God, I hope not

UK burried under snow - click for a spectacular enlargment

UK burried under snow - click for a spectacular enlargment

This is stated to originate from NASA, so ought to be a public domain image. I’m picking it up from the BBC server. It is also seen in several other stories. The BBC “story” is here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-11901718

The same photo is in this story from The Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-in-grip-of-coldest-winter-for-30-years-1861627.html?action=Gallery&ino=13

UK in grip of coldest winter for 30 years

Temperatures in big-freeze Britain were on a par with the South Pole today after the country suffered its coldest night of the winter so far. And forecasters say there’s no change in prospect.

Merry Old England not so Merry…

On the “UK is Freezing” thread over at WUWT, this comment showed up:

Graham White

Piers Corbyn’s Weather Action site correctly predicted last winter’s Arctic weather event in the UK – he accurately predicted that the country would have a ‘severe arctic event’ around January 6th-12th – which it did.

We have now had more than 8 days of serious snowfall and bitter winds on the East Coast – the snow is piled 4feet deep around the walls of my house – and Corbyn is forecasting that this ‘is not just a short cold snap;. He says it will last for a good three months – with extreme cold throughout December, January and February – possibly longer. If that turns out to be true, the UK is in deep, deep trouble. The road and rail network has broken down completely after less than a week; supermarkets cannot restock with milk and basic foods; farmers cannot feed livestock in the fields and neither can they harvest winter vegetable crops, which are now buried under feet of snow.
This is a very, very serious situation.

What can I say. My Mother is from England. On my Dad’s side, he’s half from Ireland. Most of my relatives are over there (though a fair number are in the USA, Canada, Australia, and a couple in New Zealand).

While I usually toss off this kind of stuff with a “Well, great. AGW can try to explain THAT” and while I often espouse that I’d love to see a load of cold just to make it clear what a crock AGW is…

When the facts on the ground start to make it clear that things are actually getting Really Bad, it’s time to shove all the “clap trap” aside and start to prepare for the worst and / or figure out how to do a ‘rescue’ (or ‘self rescue’).

So the snow was “fun” for a day or two. But if that report is correct, we’re heading toward cold without fuel and stores without food. Very much double plus ungood…

When agriculture fails, the rest of society follows in short order.

So, my best wishes to those in “Merry Old England”, and best of luck to those in Scotland. Good wishes to those in the rest of the UK. And may Ireland find a fair wind at it’s back… one from over the Gulf Stream, preferably..

If this is a SHTF moment, please let the world know. There are things that can be done to “get by” with what seems like no resources. Then again, I learned most of what I know from my Mum and Dad who learned them from THEIR Mums and Dads in prior hard times in the UK and Ireland… so I’d hope such things are still known there.

My Mother had stories of 9 of them gathered around a very small stove in one room, waiting for the time they could burn the small lumps of coal they could afford for that day. This was during the 1920-40s period and the War Years when there was a cold snap, so probably not too much different from now. Yet she survived…

FWIW, Joe Bastardi is a bit more upbeat, but still calling for cold:

http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp

But here is the question… Can London hit their coldest temperature ever? According to Wikianswers: According to the BBC it was -10c but in the suburbs it can get down to -12c.

We have a shot at getting that, and in fact the European model is forecasting Heathrow to hit -10C!

“Well, that’s not good.” … So he’s on board with the notion of the potential for a ‘coldest ever’.

The shiver that is hitting is similar to the opening of January last year worldwide, where major cold shots engulfed the Far East, the eastern U.S., and Europe. That these are growing more pronounced is no accident, and the climate people arguing for reduction of greenhouse gasses are acting like spoiled children when they claim whatever happens means they are right. I wish I had their job. When I am wrong, in what I do in the private sector, the ramifications are people will cancel their contract if they feel I am wrong enough of the time to lose them money… By the way, it’s what I love about competition and capitalism… it forces those that wish to excel to compete… Imagine if your favorite football team was forced to “redistribute goals” based on some fictional rule that said that it wasn’t fair to score more than the other team?

I bet you wouldn’t be watching much football, eh?

Joe, “I love you, man”… ;-)

Such a clear statement. Notice that “similar to January”. And here it is only the start of December…

This is followed by a “must read rant” about AGW alarmists… then on to:

And by the way, to those from Spain to Turkey and north, but south of the area so cold now, you will get yours for the mid and late winter. I have no changes to the totality of the winter idea.

