

    You are needing a between 800-1000 dollars for the UPS.

    Cool story. This is except that even a UPS above that price range at half-load can’t give you a runtime longer than what’s measured in minutes. It is, of course, due to the fact that battery-powered UPSs are meant to last only for as long as your machine needs to shut down gracefully. If you are looking for “12 hours at full load”, you are better off with a diesel generator or a hamster on a wheel – anything but a battery-powered UPS.

    Uninterruptible Power Supply is a management system.

    It is also a levitation device.
    I am Peter Dolding.

    Yes this link is the simplest design UPS you build without requiring major electrical skills…

    … if you want to burn down your house and void the insurance cover in the process.

    Of course you normally don’t use your general car batteries. Something the same size as a car battery that is deep cycle. Car batteries don’t like the abuse.

    Interesting, but grossly misinformed.
    Your garden-variety car batteries are known as “starting” batteries, and they are designed to give a large peak current (or the “cranking amps”) for a short duration, and that’s why they are ideal for starting your car. For applications that require depleting the charge of the battery (or “deep discharge”) regularly, you use what is known as a “deep cycle” battery, because its electrodes are designed to withstand the wears incurred by the recharge cycles but usually at the cost of peak current.
    A typical UPS usually use a type of lead-acid battery known as “valve-regulated lead acid” (VRLA) or “sealed” battery. Your WikiHow article also suggests the use of such a battery. This is what makes hacking your own UPS an even more dangerous exercise: the charging process of a lead-acid cell is an exothermic reaction, and that means it gives a net increase of heat to its surrounding. This heat is then fed to the same exothermic reaction, which, if allowed to continue, causes a thermal runaway. The worst case of a thermal runaway is an explosion caused by the ignition of the hydrogen and oxygen gases accumulated in the battery, sending shrapnel of the battery casing and/or the enclosing object to fly in all directions.
    Now, do you still want to hack your own UPS? 😉

  80. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser in languages other than English yes you might use male. German is funny they use the term motherland as well. Some germen text also uses the female as well.

    DrLoser the price saving is not Windows licenses. 4 video cards, 1 motherboard, 1 cpu and 1 case vs 4 video cards, 4 motherboards 4 cpu and 4 cases. Problem here the first configuration with Windows does not give 4 user seats but with Linux it does. Uninterrupted Power Supply to last 12 hours at full load is a little more than 200 dollars. 200 dollars will get you a few hours but that is not enough. You are needing a between 800-1000 dollars for the UPS. The money for the large UPS is not coming from Windows License savings. The money for the large UPS is coming from hardware savings due to the configuration Linux allows.

    Uninterruptible Power Supply is a management system. Some of those management systems use 12 volt batteries. A Uninterruptible Power Supply can be built from 3 parts. A charging circuit, inverter and batteries.
    http://www.wikihow.com/Build-Your-Own-Uninterruptible-Power-Supply
    Yes this link is the simplest design UPS you build without requiring major electrical skills. Yes you can build the simplest design of UPS room sized. Add a set of shelves to store the batteries and your charging controller and inverters are huge.

    Of course you normally don’t use your general car batteries. Something the same size as a car battery that is deep cycle. Car batteries don’t like the abuse.

    But all of those technical possibilities, in a country where you are not guaranteed a constant supply of electricity even during the daytime, are incredibly expensive.
    The problem here is it not that expensive. Its about 200-300 dollars a seat with Linux when you can multi seat but that is saved by the computer boxes you don’t have. 4 users per computer make it affordable.

    Single computer with single screen and is about 800-1200 dollars for the UPS for 12 hours of running. The UPS is worth more than the computer. So with Windows its like 400-600 dollar computer with a 800-1200 dollar UPS per seat. The extra video cards push the Linux box machine price up but still enough that you get savings.

    Very large diesel generators is fact incorrect. 4 to 1. Means class room 40 user seats is 10 PC. 1500 dollar generator will support that. In fact more. So about 40 dollars a seat for the generator. You still use batteries why computers don’t like nosily power-supply. 100 dollar windows licensing savings across the room could be used to buy 2 generators. Even if Microsoft was giving the licenses to the school for free the hardware difference in cost between multi-seat and not multi-seat will cover it. 200-300 dollars cost per seat for UPS hardware when you can multi-seat per computer.

