Virginia Tech professor cuts PC energy usage

I came across this link about a Virginia Tech professor that wrote a program to reduce energy wasted by computers. On the face of it, it sounds a bit smarter than the usual power management techniques that shut off parts or all of a computer when its not being used. It claims up to 30% reduction in power, which I expect translates into noticeably longer times between batter charges, if you use it on a laptop.

He also likens his software to cruise control in cars. But while cruise control will ease up on the accelerator as a car gathers speed when descending, it “doesn’t look ahead and say, ‘Hey, there’s a hill coming,’” Cameron says. “It just reacts.” In contrast, his program seeks out patterns to determine when a computer will need more power. He says users report electricity savings of 30 percent.

I expected the program, named Granola and distributed by miserware, to be a Windows only affair. However, its available for both Windows and various distributions of Linux. The latter likely a result of wanting to reduce server power usage, an area where Linux has a sizeable presence.  There is even a community supported, AUR package of Granola for ArchLinux. Joy!

VaTech team wins Solar Decathlon

A team from my alma mater won the Solar Decathlon Europe, a competition to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses.  The winning design is named Lumenhaus, an 800 square foot home and has a solar array on the roof which which changes to maximize its efficiency.

An exhilarating race from start to finish, some houses fell behind the pack, while a clear group of winners gradually took the lead at the forefront, and now, we are thrilled to finally announce that the winner of this year’s Solar Decathlon Europe is Virginia Tech, for their luminous Lumenhaus!

Winners Announced for the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe!

Va. Tech soccer in Final Four

Virginia Tech’s mens soccer teams makes its first appearance in the NCAA College Cup today.  The game will be on ESPN2 at 5pm. Adam Kilgore in the Washington Post tells us how the Hokies made it to the tournament this year.  Much like DC United’s 2004 title run, Va Tech also has a talentend young Ghanaian on its roster.

It began with Weiss’s tireless recruiting, as he pounced on talent other coaches overlooked. He watches every tape sent by high school players, no matter how obscure.

Virginia Tech Footballs

It’s been a good week to be Viginia Tech football fan, either pointy or round ball kind.  While the gridirion team gets their re-match with BC, the Hokies soccer team is having a historic year.  Not only have the men gone undefeated at home, but last night they advanced in the NCAA tournament.

Tech (12-3-5) got two second-half goals from Charlie Campbell, thrilling a crowd of 1,417 that packed the bleachers on a chilly night. The scene would have been unthinkable six years ago, before Big East officials forced Tech to place a greater emphasis on Olympic sports.


I had 3 classes in Norris hall.

I had 3 classes in Norris hall: Statics, Dynamics, and Deformables (Mechanics of Deformable Bodies, iirc).  All mechanical engineering courses that were requirements for all Engineering students.  My freshman year, I lived across from West A.J.  Later, in grad school, when I was a teaching assistant for Engineering Economics, I gave a final exam in one of the larger lecture halls, with Patty’s help.  I doubt that you could find an Engineering student who did not have a class there.  That’s what makes the shooting rampage on the VT campus solid and real to me.

I walked those hall, I probably passed that hall nearly every day that I was in Blacksburg.  The drill field to where students were instructed to run was my after class destination to join in a pick up soccer game.  It is all so senseless and futile, that I can’t now help thinking that there’s no reason it could not have happened when I was there.

The Va. Tech police and University officials are going to be second guessed, critiqued, and scrutinized for their actions.  I’m disgusted by how quickly some people are trying to find someone at fault for this, beyond the gunman, and how other people have already begun to use this to push an agenda.  I wish we could all pause to reflect and mourn, to give the families affected time to deal with the loss of a loved one. 

Our thoughts are with all of you and the Va Tech family.