Why Super Nintendos Lose Their Colour

I found a great article about the whys and wherefores of plastic yellowing in classic machines:

Vintage Computing and Gaming | Archive » Why Super Nintendos Lose Their Color: Plastic Discoloration in Classic Machines

The article focuses mainly on the SNES, but mentions old Macs as well, and should apply equally to anything made of the official “this is a computer” grey or beige plastic.

The short version: Plastic is an organic compound (made of basically the same stuff as people) which breaks down over time. As it breaks down, it reacts differently to light and turns yellow. If the composition of the plastic is not perfect (exactly correct proportion of catalysts, flame retardants, pigments, &c.), the breakdown will occur faster. It’s also accelerated by visible and UV light, heat, and oxygen.

The yellowing is caused by the chemical composition of the plastic changing, so it’s irreversible. The author does go on to list some ways to mitigate the damage, but reiterates that there is no non-destructive way to fix it — you can remove the damaged plastic, or cover it.

Site update time, once again

Over the past few days, I’ve put some work into the site:

  • Updated to WordPress 2.3.2, which was entirely painless
  • Began work on a new theme, which you may have noticed. Over the next while, I’ll be putting more into it; currently it’s very minimalist, little more than an XHTML skeleton with a couple moving parts.

More to come.

Go green by going black? …not convinced.

I just came across an interesting post about energy savings based on the colour of a webpage (specifically, Google – but the idea applies everywhere): A black Google start screen? | Wired Gecko.

I’ve found other posts dating back to May of this year (The Numbers Guy) on the subject, so it’s really not a new idea.

The largest part of my doubt is the question of technology. In a CRT, it does indeed use more energy to display bright colours than dark (ref. DOE Energy Star Desktop Information). A CRT produces bright colours by directing an energy beam at the front of the screen; more brightness == more energy used.

Continue reading “Go green by going black? …not convinced.”

I annoyed Google! Go me!

I’m too impatient to wait for Calculator.app to load, or for the Calculator dashboard widget to catch up with me. The solution? Google.

If my computer is turned on, there’s generally a web browser open. Google Calculator meets my needs, and it’s faster than opening a local app or taking my boots off (if I need to count past 10).The downside? Apparently it annoys Google if you do it a lot:

I annoyed Google! Go me!

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Pink and Portable – WD’s Passport goes Pink for October

El Reg has a quick blurb about Western Digital’s Passport portable hard drive.

WD’s Pink Passport
Looks like a nice little unit: 250GB, USB2.0, &c.

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, WD will make a dontation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation for each pink Passport drive sold. Going one step further than most, WD’s donations will continue beyond month’s end – they will continue until February 29.

Pink for October

In support of breast cancer awareness and research, I’ve turned this site pink.

From http://pinkforoctober.org/:

Web sites will Go Pink during the month of October to bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, get people talking about breast cancer, and raise money for research.

But to be clear, raising money isn’t the primary purpose of this web event.
The hope is that you turn your site pink (in whatever way works for your site), go out to that World Wide Web thing and educate yourself about the multiple issues related to Breast Cancer, then take that newfound knowledge and tell someone else what you’ve learned.

Hacking with hKit

I’ve been using hKit recently for several projects, among them trying to figure out why Rosebleed’s user profiles won’t import at Satisfaction. In testing, I found that Technorati profiles also don’t import.

I tracked it down to two separate issues:

  1. Technorati uses DoubleClick advertising, which uses document.write() to drop new scripts into the page. This

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