Sunday, March 03, 2013

Curiosity rover forced into safe mode due to flash memory issue

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The Mars rover Curiosity is switching over to a backup computer after a corrupted file caused the primary, "A-side" computer to glitch. On Wednesday, February 27, the rover failed to send its daily data dump back to Earth and switch into sleep mode. Mission Control made the decision to switch Curiosity over to its backup computer and suspend its scientific work for a few days.
"Don't flip out: I just flipped over to my B-side computer while the team looks into an A-side memory issue," NASA posted on the rover's Twitter account.
Like most spacecraft, Curiosity has two computer systems on board. The A-side computer is used for daily operations and the B-side is used as a backup. Until the B-side computer has been updated with the data necessary to assume control of the rover, Curiosity will sit on the Martian surface in "safe mode."
Configuring the B-side computer to take control of the rover may take a while, according to NASA. "We have probably several days, maybe a week of activities to get everything back and reconfigured," Richard Cook, Curiosity project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory told Space.com.
The cause of the corrupted file in the flash memory of the A-side computer is unknown, but it could be a stray cosmic ray. "The hardware that we fly is radiation tolerant, but there's a limit to how hardened it can be," Cook said. "You can still get high-energy particles that can cause the memory to be corrupted. It certainly is a possibility and that's what we're looking into."
Once the B-side computer has assumed control of the rover, the team will attempt to get the A-side up and running again as a fully functional backup.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

From Sunshine to Snowfall

I just returned from a two week repast in southern Florida. From a sunny 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit in Orlando, to an icy 25-30 here in Germany.

We flew from Frankfurt into Atlanta, and spent a few days getting to know the city known as the Headquarters of Coca Cola and CNN (Will go into Atlanta later). Then we traveled slowly south to Savannah, and then St. Augustine. In the end, our goal was Orlando.

Orlando is a wonderful place for families. With Disney World, Universal Studios, Kennedy Space Centre and nice beaches all within a short drive. There is simply tons to do for a family. Great weather also offers so many year round opportunities; from mini golf to boating, fishing and even Everglades adventures. Orlando is also a short distance from the famous Cocoa Beach, and for those who love a picnic on the beach, Cocoa has a lot to offer.

We spent a total of nine days in and around Orlando and had a great time.

I hope to return to my daily and weekly posts ASAP.

Thanks to all of my readers for your patience.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

The Hobbit

Yesterday the Silva's went to The Hobbit, and it was amazing. First of all the cinematography was stunning. I really loved the 48 frames per second filming. This film made you feel like you were there. Not like any other, this is 3D at it's best!

Be prepared, this thing is long. Real long. But what an adventure. The scenes with Golem were just brilliant. I laughed, feared and basically was there with Bilbo as he dealt with this unexpected character. Golem's psychosis was clearly prevalent but also painful to see. In the end, Bilbo felt pity for him as did all the viewers.

If you haven't seen this one, do. This is by far the best film I have seen in 2012, if not in many years.

No spoilers here but there is so much to talk about !

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Cheers to, The Queen of Mysteries

I just finished, The Grand Tour, today. What an interesting read. I truly enjoyed it. Not only the insight into the great Agatha Christie. But also the historical aspect. This book offers a real look into the way things were right after WW1. I especially liked the old photographs.

If you were thinking of picking this one up after reading my first post, I can confirm. It's a winner!

I just wish I'd had a slower week, I would have finished it much faster.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Read A Good Book Lately?



Like most of you, I am an avid reader. And many years ago I fell in love with mystery novels. The phase was brief but memorable. One of my favorite suspense and mystery authors is Agatha Christie. Not only do I love her stories, but I was impressed with her as a pre-World War Two female writer. I know, much of her popular work was published much later, but she was actively writing in the early 1920’s. 

Luckily, I stumbled upon a book released Agatha Christies’ grandson, Mathew Prichard: The Grand Tour; Around the World with the Queen of Mystery.
This book is the travel diary, letters and photos from a world tour that Agatha Christie and her husband took in 1922. They set off from London with The British Empire Exhibition in January of 1922, and traveled the globe.

Reading this gives one a real insight into a great author. How she thinks and feels. Interestingly, it also lets us peek into an era. Just coming out of World War One, the world was a much different place than it is now. This was the beginnings of prosperity and start of what was called the “Roaring Twenties.”

I am in the middle of this book and am in love. The photos are great and the letters are wonderful to read. Once finished, I’ll write more, my opinions, feeling and thoughts about this one. But for now, I am enjoying the ride.

The Book:
The Grand Tour
Agatha Christie, by her grandson- Mathew Prichard

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What to see at the movies

You all know that I love movies. I enjoy going as a family, and when traveling for my job, I'll even go alone. So what have I seen recently and what can I recommend?

Last weekend we went to see, Here Comes The Boom. This was one of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time. Kevin James was great and Henry Winkler was amazing. Even Selma Hayek was good. I don't want to ruin the film for you, so I won't go into details but this is a great family movie. There are some scenes of violence where Kevin James fights in the ring but nothing overly bloody.

I was surprised how loudly the audience laughed. We all just loved this movie.

Get out to the movies and enjoy, Here Comes The Boom. German title, Schwergewicht

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Finished for the day

Yep, today is coming to an end. Worked pretty hard and published a couple of pieces in the international Android blog, Androidpit.

It's fun to write. Even at work, when I have a moment free I tend to throw down on my iPad. The tablet has really enabled me in terms of writing. I have it with me in meetings and just about everywhere. When in meetings, if they get a bit boring, I'll just start to write. And of course everyone thinks I'm taking notes. It is not really the iPad that is special, it is having a great medium for writing in a small package. If it was an Android tablet or a Microsoft one, it really wouldn't matter. Something light, thin and extremely portable is all you need as a writer.

So I'm going to eat something, have a drink with my colleagues and head home for the day. Life is good. With thanksgiving coming up I feel good about being in Germany. No turkey stress.

Got to run. Time to relax a bit. Have a nice night and a great turkey day tomorrow.