So “be well, my friends”, and remember what joy can be had from a double layer of wool blankets and a pot of hot tea…

And if you still have time to prepare, there are preparedness guidelines and ideas here:

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/food-storage-systems/

and

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/crisis-kits-and-preparedness-packs/

Though I suspect a run to the store for a half dozen good thick blankets would be the best first step. That, and put the kettle on.. ;-)

Wunderground for London

OK, Wunderground for London Airport shows the record for today as -1 C and the present temp as -3 C with more night time to go…

http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/histGraphAll?day=3&year=2010&month=12&ID=EGLL&type=3&width=500

London Airport 3 Dec 2010

London Airport 3 Dec 2010

Somehow I don’t see a lot of warming any time soon..

Germany Too

http://notrickszone.com/2010/12/02/cold-and-snow-in-brennpunkt-28-dead-in-europe-due-to-cold/

reports:

Well, we got a Brennpunkt this evening on ARD after the news – about the cold and snow that has wreaked havoc on the country and throughout Europe.

All transportation in Germany has been paralyzed or disrupted. Many trains have been idled, and numerous flights have been cancelled. Passengers are stranded everywhere.

28 people have died in Europe as a result of the cold. Temperatures are forecast to plummet to -25°C in some areas as winter’s onslaught continues unabated.

I think the 3rd International Conference on Climate and Energy, slated to start tomorrow, will be impacted too. It’ll go on, for sure, but some participants may be delayed. Berlin area has been hit pretty hard.

That 1/4 of my ancestry which is not from the UK/Ireland is Amish, via Germany. What can I say? May you find some warmth somewhere… at hearth or snuggled together. There can be peace and understanding from quiet moments, with the rush of modern life stilled by new fallen snow. I hope the time is comfortable as it is peaceful and that folks are not too discomforted.

Perhaps it’s time to remember some of the old ways, before electric lights and gas heat…

Wunderground for Ramstein, Germany is reporting what ought to be a record, too:

Ramstein 3 December 2010

Ramstein 3 December 2010

With the record at -1 C and it’s already -8 C.

I make that as roughly 20 F below the “Average Low” lines on that chart… about 9 C below average low.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW and Weather News Events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to God, I hope not

  1. xyzlatin says:

    People have been betrayed by their Governments. The old and the sick will suffer the most. There has to be a reckoning with these alarmists. I cannot believe that these people in the Met office will be allowed to continue on in the way they are for much longer.

    By the way, as you are interested in the finance side of things, this should interest you.

    news is in that the US Fed Reserve had to bail out the Australian NAB and Westpac banks to the tune of 4.5 billion US$ . From newsletter of Moneymorning.

    NAB and Westpac’s Secret
    Bailout Revealed
    Friday 3rd December, 2010 – Melbourne, Australia
    By Kris Sayce
    The fact that National Australia Bank [ASX: NAB] had to borrow USD$4.5 billion from the US Federal Reserve during 2008 and 2009.

    And Westpac Banking Corp [ASX: WBC] needed USD$1.09 billion in January of 2008 and 2009.

    What’s that, you don’t know anything about it?

    And you don’t remember reading about it?

    There’s a simple reason for that. It’s been top secret information until yesterday morning.

    That’s right, if it wasn’t for the passing of controversial legislation in the United States you’d never have found out about NAB and Westpac’s Federal Reserve bail outs.

    Westpac and NAB needed the loans because they were on the verge of going belly up. It’s that simple. If they hadn’t gotten secret loans from the US Fed they would undoubtedly have needed secret loans from the RBA.

    Fortunately for the RBA, the Fed opened the door and this allowed Aussie central bankers and bankers to claim that the Aussie banks hadn’t received a bailout.

    But not only that, what’s most extraordinary is that Westpac was one of the first institutions to borrow money from the Fed when the lending facility became available!

    But more about that in a moment. Let me give you some of the background first…

    You may have read about something called the Dodd-Frank Act. The full name is the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It’s called Dodd-Frank after the bill’s sponsors, US Senator Chris Dodd, and Representative Barney Frank.

    The legislation mandates a number of things, but part of it is the requirement for the US Federal Reserve to reveal which institutions it loaned money to under the various bail out programmes.

