A few months ago I was visiting our local library, when I noticed some interesting kits behind the the desk. They turned out to be "Home Energy Action Toolkits" (which has an acronym of HEAT!). I put my name down on the list, and finally last week it was my turn to borrow one of the kits.
They include the following items:
- Power-mate power meter
- Infrared thermometer
- Stop watch
I was primarily interesting in using the power meter to gauge how much power various appliances use in our home.
Here's what I discovered:
|Appliance ||Standby (Watts) ||On (Watts) |
|DVD Player ||2.1 ||12 |
|VCR ||5.6 ||16 |
|CRT TV ||n/a ||56 |
|2400 W Heater ||1.3 ||960/1370/2210 (low/med/high) |
|CD Cassette Radio 1 ||5.3 ||8.5/6.5/6.3 (Cd/Tape/Radio) |
|CD Cassette Radio 2 ||4.0 ||5.9/5.3 (Tape/Radio) |
|Computer + CRT Monitor ||8.5 ||160 |
|Computer speakers ||2 ||3.6 |
|Small CRT TV ||n/a ||44 |
|1000 W Heater ||n/a ||960 |
|Camera battery charger ||0.4 || |
|Automatic garage roller door ||10.4 ||100 |
|Mobile phone charger ||0.2 || |
|Microwave oven ||5.4 ||1550 |
|ADSL Modem ||n/a ||8.3 |
|VoIP ATA ||n/a ||2.9 |
Two other appliances were also measured, using a feature of the power meter which calculates running costs by allowing you to enter in the cost per kilowatt hour (I used 17.99 cents). The results were very interesting:
|Dishwasher ||14.44 cents per standard cycle |
|Bread machine ||8.3 cents to make 1.25Kg loaf |
So it probably is cheaper to make your own bread after all.
As a family we’re not too bad at turning off things that we’re not using. We’ve also started the move to compact fluorescent lights, and I intend to make use of a service like Envirosaver, which will come out and replace all your incandescent bulbs with CF ones for free.
CodeCampSA is on again, over the weekend of July 12-13th.
The speaker list looks impressive:
(Yes, I've put up my hand again!)
The event is free, but to assist organisers you're encouraged to register your interest. There's also a dinner at Marcellina's in Hindley St on the Saturday night which sounds great.
I'm definitely going on Saturday - will have to see about Sunday though.
Updated Jason’s surname, and added links to speaker blogs – let me know if I’ve missed someone.
Microsoft have just released a couple of new security tools that might be useful, especially if you’re still running some legacy ASP applications.
- Microsoft Source Code Analyzer for SQL Injection - a static code analysis tool for finding SQL Injection vulnerabilities in ASP code
- Microsoft Urlscan Filter v3.0 Beta - a security tool that restricts the types of HTTP requests that Internet Information Services (IIS) will process. By blocking specific HTTP requests, UrlScan helps prevent potentially harmful requests from being processed by web applications on the server.
UrlScan has been around for quite a while, so I’ll be interested to see what new features are part of v3.
Getting your code into a version control repository is relatively easy. Doing the same for your database schema has historically been a bit trickier. I think this is partly because modern databases (like Microsoft SQL Server) come with quite useable graphical interfaces, which means that you can make many significant changes without ever writing a line of SQL.
The good thing though is that all of these changes are done using SQL, so version control is usually about keeping versions of the SQL scripts.
Some common techniques include:
- One single production database and all changes are made live (be careful!)
- Make changes to dev database and then migrate the changes to production (SQL Compare is great for this)
- All schema objects are stored in scripts that need to be executed to create the database.
Creating the initial database isn't too bad, but pushing out updates can be more difficult, especially if you need to deal with updating from different possible versions.
One tool that might prove in solving this problem is DBDeploy.NET - a port to .NET of the Java-based dbDeploy.
I needed to download some files from SourceForge earlier this week, and what a pleasant surprise it was to see that Internode is now hosting the Australian mirror.
Even better, it is unmetered for Internode customers (such as myself), and means that the 4.7Tb of SourceForge files are available to download super-quick. Not that I want to download 4.7Tb all at once mind you!