Even More on Aussie Submarines

After our spirited discussion on submarines recently in More on Submarines and then the post Submarines – some more, I came across an article in the Sydney Morning Herald today with a title of Defence to get new supercomputer. It seems that Cray Inc., the company making supercomputers has sold the Department of Defence a $2.2 million supercomputer to help with research for the Future Submarine program.


A Defence Department sopkeperson noted that,

The system will be used to undertake computational fluid dynamic studies to increase knowledge and assist the evaluation of technical risks associated with the hydrodynamic performance of future Australian navy platforms.

The capacity of the system will enable large computational fluid dynamics simulations to be performed in the order of days rather than months.’

So, seems the Australian Department of Defence is trying to make the next batch of submarines flow through the water, better – even if they can’t get enough crew to man them.

Personally, I would have thought a $2.2 million supercomputer wasn’t that flash!

The other two interesting bits of news with regards to this is that they apparently are looking at container-housing the computer so that it is portable. Not sure why they want to do that rather than just ensure they have the necessary channel bandwidth to access back to the supercomputer.

The other interesting part of the report was where “client and vendor are expected to run performance tests to see whether the system would qualify for nomination for the biannual top 500 supercomputer list”.

Right! Not very highly I would have thought.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/defence-to-get-new-supercomputer-20130610-2nzxr.html#ixzz2VtkgBTUH

Well this is perplexing – Virus Report

Bloody hell - I must have been very busy surfing!
Bloody hell – I must have been very busy surfing!

I use avast! anti-virus software on the office PC ((I use Microsoft’s Security Essentials on the home PC)) and once a month avast! gives me a report of it’s activity over the previous 30 days.

That’s the report out there to the right – or at least the guts of the report.

Files and Documents scanned – 59,354 over the month – yeah, I can believe that as I shuffled a few folders around, copied and restored a number of files and generally tidied things up a bit so that seems quite reasonable.

Emails scanned – 533 scanned over 30 days – yeah – that’s believable – it is about 25 a day (work days that is) so seems about right.

Web & Network Protection – 300,591. Really? There were 22 working days in the last 30 days here. So that means that every day at the office (some 8 hours of work time as I am away from my desk for the lunch hour), I surf 13,663 web pages? That is 1,708 pages per hour or about 30 pages a minute.

Now the boss knows I goof-off from time-to-time, sometimes checking Facebook, sometimes checking Twitter but 13,663 pages a day? A page every two minutes?

I think there is something wrong with the statistic, my guess being that avast! is counting each separate element that makes up a web page as not even I could goof-off that much!

Issues in the Hole

A broken database table in the engine room has caused some consternation for the engineering and damage control sections of  Thomo’s Hole causing an outage of around 11 hours. After a short period of head scratching and statements such as “the engines’ll not take it sir”, and “I’m an engineer Thomo, not a god ((with apologies to McCoy))” the issue has been repaired and Thomo’s Hole is back on course at cruising speed.

All ahead flank!

Update 2 – on pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history

The parcel from Navwar
The parcel from Navwar

Yesterday I posted about Pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history or rather Update 1 – on pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history. I was expecting the delivery Navwar to arrive around 8 April or so.

I checked the letterbox tonight when I got home and found a parcel in there from Navwar. Now I’m impressed.

Posted the letter on 18 March 2013, Easter was in the middle of it all but the parcel arrived back here in Singapore today.

That’s a turn around of 17 days from posting order to receipt of goods – I guess letters are not that slow after all – I’ve had slower order fulfilment from on-line ordering at other firms.

Well done Navwar, Singapore Post and the Royal Mail.

Update 1 – on pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history

Back on March 18th I posted about Pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history. I just checked my bank statement and there was line noting that Navwar UK had put through a charge of £55.30 to my credit card on 28 March 2013. That was the complete amount and the postage for my order for some modern warships to add to Thomo’s ever growing lead-pile here in Singapore.

That also means that as I posted the letter on 18 March 2013 at Tanjong Pagar MRT Station, it has taken 10 days for the letter to arrive at Navwar’s shop in Ilford, England and for Navwar to fill the order, pack it and take it to the Post Office. Past experience has shown me that Navwar charge when the order is filled and ready to send.

So, allowing for the fact that Good Friday was 29 March and 1 April was also a holiday in the UK, I should have a parcel back in my letterbox next Monday, 8 April.

Maybe the old technology still works?

Pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history

Pre-electronic means of long-distance communications
Pre-electronic means of long-distance communications

I wanted to order some modern Chinese and Indian ships and aircraft from one of the many little projects I am working on. I wanted to purchase the vessels from Navwar but unfortunately Navwar’s only concession to the 21st century is to accept orders by facsimile transmission. Part of the problem is that his fax machine is old and is a phone/fax type. It rings four times before switching to fax for the handshake, connection and eventual receipt of a transmission. The problem is that most modern fax machines give up listening for the handshake at about the third ring.

The only other way to buy his products is to physically co to his store in Ilford, England on a Saturday (not too early) or to send him a letter.

I am posting this as much for the benefit of my children, one of whom has only ever had the Internet, one can vaguely remember the black and white TV I used to have in the garage and the other two have pretty much grown up in the electronic age.

Before electronics, we used to send a letter. Yep, using a pen and paper we would write our order out, enclose it in an envelope, address the envelope and add a stamp of sufficient value to have the letter delivered.

The transport mechanism pre the Internet - a servant of the Post Office will collect it in the morning and in about 5 days time it should arrive in Ilford, Essex, England ... I hope
The transport mechanism pre the Internet – a servant of the Post Office will collect it in the morning and in about 5 days time it should arrive in Ilford, Essex, England … I hope

We then tool the letter to the letterbox where we inserted it into the correct slot. Magically, an employee of the Post Office will trot along later today and collect all the letters. They will be taken to the Post Office sorting centre, then this letter will travel on to Changi Airport where it will be placed on an aircraft heading to London. Her Majesty’s Post Office, the Royal Mail, will collect the letter there and deliver it to Navwar. About five days or so should elapse from the time I posted the letter to its delivery.

Navwar’s previous order turnaround has always been superb. I have been buying from him for nearly 20 years now and he normally turns orders around in about 24 hours. I have ordered by post from Navwar when I lived in Australia, Mongolia, Norway, England and Korea. I have visited the store when I lived in England as well.

I expect to have the ships back in about two weeks time judging by his past performance although I just wish he would move forward to 2013, technology-wise.

The other thing that is interesting about this is that I am sure that SingPost and the Royal Mail share the revenue from the delivery of this letter.I just don’t know how they keep track of all this and settle at the end.

There kids – that’s how we used to undertake long distance communications way before the Internet!

Nice One Google – #fail


I kick-started the office laptop this morning after leaving it laying dormant for two weeks 0 when I travel I take my own – it’s better and more reliable.

Anyway, I started the laptop and the window shown to the left appeared in my Google Mail tab in Google Chrome.

Yep, apparently, according to the message, Google Mail is not supported on the Google Chrome browser.

I know that it is, however, as I just clicked the link that said “return to GMail” and now my mail has loaded correctly.

“What are we going to do tonight Brain?”

“Tonight Pinky, we are going to fix Google’s inconsistencies so they can take over the world!”

Google – Stop Trying to Second Guess Me!

imageIt is really starting to annoy me! I spent a couple of days in Indonesia where Google left my search engine, email and everything really with an English language mask. My Google preferences are set to reflect that I am an English speaker. I am sure that if I check I will find several Google cookies on my PC all reflecting English is my language of choice.

So why then, when I get back to Singapore, does Google invite me to translate a page from Indonesian to English and invite me to “masuk”!

The only time I want a “masuk” is when I say to a Jakarta taxi driver, “masuk di sini!”. For the rest of the time, give it to me in English please – especially Google!

Religion ‘riskier than porn’ for online viruses

Yippee! From the Sydney Morning Herald Digital Life section yesterday:

Web wanderers are more likely to get a computer virus by visiting a religious website than by peering at porn, according to a new study.

Websites with religious or ideological themes were found to have triple the average number of "threats" that those featuring adult content, according to Symantec.

An interesting statistic it seems – figures were generated from Symantic who noted that there was an 83% increase in virus attacks this year over last year – although they would report that wouldn’t they? 😆

I wonder if this will alter my browsing patterns?

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/consumer-security/religion-riskier-than-porn-for-online-viruses-20120502-1xxx4.html#ixzz1tgwaxqkq

New cable to connect Australia and New Zealand

Huawei Marine has announced that it will undertake a seabed survey for the planned Optikor cable to link Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2103.

So, not only will New Zealand remain tethered to Australia, but they will take 91 years to decide where to lay their cable!