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Old 2018-12-21, 15:49   #89
jvang
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Part of this kinda belongs in the laptop thread, but oh well...

I celebrated my birthday yesterday, which was fun. There's a popular new Italian restaurant in town, which is a welcome change from the diversity of McDonald's and Sonic cuisine When I ordered baked tortellini with alfredo, I didn't expect a huge, deep dish serving of tortellini (folded pasta stuffed with cheese) literally baked in a cheesy mess of alfredo sauce. Very, very good! And they had baskets of bread covered in garlic and butter

Got money and gift cards from relatives/grandparents, and my parents got me a nice laptop that I'm typing this post on. It's an ASUS FX504G from their new TUF Gaming series. Among other things, it has:

1.5 TB of hard drive space (1 TB hybrid HDD, and a lightning-fast 500 GB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD),
an Intel i5-8300H,
an Nvidia 1050ti (4 GB VRAM, as opposed to the usual 2),
32 GB of 2666 MHz RAM,
a fancy soundcard for a headset I bought a couple of days ago,
a WiFi card that is almost as fast (throughput) as a wired connection,
a very clear 15.6" IPS FHD display,
and a backlit keyboard. It's on the heavier side (5.1 pounds), but that's not too bad and I don't plan on moving it around much. The RAM and 970 EVO were purchased separately and installed by my dad, which are a welcome upgrade from the SSHD/Hybrid HDD and 8 GB of 2400 MHz RAM.

It'll be replacing my 6-7 year old desktop, which has an AMD dual core, 16 GB of DDR3 RAM (CPU-Z says it's 800MHz, but it might be 1600?), a normal HDD, and a 660ti with ASUS branding. The performance difference is huge!

Does anyone want a 660ti? Given that a (laptop) 1050ti outperforms it while using half the TDP, it's probably not worth the electricity for GIMPS

And I don't have school today, since I finished up all of my finals yesterday. The calculus one was a little scary, but physics went smoothly. And my ordeal in psychology didn't turn out too badly, got a B in the class. So everything went mostly well

Last fiddled with by jvang on 2018-12-21 at 17:25 Reason: typing is hard
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Old 2018-12-21, 16:15   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvang View Post
Part of this kinda belongs in the laptop thread, but oh well...

I celebrated my birthday yesterday, which was fun. There's a popular new Italian restaurant in town, which is a welcome change from the diversity of McDonald's and Sonic cuisine When I ordered baked tortellini with alfredo, I didn't expect a huge, deep dish serving of tortellini (folded pasta stuffed with cheese) literally baked in a cheesy mess of alfredo sauce. Very, very good! And they had baskets of bread covered in garlic and butter

Got money and gift cards from relatives/grandparents, and my parents got me a nice laptop that I'm typing this post on. It's an ASUS FX504G from their new TUF Gaming series. Among other things, it has:

1.5 TB of hard drive space (1 TB hybrid HDD, and a lightning-fast 500 GB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD),
an Intel i5-8300H,
an Nvidia 1050ti (4 GB VRAM, as opposed to the usual 2),
32 GB of 2666 MHz RAM,
a fancy soundcard for a headset I bought a couple of days ago,
a WiFi card that is almost as fast (througput) as a wired connection,
a very clear 15.6" IPS FHD display,
and a backlit keyboard. It's on the heavier side (5.1 pounds), but that's not too bad and I don't plan on moving it around much. The RAM and 970 EVO were purchased separately and installed by my dad, which are a welcome upgrade from the SSHD/Hybrid HDD and 8 GB of 2400 MHz RAM.

It'll be replacing my 6-7 year old desktop, which has an AMD dual core, 16 GB of DDR3 RAM (CPU-Z says it's 800MHz, but it might be 1600?), a normal HDD, and a 660ti with ASUS branding. The performance difference is huge!

