Replacing my laptop hard disk with 3D NAND evo SSD and purchasing it using Cryptocurrency

Image Source: Coindesk.com

My laptop hard disk started showing errors a few days back, stopped working yesterday and had massive data corruption, that I lost a lot of data(though I had critical data backed up).

Eventually I was looking for a replacement, and figured of purchasing a SSD, which is faster. The Samsung evo had the new 3D NAND technology enabled in the 850 series. This technology has the unique property of rapid access compared to its flat (horizontal) access counterpart and has a longer endurance. Rakuten.com(US subsidiary of Japanese company) was offering the same for a discount if a Bitcoin was used. So, I went ahead an bought it using Bitcoins(converting USD to BTC).

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, which is virtual and can be used for buying things without the regulation of a central bank or authority. It is the torrent version of peep to peer money, 3 months ago a popular Bitcoin wallet company coinbase has started a coin exchange with a 75 million USD backed by giants such as the Citi group(NYSE: C).

The entire concept of the currency, including mining is quite interesting. It all started with a paper published by Wei Dai that provided insights into of “b-money”, an anonymous, distributed electronic cash system. Soon after that paper was published, Nicholas Szabo, a legal scholar and cryptographer, created bit-gold a precursor to Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrency use. And everything else is history. The concept of cyrptocurrecy  mining is performed with expensive hardware such as GPU or ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit made for Bitcoin mining). The value of 1BTC = 252.57 USD when this article was posted.

[Image source for featured title image:  Coindesk.com, Video sources correspond to respective youtube authors]

The notebook of the Wright brothers who changed history for ever

In my recent visit to the Franklin Institute in Philly, I had the opportunity to take a look at the notebook used by the Wright Brothers and the first drag measurement counter balance, which was used by the brothers to estimate drag of various airfoil sections, using wind tunnel testing. The no. 12 section used by the brothers was found to have low drag and high lift, in comparison to the other sections which were tested. The No. 12 section later on was used in the first manned flight of 1903.

 

The airfoil section No. 12 used in the flight of 1903 and the drag measurement device used by the wright brothers
The airfoil section No. 12 used in the flight of 1903 and the drag measurement device used by the wright brothers
Wright bros notebook and a chart showing Lift coefficent and L/D ratios of the No. 12 section
Wright bros notebook and a chart showing Lift coefficent and L/D ratios of the No. 12 section
The Wright bros flight drawings
The Wright bros flight drawings

 

[Featured title image source: http://www.uscg.mil/history/faqs/Wright_Brothers.asp]

The power of QT

QT has been around for a while, It transferred hand from Trolltech(the first time I used it) to Nokia and now to Digia.

The recent project which I did on QT is create a gui based on C++ codes for computing chemical combinations for fluid dynamics experiment, which would takes hours to compute if done by hand and which was deployed in Linux system. The advantage of QT is the fact that the same codes can be used to deploy everywhere, in all platforms including Linux, Windows, Mac and other mobile platforms, with the powerful backbone of C++ or python.

The re-usability of code and rapid deployment, and at the same time the community version being free to use, makes it an attractive platform for development of engineering tools.

Software such as VLC player, Mathematica, Google Earth, Autodesk Maya etc are created using QT. Major corporations like European space agency, Dreamworks, Lucas Films, Philips, Volvo among many others, use QT for varied application.

Watch the video of a startup from oxford that uses QT:

[Image source for featured title image and video source: http://www.qt.io ]