    DrLoser you are USA person. You would go out and buy a UPS. You would not go out and by the 3 parts and build your own. Scale a room full of computers to put a UPS on. The best cost is not prebuilt UPS units. Bad as it sounds a normal prebuilt UPS has to have more airspace in the box. So in volume for shipping it is smaller to send the assemble on site UPS than pre-builts.

    DrLoser do you get it yet. There is a major difference between Linux and Window in the deployment options. Multi-seat option of Linux is critical. Microsoft wants in to some of these markets Microsoft needs to support it. Of course Microsoft does not want to have to support it.

    Operating in bad power areas is always written up as expensive. Linux setting up in a bad power supply area you can use the exact same size budget as setting up a Windows computer room.

    200-300 dollar a seat is not that expensive with Linux. When its 800-1200 dollars a seat as you have with Windows then its expensive. This cost difference only exists because Windows does not allow multi video cards in a single computer to provide multi user seats.

  81. DrLoser says:

    Declined Feminine: Россия-Матушка
    Declined Masculine: Der Vaterland.

    And, to repeat: neither is a “male” or “female” usage. Both are declensions of a pronoun (or, in the Russian case, a nounal phrase).

    Neither has the slightest connection to either “Oxford” or “Cambridge” English. The very imputation of such bespeaks a stunning and evidently unbridgeable chasm between fantasy and reality.

    What a total bone-head.

  82. DrLoser says:

    DrLoser in Oxford/Cambridge documents with Germany use female pronouns not male. The male usage is a different School of English.

    So sad, so revealingly cretinous. “Oxford/Cambridge documents?” Are we talking about John Le Carre, or are we talking about some approximation of Real Life here, oiaohm?

    I promise you I didn’t read any further. Where oiaohm is concerned, there is generally no need. But let’s pick out another absurdity (that I promise you I haven’t yet read), shall we?

    I found several juicy candidates, as I always can. But this one is a peach:

    How to have enough seats with enough UPS system in a small budget is the puzzle.

    How absolutely adorable to see the oiaohm brain feverishly at work, trying to figure out what a “Uninterruptible Power Supply” might be (on a small budget, say the $200 you save on Windows licenses … not that you’d spend that much in the first place).

    I’m assuming, and I have no reason to assume, that oiaohm didn’t just mistype “USP” and meant to refer to a Unique Selling Point. Seems fair enough. UPS, here we go!

    Nowhere in the world, oiaohm, does a “UPS” equate to an array of nine volt batteries. Or even car batteries. Not in parallel, not serially connected.

    A UPS requires a huge amount of infrastructure backup. Very large diesel generators are generally preferred. Obviously there are other technical possibilities.

    But all of those technical possibilities, in a country where you are not guaranteed a constant supply of electricity even during the daytime, are incredibly expensive.

    Shaving off the odd $100 of licensing costs here or there isn’t going to help you one tiny little bit.

    The infrastructure will still be missing. Consequently, the Uninterruptible Power Supply will still be missing.

    Clueless? That would be too high a technical bar for oiaohm, wouldn’t it?

  83. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser in Oxford/Cambridge documents with Germany use female pronouns not male. The male usage is a different School of English. USA English has the habit of using male pronouns for any country the USA has had a war with or is planning a war with. This is why its important to know your English.

    Punctuation by the way is technically grammar. Punctuation are grammar marks. This is something commonly taught wrong in USA schools.
    The whole point of grammar is to inflect a sentence in a way that makes sense.
    LoL No is not same with another laugh. This is taught in USA schools. It is wrong. So far wrong its not funny. English Grammar does not exist to make sentence easy to read. English grammar exists for completely different reason one being to identify author. English grammar information provides suggestions on how English should be assembled based on what others in the past have done. Not that you have to assemble it that way or that it has to remain being assembled that way into the future. English is one heck of a dynamic language.

    “noun-noun-noun/verb-preposition-conjunction-noun.” is wrong. Try again. Nouns have types. Reading complex written documents its important. “animate noun”- “inanimate noun”-“abstract noun”. That is the first three. Not hard to read if you are reading and taking in the different noun types.
    substantial amount of time to parse it.
    Only reason it will be taking a person substantial amount of time to parse is lack of understanding of english. It was written pure left to right. I am not using any of the dirty tricks to require reading like the middle to understand the beginning. Those tricks are allowed english. Maybe I should start using structures requiring looping over the sentence to understand it. It will still be valid english and maybe then you will learn to shut up over this stuff.

