Writing Blog

May 28, 2016

The Antikythera Laptop

Filed under: Computers,Gadgets,History,Internet,Science,Software,Technology — Rafael Minuesa @ 1:43 PM
Tags: ,
Antikythera Laptop Greek salesgirl showing the latest model of the Antikythera Laptop to Sosipatra. (notice her smile anticipating the sale)

The Antikythera Laptop was an ancient computer powered by an analog mechanism that consisted of a box with dials on the outside and a very complex assembly of bronze gear wheels mounted in the inside.

Antikythera smart wristwatch A prototype for a Antikythera smart wristwatch that didn’t make it to the manufacturing line

The computer didn’t do much apart from accurately computing the time it takes for planetary bodies to complete their orbits, but that was quite an unprecedented feat at the time that could not be replicated until the development of mechanical astronomical clocks in the fourteenth century. Besides Ancient Greeks favored Theater over Video any day of the week, so there was no need for a Graphic Card either, they were happy just watching the dials go round and round, which provided them with an infinite source of inspiration to come up with all kinds of theorems.

In latest models the Antikythera Laptop featured just 2 USB-G ports, a decision that was highly criticized by users who could not understand why they had to part with a substantial amount of extra Drachmas to buy an adapter, just to get their machines connected to other existing standard devices of the time.

The laptops were manufactured using very sturdy materials, which made them extremely hard and durable. They were also waterproof as long as the machinery was not underwater for more than a year or so. They came with a life-time warranty with accidental damage protection. They were definitely different times and different code of ethics back then.

Rusty Antikythera Mechanism This one had the warranty voided after more than 2,000 years under sea water.

May 26, 2010

How to build/detonate/use a hydrogen bomb to open up a multidimensional wormhole

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology — Rafael Minuesa @ 6:27 PM
Tags: ,

How to build a hydrogen bomb?

Piece of  Cake.

First Google: “How to build a hydrogen bomb”.
Cut the crap by just looking for images:
http://www.google.com/images?q=%22How%20to%20build%20a%20hydrogen%20bomb%22

You’ll probably arrive to a page that explains that the basic idea of how to build a hydrogen bomb has been available to interested parties for quite a while.

There you will also read about how Howard Morland’s attempt to explain the inner workings became a court case (United States v. Progressive), and how Greenpeace later got its hands on some British government H-Bomb for Dummies schematic:

hydrogen bomb schematic

How to detonate a hydrogen bomb?

See below, an image is worth more than a thousand detonations:

H-bomb

How to use a hydrogen bomb?

Now, that may seem like a dumb question, unless you are one of the desperate fans of the recently concluded television series Lost, and are speculating that the program is continuing on in a parallel dimension somewhere, and that alternate versions of showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are currently writing new episodes of the series.

That will be a worthy use for a hydrogen bomb, to open up a multidimensional wormhole.
See more details here:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/lost-possibly-still-airing-in-parallel-dimension-d,17485/

Lost


August 16, 2008

Concentrating photovoltaics

Filed under: Environment,Gadgets,Science — Rafael Minuesa @ 11:58 PM
Tags: , ,
This is one of a series of articles I posted for the Green Gadget Inspector’s Blog.
You can view the original version at:
* http://gadgetgreeninspector.blogspot.com/2008/08/concentrating-photovoltaics.html

The PS10 project, is an 11 MW Solar Thermal Power Plant 15 km west of the city of Seville in Southern Spain.

The plant is the first Solar Central Receiver System of its kind and generates 11 Megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to power up to 6,000 homes although it is expected that when the entire project is completed it should generate enough electricity to cover the needs of the 600,000 population of Seville.

It works by concentrating the reflected rays from each of the 624 mirrors with a mobile curved reflective surface measuring 120 square meters to the top of a 115 meter where a solar receiver turns water into steam. The turbine drives a generator, producing electricity.

