Cooling a Computer Room

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I have a computer room that is 10 x 11 feet and 9 feet high. It gets hot in there and I need to get some air conditining just for that room. So I’ve started to get some bids but how do I really know what my needs are in terms of cooling? Do I need 10,000 BTUs or 50,000 BTUs or 2 Tonnes? I have no idea so I decided to educate myself.

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit — a term which signifies how much energy it takes to raise one pound of water one degree Ferenheit. I’ve always been bothered by systems that mix measuring systems — like measuring liquids in terms of weight instead of volume. You don’t go to the store and buy 8 lbs. of milk you buy a gallon. It’s never made much sense to me. Although I’ve speculated that it is left over from a bygone era where the only standard of measurment was weight.

So it turns out my server room is 990 cubic feet and can raise the ambiant air temprature 15 degrees F in 90 minutes. Using this formula I then extrapolated that 990*15*1.5 = TooHotTooFast. Serriously, that did me no good at all.

After a lot of searching I found that on average you need 30 BTUs / square foot. So with my 990 square feet I would need 29,700 BTUs. This seems a bit high for a small room.

The Winning Formula

It turns out to be much simpler to compute than that. It turn out that 1 Watt of energy generates 3.41 BTUs so all you have to do is figure out how many Watts each device draws and go from there. I didn’t even have to look up each devices power requirements because everything goes through one UPS unit with a 2400 Watt maximum. The UPS is running at 60% capacity so if I take the full 2400 Watts, it is enough to cover some growth. So here it is:

2400 watts x 3.41 btu/watt = 8184 BTU

Just to be safe I’ll get a 1 tonne system (1 tonne = 12,000 BTUs). Wasn’t that easy!


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Mac addicts are a curious bunch. They live and die by a Mac-only creed that rivals religious zelots. You can take a man’s car, house and wife, but you better leave the Mac or there will be hell to pay.

You can recognize a Mac biggot by the contemptious looks he/she gives your PC like it’s going to grow leggs and kick him.

Catering to the Mac lovers in you life are the new Mac OS-X Developer Trading cards. You better get yours quick before they run out and it becomes a collectible card game that has it’s own Saturday morning TV show.

For those who want to get back at the Mac lovers, here are a collection of off-color and tasteless jokes about Mac users.

Automatic Computer Science Paper Generator

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We all like to look smart — it gives us a warm feeling deep inside that reaffirms that we are better than other people. For computer jockeys (or Jocks) — especially those who write boot-strap codes (commonly known as Jock-Strap developers) — it’s easy! Just let loose with a bunch of acronyms and initialisims and people thing you’re smart just because they don’t know what the heck you are saying. Here’s an example:

Cute Girl: So… I like your, um, computer thingie there.
Jock-Strap: Yeah, that’s my 1GB USB Flash RAM drive with MP3/WMA support RMAed by NEC because IBM OEMed it. I keep my JPEGs and GIFs on there with a TFTP, FTP, HTTP server for LINUX.
Cute Girl: Are you coming on to me?

So instead of actively labeling yourself a geek by talking, you can label yourself a scholar by casually leaving computer science research papers (with you as the author) lying about. But there is no need to actually write a real one because we all know you are too busy with your FPS RPG to bother and, let’s face it, no one would really read it anyway.

Enter the Computer Science Paper Generator written by some dateless geeks at MIT who apparently wanted to spend more time trying to get a computer to write a passable research paper than to actually write a real one themselves. But thanks to their free Friday nights, we can now all benefit.

I’ve already published papers on “Fiber-Optic Cables Considered Harmful” and Fuzzy-logic Actuator Response in Robotics” and after casually leaving them on the printer, have been asked “did you really write these papers” to which I casually respond “it’s got my name on it doesn’t it?”

Hitachi Edutainment Spot

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In March 2005, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies demonstrated some kind of new way of creating a denser digital recoding macjigger that blows the whole industry of compact storage out of the water an onto a rocky beach where I once took a dump.

But seriously, this is ground-breaking stuff and because it is so complicated, Hitachi made a music video about how it works all done in the style of those Saturday-morning edutainment spots like “I’m only a bill” and “Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?”

Click here to watch it!

Resume Hell

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If there is one thing I hate more than writing my resume it would be, well, nothing! But second to that is doing my taxes and THIRD (also called the biantepenultimate) would be reading resumes.

Right now I’m trying to hire someone to do help desk work and a little system administration. BTW, if you are interested, e-mail me and I’ll see what I can do. But I have received a whole hunk of resumes of various qualities.

Things I Don’t Like In Resumes

Let me gripe a minute about things I don’t like to see (or read) in resumes.

  • Using the Greek letter “beta” instead of the word beta when talking about beta software. Also ridiculous is using the German esset character.
  • Having two pages of resume when you have had one job and using the second page to list every program you have ever used (notepad, explorer, Internet explorer, etc.) It just makes you look lame.
  • Under awards listing “Eagle Scout.” Don’t get me wrong, I admire people who get their Eagle Scout award, but I have two specific problems with it. First, women can’t get it so it is biased toward men. Second, it has no relevance on the job as I’m not the Scout Office trying to hire someone. Perhaps list it under hobbies?
  • Listing “reading the Book of Mormon” under hobbies. Now this used to come up quite a bit when I was working for the Church, and it was lame even in that context — but it is quite lame when interviewing anywhere else.
  • People who e-mail you their resume and forget to actually attach it. Very lame.

Things I Like to See in Resumes

Since I took a minute to talk about what I don’t like, let me tell you what I do like in a resume.

  • If sending a resume by e-mail I like to see a cover letter as the body of the e-mail and have the resume attached.
  • I prefer seeing resumes as PDFs instead of Microsoft Word documents. They always print correctly if they are PDFs and I’ve always been leery about sending editable documents.[1]
  • I would love to have something in the resume that makes the applicant a person — something to make them more personable instead of the sterile list of accomplishments so typical. For example, under skills one could list “FPS Expert” or under hobbies list “Reading Slashdot religiously” or “Like watching the Man Show.” Clif Stole once wrote how he faced the same dilema and longed for a resume with a coffee ring stain — something to prove there was a real person behind the application.
  • I wouldn’t mind getting a resume like Reese Witherspoon’s character, Elle Woods (from the movie Legally Blond), which was pink with just a hint of jasmine. Seriously, this would get an interview for sure[2]!
  • I would not be opposed to having coupons attached to a resume either. That would get an interview.

fn1. I love receiving a PDF resume but when I was sending them out people had no idea how to open it. Seriously! I wound up having to keep a Word version around for everyone who couldn’t handle PDF (which was just about everybody).

fn2. The sole purpose of a resume is to get an interview. Once you are there in person, you can impress them any way you can. I’ve interviewed people simply because of their resume before even though from the looks of it they didn’t qualify for the job. So anything that resume can do to stand out certainly helps.

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