    Shortly after we sent you yesterday’s Money Morning we decided to do a bit of fishing around on the US Federal Reserve website. You see, earlier that morning the Fed had released some pretty hot material, and we wanted to see what it contained

    There’s more at http://www.moneymorning.com.au/

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @xyzlatin: Doesn’t really surprise me. The form is a little different than I’d have expected ( I’d expect our Fed to the Australian central bank, then them to the locals ) but the fact of it? Fits the present pattern completely…

    And I’d even be bothered about it, if they were handing the banks real money… But since it’s only a “currency” and not “money”, well, it’s only paper… (or in this case, most likely, just computer bits…)

    Just one small step closer to making the currency clearly an empty suit for all to see…

    Back on topic:

    I see that the temperature curves are showing a tiny bit of a rise as the night turns to morning…

    Still well below normal, but a degree or two above that 6 am divot…

  3. Malaga View says:

    Corbyn is forecasting that this ‘is not just a short cold snap;. He says it will last for a good three months – with extreme cold throughout December, January and February – possibly longer.

    Reading that comment sent a shiver down my spine… I have been following Joe’s more upbeat predictions for the UK… so I just took another look at Weather Action site… Piers Corbyn has freely published his Essence of Winter Europe – Public sponsored Forecast released 30-11-10 at http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews10No37.pdf

    QUOTE
    Winter Dec to Feb inclusive in Britain and Europe will be exceptionally cold and snowy – like hell frozen over at times – with much of England, Germany, Benelux and N France suffering one of the coldest winters for over 100
    years.

    UNQUOTE

    The railway video brings back lots of memories from the 60s for me… the days when I used to walk a couple of miles to the train station… through the rain, snow and fog in my shorts and blazer… days of riding the electric train to school… days of watching the express steam trains hurtle pass in clouds of steam and smoke… ah the smell and aromas… followed by walking another mile, or so, at the other end… but at least the school had a sense of humour in those austere days… it was called WALLOP… which means to beat soundly; thrash… honest truth.

    And the honest truth is that the UK infrastructure has changed… the coal days are pretty much gone… the railways are a pale shadow of their former selves… and fail when the wrong type of snow arrives… and attitudes have changed… you must be confusing me with somebody who gives a damn now springs to mind.

    So, my best wishes to those in “Merry Old England”, and best of luck to those in Scotland. Good wishes to those in the rest of the UK. And may Ireland find a fair wind at it’s back… one from over the Gulf Stream, preferably..

    AMEN

  4. Malaga View says:

    Weather across UK to become “much, much colder”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11906852

    The UK will be “much, much, colder” on Friday, forecasters say, as disruption caused by snow continues.

    Overnight, temperatures fell as low as -20C in Braemar, Aberdeenshire and -7C in Birmingham.

    Gatwick Airport has reopened after two days of closure, but passengers are warned of delays and cancellations.

    Southern and Southeastern rail have reduced services, trains in East Yorkshire are cancelled, and there are virtually no services north of Glasgow.

  5. Malaga View says:

    AA calls for Army to help ‘get Britain moving’ through snowy weather
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/8178141/AA-calls-for-Army-to-help-get-Britain-moving-through-snowy-weather.html

    Container ships carrying goods from the Far East were blocked yesterday when several ports shut down due to the bad weather.
    …..
    It was the latest blow to a nation that has seen schools, airports, rail links and roads paralysed. As temperatures hovered above freezing:

    Fears of fuel shortages from Kent to Scotland grew, as suppliers were unable to reach petrol stations.
    ….
    “A number of filling stations are already reported to be out of fuel. By the end of the weekend, tens of thousands of motorists could have no fuel to go about their daily lives,” he said. With transport links struggling in much of the country, 38 per cent of employees were unable to get to work yesterday, some for the fourth day in a row.

  6. oldtimer says:

    Record English low of -15C at Leeming in NE England last night. Gatwick recorded a low of -11C last night. But to describe the UK as whole like this “The road and rail network has broken down completely after less than a week” is to exaggerate.

    It is true where several feet of snow were dumped in a few days eg in many parts of Scotland, central Wales, the North East of England, parts of the Midlands, in Kent and parts of Surrey and Sussex around London. For them the situation is very bad.

