Monthly Archives: January 2004


There’s a short story in Memex 1.1 about several elementary schools in rural Cambodia that are hooked into the internet by a most ingenious fashion. A motorcycle passes everyday with a WiFi computer strapped behind the rider. This computer wirelessly transfers email to and from the school and delivers it back to a regional school in the local capital equipped with a satellite dish for a bulk exchange to the outside world.

It’s an amazing solution to the connectivity problems much of the world faces. The Motoman network was designed by First Mile Solutions.

Where To Go?

Pick a Super Bowl party – The Super Bowl falls on a Monday on Guam, and it is an unofficial holiday for many. The last couple years I spent watching the game at one of the big ‘parties’ at various hotels and restaurants. It’s not bad. Breakfast, beers, prizes. But where to go this year?

Thinking on Mars: The Brains of NASA’s Red Planet Rovers

Interesting. The computer that powers most space probes, including both Mars Rovers, is the RAD6000. It is a variant of the old PPC 601 chips that ran in the first PowerMacs ten years ago.

The RAD6000 is a proven and capable chip, but compared to the chips in modern PC’s it is positively Paleolithic. It tops out at 25 mHz, yeah I said megahertz. But a new generation chip is just becoming available, the RAD750. The RAD750 is based on the PowerPC 750, the same chip that runs this Macintosh I am sitting at right now. Apple calls it the G3, and still uses the chip in some low end notebooks. While the RAD750 runs at a pokey 250 mHz, that’s still a tenfold increase in processing capability of the RAD6000. And believe me, my 300 mHz G3 is plenty fast for most everything I need. I wonder if the next NASA probe will play mp3’s?

50 Books For 2004?

Here’s a good idea: David Harris’ Science & Literature page suggests reading 50 books for 2004 and writing about them on my blog. That sounds like a good idea. I better get cracking – I got a ton of books I need to read lying around the house and only 11 months to go!

Clinton’s Gift to Internet Age – Only 2 E-Mails

Yahoo! News – Clinton’s Gift to Internet Age – Only 2 E-Mails: The Clinton Presidential Library will house 39,999,998 emails from Clinton staffers and only two from the president himself.

“One of them may not actually qualify for electronic communication because it was a test to see if the commander in chief knew how to push the button on an e-mail.

Former Ohio Sen. John Glenn has the distinction of being the first American to orbit the Earth and the only person to receive an e-mail written by Clinton when he was in office.

The e-mail was sent with the help of Clinton staffers to the space shuttle while it was in orbit and Glenn was a part of the crew. It praised Glenn for his return to space after almost 40 years. “

To Boldly Go …

An interesting essay on about using Silicon Valley to aid in reaching for the moon. To Boldly Go … Not only the technological advancements in microprocessors, but also the whole contracting process and the way bids are awarded by NASA to aerospace contractors. Interesting reading.

Kooks And Crackpots

Gotta love this guy; Richard Hoagland is convinced of Machinery Found At Spirit Landing Site. They sure look like rocks to me.

As a point of reference, Mr. Hoagland is an ardent supporter of the ‘Face On Mars’ nonsense resulting from the unusual photo taken by a Viking Orbiter in the 70’s. Never mind those recent photos taken by vastly superior imaging systems onboard the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey spacecraft that show an irregular mesa with no resemblence of a face – those photos are doctored by NASA to cover up the startling evidence of Martians. Yeah, whatever buddy.