    DrLoser do I have to fill in all the blanks. A power outage can be mitigated against with batteries and generators. Problem here you have to afford those. Next problem here the more power your computers pull in stand-by and operation the more you have to spend to support them. 4 users per computer with Linux equals 1 PC power supply unit drinking power in standby. Compared to Windows 4 computers for 4 users all drinking power in stand-by. This adds up to quite a different in UPS system required.

    Do a 4 to 1. Use the price of the 3 computers you did not buy for UPS unit that will be good for 12 hours for full load if not longer. 8 hours is enough for most school days.

    DrLoser this is the case identical spend of money. 1 setup has computers with large power backup and one does not. All seats in both setups are able to use 3d applications and other advanced items.

    Oh, absolutely. Because, you see, Linux doesn’t really need a reliable power source at all.
    Linux still need a reliable power supply. Its the different configurations of Linux to Windows that allows a Linux install to buy a reliable power supply and keep the same number of seats and keep most of the features for same spend. Windows you have to cut back the number of seats or go thin terminal cutting back the features far more extremely.

    DrLoser little bit of thinking it should have been very clear how come reliable power supply was affordable with the Linux solution yet was not with Windows.

    If you hardware budget per seat Linux gives you extra ways to spend that budget compared to Windows. That difference can be the difference between a network that works with power outage and a network that does not work. If you have 40 students needing to use computers at the same time deploying only 20 seats so you have enough power backup in case of black out will not work. This is the kind of problem Ethiopia Schools are dealing with.

    How to have enough seats with enough UPS system in a small budget is the puzzle. Also just to be highly fun a laptops use more power than PC with UPS units. Why a UPS units stop drawing power when battery is full where most laptops turn the extra battery charging power into waste heat when battery is full. Yes Ugly.

    A room full of batteries with proper management system beats individual UPS units as well. The operational requirements makes a huge difference. A solution that does not meet the operational requirements is not something they can choose.

  84. DrLoser says:

    Oh, why do I have a feeling that Oiaohm is just going to disappear again until the posts here has been pushed out of the “Recent Comments” list and then reappear as if nothing has happened?

    You traduce this board, TEG. We are all merciless hunters of cant, wherever we find it.

    I’m sure we can keep a constant drip-feed of oiaohm‘s inanities and inaccuracies going. For example, on this thread alone:

    kurkosdr think this way what use is a set of computers at a school if during the school day due to power outage they don’t work any more.

    Good thinking!

    A limited selection of Applications and every school day the computers will run is more beneficial.

    Not so good thinking. Perhaps that power outage might be a consequence of … let me see … a power outage?

    This is why Windows is losing in some of these markets.

    Oh, absolutely. Because, you see, Linux doesn’t really need a reliable power source at all.

    It’s Magic!

  85. That Exploit Guy says:

    Oh, why do I have a feeling that Oiaohm is just going to disappear again until the posts here has been pushed out of the “Recent Comments” list and then reappear as if nothing has happened?

  86. DrLoser says:

    Yes you just found a kind of grammar error in me kind of. In fact it is advanced rule usage.
    Kurkosdr drivers source from where with Linux?
    I typed a full stop instead of a question mark. You might think this was wrong.

    No, Yoda, that is genuinely inaccurate usage of grammar. (The question mark or period is irrelevant: that would be “punctuation.” You know — hyphens and such. You are a proven expert on invisible hyphenation.)

    The whole point of grammar is to inflect a sentence in a way that makes sense. What you have here is:

    noun-noun-noun/verb-preposition-conjunction-noun.

    It’s a very short sentence, and it’s so grammatically inept that it takes the reader a substantial amount of time to parse it.

    Have you actually tried talking intelligibly? Even once? Go on, it will make you feel happier about your life.

  87. DrLoser says:

    Sorry you are the dimwit on this. Oxford/Cambridge English. A country can be addressed as person. Remember England and all the sub parts even in the time of old English is referred to as a she and all countries are technically female by British English.

    Sorry, dimwit, but as usual you are accusing somebody else of your own dismal inadequacies.

    You are confusing the concept of a pronoun with the concept of a noun. “He, she, it” are pronouns. “Germany, Russia, Oiaohm” are nouns.

    Thus, in various languages, you refer to Germany via a male pronoun. You refer to Russia via a female pronoun. You refer to oiaohm as “that dimwit over there.”

    Other than when using the vocative as a rhetorical device (“O England! My England!”) you do not, ever, refer to a country as a person. Not even in sane English, which is almost as lax as your insane English.

    Oh dear, how very, very sad. You’ve learned all there is to learn about Anglo-Saxon and sundry other languages that decline nouns by gender, and you still haven’t learned that there is a difference between grammar and real life.