Compared to conventional flat panel solar cells, concentrating photovoltaics is more cost efficient because the solar collector is less expensive than an equivalent area of solar cells.
Concentrating photovoltaics operates most effectively in sunny weather, since clouds and overcast conditions create diffuse light which essentially can not be concentrated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OkqJw1oTMk

The PS10 solar power plant is promoted by Solúcar Energía, an Abengoa Group company.
This project has counted with the co-funding from the 5th European Union Framework Program. Activities of Solgate Technology are still continuing today, with the presence of Solúcar R&D in the Solhyco Project which intent to obtain the hybridization of the system developed on the Solgate stage with gasified biomass. The Solhyco Project counts with the collaboration of renowned research centers such as DLR and Ciemat, and which has been co-funded under the 6th European Union Framework Program.

Because concentrating photovoltaics perform better in environments with clear skies, Europe is also looking across the Mediterranean to the Sahara desert, where solar farms could provide clean electricity for the whole of Europe, according to EU scientists working on an scheme to build a €4.500.000 European supergrid that would allow countries across the continent to share electricity from abundant green sources.
In addition, because the sunlight in this area is more intense, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in northern Africa could generate up to three times the electricity compared with similar panels in northern Europe.
Arnulf Jaeger-Walden of the European commission’s Institute for Energy, speaking at the Euroscience Open Forum in Barcelona, said it would require the capture of just 0.3% of the light falling on the Sahara and Middle Eastern deserts to provide all of Europe’s energy needs.

Jaeger-Walden explained how electricity produced in solar farms in Africa, each containing power plants generating around 50-200MW of power, could be fed thousands of miles across European countries by using high-voltage direct current transmission lines instead of the traditional alternating current lines. Energy losses on DC lines are far lower than AC ones where transmission of energy over long distances is uneconomic.

March 5, 2008

Curing Cancer with Radio Waves

Filed under: Gadgets,Medical,Science — Rafael Minuesa @ 11:40 PM
Tags: , , , , ,
This is one of a series of articles I posted for the Medical Gadget Inspector’s Blog.
You can view the original version at:
* http://gadgetmedicalinspector.blogspot.com/2008/03/curing-cancer-with-radio-waves.html

When John Kanzius, a retired radio and television broadcaster and engineer, was working with a radio frequency generating device aimed at eradicating cancer cells, he could have not imagined that the experiments would eventually cause a salt water solution to release hydrogen, which could then be burned producing very high temperatures, thus becoming a possible substitute for fuel.

This amazing invention works by using a generator that emits 14-megahertz radio waves that bombard a solution of salt and water. No one knows for certain what happens thereafter but everything indicates that the sodium chloride may weaken the bonds between the strong oxygen and hydrogen atoms in water and the radio waves break apart the bonds and liberate flammable hydrogen gas molecules.
A simple spark is all is needed then to ignite the hydrogen, generating an intense flame that produces enough heat to power up an engine.

Kanzius never meant to invent a substitute for fuel and he is not pursuing that goal neither. Diagnosed with leukemia in 2002, he began building his radio-wave blaster to research the subject of cancer treatment by his own experiences undergoing chemotherapy.

To kill cancer cells using Kanzius RF Therapy, cancer cells are first tagged with tiny objects known as nanoparticles, such as SWNTs and GNPs. When the RF (radio frequency) transmitter apparatus exposes the nanoparticles to the radio frequency signal they heat up, destroying the cancer cells, but don’t damage healthy cells nearby.

As of 200704-23, preliminary research using the Kanzius RF device at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston (by Dr. Steven A. Curley, Professor in Surgical Oncology) and The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (by Dr. David A. Geller, co-director of the Liver Cancer Center) has shown promising results. As of 1st November 2007, preliminary trials with rabbits have turned up a 100% success rate, with the tumors successfully eliminated and the rabbits remaining unharmed. If federal approval is granted, testing on human patients would be the next step.

In contrast with currently used radiofrequency ablation where an RF probe (needle) is inserted into or next to a tumor mass, Kanzius’ method is noninvasive.

Steven A. Curley, who pioneered the clinical studies that led to FDA approval of radiofrequency ablation to treat unresectable primary and metastatic hepatobiliary malignancies, referred to the method as “one of the most exciting developments in years.”

The prototype of the device was built by Kanzius himself in his home.

