Where You From?

February 24, 2010

 No I am not just talking about where you were born, but where those things that you are made of came from.

What things am I talking about?  The hydrogen and oxygen that make up the water in your body.  The carbon and nitrogen  that makes your genes and proteins.  The phosphorus that give life to the individual cells and allows you to take a breath and give you movement.  The sulfur that makes up the amino acids that constructs every cell in your body.  The potassium that makes up your nervous system and brain.  The calcium for your bones and the iron that makes the hemoglobin for your blood.

Where did they come from?

The first element that existed 13.5 billion years ago was hydrogen which formed into gigantic spheres, which due to their mass and pressure ignited. These spheres of super heated plasma began the a fusion of the nucleus’  of the hydrogen in the core of the massive giants.  Stripping away the electrons and forcing the protons to combine forming helium.  If these giant stars were only the size of our sun then the fusion would have stopped when all the hydrogen had been converted to helium, forcing the star to die in a super nova.   But these giants had to be a minimum of 8 times the size of our sun to continue the fusion process toward the other elements.  (Nuclear fission is what man does with a bomb which is destructive.  Nuclear fusion is what happens in a star which is creative releasing heat and light.)  Now in the core of these blue white giants the fusion continues stripping away the electrons of helium and hydrogen and forcing the nucleus’ to combine forming carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Then it begins the fusion of sodium,magnesium, aluminum and silicon.  After the silicon has been forged then begins the fusion of the nucleus of silicon with the nucleus of helium to produce phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, potassium,calcium and manganese.  This process requires tremendous forces of heat and gravity which exist only in the cores of stellar giants.

This process continues until an atom of iron is forged, now the process begins in reverse!  The fusion of iron takes energy and gives none in return. Acting like a fire extinguisher cooling the core.  As more and more iron is made the temperature of the super star is forced to rise creating a similar process to thermal runaway.  As the temperature rises more iron is forged forcing the temperature higher forging more iron.  At a certain point the super star hits critical mass and explodes creating temperatures and forces exponentially greater than was in it’s core.

These extreme forces from that gargantuan explosion, which is called a super nova, forged the heavier elements nickle, copper, zinc, silver, gold, mercury, lead and uranium.

Just think of it, parts of you are over 13.5 billion years old!

You are made from the very heart of giant stars!

Without those giant stars dying we would not be here and neither would there be any computers!

I know what your thinking, where did the first hydrogen come from?

I don’t know nor does anyone else…… you’ll just have to ask GOD 🙂

 

by R. Frank Tulak


The Death of the Disk

February 13, 2010

If you found this would you know what you are looking at?

This is the first talking machine!  It recorded speech and played it back to you as you turned the crank.

When was this made ? 1887.  The same time as electricity was being harnessed and the light bulb, telephone and automobile  were being  invented and developed.

What is it’s name?  The phonograph.

I know what your thinking that the image does not look like a phonograph.

Well let me introduce to you the gramophone that came out a year later.

Because the method was the same as the phonograph but  just the means were different, people called the  gramophone  the phonograph.

And just as confusing the cylinder and the platter were both called recordings or records holding 2 minutes of voice or music.

By the 1920’s the invention of the radio and it’s spread throughout every household had forced the closure of many recording companies resulting in the demise of the cylinder and dominance of the platter as the standard for recordings.

In the 1930’s the invention of magnetic tape competed with the disk platters as the standard of recording and continued to do so until the 1980’s where the two were joined with the disk platter coated with magnetic material for recording.  Mass storage for main frame computers had used magnetic disks from the 1970’s for data.

Now the platter could hold sound and/or  data.  In the computer they were the mass storage.

Video and movie storage was still restricted to celluloid; because the storage capacity for a single full color image could never be stored on a computer’s hard drive, the image was too big!

In 1985 an alternate media was applied to the disk to increase capacity and incorporated the laser, it was called the laser disk or compact disc. The CD ROM exceeded the capacity of the hard drives of the time and could hold images and videos.  Meanwhile as the hard drive platters continued to grow in capacity and CD ROM’s developed into the DVD’s,  3.5″ floppy disks were replaced by  flash drives. In 2000 a little flash drive could hold 8 meg of data and against the 1.44meg  floppies there was no competition.   In 2001 the digital media players (MP3)  hit the music world and continue to take out large chunks of the market from CD’s.

What is inside the flash drive and the digital media players?

Magic rocks! Silicon memory chips.

The new storage  media is digital and it’s capacity is doubling each year!