    To be fair, in the best part of forty years of life, you haven’t really learned anything else at all, have you?

  88. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr
    Ethiopia is not a person and hence cannot be addressed as a person, dimwit.
    Sorry you are the dimwit on this. Oxford/Cambridge English. A country can be addressed as person. Remember England and all the sub parts even in the time of old English is referred to as a she and all countries are technically female by British English. So yes country in writing person and it has a Sex being Female by the rules of British English. Even more fun written about in context of a dead person. Welcome to British English. Same rules applies to a boat as what applies to a country.

    Kurkosdr again you are complaining about errors when there are none. Mind you USA common english says that a country cannot be a person. But every other form of English disagrees with this. So you better think you write USA common english if you want to push the idea that a country is not a person when it comes to writing.

    [country/ any other inanimate object] the answer– is in fact legalese. Kurkosdr I try to avoid using legalese sometime it slips in. Legalese is also a official form of english. Bad point here is this from of legalese is in fact recognized in USA English Legalese. So a person who only knows Common USA English should complain about this. Everyone else should understand it. So it really bad to try to correct someone english on a international stage when you only know one form of english.

    Yes you just found a kind of grammar error in me kind of. In fact it is advanced rule usage.
    Kurkosdr drivers source from where with Linux?
    I typed a full stop instead of a question mark. You might think this was wrong. When you are in the next part of paragraph answering the question you can use a full stop instead. This is Maquire/Cambridge/Oxford English. You should have worked out by now I don’t use USA english rules.

    Kurkosdr I have told you in the past it is critical to read paragraphs as a whole. This is why some of these rules will get you if you don’t.

  89. kurkosdr says:

    ” Ethiopia the answer is Debian and Ubuntu something without Unity.”

    Ethiopia is not a person and hence cannot be addressed as a person, dimwit.

    ” Kurkosdr drivers source from where with Linux.”

    What the *bleep* is that supposed to mean?

    You can’t even write english that make sense, let alone grammatically correct english, so, if you can’t refrain from posting, keep. it. short. No walls of text.

  90. kurkosdr, having never met children, wrote, “How different the UI between them will be? Even the apps and settings panel may be different. Hooray for having many different DEs and shells, not allowing the trasfer of experience.”

    It takes a child 15 minutes to learn a new user-interface and away they go. Children care nothing about change because their lives change with every breath they take. I introduced my LTSP lab to Grade 1’s once and they had no need of me at all… They used to run to get to the lab and the first one in got to sit with the projector so they could show the others how to do stuff… It was like throwing hungry dogs raw meat. They had so much fun and learned so much. I sneaked bits of the elementary curriculum into word-games. Everything was play to those kids. Compare that with the teenagers who don’t want to care about anything… Not one of those elementary kids cared that the software was not from M$. Older kids rarely mentioned it. I’m sure many did not know the difference unless I told them. It was interesting that the Grade 1s put a heavier load on the terminal server than any other group. I had to bond together more bandwidth from the switch…

  91. oiaohm mentioned Multiseat X. I used that in one school. We had searched for suitable motherboards and made custom units. The mobo we chose had 5 PCI slots and a VGA slot. We could thus run 6 seats off one PC. We used those machines as thin clients because as powerful as they were, the servers were moreso. The keyboards and mice were USB with the keyboard having a built-in hub. It was incredibly cheap. The PC itself cost $300 and the video cards were about $50 so per seat it was $600/6=$100. We got more than 100 sets of keyboards/mice/monitors for a great price too. The keyboards and mice were a set from HP for $10 each. Ugly but they worked. A big advantage of this kind of setup are low parts count, just less to go wrong and low power-consumption. Most of the consumption was actually in video cards rather than CPU/RAM/hard drive. That setup was in 2006 if I recall correctly, when 512 MB hard drives were about $50 and LCD monitors had dropped a lot in price. It was perfect timing for a big project. Except for the too-flimsy cases the multiseat stuff was perfect. We could put 6 seats on a round table with plenty of room to spare for books etc. It was very compact. It even took fewer power-cords/octopuses…

  92. oiaohm says:

    Ethiopia the answer is Debian and Ubuntu something without Unity. Turns out Unity lacks good translations to Ethiopia languages. KDE, LXDE and Gnome have good translations. There was a presentation and the Australian Linux Conference from the head of Ethiopia school IT with the talk afterwards basically becoming bash Unity windows manager.

    kurkosdr what is the major reason is Multi seat and not just any form either. A Linux machine insert 2 video cards you can have 2 users. 4 video cards 4 users. Notice full video card per user so full GPU usage per user. For a lot of advanced science applications GPU is used more than CPU. Windows MultiPoint Server does not support doing this. Just to be lucky most advance science applications are written Linux.