See the video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ8N2I5Nl98

The Kanzius RF Machine uses a capacitor to focus radio waves in a transmitting head to send them to a receiving head. Between the two machines there is a space where the cancerous part is placed so the radio waves can be sent through it.

Four units are currently in service at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center received their first unit in May of 2005, and MD Anderson Cancer Center received their first machine in January of 2006. John Kanzius’ predicts a near term demand of 3,000 to 5,000 units with long term expectations at 50,000 to 100,000 units.

Until targeting is fully viable, Kanzius is considering only making the machine available only to a few well renowned medical centers. As patent holder, he decides who is able to purchase the machines.

More Info:
John Kanzius
Kanzius RF Therapy

January 23, 2008

BioGas Digesters

Filed under: Environment,Gadgets — Rafael Minuesa @ 1:35 AM
Tags: , , , , ,
This is one of a series of articles I posted for the Green Gadget Inspector’s Blog.
You can view the original version at:
* http://gadgetgreeninspector.blogspot.com/2008/01/biogas-digesters.html

Biogas is an incredibly simple technology. It works by turning human or animal waste accumulated into closed chambers into gas that is produced by absence of oxygen, a mixture of mainly methane with some carbon dioxide. This resulting gas can then be used for cooking and lighting or even for generating electrical power, and the solid residue can be used as organic compost.

The power of biogas has been known to Mankind as far back as 10 BC, when it was used in Assyria to heat bath water.
Marco Polo did mention the use of covered sewage tanks in China that are believed to date back to 2,000-3,000 years ago in ancient China.

China is also one of countries in the world that have adopted modern biogas technology earlier in its history. Since the end of the nineteenth century, simple biogas digesters had appeared in the coastal areas of southern China.
Half a century later, in 1958, a campaign was launched in Wuchang to exploit the multiple functions of biogas production, which simultaneously solved the problems of the disposal of manure and improvement of hygiene.
Between the late 1970s and early 1980s when the Chinese government fomented biogas production not only as a way of providing energy, but also as environmental protection and improvement of hygiene, as well as modernization of agriculture. Some 6 million digesters were set up in China at that time, attracting many from the developing countries to learn from it.

The “China dome” digester became the standard construction to the present day, specially for small-scale domestic use.

diagram of biogas production
A biogas tank can produce about 400 cubic meters of biogas. Just 1 cubic metre of biogas can meet the daily energy needs of rural households, mainly for cooking three meals.

Today, farmers in the Chinese province of Guangxi Province are the flagship of Chinese biogas technology. The central government pays half the price of building a $260 biogas “digester” in their backyards. It’s an example of what the Chinese government, in its 11th five-year economic plan, refers to as a new socialist village – environmentally sustainable, socially harmonious and prosperous.

The vast majority of farmers who live in Guangxi don’t earn enough to pay for fuel or electricity. That is if they’re lucky enough to be connected to the power grid in the first place.
All that has changed now and Guanxi is becoming a prosperous place, as well as restoring its natural surroundings. No more cutting wood for cooking and the precious time spent looking for and cutting down trees is now spent in business activities, many of them environmentally friendly.

The Chinese government has launched the “Environment-friendly Homeland” project to develop renewable energy, especially biogas, that aims at having 15 per cent of the country’s energy consumption to come from renewable sources like biogas by 2020.
In Guangxi, there are now 3 million biogas tanks in operation, according to the government, making the province the largest producer of biogas in China if not the world. As each one routes animal and human waste into biogas digesters, they not only prevent vast amounts of methane from escaping into the atmosphere but an estimated 8 million tons of standard coal and 13 million tons of firewood from being burned each year, according to IFAD, the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

More Info:

November 7, 2007

Get a Second Life

This is one of a series of articles I posted for magiKomputer.
You can view the original version at:
* http://magikomputer.blogspot.com/2007/11/get-second-life.html
Second Life is a virtual online world with a growing population of subscribers (or “residents”). Currently, the community has well over 10,000,000 residents from all over the World.
By providing the residents with robust building and scripting tools, they can create a vast array of in-world objects, installations and programs in the fields of Animation, Audio, Music, Building, Architecture, Clothing, Fashion, Communications, Maps, Scripting, Textures, Prim, etc.