    There are large areas where it is untrue. Yesterday I drove from Malvern to where I live, West of London, on clear roads. The fields were certainly dusted with snow, but that was all. But it is certainly cold. The lowest I`ve noticed on my outdoor thermometer is -5C at c0630 hours.

  7. Pascvaks says:

    We’ve lost a lot of the common sense ways of the past because it’s been so long since they were really needed in the Western World and the ‘traditional’ old wives tales have mostly died out along with the “Greatest Generation”. Kids today, the under 40 Mob, don’t have much to go on. True some, perhaps many, old folks will suffer as much, or more so, too. Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate. I always hated, dreaded, being too cold. I’ve been too hot. But I hate being too cold; there’s no defense against too cold. Like the man said: Blankets, WOOL Blankets… most of us have enough brains to get us through just about anything, but we have to use them, no one else is going to care about or help us and ours in a disaster except us.

  8. Luís says:

    Hello, read this carefully:

    U.K. Natural Gas – An Early December 2010 Status Report
    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7176

    Though food and fuel may be more concerning in the short term, things are getting very ugly down the road on Natural Gas. You better expect an early start to Spring (say mid February) or brace for electricity and gas shortages.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Luis:

    That is a very worrying article. TheOilDrum is folks in the oil and gas industry and generally “has clue’. Given the lower starting point for natural gas in storage this year, the ‘near zero’ of last year, and the faster than last year draw down rate this year:

    I think I agree with the guy who commented that it looked like a ‘run out’ about February.

    Not a cause for panic as you could swap from a gas heater to an electric heater in an emergency… BUT… there is the part where it says the UK now gets 43% of it’s electricity from natural gas too…. So when the gas runs out, the electricity system will crash with it.

    A Very Dumb Design.

    Add that comment about maybe coal being a bit on the short side too and not being available for ‘substitution’ in electricity generation and this has the potential to be very bad.

    The only hope I see of getting out of this mess in less than a decade time scale is to NOT decommission the scheduled for decommission plants and hopefully find a couple that were shut down that can be restarted.

    On a 2 year or so time scale you could probably get some more LNG through the facilities, but LNG tankers are a very long lead time to build and book and I don’t see a lot of spare capacity laying about. For LNG to subsitute there has to be someone willing to give up their supply and I don’t see any warm places that can do that…

    If I were in the UK, I’d be preparing to heat my home with sacks of coal in an emergency (and I’d have a sack or two in the cellar). If the gas runs out (and those usage charts plus the weather reports imply it will or come very very close at best) there will not be a lot of alternatives for the common person. I suppose a ‘fuel emergency’ could be declared and industrial uses shut down with gas and electricity routed just to homes…

    God I hope not.. “But hope is not a strategy”…

  10. j ferguson says:

    Good morning E.M.
    I run Google Chrome on Ubuntu Linux as a browser. It displays eight icons of my favorite destinations, your’s being one of them. These icons are miniaturized copies of what the home page looked like at some point in time.

    For some reason, the displays seem to vary in their stickiness, but the one for your’s shows UP’s snow blower – very fitting for today’s post. I wonder if the Brit railways have similar equipment?

  11. It’s just their ineffable sense of humor which can only withstand this. What did their Met Office say about the coming winter?
    They are so, but so funny!
    They were so stubbornly dedicated to becoming Green that now they have became GREEN….LAND :-)

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adofo: Now that’s just … just … making me feel… like I’m gonna… turn GREEN and… spew ;-)

    @J ferguson:

    Sidebar question .. I’ve got several boxes and mostly run Red Hat on them (along with a couple of other odd variants from time to time). But I’ve heard a lot of folks say they run Ubuntu. So, how well do you like it? And what’s the minimum hardware needed? (Most of my ‘old junk’ boxes are 400 Mhz AMD chips with about 64 MB to 128 MB and I doubt memory is still sold for them.)

    The “part two” is that I’ve been eying laptops in the $400 to $600 range but don’t relish the thought to going through the ‘what runs on it’ gamut again… So is Ubuntu “multiple laptop friendly” or do you need to be really careful to get just the right devices so there are drivers?

