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I don’t like to carry around a plethora of hand tools all the time, I instead carry a well-selected multitool and a good quality multi-purpose folding knife… all the time.
My tools of choice are a Gerber F.A.S.T. Draw folding/locking knife and a Gerber Compact Sport 400 multitool. I go nowhere* without the two.
I’ve had coworkers comment that I’m prepared for anything because I’m never without those two tools.
Update: I lasted two days until I broke down and bought a replacement. Same brand and model but now it seems they only have a Wharnfliffe blade instead of a drop-point.
Update 2: Okay, I wasn’t going to share this part, but here’s the rest of the story at the request of the other engineer who was helping move hardware around.
This whole episode started because we couldn’t find the key to unlock the PowerVault (a shelf full of hard drives) to extract the hard drives from the failed Vault. Company policy requires that we separate hard drives from computers so they can be destroyed separately.
But we couldn’t find those keys. We went through every key in the datacenter to find the one key that fit that lock. Nothing fit.
However, we were planning on just destroying the whole thing anyway, so there wasn’t any reason to be gentle about separating hard drives from enclosure. To aide with separation, we employed a small prybar to break the retaining rod that held the drives in place. The problem was that there was part of the lock that the retaining rod nested on that was still blocking one of the hard drives.
Then the whole episode above involving the 3/16″ by 1/16″ bit of steel, small blunt objects bouncing off my skull, and destruction of my beloved Gerber occurred.
Then — no, really, just wait for it. It gets better.
Then, we removed the PowerVault from the rack and while trying to stack it on the junk pile, we kept getting caught up on something. That “something” was the keys for the security lock; they were securely attached to the back of the enclosure.
We just stood there and laughed.
Why in world we didn’t bother getting a flashlight and looking at the back of the box to find the keys, we’ll never know. But that will be the first place we look for keys next time.
The word of the day is whiffletree.
A whiffletree is an early form of a mechanical Digital to Analog converter. It’s also a mechanism to distribute force evenly through a series of mechanical linkages.
Here’s why it’s awesome:
And here’s a bit more information about it:
Kinda makes me want to go digging through the company store room looking for an old Selectric so we can hack it a bit. OH! We could use it for systems alerting! A complete waste of time, perhaps, but at least they wouldn’t hit the landfill.
I hear that phrase pretty regularly. I’ll pose a question — the topic isn’t really important here — but after posing the question, somebody will say, “You can’t do it. That’s impossible!”
In the mean time, I’ve already accomplished the impossible and delivered it to the customer. “But it’s not possible. No matter what you do, it won’t work.”
I’m sure everybody can come up with their own examples of first-hand or observed experiences like that.
That’s why I find this video and the concept to be most intellectually stimulating. The concept is Directly Downwind Faster Than The Wind.
The question goes something like this: Is it possible to construct a vehicle that is capable of traveling faster than the wind, but to be powered directly by only the wind?
At first, one would probably think, “Impossible! If the wind is the only power source, then obviously nothing can travel faster than the wind.”
Here’s the video to prove that not only is it possible, but it’s also possible to travel two to three times faster than the wind is blowing:
For that reason, I shall never again say to anyone, “That’s impossible!” without first pondering the concept, doing the research, and examining the facts.
Update: Here’s a page from MAKE that goes into greater detail about the project as well. As an aside, I think the name Black Pearl would be a more appropriate name for a ship that runs faster than the wind.
The People appear to be somewhat interested in a ballot initiative in Washington State. The initiative, #1069, would require that the State modify the state’s seal from a vignette of George Washington with the words “The Seal of the State of Washington 1889” to something a bit more accurate: a tapeworm wearing a three piece suit encircled by the words “Committed to sucking the life blood out of each and every tax payer”
No, really — it’s a real initiative.
If I still lived there, I’d vote for it. It wouldn’t do any good as Washington’s seal can only be changed by a constitutional amendment, not an initiative.