Although Second Life’s interface and display are similar to most popular massively multi-player online role playing games (or MMORPGs), there are two key differences.
First of all, Second Life provides near unlimited freedom to its Residents. This world really is whatever you make it, and your experience is what you want out of it. If you want to hang out with your friends in a garden or nightclub, you can. If you want to go shopping or fight dragons, you can. If you want to start a business, create a game or build a skyscraper you can. It’s up to you.
And you are the legal proprietor of anything you create. Since its early stages, Linden Lab (the producer of Second Life) has allowed its residents to retain full IP rights over their own creations, thereby insuring that their contributions to the community remain truly their own. As a resident you retain full IP rights over any of your in-world creations.

Second Life is the size of a small city, with thousands of servers (called simulators) and a Resident population of over 10,742,897 (and growing). Residents come to the world from over 100 countries with concentrations in North America and the UK.

Demographically, 60% are men, 40% are women and they span in age from 18 – 85. They are gamers, housewives, artists, musicians, programmers, lawyers, firemen, political activists, college students, business owners, active duty military overseas, architects, and medical doctors, to name just a few.

Even if you don’t know how to do 3D modeling, Second Life makes building an easy task, using the built-in tools. And there are lots of daily Resident-run classes and tutorials to help you learn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVSzh_QTE00

The Second Life client comes with an updated-daily list of public Events, including games, parties, and contests; the Search window is a veritable traveler’s guide to Second Life—the places to see, the people to meet, and much more.

There are dozens of first-person shooters, strategy games, puzzle and adventure games, even board, and puzzle games.
Several regions of the world have been devoted to role playing, and resemble medieval towns, or futuristic cities. The building and scripting system even enables Residents to create their own version of a MMORPG, including hit points, character stats, and all the other classic elements.
Since gamers are a big part of the Second Life community, friendly games of combat are a regular event.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7uS6P6ihGk

You can get your own virtual land at Second Life.
Having land in Second Life lets you have an on-going presence in the world, for your home, your business, or whatever other special place you’ve created. Even when you’re not online, your friends or customers can stop by to leave you a message or shop for your latest creation.
To get land you must sign up for the Premium membership. You’ll be able to purchase a 512 square meter plot of land before any land maintenance fees kick-in.
However, you can have as much land as you choose. Change the amount of land you have and your monthly fee will adjust accordingly.
You can also consider purchasing more land through the Second Life auctions or from other Residents. Alternatively, you can join with others who are interested in the project to form a group and pool your land holdings. Groups can collectively acquire and use land.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jy4QlbbRPY

Another option is to get an island in Second Life.
Special island regions are available as a separate purchase. You can choose from several different topologies, control access from the mainland, or even decide to start your own separate community.

When you join the community you are given a small weekly stipend of L$ (Second Life’s official unit-of-trade) when you sign up for a Premium account. Plus you can earn L$ by making and selling goods and services, holding events, and playing games.

Residents can buy and sell in-world L$ from the Linden Dollar Exchange, or from other third party websites. Some of these operators offer convenient in-world “ATM” machines to facilitate transactions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NOHRJB9uyI

You can even start your own business in Second Life.
Shopping is a big part of the Second Life experience for many Residents. You can buy and sell anything that can be made in-world, from clothes, skins, wigs, jewelry, and custom animations for avatars, to furniture, buildings, weapons, vehicles, games, and more. Once you’re ready to bring your products to the market, it’s simply a matter of buying or sub-renting property, for opening up a shop. There are also Resident-owned malls which charge rental fees, or take a cut of your proceeds. As in the real world, the challenge is to build up a reputation that earns a steady stream of customers.
And as in the real world there’s money to be made if you are a successful business person. Real money, I mean.

My overall impression is that this is quite an awesome stuff. It looks like it is going to become the next big thing in our lives, superseding the Internet itself as we know it.
I love the concept, but I have to say that I have this uneasy feeling that somehow there’s something evil in this invention, something that one day will get out of our hands.
Not sure why but it kind of reminds me of the first Terminator movie.
Because the next logical step would be to physically build many of those 3-D human models in the real world. Combine that with the latest advances in artificial intelligence and with the increasing isolation of human beings in today’s societies and you’ll soon get androids living our lives for us.

