Monday, April 25, 2011

Army Fields a New Sniper Rifle

So after many years, the army has procured a weapon not based on the procurement cycles of a huge organization, but based on real shooters' needs.  Switching to a non-NATO caliber is a big logistical change, but also a requirement for snipers to consistently hit beyond the 800m ranges common in Afghanistan.

According to The Armed Services Job Blog:
U.S. Army will be shipping new XM2010 sniper rifles to U.S. snipers in Afghanistan in the next few months. The new long-range weapon is capable of hitting targets up to 4,000 feet away—or nearly a quarter-mile farther than current sniper rifles.

Here's hoping to see a civilian version of it sometime soon - even if it will be quite a bit outside of my price range.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Let's Go Caps!

So my beloved tapestry is not a huge sports fan - other than the Ravens - but she does like watching sports with me. I grew up watching the Redskins and Bullets (the Washington Bullets, not the Baltimore Bullets - who were interestingly enough not related to the Baltimore Bullets from the 50's that folded). We watched the Washington Diplomats play at RFK before the MSL was formed and DC United came to dominate. We watched University of Maryland football and basketball well before I went to school there to root them on in person.

I don't consider myself a rabid sports fan, although I have been known to yell at the screen when there's a bad call or something's going wrong, or right. But that's all part of the American culture nowadays. It helps people stay connected, helps build camaraderie, and as long as it's good natured, is a positive influence.

Anyway, this is all just a long winded way of saying - yay! We watched the Caps come back from a 3 goal deficit to beat the Rangers in double overtime and bring the series to a 3 games to 1 advantage. Hopefully they'll be able to close it out on Saturday, as we drive up to see her mom. We're also bringing up mom's dog, since we're just making the 4 hour drive up and back the same day, so she can see her. I'm sure she misses the dog - we've been taking care of her ever since her mom moved up to Pittsburg. It will be a surprise to mom and to her dog and will make for a happy Easter weekend.

I hope everyone else has a great weekend too!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Love this!

My parents both loved M.C. Escher and kept prints around the house - this was one of them. You should definitely watch the video - a very impressive optical illusion.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

30th Anniversary of the Osborne 1

So it's no surprise that my father was a big influence in my computer development in the 80's. He was in information systems well before I had been born and helped me buy my first PC back in 1982 - an Osborne 1. It was a CP/M machine, and better IMHO than its most direct competitor - the Kaypro, even with the smaller screen.

The Osborne 1 was also an important addition to my dorm room for my first 3 years at school. Countless papers by me or my room mates were written on those lovely 5.25" floppy disks, along with hours of text-based gaming. It was portable, well, as much as a 25 pound computer is portable. It did have a handle and closed into a relatively durable bundle.

I can't thank him enough for his help in my early computer development. Even as I started learning computer programming (Fortran on paper card on the University's UNIVAC mainframe), I used my own personal PC on a daily basis. It made me more comfortable in the workplace during the summers, working for the Navy, around people that had not grown up with PCs.

Anyway, I look back fondly on my years with the Osborne 1, and am amazed with the things that Adam Osborne did in the early years of personal computing. Perhaps with a bit more business sense, his name would be synonymous with PCs, much like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.