BTCC at Knockhill 2012

I must admit to being slightly depressed by the fact that when I dusted the D700 off for this year’s BTCC event at Knockhill Circuit, one of the two cards I use still had last year’s pictures on it. Yup, I’ve used my camera so little over the last 12 months I hadn’t even had the need to format it.

Anyway, this year marked the 20th anniversary of the event at Knockhill Circuit. They wheeled out a few previous Scottish legends and had them do a couple of laps in some older cars which was pretty cool to see. Disappointed that there were no BMW E30 M3s doing the rounds but I guess no Scottish driver ever competed in one of those?

Auf Wiedersehen M3!

Not only is this “auf wiederesehen M3”, this is goodbye to car ownership of any kind - for now.

On Saturday I handed over the keys to my M3 CS in exchange for a decent chunk of change. The wheels for its sale were put in motion about six months ago when we decided to split our time between Edinburgh and Manchester. The absurd insurance quotes I received following the move, coupled with realisation of how much its costing me to own a motor that I do very few miles in (about 5k in the last year), meant that I had to let it go.

So that’s it. But not only am I without an M car for the first time in years, I’m actually without a car full stop. And how does it feel you ask? In short - liberating, on a number of levels. Owning a nice car that you care about is an almost constant stress - you have to be particular about where you park the car, you’re constantly thinking about little things that need doing, imperfections or improvements, and how much they’ll cost. Then there’s the omnipresent worry of something going wrong. And that’s before we start talking about the insane insurance quotes, road tax, and the ever ridiculous cost of fuel.

While I can’t put a price on some of the experiences I’ve had in the M3 and the M5, when those types of trips are few and far between it simply doesn’t make sense to burden yourself financially and emotionally with such a machine. For now anyway - let’s see how this streak of sense and reason lasts (-:

Supercomputing at LLNL

While searching around for Cray-related imagery I stumbled across Lawrence-Livermore National Laborotory’s Flickr stream. There’s some fantastic shots in here of all kinds of exotic machinery and science-related shenanigans, but of particular interest to a nerd like myself is the Supercomputing set.

It’s a great collection of photographic history dating back to 1952, and includes more recent installations such as their “Tri-Lab Linux Capacity Clusters”, BlueGene/L, and most things in between. Check out the full set in the link above, it’s fascinating stuff.

Why I Wanted a Career in Computing…

Basically it was because I wanted to be like the dude below, working with technology that looked as fantastic as this:

Where did it all go so wrong?

Fugazi Live Series

Between 1987 and 2003, Fugazi played over 1000 concerts in all 50 states and all over the world. Over 800 of these shows were recorded by the band’s sound engineers.

You should already be well aware of this given that it reached the New York Times frontpage, but as this has been a long time coming (in various forms) - I figured I’d mention it here as well.  The NYT article points out another interesting aspect:

[…] the project also tells a story about musical technology from the 1980s into the 2000s. The earliest recordings were made on cassettes, then came digital DAT tapes, then CD-R’s and a few hard drives.

Go give them some of your money.