Transistor Man

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About Transistor Man

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  1. Does anyone remember that dumbfounding episode of late 90s fly-on-the-wall police doc "Mersey Blues"? It came out that Warrior/ Mike Ahearn was a flatmate of the program's star -- a corrupt detective investigating a nightclub shooting, and was acting as a go-between on behalf of the then UK's biggest drugs dealer, Curtis Warren.
  2. I heard: Not him, apparently. Rules out by DNA test.
  3. I'm not sure there's much in common. Marconi was caught up in the high tech bubble in the run-up to 2000, then missed out on a big BT contract to upgrade the UK network.
  4. The 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics. 100%. Did anyone ever follow the story of the Steorn crackpots, from The Economist advert onward?
  5. I could teach you a fair amount if you sat with me at work for a week or two. I suspect that the golden age of electronics as a hobby is gone. The best days would have tied in with amateur radio, audio, and perhaps early 80s micro. I reckon I could teach someone the basics of semiconductors physics, how the diode and transistor works, and analogue and digital circuits, memories, processors etc. Fairly quickly.
  6. Since 2000 in the US, after the Ford/ Firestone problems. Since 2014 in EU.
  7. Those 200+ years of enslavement don't get brought up very often.
  8. Totally ridiculous, they could have made mixed teams and had a decent match. I remember my female PE teacher rightly refusing to allow a combination of the boys football and rugby teams play the girls hockey team. Not sure if this is the same elsewhere, but the girls in my daughter's primary school are crazy about gymnastics, to a degree far beyond what was the case in my time at school. It seems to be a mechanism they use to battle it for some form of status. It's a pretty good choice of sport, as -- at their age at least, it's something which they are far better than the boys at.
  9. My family's daily paper growing up: dreadful.
  10. The generators are synchronised with the Grid, so spinning at the correct speed. Dinorwig can produce full power in 20 seconds. I'm not a power engineer, but I think that ramping a thermal plant is minutes, not seconds.
  11. Yes, I think so. Grid connected conventional (coal, gas, nuclear) plants have significant inertia -- massive synchronous generators spinning at 3000 or 1500 rpm -- and tend to oppose rapid drops in the supply frequency, which would occur if a power plant is lost to the grid due to a fault. This inertia makes the grid more robust as it gives the seconds necessary for the operators to call on e.g. a pumped-storage generator like Dinorwig. Wind turbines are variable speed generators, and don't provide the same mechanical inertia.
  12. I wouldn't waste my time worrying about this at all. Compared to everyday risks we face, this one is close to zero. The first deployment of 5G in the UK will be on the 700 MHz band, then 3.6-3.8 GHz, but we will have to go to the mm-wave frequencies, 24+ GHz, and small cell sizes, or we won't get the high (5G) data rates. Fundamentally, the reason not to worry is that microwave/ mmWaves are non-ionising -- they can't eject an electron from an atom, and can't (simplistically, anyway) break bonds in DNA etc. I wouldn't point a microwave magnetron at my eyeball, but in that case the danger is local heating. At my work, we have a cloud chamber showing cosmic ray showers -- ionising radiation -- continuously incident on us. It's amazing to look at, but life deals with the resulting damage without much of a problem.