Archive for May, 2009

An improvised dialogue on Wolfram|Alpha

[18:01] fakalin: hey
[18:01] fakalin: did you try wolfram alpha
[18:02] me: waht
[18:02] fakalin: what
[18:02] fakalin: jeez you’re out of touch
[18:02] fakalin:
(Read the article)

music a bit out of the ways

Google hires goats to mow lawn

This is a good one, and this:

At our Mountain View headquarters, we have some fields that we need to mow occasionally to clear weeds and brush to reduce fire hazard. This spring we decided to take a low-carbon approach: Instead of using noisy mowers that run on gasoline and pollute the air, we’ve rented some goats from California Grazing to do the job for us (we’re not “kidding”). A herder brings about 200 goats and they spend roughly a week with us at Google, eating the grass and fertilizing at the same time. The goats are herded with the help of Jen, a border collie. It costs us about the same as mowing, and goats are a lot cuter to watch than lawn mowers.

Right… Somebody already asked the question I had though:

Anthony – May 1st, 2009 at 11:53 am PDT
Who’s gonna pick up the poop?

A very important question indeed. Maybe these goats wore diapers.

Virtual mode for Windows 7?

Is this a joke?

Windows XP Mode is an add-on for Windows 7 Professional and higher that comes in two parts, each of which has its own setup. The first is Windows Virtual PC, a new version of Microsoft’s free desktop virtualization platform, and the second is Virtual Windows XP itself, which is a virtual hard drive pre-loaded and licensed with Windows XP Service Pack 3.

The magic happens when you then close Virtual XP. Windows 7 whirs and grinds and creates a new Start Menu group called Virtual Windows XP Applications, in my case full of Office 2000 applications. I started Word 2000, and after a couple of minutes’ initialization, it opened in its own window, just like a native application. Impressive, until I started typing and found a severe delay between striking a key and text appearing on the page. (Edit: the couple of minutes are for booting Windows XP in the virtual machine?)

Just me or is this an incredible kludge? If the integration is that weak, it probably makes sense to just let the virtual machine be transparent rather than be a sleight-of-hand.


When you shut down Windows 7 after using Windows XP Mode, the virtual machine hibernates by default, which is convenient but could in time lead to degraded performance.

Bad idea…