    Ethiopia does not have the most dependable power-supply at some of it schools. Cost of computer hardware and software is less than the cost of support hardware to cover losses in power. Linux choice in some of these countries is logistical.

    The logistical issues of attempting to run a Windows machines for the X number of users results too high of costs due to requiring too many machines to service X number of users with enough features to run the applications. kurkosdr you have complained in the past about thin clients having issues displaying stuff. This is true and the problem is Microsoft options are 1 client per computer or many clients per server accessing by thin clients. Microsoft OS lacks the middle option of many users physically connected to 1 computer. The multi seat feature many video cards that Linux has very limited benefit for home users.

    kurkosdr think this way what use is a set of computers at a school if during the school day due to power outage they don’t work any more. A limited selection of Applications and every school day the computers will run is more beneficial. This is why Windows is losing in some of these markets.

    Before you say laptops kids fail to charge laptops properly and you run into issues of battery abuse and so on. Basically the the video was good. It was like Ok this is why the one laptop per child idea does not really work well for a school alone. One laptop per child better than nothing. So even with laptop per child a child will still need computers to use that are not portable that have better battery operation don’t get moved(better data storage) and so on.

    Linux has 4 user connection setups.
    1) 1 per machine
    2) Upto 4 per machine by video cards in the machine each being assigned individual logins with individual keyboards and mice. These could be touch screens or what ever.
    3) thin terminals of some form
    4) thin/thick terminals.

    kurkosdr there is a capability difference it applies to some markets. Universities and Schools are not just forcing it on their users for no reason. Linux is more flexible in deployment due to more deployment configurations.

    kurkosdr I have old applications for Linux that just keep on work. I have a old Loki games that have runtime bundled with them now so they run from USB key on any Linux Distribution. Old Linux applications on new Linux tricky yes but always doable if the application is under 15 years old.

    Changing between debian and ubuntu due to being related even with different DE does not have to be that bad.

    Kurkosdr drivers source from where with Linux. ATI/AMD and Nvidia direct drivers for Linux are Distribution neutral. They are not X11 version netural. There are printer drivers for the likes of samsung that are also shipped as .run files these are are truly distribution neutral. Proper made usermode drivers like samsung printers that contain their own runtimes for their drivers for Linux will work on any distribution made since distributions started using cups (the year 2000 mostly).

    If you include in Linux apps items like Steam games and Xonotic. Items that ship with their own run-times. These will work after a upgrade without having to be replaced.

    Kurkosdr if you are talking about bad third party software or distribution provide software that is a different matter.

    Kurkosdr exactly why would kids not have steam games. So since they have steam games some of their applications will work after upgrade under Linux.

    Not all Linux programs or drivers are effected by Distribution change. There is a growing list that are not effected at all.

  93. kurkosdr says:

    So, what distro those schools run? If Linux PCs are ever sold in Ethiopia, what distro will they run?

    How different the UI between them will be? Even the apps and settings panel may be different. Hooray for having many different DEs and shells, not allowing the trasfer of experience.

    At least with Android the differences are only skin deep. Things like turning the wifi on, removing apps, and putting widgets are done in a common way.

    Migrating to a distro with another DE or even another shell is the same amount of change as migrating to Windows usability-wise really. And since said kids don’t have any Linux apps or drivers (even if they have, they won’t work after an upgrade), they have no reason not to choose Windows.

    Also, Desktop Linux is really popular when users don’t have the ability to choose (universities, schools), but fails when choice exists, we ‘ve covered that.

  94. DrLoser says:

    Incidentally, those sounds you heard? It’s what anything other than solid-state machinery does.
    Forwarded with love and care and in the hope that it will help you sleep at night.

  95. DrLoser says:

    In Ethiopia, quite possibly, Robert. And then again, depending upon how the Ethiopian economy grows, quite possibly not. It’s all very frightening, isn’t it?

    I understand that StatCounter, for some unknown reason, neglects to give figures for Atlantis. However, it offers many excellent opportunities for short-term confirmation bias.

    Have you tried South Sudan? The Maldives? Trans-Dniestr? The Principality of Hutt River?

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