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Oh what a tangled web we weave

Two weeks ago I called out Hamas for their actions in Israel.

I feel as if we ought to be calling out Israel now, given that the number of civilians killed in this conflict is starting to look like a genocide.

However, how is one supposed to deal with a terrorist death cult that has no qualms over using it's own citizens as shields and targets? Own citizens? Yes, let's not forget that Hamas is the official governance of Gaza.

Which means that whatever the future - from Israel goes on full attack to Israel backs down - things have been set in motion that will lead to a disastrous number of civilian deaths. The only real question is "on which side", and I fear the answer will be "both".

One thing is patently clear. There will be no peace. Even if somehow somebody like Biden manages to secure a ceasefire rather than pouring gasoline on the fire, there can be no peace when each side pretty much refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the other even existing. Add to that the fact that you're going to have a lot of people who will fundamentally distrust the other side until their dying day.
I mean, that party that was attacked was full of younger people who were largely pro-Palestinian who wanted peace. I wonder how many of the survivors still feel that way.

Peace? No hope. About the only thing we can hope for is that this remains largely contained within the confines of Israel/Palestine and doesn't start a conflict between the Arabic world and the West.

One thing I'd like to say, however, to Israel is that no, you do not have an "absolute" right to defend yourself. The only absolutes are awarded to he who has the bigger tank. At the moment that's you. Let's just hope other countries better equipped than the Gazans don't decide to get involved.

However I think we should take a moment to think about the innocent Jews around the world who are going to be murdered by hotheat nutters as a side effect of this; and the many Palestinians who are already dying due to a lack of food and water, never mind the stuff blowing up around them.

It all seems... so horribly... pointless.



Is anybody using this? What do you think? Is there anything you'd like added?


A new battery

Saw this on a special offer at the supermarket. I don't remember the exact price, just a little over €10. Which is a lot less than the €37,68 it is listed for on Amazon; or €49,95 (!) on SBS' own site.

My new battery pack.

Offering 20,000mAh, this is the largest battery pack that I own. And at 409g, the heaviest too. As usual, it has various USB ports.

USB ports
The available ports.

On the left, the blue port is a high power (2.1A / 10W) port with intelligent charge that will deliver more power if the device wants it. Though, only within the 5V specification, it can't flip up to 9V or whatever modern phone chargers do.
Next over, a type-C port. This, too, can provide up to 2.1A if necessary. This port may also be used for charging.
The third port is a micro USB for traditional charging. There's no manufacturing data, though the serial number begins "22" which might imply 2022? I say this as things are supposed to have USB-C inputs these days. Heck, my internet radio does! ☺
And the final port is a bog-standard non-smart USB socket that can provide up to 1A (5W).
The only downside to this is, as is typical for these sorts of devices (they probably all use the same chip inside), that you can only maxi-charge one device at a time as the total output capacity is 2.1A. This means you can slow charge (lesser current) multiple devices at once, just so long as the total output doesn't exceed 2.1A.

The 20,000mAh is for the 3.7V cells, which means at USB voltage (making the huge assumption that the DC-DC conversion is lossless) it would be 14,800mAh. It's just something we've come to accept is that power bank capacities are measured according to the battery inside, in much the same way that we have some to accept harddiscs that are divided into 512 byte (older) or 4096 byte (newer) sectors having capacities measured in base 10 rather than a multiple of powers of two (500GB = 465.6GiB).

The question, of course, is how long would it run a Pi. Well, the battery is rated as 74Wh, but again this is for the 3.7V cells, so we'll be looking at 54.7Wh at 5V. Given the losses in conversion and the fact that the battery will diminish the more it is charged, let's just go for a ballpark figure of 40Wh for the purposes of realistic estimate.
The Pi 2 draws about 2W, so 40÷2 is 20. Of course, RISC OS only uses one core and makes little use of the GPU (plus the 2 has no Bluetooth/WiFi), so I think realistically I could plug it in and have it still be working at the same time the following day.
Which is plenty.
In reality, however, the battery may well also be running a small screen. That being said, my 14,000mAh power bank saw me through the day when programming outside.

