October 31st, 2008


"Solar cells in December"

Seven years of development approaches conclusion as Elkem Solar in Kristiansand soon delivers its first silicon for use in solar cells. The first delivery from the plant in Vågsbygd (near Kristiansand, Norway) is slated for December, and the production will then gradually increase to over 2000 tonnes next year. Elkem Solar has a good order reserve, large parts of the production for the next 10 years are already ordered. (Source: NRK.no, local news. In Norwegian.)

I don't doubt that they have the orders, the big question is whether they will be paid. With a global recession at hand, energy may become so cheap that production of new capacity is halted. Several projects are likely to close down and smaller companies will go bust. Governments will need their cash for economic crisis management and may drop ecological vanity projects. In short, the timing could have been better.
Type, Computer

Ubuntu 8.10 - More Windows than Windows?

I am running Ubuntu and Windows XP dual-boot on an old, old laptop with 438 MB RAM and a 2.8 GHz Celeron processor. The original reason for installing Linux was speed - Windows was getting painfully slow. Well, it's been a lot of updates since then. Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid) is the first to be slower than Windows XP - although I don't want to imagine how Vista would have fared on such a machine. It would probably not even have installed.

The slowness shows in two ways: The most irritating, and new with this version, is that rhythmbox (the music player) is stuttering. It only does so occasionally if it is all alone and I don't touch the mousepad. Any other activities, and and it pauses once a second or so. Obviously this is not good. The really confusing part is that when I watch with System Monitor, the computer does not even use 100% of its processor (though it is close). Perhaps some other resource is bottlenecking it, but I am not sure why. The hard disk lights don't indicate virtual memory treshing, and system monitor again claims only 256 MB are used.

The other sign of slowness is in opening and switching between programs. This now shows the same hesitation that I see in Windows. Click, wait just long enough to not go somewhere else and do something useful, then watch the system suddenly respond. This is a shame, because Ubuntu now really is "more Windows than Windows" in terms of user friendliness. Obviously, I have the prettiness effects turned off (gelationous windows and other animations) but the whole way of starting and using programs is what Windows should have been, in my opinion. Unfortunately, the price in performance is getting too high. I may have to look for a more minimalist Linux, unless I discover some bottleneck that I can fix in this one.

My vacation has started!

It lasts for the duration of NaNoWriMo, quite exactly. Speaking of which, only a few hours left before the hour strikes - and I have come up with a completely different story to write instead of the one I had been planning since summer. Yeah.
  • Current Music
    Voices in my head singing some forgotten hymn
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