Sunday, May 5, 2013

Bump in the road...

I've got a backlog of posts at various stages of almost complete and just in need of some tuning, graphics generation, and final proof-reading before release.  I'm also now officially on the docket to give a presentation at Balticon  in the skeptical thinking track sponsored by the National Capital Area Skeptics (NCAS) and am assembling that presentation.

What a great time to start experiencing computer problems...

My almost six-year old laptop picked this weekend to develop some serious behaviors that come and go.  I had been stalling replacement for at least two years (even having the logic board replaced about two years ago) and I guess I can stall no more.

Since I have a lot of software (see Building a Scientific Toolbox on MacOS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (64-bit build) ) that I now have to build on a significantly newer OS (10.8) along with a number of other configuration issues, that time has to come from somewhere.  I've decided to delay some of the almost-ready posts to complete the configuration and the Balticon presentation.  Hopefully this delay will be no longer than 2-3 weeks.

And incidentally...

I choose my system names from a long list of notable dead physicists and/or astronomers.  For various reasons, I'm leaning towards naming the new machine Birkeland, or perhaps Alfven.  Like all the names I've chosen for previous machines, the researchers have a track record that includes things they got right and things they got wrong.  I wonder how many of these researchers have had their historical standing diminished by the number of crank web sites which try to promote as correct, the things the researcher got wrong, as if the researcher were infallible, like some type of religious leader.

In the meantime, I hope you'll check out Stuart Robbins' latest podcast covering the flawed image analysis techniques so common behind pseudo-scientific claims (Episode 73: Image Analysis for Skeptics: From Faces to Pyramids).  These will become relevant to some of my future posts.

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