begun learning about solar power

i have begun learning about solar power. Solar power is electricity converted from light by solar cells. I want to power a small computer using a solar panel. I need to figure out: Image

  1. how much power the computer needs
  2. how big my batteries need to be
  3. how to charge the batteries using the solar panels
  4. if my battery voltage is different than my computers  voltage, what might i need to add or change to give the right voltage to the computer
  5. how much power can i save compared to when i was not using solar power
  6. would a smaller computer be more energy efficient than a bigger one
  7. how do i measure work per energy unit for each computer

I need batteries because solar energy comes from the sun and if, say a cloud passed there would suddenly be less power , the when the cloud went away, there would be more power. Really only appliances made to withstand these rapid power swerves can withstand them for long, however, if you just charge the batteries with the solar power then you can discharge continuous power from the batteries for the computer.

Pacific Northwest Eclipse Times, Dec 10

My sister passes along the OMSI planetarium manager’s  useful local timeline:

“For the Pacific Northwest viewers, the penumbral eclipse begins at 3:33 a.m. PST and the umbral shadow takes a small, dark bite out of the left edge of the moon starts at 4:45 a.m. PST. For 66 minutes of the partial phase, the darkness engulfs more of the moon’s disk as it slides into the shadow. The partial eclipse ends and totality begins at 6:06 a.m. PST and the point of the greatest eclipse occurs at 6:31 a.m. PST. The eclipse’s total phase will lasts for 51 minutes. The moon will be only 6.5 degrees above the north western horizon at the instant of the greatest eclipse.”

So setup your camera tonight!

Moving Planet – Bike Bellingham – Sat Sep 24

Who wants to join us at Columbia School?

[Copied from ride event http://facebook.com/350bellinghamRide Event Page ]

11am – Ten city bike rides from 10 schools in Bellingham, to converge downtown at City Hall and Library. Meet in front of: Happy Valley, Sunnyland, Kulshan, Shuksan, Fairhaven, Columbia, Larrabee, Silver Beach, WCC (meet in front of Laidlaw Building), WWU (meet in Red Square)

*Join your nearest listed school location, dressed up with decorated bikes,
helmets required, parents must accompany kids

12-2pm – CLIMATE RALLY and INFO FAIR
– Bike Skills Course for Kids with everybody BIKE from 12-1pm
– Guest Speakers beginning at 1:15, including Mayor Dan Pike
– 350.org group photo just before 2pm.

2 pm – Advanced Ride to Cherry Point, with a send off from everyone else.

**Looking for volunteers AT event (setup, take down, bike skills course, resource collection), Please contact Jill at 360-201-3093 if interested (text ok) or email jillmwitt@hotmail.com.

***Thank you to the following sponsors: Sierra Club, Climate Solutions, Surfrider Foundation, RE Sources, Transition Whatcom, Cascade Community Wind, Forest Ethics, Adventures NW Magazine, SSC, Fairhaven Bike, Earls Bike Shop, Mount Bakery, Community Food Coop, The Bagelry, Jacks Bicycle Shop, Fanatik Bike Co, Kulshan Cycles and Hammerhead Coffee

keep updated at facebook.com/350bellingham and ‘like’ or moving-planet.org!

…pssst…pass this on and invite/add your Bellingham friends to this event!

Great interview on hacker spaces, responsible disclosure (TCLP)

Thomas interviews Tiffany Rad in this episode of The Commandline Podcast. I appreciated this interview because, as a father, I am interested in all the ways I can expose my kids to learning opportunities, and while I might not end up with little net-running hellions, it sounds like public schools are often becoming less and less places where hands-on experience in engineering and science can occur.

I also appreciated how the discussion verged into responsible disclosure. As contractor in my past, one encounters clients that might be in violation of laws, or vulnerable to attack, but just broaching the topic with them might get you sued. This is an aspect of responsible disclosure that I’d be interested in hearing more about.

There is also good discussion about how the auto industry is using the DMCA as a legal claymore to keep people from modding their car computers. This is particularly frustrating to any mechanic. It makes me wonder if there are other examples of “trading down” technologies so that one can use less sophisticated vehicles, computers, appliances, just for the ability to treat them in a more fungible manner. Phones and cameras come to mind.

Makes me wonder if the Sustainable Connections people in Bellingham have heard of hacker spaces?