September 2nd, 2005

krazy koati

They produced a carbon copy man

The students for my smaller class wanted copies of my lecture notes; I don't mind making them. But I remembered late, and with barely the time to run off copies and make it to class on time, got to the photocopier room. I put the notes -- 9 pages, A4 size -- and selected collated copy, single-sided A4 to double-sided A4. The copier riffled through all the pages -- twice -- and then halted, demanding more A4 paper in the main tray. I complied. The copier then produced three printouts of the final page of notes, on the A3-size (twice the area) yellow paper from some tray I've never seen before, stopped, beeped, and demanded the clearing of a paper jam. There was no paper jammed anywhere within the machine, and after opening and closing all the door panels and hitting ``Cancel'', ``Clear'', and the reset button a couple dozen times in full without getting anything to happen, I grabbed my notes from the input feed and dashed off to class.

I didn't even know Microsoft made photocopiers.

President S R Nathan was inaugurated for his second term today, in a very television-friendly ceremony set for 7:30 pm, and running a neat half-hour. (It was repeated at 10, delaying an episode of Lost, as Channel 5 reminded in a screen scrawl periodically all day.) It was a straightforward, rather efficient thing, with a ceremonial arrival at one of those government-type buildings, three playings of the National Anthem, and brief speeches from the Prime Minister and the President.

Meanwhile, as part of Malaysian Merdeka (independence) celebrations, the traffic authorities are temporarily cutting outstanding traffic fines by 50 percent. Clearly, if you wanted to get a traffic ticket, now is the time. They're so much more expensive getting them from scalpers.

Trivia: Saturn V launch control was managed by an RCA-110A digital computer. Source: Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo-Saturn Launch Vehicles, Roger E Bilstein, NASA SP-4206.

Currently Reading: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, Barbara W Tuchman.