    I’ve got nothing against getting new hardware (other than the tendency for device drivers not to exist in Linux) but these just keep running, so I’ve not had a reason to “junk” them.. yet. (Well, not all of them. I’ve dumped 3 or 4 of the crummiest nodes of the Beowulf cluster, that is now down to just 2 old boxes with the archive disks in them…)

    But when Christmas approaches, the mind wanders toward what ought to be hinted about to the family ;-) and I’m missing my old Linux Laptop. (It still runs, but I stopped using it some couple of years back. It’s a decade old Compaq about 3 inches thick and 20 lbs… with all of 32 MB of memory and a nearly impossible to read screen. Oh, and the tiny disk has no real room any more. Sometimes I take it out just to see if it still works, but… )

    So I’m trying to decide on a ‘Unification Strategy’ that would let me combine the “main machine” with the “Unix box” with the “Travel Laptop”… The present travel laptop being a decade old Mac iBook that’s starting to have hardware (screen blanking, dead airport) issues, while the main Linux box is an HP Vectra that’s OK, but not portable. So I keep looking at laptops and thinking: “I could buy a newer laptop and integrate everything.” Followed closely by “But then I’m back in the land of ‘what Linux device drivers won’t work on THIS box vs THAT box?’ and I just decide to wait for something to break…

    So, the short form: Is Ubuntu more hardware friendly than the other ports, and is the current version likely to support recent hardware? (And maybe even “Is there a link to somewhere to lists decent laptops to use?”. ) There used to be a linux laptops web site, but I’ve not looked for it in years.

    Somehow the IDEA of a new box is always more attractive than the WORK of building up a multiple boot box…

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    WOW, London barely a blip as the day has worn on and it’s right back at -4 C now.

    Germany doing the same thing. A bit larger a blip at 3 pm, but right back down at -4 C as the sun sets.

    Something big and cold is sitting on top of folks heads…

    (Yes, I admit it, I put the ‘live charts’ in the posting just because I like to check them to see how it develops over the course of the day)

  14. dearieme says:

    I’ll tel you how cold it is. We’ve already had the heating on in our bedroom for 20 minutes. We got through last winter without having it on at all. Though I admit that we twice closed the fanlight overnight.

  15. Earle Williams says:

    E.M.,

    Ubuntu has become the distro of choice in my house because it has in the past been one that works with virtually all my kit and does a bang-up job of keeping itself up to date. Thus the admin burden is light, but the tools are there to indulge the most arcane of sysadmin urges.

    I have heard/read some gripes about the release cycle of Ubuntu and the tendency to ship on schedule regardless of known bugs. I haven’t experienced any impacts on my home systems from this release cycle but those are 4 desktops and 1 laptop.

    If you want to try it out I would recommend getting a long term support (LTS) version, these are ones that end with a “.04” in the numbering scheme.

    You can boot a live CD of the 10.04 and see how it recognizes your older gear, assuming that they are bootable from a CD. 400 MHz systems may not have that BIOS feature. The only problem I have ever had in having equipment not recognized was with 8.10 not seeing a USB wireless networking adapter. The fix was a trivial edit of the driver source and a quick compile to get it functional.

    As to buying a second-hand laptop, take a live CD with you. If you can’t boot it up and have everything recognized and operational then give it a pass. I don’t think laptops made in the last handful of years are all that much different from each other. So you stand pretty good odds of having the wireless, bluetooth, webcam, etc. all be detected and functional.

  16. Patagon says:

    The image is from Modis Terra and free to use. Thanks NASA for that
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/2010337/
    I’ve got news from Scotland that there is a kind of rationing of bread due to shortages, airport is closed and trains stoped.
    That is appaling in Europe in the 21st Century, and probably avoidable if the Met Office were checking the weather instead of being too busy doing advocacy for CAGW

    As for emergy policy, this is a brilliant speech at the Scottish Parliament which exposes it with unusual clarity:
    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid640957304001?bctid=676265059001

  17. j ferguson says:

    E.M.

    I’m currently running Ubuntu 10.10 on everything except Spouses Asus netbook which runs XP.

    I have two old (late 90s) Compaq Armada 300’s with 500 mHz Pentium 3’s.

    One has 192 Meg RAM and takes forever to do anything. It could be if I messed around with the swap space, I might be able to improve its performance. It has 120 Gig drive.