Ah but will digital replace the hard drive?

In 2009 the 80, the 160, the 320 giga byte and the 1 tera byte Solid State Drives (SSD) drives were released.

Here is the difference looking at the insides of the two drives; the hard disk drive and the solid state.

 Notice a big difference?

In a very short 4 to 6 years the disk will be dead.

Will anyone miss it ?

Probably not, but I thought you’d like to know 🙂

by R. Frank Tulak


When the Earth Gets Slapped

January 18, 2010

If you have ever been slapped you have noticed that it only hurts where you have been hit the other parts of your body feel fine except maybe your ego.

Solar flares and “Coronal Mass Ejections” are a part of our Sun’s existence it’s what it does. It’s nothing personal. There are 11 year cycles where our Sun goes through a period that it is reasonably peaceful and at other periods is extremely violent.

Our little Earth orbits the massive Sun at about 67,000 miles an hour and we are 93,000,000 miles away from it.  Usually it takes 3 to 4 days for a Coronal Mass Ejection to collide with our Earth’s orbiting path.

What is the difference between a solar flare, solar wind and a Coronal Mass Ejection?

The surface of the Sun does not radiate uniformly over it’s surface. Rather the surface is turbulant and violent; more like a furious storm of supper heated plasma, with pockets thousands of degrees different in temperature. Picture in your mind sitting at your fireplace with a roaring fire and feeling the waves of heat coming from the fire. Well constantly the Sun is emitting charged particles with it’s radiation; where these particles concentrate is called a solar wind.  Now imagine looking at the flames leaping from the logs, well just like the flames,  solar flares are localized explosions on the Sun where hot plasma will get shot out from the Sun. Now imagine while you sit at the fire and somewhere within the burning wood there is a loud bang and a piece of flaming wood and charcoal come flying out of the fire-place at you!  Well with the Sun when mammoth mountains of the solar surface is thrown out into space, that would be a Coronal Mass Ejection. The video below is the SOHO satellite’s images of the Sun’s surface for the last 48 hours where you can detect the differences between solar wind, solar flare and a coronal mass ejection. (The solar disk is blocked simulating an eclipse to facilitate viewing)
Do Sun spots have anything to do with solar flares and coronal mass ejections?  Sun spots occasionally are the cause of solar flares but they are definitely the cause of coronal mass ejections!  Because, unlike the Earth,  the magnetic poles of the Sun are in constant motion and the massive electromagnetic fields create whirlpools, vortexes in the plasma that may extend miles below the Sun’s surface (picture in your mind a sling shot being pulled all the way back).  This vortex or whirlpool in the plasma is that sun spot. Then, in an instant, the magnetic fields shift and then the slingshot is released!

A sun spot is the barrel of a gargantuan plasma cannon!

Millions of tons of super heated plasma from below the Sun’s surface is shot from the Sun at over 2 million miles an hour! If we are in its path it will not be a good thing. 🙂

The Earth is always hit with solar wind and solar flares but a Coronal Mass Ejection is a whole other thing!

This image show the first moments of the Sun slapping the Earth with a Coronal Mass Ejection.  The faint blue line represents the ionosphere while the turquoise lines represent the earth’s magnetic field that supports the Ionosphere. Depending on the force and mass of the Coronal Mass Ejection the ionosphere and magnetic fields will buckle and bend compressing the Ionosphere closer to earth.  Now we have to stop and think about something.  Why are the contact poles on your car battery the distance they are, why are they not closer?  Because the electricity in the battery will arc if they are closer. Okay, now lets look at this situation as the Coronal Mass Ejection which is superheated and supercharged electrically to the tune of trillions of volts negative; strikes our Earth which is electrically positive it compresses the Ionosphere shortening the distance between the Coronal Mass Ejection (extremely negative) and the Earth (positive) until ARC !  Can this be seen?  No, but the effects will be everywhere!  Why can’t it be seen?  Because the air of the atmosphere  you are breathing is the conductive material!  What will it feel like?  Some say it’s like ants crawling on your skin, others say it’s like wearing a wool sweater, while others notice nothing at all!  What are the effects? Depending on the dispersal field and the mass of the coronal ejection; everything that conducts electricity will have had thousands of volts pass through it!

Will this be the end of the earth?  NO!

Just the end of anything electrical for that city, state or country on Earth that was facing the Coronal Mass Ejection when it hit.

