Archive for September, 2011

What’s going on.

20 September 2011

Remember that Marvin Gaye song, “What’s Going On?”

It had that wood block sound in the background that had this long echo on it.

“We’ve got to find a way to bring some lovin’ here today.”

It was released in 1971 when I was 16 years old. The Vietnam War was raging, but being wound down. Whales were dying. Oil spills were polluting the oceans. Intel released the first microprocessor, the 4004. Men landed on the moon for the third and fourth time. The NPR news show “All Things Considered” began broadcasting. The musical “Godspell” premiered. The Juan Corona incident occurred in California. The “Pentagon Papers” were leaked and published in the New York Times. Nixon began spying on his “enemies.” The US Postal Service replaced the Post Office. Armed revolt raged in Northern Ireland. Attica happened. “Jesus Christ Superstar” opened on Broadway. The “DB Cooper” incident occurred. Ivan Illich wrote “De-Schooling Society.” Alice Waters opened her “Chez Panisse” restaurant in Berkeley, CA.

And that, of course, is but a sampling.

So: What IS going on?

Life is being lived. The ebbs and flows of conflicting games create a never-ending stream of “random” events. Some hit us, some only touch us, and some miss us.

But at 16, I was not about to be satisfied with “C’est la vie” (That’s life)!

— For the Scientology answers, visit their web sites, or Scientology TV

Private Power Systems

I was thinking of moving out to my sister’s place in the country. And I was thinking of installing a little solar power or wind power installation on their property as a demonstration system. I was wondering what I could power with a small system, and of course I thought of computers.

But that made me think of another issue I had seen brought up. What if something bad happens that takes out a portion of our internet infrastructure? How can we stay in touch using network technology with no internet? It turns out that someone has written software capable of creating an “ad hoc” peer-to-peer network between devices with embedded wi-fi transponders.

But if the internet goes down, the power grid might go with it. Or a power grid failure could even be the cause of internet failure. So, what about power? We need “private power systems” in situations like that.

And I knew, because I’m an electronics nut and pay attention to stuff like that, that many modern “AC” adapters really don’t need AC to work. They are basically just DC-to-DC converters with a simple AC-to-DC power supply added to the front of them. DC passes right through the front end like it wasn’t there.

That means you can run most modern communication equipment directly from batteries!

It would take twelve 12-volt batteries in series or ten 15-volt batteries. They would last about ten times as long powering a laptop via its adapter as the laptop’s own battery would last. And they could be used to power anything, or recharge any battery, that worked on the “new” style adapters that don’t use low-frequency transformers.

Furthermore, you could rig them up to recharge from almost any AC or DC power source if you could get its voltage high enough. That’s 100 solar cells in series. Or any AC source between 100 and 250 volts and about 30 to 100 Hz.

Wow! I thought. What a cool idea!

So I created a page about it and added it to my Life Force Designs website.

Then my host’s server crashed. Nice, huh?

So I still want to know: What’s going on?