My batteries
My batteries.

Top left - from January 2016, a 10,400mAh power pack with 18650s inside. Judging by the size, possibly three or four. Has a built-in torch. Two USB outputs, one rated 1A, one rated 2A.
Top right - from June 2016, a different 10,400mAh power pack. Also has a built-in torch. Also has one 1A port and one 2A port.
Bottom left - this battery.
Bottom right - a 15,000mAh battery pack with numerical display of remaining capacity. Both outputs can support 2.1A, but 2.1A total output.


Fiddling with my oscilloscope

Here I am listening to a song.

Listening to a song
Let's see 'em "copyright infringement" this...

Why is this anything special? Well, a few lines of BASIC and...

The waveform
Hey, it's that song! Quick, call the RIAA!

This was achieved by soldering a four pin header onto the part of the board where the serial port is tracked out, and then making a hole in the casing to allow a serial connection to be hooked up.

Making a serial port
Making a serial port.

I'm not going to release the source to this, at this time it's just a bit of crappy BASIC that blindly parses the information previously captured using a serial terminal. It makes little attempt to understand or line anything up, the lines and positions were determined by fiddling.

Not what I'd planned to do today, but on the other hand I didn't have any plans for today so it's as good as anything else I guess...



I picked up an interesting calendar in the supermarket.

Here are the two I currently have. You might spot a bit of a theme here. ☺

My current calendars.

Here is an example of the insides of each.

Calendars, inside
Inside the calendars - the pictures.

The sorcery calendar's topics are: The wheel of the year, Astrology, Magic and intent, Amethyst, Intuition, Purification by smoke, The altar, The five elements, A portable alter, Programming crystals, Mother Earth, Ceromancy (candle magic), and Mediation.
It all seems like it is aimed at the sort of people that think that sitting in a circle with your arms in the air and chanting rhyming couplets is how spells are cast (think: The Craft, The Craft sequel, Buffy, and... a ridiculously long slew of films that can't tell the difference between pagan/wicca and satanism).

Oh, and the sorcery calendar... of course it includes details of the phases of the moon. ☺
Oddly, however, the inside gives details of every saint's day (it's a Catholic thing), but doesn't mention anything about, say, the soltices or equinox. Peculiar omissions from a calendar supposedly aimed at "witches". But, then, I kind of think this is supposed to appeal to Witch-Lite. You know, people who once watched Charmed...

Calendars, inside
Inside the calendars - the dates.

Me? I like the pictures.



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David Pilling, 28th October 2023, 23:41
"the battery is rated as 74Wh, but again this is for the 3.7V cells, so we'll be looking at 54.7Wh at 5V." 
Once you get to Wh that's a constant, independent of voltage. Convert W hours to W seconds and those units are aka Joules, what energy is measured in. 
Power bank is a good find. 
Remember Leila Khaled everyone was surprised when a number of planes were hijacked in 1969. The problem won't go away. 
C Ferris, 29th October 2023, 09:56
Problem goes back thousand of years when europeans kicked out the Jews and destroyed their Temple - later someone had the idea to build another Temple on the same spot - and deadicate it to the main three religions at the time. 
To the old Jewish - later Christian - and positively new Islam.
Anon, 30th October 2023, 01:24
Somehow I always thought Christina Ricci was the "definitive" Wednesday Addams. Also, the blonde girl on the January page does look a little bit like Loony Lovegood from Harry Potter (played by Evanna Lynch). 
Now... power banks. 
I'm currently building a project based around a Raspberry Pi. 
I'm thinking to myself, it might be worth powering the Pi via a battery backup. That at least would give it time to sync all the file systems then go into a low-power state until the main power came back (using a GPIO pin to sense the external power state). 
Pi5 now has a built-in RTC. Interesting. Although it's fairly trivial to add one to a Pi 0-4.

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