“Three Mile Island Memories” and other links…

March 28, 2009 TMI Anniversary- Maria FrisbyI, Cringely: “What happened at Unit 2 was a little more complex.  A cascading series of events caused the computer to notice SEVEN HUNDRED things wrong in the first few minutes of the accident.  The ONE audible alarm started ringing and stayed ringing continuously until someone turned it off as useless.  The ONE visual alarm was activated and blinked for days, indicating nothing useful at all.  The line printer queue quickly contained 700 error reports followed by several thousand error report updates and corrections.  The printer queue was almost instantly hours behind, so the operators knew they had a problem (700 problems actually, though they couldn’t know that) but had no idea what the problem was.”

“Parrot Secrets”

I, Cringely: “The owner of Parrotsecrets isn’t Nathalie Roberts, isn’t even a woman, and isn’t even American.  He’s Indian and lives in India.  When Parrotsecrets began he lived (and still lives as far as I know) with his parents, who are both medical doctors.  When the site started in 2004 he was 18 years old, making him 23 today. ...Imagine what it would be like to make $400,000+ per year.  Now imagine what it would be like to be 23, single, living in India, making $400,000+ per year.  And Parrotsecrets is not his only web site.” I hear that this article caused outrage (more like ‘white rage’).

“Refrigerator Alternatives” “No matter what the cooling source, people without a refrigerator have to change the way they buy food at the store. In other words, no more trips to the Costco meat department. Buying chicken for dinner means buying exactly how much chicken you can eat, because you don't want to have to store leftovers. Same goes for other perishables: Instead of a 3-pound (1.3-kilogram) bag of apples, you have to limit yourself to just a few; gallons of milk may have to be replaced with quarts due to space limitations in the cooler. And buying smaller amounts can mean spending more money. Throwing away food that's gone bad can cost you money, too. So finances have to factor into the decision to unplug the fridge.”