Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Don't Mix Disney and Christmas

This is the absolute busiest time of the year @ Disney World. The parks are getting closed in the morning because they have reached capacity. Yesterday Magic Kingdom was closed for a while around 11:30 because it was full (around 70,000 people). A lady was complaining where I was working because there was a 2 hour wait for Space Mountain. She said that people need to find something better to do with their time than flood Disney World. I think she should take her own advice. The parks are busy to the point where I'm not allowed in them without buying a normal ticket because there isn't enough room for all of the paying customers. They're on track to break last year's record for total people in the parks in a single day. Now I just need to figure out what number that actually is. I want to go to EPCOT for new years eve, but I'm not allowed in; I'll probably try to sneak in that evening to watch the fireworks anyway. It's too busy and I don't like it. I didn't think I'd be back this time of year after visiting last year, and definately didn't think it would be because I actually work there.

Weird Cooling Compound

Someone on eBay is selling a product called "Liquid Metal" for use as a thermal-paste between heatsink and processor. This substance is 100% metal which makes it more conductive of heat than other thermal compounds which contain non-metalic substances as well. This substance is also a liquid at room temperature. This seems like a very good material to use as their tests show a significant temperature decrease, even greater than that of Arctic Silver 5 (my choice thermal compount at the moment).
A little problem was pointed out to me today regarding this product; it will eat through heatsinks and kill cooling performance. I looked into this and indeed there is a simple cause for this: the liquid is primarily made of a mercury-based alloy. It may also be a gallium alloy which has similar properties. There is a little problem when mercury or gallium comes in contact with aluminum, you can watch it corrode before you eyes. Aluminum is a very reactive material that will react almost instantly with anything. It reacts with O2 in the air and creates a clear, crystaline coating that is very strong (I believe aluminum-oxide is also what rubys are made of). When mercury is added to the equation it prevents this coating from forming, causing the aluminum to completely corrode away at a very rapid pace. If you have a heatsink made of aluminum it won't like this compound and will begin to corrode and disintegrate right on your processor. This is actually pretty cool to see, but really uncool for cooling purposes. This shouldn't be much of a problem if you use copper heatsinks.
I'm not sure I'd really want to use mercury or gallium as a thermal paste for my system. However I have never seen anyone try to use mercury as the fluid in a liquid-cooled system. I'd like to see how effective that is, but I'm not sure where I can cheaply get mercury by the litre.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Evergreen Christmas

Snowy white, is nice at Christmas-time
But I prefer the scent of sweet pine;
Forty-five, the weatherman said,
Merry Christmas to you as I turn in my bed
Crystal clear, blue skies;
I'm finally home again at Christmas time!

Oh holy Christmas in evergreen,
I've traveled every highway,
From here to Tennessee;
Oh holy Christmas in evergreen;
And if I had it my way I'd never leave (I'd never leave)

Ferry ride, on Puget Sound,
The mountains rise, majestic all around;
I've driven far away on the open road,
Missing the great green land that I call home
And I love to feel the rain as I run
There's no other land I know like Washington

Oh holy Christmas in evergreen
I've traveled every highway
From here to Tennessee
Oh holy Christmas in evergreen;
And if I had it my way I'd never leave (I'd never leave)

And like a blessing in disguise
A Washington Christmas meets my eyes
Thought it's tender, the love that's brought me here
Just breathing the air makes it oh so clear

Oh holy Christmas in evergreen
I've traveled every highway
From here to Tennessee
Oh holy Christmas in evergreen
And if I had it my way I'd never leave

by Loni Rose

9 more days and I'm home; never thought I'd be wearing shorts outside on Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Tomorrow is Christmas, and as is usually the case while I'm out east I get the joyous opportunity of working on a holiday. I will be at work Christmas morning before most of my infrequent readers are even awake. I couldn't get the day off, and really didn't try very hard either since I really don't have anything better to do instead of working. All of the people I hang out with on a regular basis managed to get out of town this week to visit friends and/or family. I couldn't cough up the cash or the 14 spare hours of round trip flying that it would take to get home assuming that I could do it without getting fired for missing too much work on the busiest week of the year.
The computer is fully functional, with both of my video cards now in my posession. I don't really have time for any real gaming but I'll do my best to get at least a few hours in. Frack it, I'm bored; time to pull out some of Robbie's weird games.