The biggest recorded Coronal Mass Ejection hitting the Earth was September 1st through 2nd 1859  at the speed of over 5.2 million miles an hour.  The coronal mass had traveled 93,000,000 miles in 17 hours and 40 min.  The bombardment continued as the Earth rotated so that Europe and the United States had every telegraph line ( it was the only electrical appliance at the time) shorted out or melted causing fires everywhere.  The Aurora Borealis filled the night sky as  far south as Rome, Havana and Hawaii.

(There have been Coronal Mass Ejections 100 times more powerful recorded but they did not hit Earth.)

The second biggest Coronal Mass Ejection to hit Earth was on May 15th 1921 which started also in Europe and finished in California.  All Telegraph wires and everything connected to them became fried or burnt.  Aurora Borealis was reported in Mexico and Cuba.

The third one and smallest of the three was in March 1989.  You can probably guess which city was facing the Sun when the Coronal Mass hit and melted the main transformer at Hydro-Quebec (Canada) causing the power grid to go down for over nine hours.

Back in March 2009  NASA-funded a study by the National Academy of Sciences entitled “Severe Space Weather Events-Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts” that you can buy for $31.00.  The premiss of the book evaluates total damage directly and collateral from a Coronal Mass Ejection hitting the United States of the same magnitude of the 1859 event or the 1921 event.  How far in detail does it go? It even tells you how long your toilet will be inoperable!  For a quick review of the report click here.

Ever wanted to go back to the days of  the novel “Gone With the Wind” or the days of Sherlock Holmes?  Well when these events happen again, you’re there, back before the time of electricity!

Will your computer work?  Not until power has come back on (which will be many months later). But when it does, if you didn’t have a good UPS that gave up its life “taking the bullet” to protect your computer all the insides of the computer will be charcoal!  Was your computer backup device plugged into the electricity when the Coronal Mass hit?  Then it too is toast!

Remember BACK UP YOUR DRIVES then LOCK UP THE BACKUP!

This is a good idea whether we get slapped by the sun or not and it saves our ego from being hurt! 🙂

Life is the gift, electricity is only the gift wrapping and bow.

 

by R. Frank Tulak


Did You Feel It?

January 9, 2010

February 28, 1999 Astronomers at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia stared with bone chilling shock at the resent photos taken of the sky.  They were comparing the objects in each photograph for size and velocity. One faint object was growing in size but was not  moving in any direction. Measuring the change in size with the time of each photograph, the speed of the object was calculated at over 43,000 miles an hour. Within hours other observatories searched and verified the objects size at 100 feet long with a trajectory that crossed our orbit putting it on a collision course with earth in less than 36 hours. Within 24 hours, with all observation positions around the globe tracking the asteroids course,  the  final calculation showed the asteroid would pass between the earth and moon on March 2nd at 13:44 universal time (8:44 a.m. ET)  Everyone who knew about it could not sleep that night, if their calculations were wrong it could be a disaster similar to a nuclear explosion. I believe everyone one held their breath the last seconds from the 43rd minute to the 44th minute of what was either going to be a miraculous flyby or a deadly,  devastating impact.  On March 2nd at 13:44 universal time (8:44 a.m. ET) asteroid 2009 DD45 at 43200 miles an hour, like a monstrous bullet,  shot between the earth and  moon. Many gave silent prayers, others hugged their children and loved ones while no one else really noticed nor did the news agencies give it any attention.

Did you feel it?  Did you feel the impending doom when the asteroid was approaching?

If not you will be given another opportunity.

In 2004 an asteroid 1150 feet long ( the size of the rosebowl stadium!) and weighing 23,0000 ton was discovered and unlike the afore mentioned asteroid there has been enough time to properly assess it’s threat potential and with great precision project it’s path, because it has a collision course with earth in 2029 (not 2012).  When will our orbit and the asteroid collide?  Are your ready for this?  In April.  What day?  On the 13th day and what day of the week is that?  It’s a Friday.  With that knowledge they named the asteroid “marshmallow” 🙂 (no! just kidding) They gave it the name of Apophis, the Egyptian God of death.  If this asteroid hits the earth it is going to be very bad!  How bad?  All the dinosaurs will be become extinct!  Wait, they are already extinct.  Well then if it hits the earth it will really ruin everyones day!  The good news is its not going to hit the earth!  How close will it come?  It will shoot between the earth and our communications satellites.  Do you know how close that is?  (Your Dish TV and cell phone will probably not work and it will not be wise for any aircraft to be flying that day either!) What is the bad news?   Well our earth’s gravity is going to drastically change the course of that asteroid when it flies that close to the earth, so much so that it might change it’s course and hit our earth 7 years later 2036.  Where would it hit?  More than likely it will hit in the Pacific ocean between Hawaii and Los Angeles, which will cause 5 consecutive tsunami waves radiating from the impact area; the first one being 3 MILES HIGH ( This is not a good thing! )  If this asteroid hits it will ruin everyone’s day and cause some very major life style changes for everyone who lives on the Pacific coastline!