I don’t know if it happens to anyone else but I’m able to semi-consciously
“choose” my dreams, I mean, I sort of create my dreams to my taste and
discard what I don’t like.
Not always, but many times I can do it. I can even resume some dreams
that I had left half-way through.
One of my favorites is flying. I don’t actually fly, but rather glide
for long distances, as if I were in a place with very low gravity,
just as you can do in SecondLife.

And I’m now having lots of dreams in which I continue to be in that SL
world, flying around, teleporting to strange places, meeting lots of
people, making friends, dancing, meeting beautiful girls by the dozens
and having sex with a large proportion of them. Virtual Sex, that is.
So far.

I am not addicted yet, but all my virtual friends tell me that I will
soon be.

The other day I came across this questionnaire on how Second Life
users are affected by this virtual world in their real lives.
It’s kind of scary, for example, about 30% of users say that SecondLife is the
only thing they find interesting in their lives, or those 30% who say that “The first thing I think about when I wake up is SecondLife”, or the 20% who say that
“In order to be in SecondLife I eat, sleep and/or bathe less.”
Have a look:
http://slsurvey.wordpress.com/survey-result/section-iv-engagement/

I wonder if I should stop now before it’s too late …

September 19, 2007

Laser Eye Surgery

This is one of a series of articles I posted for the Medical Gadget Inspector’s Blog.
You can view the original version at:
* http://lasertherapeutic.blogspot.com/2007/09/laser-eye-surgery.html


The structure of the eye is composed of a single, outwardly curved (convex) clear lens, the cornea, at the front and a lengthy ‘fiber optic’ cable, the optic nerve, extending from the back.
It is essentially an empty structure, except for the colored iris, a circular band of muscles that controls the size of the pupil, which allows variable amounts of light to pass to the back inside the surface of the eye. The amount of pigmentation of the iris determines its color. Blue eyes, for example, have very little amount of pigment, and black eyes have the most.
The pupil is the central transparent area, that is controlled by the ciliary muscles in the iris, that make the pupil smaller when the amount of light is excessive, and viceversa.

Light rays pass through the clear cornea, which due to its curved surface, is able to bend (refract) the light rays. These light rays are concentrated together and pass through the pupil. Then, they go through the normally clear lens which has two curved surfaces, the front and the back. Therefore, these light rays are bent (refracted) two more times on their trip to the back of the eye.

The light rays travel to the back surface of the eye through the vitreous, a clear jelly which fills the space between the back of the lens and the retina, the inside lining of the back surface of the eye which contains specialized cells which convert light energy into electrical impulses.
These cells are either called rods, specialized for black and white images, or cones, that mainly process color images. In dim light, we use our rods, which cannot work in bright light. To deal with bright or moderate light, we use our cones, that beside providing color vision, they also process some aspects of black and white vision and the ability to discern fine detail.

What is truly amazing about the eye is how part of these cells in the retina (photosensitive cells) actually are a six inch appendage of the cell, the axon, which joins with other axons to compose the optic nerve which travels to the brain stem, the very top of the spinal cord, located at the very center of the brain. There, each axon connects (synapses) with a cell or cells, and the axon of the receiving cell(s) travels another six inches to the back of the brain, the occipital lobe, where it synapses with a brain cell(s) to produce what we call vision.

Schematic diagram of the human eyeTherefore, the major functions of these parts of the visual system are composed by:

  • Cornea: Refracts light rays
  • Pupil: Controls the amount of light entering the eye
  • Lens: Refracts light rays
  • Vitreous: Light traverses this space
  • Retina: Converts light energy to electrical energy
  • Optic Nerve: Transmits electrical energy from the retina to the brain stem
  • Brain Stem: Intermediate ‘relay station’ for visual fibers
  • Occipital Cortex: Final destination. Converts electrical energy to visual images

A “Perfect Eye” would therefore have:

  • a clear and unobstructed path from the front of the eye to the back of the eye.
  • the proper balance between the length of the eye and the curvatures of the three refracting surfaces.
  • properly functioning cells in the retina and brain which allow the conversion of light energy to electrical energy, the transmission of this energy, and the interpretation of the energy into what we call vision.