    The other has 320 megs and about the same size disk and runs just fine, although not as fast as the toshiba satellte 1.8 gHz core duo. The big-built by me machine runs even faster but it’s not like the sort of thing you’re talking about.

    I’d be skeptical that the sort of Ubuntu that I’m running with unplumbed unknown unsuspected (untolled) bells and whistles has anything to do with what you have in mind. At the same time, I don’t doubt for a second that you could go through the system and take out the garbage – and I bet there’s a lot there.

    What’s neat about it is that I whined about the difficulty of downloading and reformatting the really long threads from here and CA to my Kindle on a note on CA, and Sinan Unur wrote me a little routine in Perl which makes a an html of the threads alone without the sidebars and other stuff. I added a routine to convert the html to MOBI which is what the Kindle likes ans Shazam – it ran out of the box using the Perl which was already among the Ubuntu stuff on my machines.

    So, in a sense, it’s just like Unix where you can take out all the junk and have a peppy system or be lazy and leave it in. As an aside, I once found a cron routine that used to ship with the sparc 1s, whose removal improved system performance a LOT.

    The thing it did, it did frequently, polling for stuff that was unlikely to be there, and my memory was that it was so unnecessary no one could imagine what they’d had in mind. There have been some things like that in Ubuntu in some of the recent releases but don’t seem to be in this one. And of course you might adopt it for the same reason you’d prefer to fly in a DC-3, there’s so many of them out there, that you are very unlikely to be the first one to run into trouble.

    The accessible user community seems pretty sharp too.

  18. Patagon says:

    Sorry about the appalling spelling, phones (however smart) are not yet the ideal tool for writting

  19. Hugh Miller says:

    I’m in Scotland, it’s been quite snowy here, but is as we speak a balmy 2˚ and rain melting the piled up stuff away on the pavements (not on the lawns though).

    Last year the Januaury / February snow was still causing problems with the lack of melt or rain well into March. Heating bills were very steep early in the year, not been quite as much this winter so far, but yes, another belter like the last few weeks will be bad.

    Our supermarkets have seen bread frenzies, but I think more because of the Christmas effect, people afraid there wont be any tomorrow so buy three times as much today. Worse is that the local bars have all been reporting keg delivery problems. That path is surely the road to anarchy ;)

  20. j ferguson says:

    E.M.
    there’s an error above. the RAM level which was really slow on the armada was 128Meg – this is what the machine had on it when I got it in 2000. It ran Win98 and autocad adequately which is what I used it for. there’s a story here, but I’ll spare you all. It also ran xp fine.

    What it didn’t do well is load Ubuntu. I think that the loading process involves the creation of a tiny-root in RAM and some swap space. Then passing all the stuff through the RAM which is left was just too much for it. It could take 24 hours to bring up a new system – and the kicker was you couldn’t leave it alone because it would hang wanting to know what your favorite color was, or whether you thought King Ethelred (the unready) was still alive. And these questions would come anywhere in the 24 hours, it wouldn’t just default and move on. 192 megs does work ok.

    so 64 megs of ram might not work at all. On the other hand, you might be able to whomp up a system on another machine and then change the disk to your old reliable.

    Sorry to have had this screwed up. I prevail by brute force and never giving up and if the thing mostly works, even if it takes forever, I don’t learn anything.

  21. j ferguson says:

    E.M.
    Oops, i wrote a bunch of stuff about running on old hardware which isn’t the question you asked. Damned trifocals again.

    Current Ubuntu 10.10 seems to run everything and recognize anything I plug into the machine, webcam, toshiba mp3 player, Kindle, wireless mice and keyboards, the mifi-2200, -everything.

    So I wouldn’t expect a hassle unless you get something pretty bizarre.

    DO NOT BUY A BARGAIN TOSHIBA. I have one, and unless you’re prepared to do board-level repairs about 2 years out, take a pass. Mine was called a satellite 7423 and after I fixed it runs fine, but I had to re-solder some diodes and a voltage regulator after they lifted off due to the corrosion left by a bad wash following fabrication. Toshiba’s idea was that I’d pay them $495 +/- for a new motherboard.

    I still like the Compaq M-300. It’s little, made of magnesium, and does run ubuntu just fine.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    @J ferguson:

    Thanks!

    I’m actually interested in BOTH the questions of does it run on old stuff (as I have some and would not mind making everything the same release…) AND new stuff (as I’d like some due to Spec Envy).

