Tuesday, May 5, 2009


  • Continuing an Obsolete Technology theme from my last entry, I got a mechanical alarm clock at the flea market. All the parts worked, but it lost 5-10 minutes over a 12 hour period, at which point it would stop.

    I got a couple old-timey clock repair books at the library for tips on what to clean and/or adjust. Now it actually gains 2-3 minutes in 24 hours, but I recentered the little adjusty lever, so I should be able to make it keep good time. Unfortunately it still alarms 10 minutes before the set time. Also, it sounds like a fire alarm, which is maybe not the ideal thing to wake up only a single person at 5:30 am.

  • Could have used this site years ago. Or is there a way to put MathML on Blogger now? If not, I guess I should learn LaTeX.


  • While looking forward to LogiComix, I came across Uncle Petros and the Goldbach Conjecture. Fun, short read. I already knew about the Goldbach Conjecture, but the book gave me an idea for a possible disproof that probably doesn't work. First, the Conjecture: All even numbers > 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes. One way to disprove this would be to find a number n such that no numbers from n to 2n are prime. There is already a theorem that proves that you can construct a "prime gap" of any size, so one of length n is no problem. The reason this doesn't quite work is that you also have to specify that the gap starts at n. Oh wait, it's even worse than that. There's a prime between n and 2n for all n. Pffff.
  • You know what would be a killer app? Online WINE/Crossover. I could upload a Windows/OSX app and install it on a virtual machine and then interact with it via a generated Flash interface. I guess the only really hard part of this is the "generated Flash interface". Kind of like those programs that let me display on another computer (like X-Windows, but for all OSes) where the "another computer" is "a Flash app".

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