Does anyone want a 660ti? Given that a (laptop) 1050ti outperforms it while using half the TDP, it's probably not worth the electricity for GIMPS

And I don't have school today, since I finished up all of my finals yesterday. The calculus one was a little scary, but physics went smoothly. And my ordeal in psychology didn't turn out too badly, got a B in the class. So everything went mostly well
Happy belated birthday, and congratulations for your new toy!
Well, once you get a degree you might think to cross the dark line and become a distributed computing aficionado like ourselves
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Old 2018-12-21, 16:28   #91
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I celebrated my birthday yesterday, which was fun.
Happy Birthday!
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Old 2018-12-26, 01:21   #92
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Whee, it's Christmas! Hopefully everyone is having fun (“had” for the chronologically-disadvantaged individuals here)

I ended up with some neat stuff today. First off is this little beverage fridge that fits just 6 cans of soda. It uses a Peltier cooler that utilizes thermoelectric cooling/the Peltier effect to cool its contents. The whole process is way too complicated for me to figure out, but it’s not very commonly used in comparison to vapor-compression refrigeration. Peltier cooling is more expensive to manufacture and operate, as it is not very efficient. But it’s small, can be made into many odd shapes, and it’s very reliable/foolproof (no moving parts and nothing to break).

Second is a plastic/rubber tether for a mouse cord. It’s supposed to keep your cord from dragging around your desk, wearing it out. This particular tether uses a suction action to attach to your desk, and wow is it powerful. It’s got a lever to deactivate the suction, but the rubber is super sticky and I can barely pull it off my desk!

The last cool thing I got is a crazy Raspberry Pi kit. It’s got everything; the Raspberry Pi 3B+ board, a 32 GB SD card, a neat little case for the board, and a micro SD reader that plugs into a USB on your main PC (in case something bad happens to your storage device/Pi). I think that it has Bluetooth, but if not then I can wire it into our router directly. My dad said he’ll help me set up port forwarding so that I can set up an externally accessible server. What else can I do with the Pi? I’ve seen them used for robotics, but I’m in short supply of robots
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Old 2018-12-26, 02:55   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvang View Post
I ended up with some neat stuff today. First off is this little beverage fridge that fits just 6 cans of soda. It uses a Peltier cooler that utilizes thermoelectric cooling/the Peltier effect to cool its contents. The whole process is way too complicated for me to figure out, but it’s not very commonly used in comparison to vapor-compression refrigeration. Peltier cooling is more expensive to manufacture and operate, as it is not very efficient. But it’s small, can be made into many odd shapes, and it’s very reliable/foolproof (no moving parts and nothing to break).
When I went to build a PC back in the day I went to the local computer show (swap meet). They demoed a Peltier CPU cooler. This was when a heatsink was enough by itself. The little thing was cool to the touch and condensed some moisture on it. It had a peel and stick connection. The Pentium 100MHz was the hot new thing. I bought a P90 instead and used the cooler. Never had any heat issues.
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Old 2018-12-26, 09:42   #94
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The camera on the back of my telescope is Peltier cooled. There are two stages, the second stage cooing the heat sink of the first stage. The CCD chip can reach 40C below ambient, though I usually standardize on a chip temperature of -18C. The aim here is not to make the chip run faster (or at all!) but to reduce thermal production of electrons which would add noise to the signal produced by incident photons, of which there are not very many coming in from a faint star or galaxy.

By having a cold but constant temperature the mean noise level is constant and can be compensated for in subsequent image processing. First some long exposures of nothing are taken. These "dark images" should be completely black but actually show thermal noise. Several such images are added together, to form a "master dark", to get a better estimate of the average noise level.

This master dark can then be subtracted from all subsequent science images to produce a more accurate image of the sky. Note that the background of the processed science image will still not be black. The sky itself isn't black, even on the darkest of nights.


Hmm, perhaps this ought to be in the Astronomy thread.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2018-12-26 at 09:43
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Old 2018-12-27, 01:30   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
When I went to build a PC back in the day I went to the local computer show (swap meet). They demoed a Peltier CPU cooler. This was when a heatsink was enough by itself. The little thing was cool to the touch and condensed some moisture on it. It had a peel and stick connection. The Pentium 100MHz was the hot new thing. I bought a P90 instead and used the cooler. Never had any heat issues.
Apparently people are still trying to cool their PCs with thermoelectric coolers From browsing a couple of webpages it seems that this type of cooling is both the most expensive and the least efficient way to cool your CPU/GPU. The main benefit of it is to cool components to below ambient temperature, and even below freezing. But that sort of cooling leads to condensation (while using hundreds of watts!) which is another problem...

Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
The camera on the back of my telescope is Peltier cooled. There are two stages, the second stage cooing the heat sink of the first stage. The CCD chip can reach 40C below ambient, though I usually standardize on a chip temperature of -18C. The aim here is not to make the chip run faster (or at all!) but to reduce thermal production of electrons which would add noise to the signal produced by incident photons, of which there are not very many coming in from a faint star or galaxy.

By having a cold but constant temperature the mean noise level is constant and can be compensated for in subsequent image processing. First some long exposures of nothing are taken. These "dark images" should be completely black but actually show thermal noise. Several such images are added together, to form a "master dark", to get a better estimate of the average noise level.

This master dark can then be subtracted from all subsequent science images to produce a more accurate image of the sky. Note that the background of the processed science image will still not be black. The sky itself isn't black, even on the darkest of nights.


Hmm, perhaps this ought to be in the Astronomy thread.
Something tells me that, when you say telescope, you don’t mean a generic telescope that you could get from WalMart or something. What kind of equipment are you using?
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Old 2018-12-27, 05:34   #96
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Happy Birthday!

Sorry for being late, you know, real life catching up...

We had to go to cut down the Christmas tree. Usually, for this activity, people here go to the supermarket and cut down one made of paper and smelling like wet dog... Luckily we reused the one we have for few years, still looking nice and for which the smell faded away, hehe... we didn't see a real one for 20 years or so, since we moved to warm climate... But well, important is what you put under the tree

Congrats for the new laptop too!

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2018-12-27 at 05:35
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Old 2018-12-27, 10:15   #97
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Something tells me that, when you say telescope, you don’t mean a generic telescope that you could get from WalMart or something. What kind of equipment are you using?
Actually, many people do attach this sort of kit to a "generic" telescope and make valuable scientific observations and/or take very pretty pictures.

However, my scope is a custom made 0.4m aperture Relay Cassegrain reflector. Wikipedia describes the optical layout of the Cassegrain design and relay in this context means that there are lenses in the optical path to correct most of the optical aberrations to provide a flat and undistorted focal plane. The OTA (standard jargon for Optical Tube Assembly) is on a fork mount along with several refractor telescopes and the whole lot driven by a computer in a separate well-lit control room under the unlit dome housing the scope.

I've got some pictures somewhere ...
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Old 2018-12-28, 01:54   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Actually, many people do attach this sort of kit to a "generic" telescope and make valuable scientific observations and/or take very pretty pictures.

However, my scope is a custom made 0.4m aperture Relay Cassegrain reflector. Wikipedia describes the optical layout of the Cassegrain design and relay in this context means that there are lenses in the optical path to correct most of the optical aberrations to provide a flat and undistorted focal plane. The OTA (standard jargon for Optical Tube Assembly) is on a fork mount along with several refractor telescopes and the whole lot driven by a computer in a separate well-lit control room under the unlit dome housing the scope.

I've got some pictures somewhere ...
I guess that the science of telescopes is very complicated... the Wikipedia article is very confusing! The only thing I understood is that there are dozens of variations on a Cassegrain reflector telescope, all of which are even more complicated

So your telescope is remotely controlled, and it has its own dome? Looking forward to pictures

The website for a company called Starizona has some nice tutorials for those new to astronomy (me!). Their page on fork mounts was pretty informative. Is your telescope mounted in an alt-azimuth or equatorial configuration?

Other news: I took my written driver's test today! It was pretty easy; the machine administering the test stopped me early. There are 25 questions, and you need to get 20 correct to pass, so it stops you once you miss 5 or get 20 correct. Pretty weird!

So now, with a parent and legal documents in the car, I can drive a 4000 pound death trap car!
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Old 2018-12-28, 03:14   #99
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Other news: I took my written driver's test today! It was pretty easy; the machine administering the test stopped me early. There are 25 questions, and you need to get 20 correct to pass, so it stops you once you miss 5 or get 20 correct. Pretty weird!
The nursing test (the 'boards') in the USA is computer based. You may get a minimum number of questions if it is sure that you won't pass or if you aced it. If you miss a question, you will get more related questions, etc.
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