I recently started an article to chronicle my progress fixing up an ’02 5-series BMW. It’s been a lot of fun, so I thought I’d share. Enjoy! **New Updates – 10/2013**
Many of us geeks, especially those of us in the IT world replace our hardware almost as often as fashionistas change wardrobes. For some reason, I have a thing for old hardware. While I certainly don’t use it on a daily basis, I have a hard time parting with my favorite gear. I see it as something akin to automotive enthusiasts that like to keep that prized vintage car in their garage. They won’t drive it to work every day, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love taking it for a spin on the weekends.
I have a similar relationship with some of my favorite machines. I still use a 15″ PowerBook G4 at home on a fairly regular basis. (in fact I’m typing this post on it right now) At it’s heart is a 1.67Ghz PowerPC G4 processor. (the last model and fastest PPC Apple ever delivered in a laptop) By today’s standards, this single-core machine barely stays ahead of most netbooks. It’s battery is dead, and it gets fairly hot when you push it, but I find it to be perfectly adequate for most things.
INL has created something I used to ponder as a kid. Star Trek was one of my favorite shows growing up, but I always wondered how some of that high-tech gear could work if it was real. I used to imagine some type of layer that would collect the heat generated within a fusion reactor and convert it directly into electrical power. This, I thought is how it would be done in the future rather than some clunky mechanical solution like a turbine. (of course we’re still trying to make fusion self-sustaining, but that’s beside the point…) It may not be designed for use in a fusion reactor, but INL’s device does exactly what I envisioned. There are some technical hurdles for the new device, (namely converting the high-frequency AC it produces into DC) but once those are solved, there are all sorts of applications for this technology.