Unfortunately, most people do not have “perfect eyes”.

Eyes that are too long or have too much refracting power (from the cornea and the lens) are nearsighted eyes, as images are focused in front of the retina. The image received by the retina is not a ‘dot for dot’ representation of what the image viewed by the eye. Instead, each of these ‘dots’ of light becomes enlarged to form a ‘disc’ of light with a consequent spread of the dot image to adjacent parts of the retina. This is what causes blurring of vision.

The opposite results when eyes or too short or have too little refracting poser. These eyes are farsighted, as images are focused (or would be) behind the retina. The same type of dot to disc representation occurs.

When light rays that are vertically oriented are not refracted the same amount as the light rays that are horizontally oriented, this condition is called astigmatism. An example would be when that eye looks at a building that is built as a square, it would appear as a rectangle with different vertical and horizontal dimensions being visualized. This example refers to strictly vertical (90 degrees) and strictly horizontal (0 degrees); astigmatism can occur at any angle between 0-180 degrees.

On a more dynamic level, the eye can possess no refractive error whatsoever but is unable to adjust to near images by increasing its refractive powers. This condition is termed presbyopia and normally affects persons in their 40s and early 50s. The mechanisms within the eye that can increase the curvature of the lens (accommodation) become less efficient and external plus lenses are necessary to bring the near images into focus.

The eye is truly like a camera because it not only requires proper focusing (refraction) but it requires a clear media through which light rays must pass. Any loss of clarity of the structures through which these light rays must pass will interfere with their successful interpretation within the visual cortex of the brain. Examples of disorders which might cause this scattering or absorption of light rays are opacities or swelling of the cornea (scars, edema, abrasions, etc.), opacification of the lens (cataract), and cloudiness of the vitreous (hemorrhage or inflammation.)

Also, the receiving tissue, the retina must be functioning properly, as opposed to aged related macular degeneration, in which there is deterioration of the most important part of the retina, the macula, which is responsible for our finest and our reading vision.

The range of pathologies which can be treated with Laser Eye Surgery are:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness): -0.75 diopters to -10.0 diopters
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness): +0.75 diopters to +5.0 diopters
  • Astigmatism (associated with myopia): 0 to 4.0 diopters
  • Presbyopia (the eye’s diminished ability to focus that occurs with aging).

Traditionally, many of these conditions were often treated with prescription glasses or contact lenses. Today, a number of innovative Laser Eye Surgery procedures are widely available.
There are three main types of Laser Eye Surgery:

PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy) has been the standard eye laser surgery for many years.
It involves the complete removal of the epithelium or the outer layer of cells on the eye, with the use of a “cold” laser light.
PRK is mostly used on patients with low to moderate amounts of Myopia Astigmatism.
Below you can watch a video showing a PRK surgical intervention:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEYGoVcQvCw

LASEK (Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy) or EPIFLAP (Laser Assisted Epithelial Keratomileusis) surgery involves the fractional removal of the epithelium to reveal the cornea, which is then firmed or reshaped by a laser. The outer layer of cells is then pushed back, and the eye heals shortly after.
LASEK is used on patients with low to moderate amounts of Myopia or Astigmatism.
Below you can watch a video showing a LASEK surgical intervention:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0lOOG5S2t4

LASIK (Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) is the newest and most popular type of eye laser surgery. Initially developed by Spanish ophthalmologist José Barraquer, with this procedure a thin layer of the eye’s cornea is sliced off to create a flap. This enables the laser to target the tissue underneath. The flap is simply replaced and grows back naturally. Vision is restored almost immediately.
LASIK is usually used on patients with severe Myopia (nearsightedness): -0.75 diopters to 10.0 diopters.
Below you can watch a video showing a LASIK surgical intervention:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B132OTyxLBA

All of these treatments have been approved for use in many countries around the world and are therefore considered to be safe.
But it must be taken into account that all types of surgery does involve risks and eye surgery is no different.
There have been cases during which patients have suffered major complications and required cornea transplants following laser treatment.

