Colonising #Mars is senseless #ItsTheGravityStupid

Elon Musk has been breathlessly quoted by various news organisations as stating that he is pushing for human colonisation of Mars. There’s a spiffy YouTube video on this entitled “Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species”. Be warned that it goes on for almost two hours. I’m not buying it, for several reasons.


Assuming the gravity on Earth is rated as “1”, the gravity on Mars is 0.376. So, it’s a little more than one third that of Earth’s. Has anyone told you that? Probably not. Even the film adaptation of Andy Weir’s “The Martian” doesn’t show it. We see Matt Damon going hipster on a planet that appears to have a gravity very much like Earth’s. Considering the technology that’s available to modern film-making (resulting in the snoozefest that was “Gravity”, for example), that’s downright dishonest.

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Installing #Linux on a #Dell #Windows10 #laptop #VirtualBox

This is the streamlined process for taking a new laptop with Windows 10 installed on it, wiping it, installing Linux, and recreating your Windows 10 installation within VirtualBox on that laptop. This is not for newbies, but for intermediate Linux users who know their way around their distro and have several Linux installations under their belt. It’s more a checklist than a blow-by-blow. The internet is your friend.

(I’ll assume you’ve already checked that you can install Linux on your hardware.)

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#Freewrite: How NOT to do #software

I (or, rather, my hubby) was one of the early backers of the Freewrite, back when it was known as the Hemingwrite. It’s been a bumpy year and a half, but my machine (a belated birthday present) finally arrived late last week.


It’s a nice bit of kit and the keyboard is a joy to type on. But, as a past IT Project Manager who has a husband who was also an IT Project Manager, if there’s a case study of how not to do software, the Freewrite is it.

Firstly, there is an SDK (Software Development Kit) with the Freewrite, so that means that the creators are opening up the architecture for future tweaks. This is good. But I can’t help feeling that the creators are using the SDK as a way of dodging their own responsibilities.

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Making #faisselle #cheese in #Malaysia

Faisselle is a cheese that’s not well known outside its native France. It’s a soft cheese that is versatile enough to be used as a dessert or savoury food. I love it so much, I have now made it a staple of our diet.

The problem—well, one of the problems—of making cheese in Malaysia has to do with milk. Sometimes, days can go by without being able to get fresh milk and UHT milk won’t work with cheese-making, because the heat (Ultra-Heated) destroys the bacteria necessary for incubating the necessary cultures. I have successfully made faisselle with milk powder and suggest you do the same if you want a lovely, light yet rich result.

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