The technical tsunami

On 27 July 1993 the requirement for EMS and a door through 1 meg memory limit in 16 bit computers was unlocked and opened with the ability to write more complex and intelligent programs with the arrival of the 32 bit Windows NT.  The impact created a technical tsunami wave that changed every computer. The ripples are still felt today with the advanced graphics editing programs using Microsoft XP and our graphic intense cell phone!  The advanced 32 bit programs allowed photo quality image capture and printing.  Where did the corner overnight photo developer and printer shops go?  Where did the public telephones and phonebooths go?  Swept away by 32 bit programing  tsunami!

Did you feel it? The twinge of unfamiliarity with the world?  The need to relearn how to make a simple phone call.  To relearn how to take a photograph with a digital camera.  To learn how to modify the image and print it out on a printer.  Where is the typewriter?  What is happening to the fax machine?  What is a website or a blog?  Have you learned to tweet and do your tweets link to your Facebook?

If you missed it you have another opportunity.

The 64 bit operating system now has the engines to really run it.  Four years ago the two-in-one processor came out.  Two years ago the four-in-one processors came on line. Now with the 32 bit operating system reaching it’s maximum limt  and the demand to do more than the 32 bit operating system can perform the technical tsunami has begun!  64 bit programs will change everyone’s day and cause some very major life style changes for everyone!

by R. Frank Tulak


The Most Fearless and Ferocious !

December 27, 2009


2009/12/27
The creature in the photo is known by the name of the Black Mamba and is the most feared snake in Africa. The name is referring to it’s ink black mouth. One bite delivers enough poison to kill 20 men; yet to the most fearless and ferocious animal on earth this deadly snake is only dinner!

The African Puff Adder whose venom  contains enough toxin to kill 5 men is no match either for the most fearless and ferocious animal on earth if the Mamba was dinner then the adder was lunch!

The cobra who’s venom will kill a full-grown elephant is no match as well against the most fearless and ferocious animal and in seconds will be a it’s meal.

Even the python with it’s bone crushing coils has it’s body shredded and consumed by the most fearless and ferocious creature.

Have you figured out what who this creature is?

Here is another victim

the young salt water crocodile!

When I say the most fearless and ferocious I am not kidding, our little guy is BAD !

What else does he go after?  Africa’s venomous tarantula !

For an evening snack he will devour scorpions when he finds them.

Nothing can withstand him!

Lions and leopards are the only possible threat to our fearless and ferocious little guy and if they take him it will cost them dearly and usually costs them their lives!

Other creatures on the menu are insect larvae, beetles, lizards, rodents and birds such as vultures and hawks!As well as springhare, polecat and particularly juvenile foxes, jackals, antelope and wild cats.

By the way our most fearless and ferocious little guy eats the honey and larva of the killer bees.  Do they sting him, yes!  But he still eats the hive anyway!

Who is he?   He is known only for eating the hives.  He is the African Honey BADger also known as the African Ratel. 

 

Wait, this Blog is about computers, where is the computer part?

In the computer world there are also very deadly programs that will kill your computer and data.  What bad programs?

Viruses, worms, trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware and  crimeware.

So what is the most fearless and ferocious program that is able to destroy these malicious programs?

According to Anti-virus Comparatives the #1  protection against these deadly programs this year is

Norton Anti-Virus 2010

If you live in the Kalihari of Africa the two things that make you feel comfortable are:

Seeing a Honey BADger in your yard and Norton Anti-Virus on your computer 🙂

 

 

 

by R. Frank Tulak


Sherlock Holmes’ Notebook Computer

December 22, 2009


Ever wondered what note-book computer Sherlock Holmes would buy?
Just for fun imagine bringing the famous literary detective of 221b Baker Street in the Victorian Era to the present 21st Century. Then introducing him to the physical manifestation of the Analytical Engine, designed by Charles Babbage and Ada Byron Countess of Lovelace in the 1840’s, the modern-day computer.
Would he be amazed?   Would he marvel?  Absolutely!
Would he buy one?  No!  They would appear drab and ugly. No Victorian Gentleman would ever be caught with something so unsightly and distasteful.  The computer is the culmination of all the genius of mankind, the apex of his accomplishments, it deserves to be clothed in something other than the reconstituted remains of prehistoric animals (plastic).