Not everyone can have laser eye surgery. Although eye laser surgery is usually suitable for healthy adults and can be performed on virtually any eye, sometimes it is not advisable.
Several factors could influence negatively the outcome of these operations:
AGE: It is advisable that a person undergoing Laser Eye Surgery should be at least eighteen years old. It is assumed that the refractive error (prescription) of the patient will be fairly stable at this time.
However, there’s no upper age limit for Laser Eye Surgery eligibility, since it does not affect the nature or outcome of the surgery.
ENDOCRINE: Hormone fluctuations can affect the refractive error of a person’s eye. Surgery during a period of such instability would probably produce changes which would not be correct once the endocrine system returns to normal. Therefore, Laser Eye Surgery is not recommended for women who may be pregnant, nursing, or undergoing changes in oral contraceptive therapy.
HEALTH: Because the cornea is composed of a matrix of collagen fibers, the same material which comprises tendons and other connective tissue, people who have autoimmune disorders, e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Systemic Lupus Erythematosis, etc., may be at risk for unpredicted changes following surgery. Other medical problems, such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, heart problems, etc. do not affect the outcome of Laser Eye Surgery surgery.
HERPES VIRUS INFECTION: A history of herpes simplex infection of the eye may be a contraindication to Laser Eye Surgery surgery. It is believed that the virus may permanently reside in nerve cells outside the eye and that any kind of surgery might reactivate an infection. However, this area is undergoing change. Studies are being done to see if treatment with antiviral medication prior and after the operation might prevent such a recurrence. Herpes infections in other parts of the body do not pertain to qualifying for Laser Eye Surgery surgery.
PUPIL SIZE: The excimer lasers currently treat an area of the cornea that measures about 7 to 8 mm in diameter. Therefore, it is important that the pupil size be less than the area of treatment. Most of the reported difficulties with glare experienced by patients come from those with pupillary size irregularities.
REFRACTIVE ERROR: Most persons are either nearsighted or farsighted with some degree of astigmatism. After age of 40, people also experienced difficulties with focusing at near, a condition known as presbyopia.
Although none of the procedures described above can be used for this condition, for such patients there exists laser thermal keratoplasty (LAPR), in which mild laser heat is used in a three-second procedure to shrink collagen in the periphery of the cornea to steepen the eye’s surface for correction of near vision in farsightedness or presbyopia.
End results are similar to Conductive Keratoplasty (CK), which is also used to treat this condition. This procedure uses radio frequency energy to apply heat to very tiny spots around the cornea.


External links

November 14, 2005

The Curse of the Amiga

This article was first posted by my alter-ego laparanoia at the magiKomputer‘s Blog.
You can view the original version at:
* http://magikomputer.blogspot.com/2005/11/curse-of-amiga.html

Amiga Survivor DrawingIs the Amiga Dead, Yet?
Not Yet.

Is it cursed?
No doubt.

Even me, as I was writing this post, had Firefox crashed for the first time ever and lost about an hour’s work. Previously I had tried to post from Elicit and Zoundry with similar results. In more than 3 years blogging I had NEVER experienced anything even remotely similar. When I restarted, my right button search function had vanished, and all those circumstances put together have made this post the one that has taken more effort to create by far. But, you see, I am an obstinate bastard, specially when it comes to something I’ve spent so many years working and playing with (or was rather the other way around) and that is so close to my heart as the Amiga.

I have been a fanatic user of the Amiga from 1991 until the turn of the millennium, and I still think it was the best machine mankind has ever created. What has happened to this computer is a real techno-tragedy and I am sure it has altered the course of History, and not for the Good.

