Wednesday, April 30, 2008


“Electronic theorists have been using the wrong pair of variables all these years—voltage and charge. The missing part of electronic theory was that the fundamental pair of variables is flux and charge,” said Chua. “The situation is analogous to what is called “Aristotle’s Law of Motion, which was wrong, because he said that force must be proportional to velocity. That misled people for 2000 years until Newton came along and pointed out that Aristotle was using the wrong variables. Newton said that force is proportional to acceleration—the change in velocity. This is exactly the situation with electronic circuit theory today. All electronic textbooks have been teaching using the wrong variables—voltage and charge—explaining away inaccuracies as anomalies. What they should have been teaching is the relationship between changes in voltage, or flux, and charge.”

No wonder those analog circuits classes always left me a little bit confused! Turns out they were teaching it all wrong.

OK, so maybe it wasn’t a violation of my natural intuition for electronics that made it difficult, but I will definitely buy one of the newly revised text books that these guys are predicting once they come out just to be sure.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Where'd My Second Core Go?

While discussing the specs of our new workstations with a coworker, I ssh’ed to my blazingly fast home machine and catted /proc/cpuinfo for a quick comparison. My pride in my hand crafted workhorse was quickly squelched when only one CPU appeared in the output. “What is up with that?” I wondered. After some unaming and googling I discovered that Ubuntu had somehow switched me to the lame 386 kernel when I really wanted the generic kernel. Funny thing is, the generic kernel was installed, just not the grub default. Editing my menu.lst and rebooting quickly lead me to my next problem, no nvidia driver. Thankfully google found me the answer again.

I can’t believe I’ve been computing with only one of my cores. And for who knows how long! The shame of it all. I'll be watching you much more closely from now on, Ubuntu.