Which computer would he buy?

Ladies and gentleman the 21st Century computer notebook for the Victorian man!




What would he do with the marvellous machine?
Foil the evil deeds and criminal genius of Professor Moriarty?
No !
He would buy it to impress the Captain of the Nautilus, Captain Nemo!
Isn’t that the reason that most people buy a notebook ?
It’s elementary 🙂


The Killer Tomato, Potato and Botnet

December 15, 2009

Here are the last few seconds of this fly’s life before the lighting quick jaws of the venus flytrap leaf snaps shut and the plant begins to digest this fly, pulling the life giving nutrients from the fly to the plant. The venus fly trap (Dionaea muscipula) is labeled a carnivorous plant but not all carnivorous plants capture prey the same way. The standard definition would be “any of several unrelated plants modified to capture and digest animals, especially insects, which supply nitrogen that may otherwise be unavailable in their habitat.”

According to the standard definition; if a plant, because of it’s design, characteristics or attributes, captures and or kills an animal for the purpose of extracting nutrients to be used by the plant, it is carnivorous.

Carnivorous plants don’t digest all their victim only the nutrients it needs. Then when it opens only the structure and shell of the victim is left.

Other carnivorous plants  use nectar mixed with a sap and digestive chemicals to lure and capture the animal like the sundew (Drosera) .

While others are more passive like the  pitcher plant (Nepenthaceae and Sarraceniaceae) who lure insects into an opening that forces them to drown in a pool of water in the center of the plant. Thus extracting the nourishment over time as the animal dissolves in the water.

The problem is there are a whole group of plants that still fit the definition of carnivorous plant but because they do it differently they have never been recognized as been carnivorious.

Ladies and gentleman I introduce the covert carnivorous plants, our well-known tomato and potato plants! All this time we never recognized their carnivorous behavior. For those who grow tomatoes they have always recognised the dead insects on the plant or on the ground around the plant but have generally ignored it.  We never thought about it. I guess we all thought the insects just came to the plant to die. 🙂 The truth, recently accepted without controversy, is the tomato and potato plant lure the insects then the insects are trapped by the sticky hairs on the tomato or potato plant THEN (and here is where we missed it) as the sappy lure dries it finally releases the dead victim to dissolve on the soil to feed the roots of the plant just below the surface.

What does this have to do with Computers?

If you look at a computer program as a kind of life form then you see it needs the nutrients that are available from other computers to grow. So if there is a kind of program that can grow outside its own computer it must lure other computers, capture them then extract or assimilate those computers processor and memory to grow and capture other computers.

Is there such a carnivorous program? If so how big is it?

There are carnivorous programs and they are called  botnets!

How many botnets are there? There are hundreds but there are 16 which are the real monsters and have eaten the lions share of the world’s computers.

Are they dangerous to people? Well that depends on how much of your life is dependent on computers. For illustration purposes let’s use automobiles instead of computers. What if someone could take control away from the driver of a car and completely control it remotely? Could they do any damage? What if they could take control of 100 cars at any moment could they do any damage? Look at the size of  top 5 of these carnivorous programs!

  1. Conficker           35 ,000,000 +   computers controlled
  2. Kraken                     495,000       computers controlled
  3. Srizbi                        450,000      computers controlled
  4. Bobax                       185,000      computers controlled
  5. Rustock                    150,000      computers controlled

HOW DID CONFICKER GROW SO BIG!

After it has infected a target computer (by downloading a Trojan), it tries to prevent it’s removal by disabling anti-virus software and blocking access to security-related web sites, as well as stealing personal information by masquerading as an anti-virus product called Spyware Protect 2009. How ?   The worm informs the user that his computer is infected and takes the user to a fake security Web site, asks them to pay $50 for a spyware program that actually is the Conficker worm, then keeps their credit card information, to boot.

How can you tell if your computer is infected with the conficker worm?

There is a test to see if your computer is infected click here 

Where is the infection mostly located?

 

What should everyone do? Keep their antivirus and antispyware up to date and scan regularly.

Hey I’d rather eat a potato or tomato than be eaten by one! 🙂

 

 by R. Frank Tulak