I haven’t tried the latest hardware and software, but here is an excellent review of Jeremy Reimer, who bought an AmigaOne Micro with OS4 on November 2004:

The Micro-AmigaOne and Amiga OS4 Developer Prerelease
Jay Miner started the Amiga Inc. computer company in 1982 before Commodore bought them out.
The Amiga computer was first commercialized released in 1985 by Commodore, that eventually went bankrupt in April 1994.
Commodore was bought at liquidation by Escom AG, who had no real interest in the Amiga. Escom itself went bankrupt a few years later, and the Amiga was briefly bought out by set-top manufacturer VISCorp, before they too filed for liquidation.
Its new owner was Gateway Computers, who were only interested in Commodore’s old patent portfolio. When it became increasingly clear that Gateway was never going to do anything with the Amiga, a consortium of investors calling themselves Amino Development bought out the rights to the Amiga hardware and OS in 1999.
The new AmigaOne motherboards were first released in 2002, but there was no OS to go with them, so they shipped with Debian PPC Linux. After an agonizing 18-month wait, the first Developer Prerelease CD of OS4 was shipped to AmigaOne owners worldwide.

AmigaOne OS4
OS4 boots remarkably quickly. From a cold boot, including waiting for power up, BIOS messages, straight to a usable desktop took slightly over 30 seconds. A “warm boot,” which bypasses the BIOS start-up and merely reloads the operating system, takes slightly over 10 seconds.

One feature of the original custom Amiga graphics chips was that you could “pull” down screens with the mouse to see screens that were behind them. This feature, called “draggable screens,” was never duplicated by any graphics card manufacturer since, so sadly it is not available on the AmigaOne.

A cold boot, including power up, BIOS messages, takes less than what it takes you to get accommodated in your chair. Compare that to any Windows/Mac OS start-up. They usually give me enough time to go and make coffee (Mac OSX is not that sluggish, to be honest).
I am sorry to hear that there is no “draggable screens“.
Another cool feature was the ability of clicking on several menu items at once (holding right-side button and clicking with the left), and get the commands batch-processed at once.

Many people, upon reading the hardware specs of the Micro Amiga One, will feel that the performance (800MHz PowerPC 750FX, SDR RAM) is far below modern gear. This is true to a certain extent, but it does not give the whole picture. AmigaOS was originally written for a 7.14 MHz 68000, and the last Classic version released by Commodore, 3.1, was optimized for a 12 MHz 68020 platform. According to Hyperion, over 90% of the OS code has been converted from 68k to PPC, and the only code yet to be translated (serial port code, AREXX macro routines), does not typically impact on performance.
Because the OS is so small (About 60MB on disk for a complete install), it fits very nicely in 256MB of RAM, with room for several applications, most of which have a similarly small memory footprint. This means that you can run the OS and multitask between several applications without ever swapping to the disk.

I have created and run multimedia presentations for TV stations on as little as an Amiga 500, 1Mb RAM, 720 Kb floppy, no Hard Drive. Gosh, I miss Scala so much…

In speeches around the world, Alan Redhouse of Eyetech always opens by saying that everyone always asks them: “Why are you doing this?” And the answer he gives, with a smile, is “We don’t know!” There is an infectious enthusiasm among Amiga users…

Infectious enthusiasm defines the feeling of Amiga users at that time.
As of today, if you visit Amiga’s Headquarters (http://www.amiga.com/) you’ll be presented with the latest technology in … Jackpots!!!?
It has broken my heart.

Better visit this one: http://www.amiga.org/

Is there a future for the Amiga?
Some people seem to think so:

http://www.amigaworld.net/
http://www.amitopia.no/

Jeremy Reimer has a website full of undiscovered gems at:
http://www.pegasus3d.com/jer_main.html
where among other things he promotes StudlyOS, as the Only Operating System You Will Ever Need.
I wish I had the time to try it out.
I liked the Amigan comment on it, though:

“StudlyOS sucks!!!1111 Y00 think itz c00l but your rong!!!!!11111 I Cant run it on my Am1ga so what yoos is it????/ My Am1ga beats yor peecee anyday!!!!!! !!!11111111 Peecee even with StudlyOS cant beet Amiga because Amiga rules!!!! Amiga iz better because it is Amiga!!!1111 Nothing else is Amiga!!!11111” – B1FF


The Amiga Boing Ball is a mythical object in the computer industry. It was created as an example of the machines ability. The demo showed a red and white ball bouncing around the screen and interacting with the environment- it bounced off the walls, spun, while multitasking in the background.

That demo displaying smooth animation in full colorwhen other computers were only just managing color display, helped sell over a million Amigas at a time when a computer was a synonym of science fiction.

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