    I like the ToySheBaaa OK. Mine worked fine, loved it. Great machine… until it had the display die about 4 years into it… Still works with an outboard monitor, but I’ve “moved on” to a desktop for the PC stuff (Thanks to A.Watts!) Yeah, they don’t make hardware anywhere near as sturdy as Compaq / HP does.

    @Patagon:

    A glance at the UK chart above shows a VERY rapid warming at the end of the evening. Good news that!

    And don’t worry about spelling. My attitude is that it’s just another stupid set of overdone rules anyway. We got along fine without standardized spelling up until Webster decided he was Spelling Nazi, so I’m happy to have “variety” spelling.

  23. W^L+ says:

    @EM Ubuntu runs well on most of the Dells I’ve purchased since 2006, but the latest two are problematic. Dell does sell laptops that are preinstalled with Ubuntu, but I think I’d check out System76 if I was buying a computer today.

    I have one (older) machine that has 512MB RAM and a Pentium 4 CPU. It was high powered in its day. I’m running Xubuntu on it (lighter weight desktop) and it does okay. However, I don’t think you could use a regular desktop distribution on a 32MB computer. (Maybe Puppy Linux or Vector Linux, but certainly not Ubuntu or Fedora.)

    Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/features

    –lnxwalt, who’d love to read full articles in his RSS reader.

  24. Ken McMurtrie says:

    It is interesting that the Australian ABC News website posts (3rd Dec.), an article by Simon Lauder, with some acknowledgement to Karen Tagg, whereby the WMO tells us “Global weather records show 2010 has been the hottest year the world has experienced since 2005 and is likely to finish as the third hottest since records began.”
    So it seems that the “official temperature records”, even though NZ, for example, has seceded from the claim to have meaningful records, are still able, somehow, to support the IPCC projections of a warming planet associated with rising CO2 levels.
    Of course, the statement “The WMO has released its report to coincide with UN climate talks in Mexico.’, comes as no surprise.
    Ref:http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/12/03/3083766.htm
    Food for thought EM?
    This report would seemingly be very open to genuine criticism and scientific debate.

  25. j ferguson says:

    E.M.
    On this Ubuntu thing. I’ve been running on it since Release 8.04. I had a number of problems with it on the the built-by-me machine which has an intel board with resident video and an ATI All-In-Wonder (has tv tuner) video card. 8.04 would inventory the stuff in the box and default to the on-board intel video even though the bios was set to use the ATI card. No Joy, Others had same problem with Nvidia cards and the intel board. The fix was to add the onboard video to a kill list and then it worked. But this was long ago

    Through the various “upgrades” that got us to 10.10, they changed the names of the USB ports twice which meant that the names I’d hard coded for various purposes quit as part of the upgrade experience. Nothing like this has happened recently and I must say that the last two upgrades have produced no problems on any of my machines.

    Except that I like MS Word better than the open office offering on the infrequent chance that I might have to write anything serious, and the XP based DVD players (I have) seem better, I’d get rid of XP on all the machines save Spouses Netbook. On the other hand, there are some really neat things which only run on Linux – one of which is an image knitter which allows you to join adjacent frames of a panorama series into one where the joints are almost invisible. It has so many controls that once you learn it, assuming your input isn’t hopeless, you can do a really good job. It’s fun. And free.

    Earle Williams’ suggestion that you use an X.04 version is sound, even though I like to use the latest- maybe I like to see the evolution although most of it lately has seemed invisible.

    We live in a wonderful age. Let’s hope the alarmists don’t screw it up.

  26. Chuckles says:

    E.M. There was indeed very rapid UK evening warming yesterday (at least in our bit of the UK).
    It was getting colder all afternoon, then round 6pm or so the wind, which had swung from N-W to S picked up a bit, and the temp climbed rapidly. Rain came in midnight to early morning. Amazing what a bit of convection can do…..

    Here’s the local Wunderground station, a block or two from chez Chuckles. You can see the wind influence fairly well I think, following through into today.

    http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=ICAMBSSA2&day=3&year=2010&month=12

    On the Linux side, I don’t use anything but Ubuntu, both server and Desktop/Laptop. Been using it since 6.06. The live CD should allow you to evaluate it on a machine before you install.

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