Author Archives: gmcdavid

About gmcdavid

Retired IT professional with a wide range of interests. Married. Three sons, two with autistic-spectrum disorders and the third being transgender with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. From Chicago but now living in the Twin Cities metro, Minnesota. Episcopalian. Carleton College (BA 1972, physics) and Stanford University (MS 1974, Applied Physics; MS 1976 Statistics).

Rang Gaeilge, 23ú lá Mí na Bealtaine 2023

Duinnín in Áth na Lachan (tuilleadh)

Dineen in Duckford (continued)
  • “Tháinig tú ar an tuiscint sin uait féin, gan leid ó chara léi?”
    ‘Sceith an bhean bhocht uirthi féin go rialta agus go minic, an té a thuigfeadh. De réir mhuintir Ath na Lachan, Bhíodh sí ag ceartú a mbéasa boird agus a gcuid foghraíochta mar a bheadh bean dá sórt. Ach ní raibh aon dealramh in aon chor leis na nodanna a thugadh sí uaithi.
    Delias, ambaist, seachas /i>Dahlias! Ar ndóigh is dócha gur thug bean ti éigin uirthi fadó “Tea is served” a rá, seachas “Tay, Missus”, agus gur shíl sí ó shin nar den ghalántacht an ‘a’ leathan. Bhíodh sí ag caoineadh laethanta rachmais, ach is é an siopa a luadh sí, ní hé an teach ná a seoda. Nuair a dheineadh sí tagairt do “Mr. Prunty, my husband”, bhíodh daoine ag magadh faoi aistíl chainte na nDuibhlinneach. Tá’s againn gur nós le daoine bochta i mBaile Atha Cliath an leagan san a úsáid, ach níor den chosmhuintir [d.l. 185] Bella Prunty.’

    ‘You came to that understanding by yourself, without a hint from a friend?’

    ‘The poor woman informed on herself regularly and often, to whom would understand. According to the people of Duckford, she would be correcting their table manners and their pronunciation like a woman of her sort. But her appearance did not match at all the hints she gave. Delias indeed, rather than Dahlias. Of course probably some lady told her a long time ago to say “Tea is served”, rather than “Tay, Missus”, and that she had since thought that the broad ‘a’ was elegant. She would be lamenting the days of prosperity, but it is the shop she mentioned, not the house or its jewels/treasures. When she referred to “Mr. Prunty, my husband”, people used to mock the strange speech of the Dubliners. We know that poor people in Dublin used that version, but not the followers of Bella Prunty.

    leid Hint, inkling; prompt; pointer, clue f
    sceith vomit, burst forth
    béas custom, habit, manners m
    dealramh Sheen, splendour, radiance; Look, appearance; likeness, resemblance m
    nod hint; abbreviation m
    ambaist = ambaiste Indeed! Really!
    seachas Besides, other than, rather than; compared to
    rachmas Wealth, abundance m
    luaigh mention, cite v
    cosmhuintir Hangers-on; followers, dependants; Poor people, proletariat f

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Wheels that are not circles

Triangle-Wheeled Bike Gives New Meaning to ‘Tricycle’. The inventors

… went back to the drawing board to see if they could come up with a bike design featuring triangular wheels. They succeeded, and unlike the square-wheeled bike, these triangular wheels actually roll like round ones.

This is known as the Reuleaux triangle. I first ran across it in Poul Anderson’s 1963 SF story The Three Cornered Wheel, which I read sometime in high school (1964-68). A stranded spaceship crew needs to transport a heavy object over land. Unfortunately, the use of anything circular for mundane purposes is forbidden by the religion of the natives. However, the use of a curve of up to 1/3 of a circle is allowed for a sufficiently important cause. The young hero figures out that using such a “three cornered wheel” will solve the crew’s problem without offending the religious authorities.


I read WordTsar Is Reviving the ’80s WordPerfect Writing Experience with considerable interest, but following it up with a look at WordTsar and WordTsar: Wordstar for the 21st Century quickly showed that the first author was not present during the word processor wars of the 1980s. WordStar lost to WordPerfect in that conflict, but still has some diehard fans, the most famous being George R.R. Martin, who still uses it on a DOS machiue. I have been able to run WordStar on FreeDOS, with FreeDOS running on a virtual machine. This was WordStar 4.0, which is now “abandonware,” i.e. free, but without any official support.

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More about the new(er) ThinkPad

The 256GB drive on Another ThinkPad seemed a little small, so I replaced with 1 TB SSD. As in previous moves, I used Macrium under Windows to copy the contents of the existing drive to the new one, then rebooted into Linux and used gparted to add a new NTFS partition and a new ext4 partition on the larger drive. Following Lenovo ThinkPad X240 – Hard Disk Drive Replacement I physically removed the old SSD and installed the new one. Afterwards I rebooted into Windows and the new NTFS partition showed up as the D drive as planned.

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Rang Gaeilge, 25ú lá mí Aibreáin 2023

Duinnín in Áth na Lachan (tuilleadh)

Dineen in Duckford (continued)
  • Ní fhéadfadh Fayler an choir a shéanadh mar bhí eagla air [d.l. 179]
    ina chroí istigh gur mharaigh Mary Bella Prunty,’ arsa an Duinnineach le Bill. ‘Ar an ábhar céanna, níorbh fhéidir leis aon cheist a chur ina taobh ar eagla go ndíreodh sé aird uirthi.’

    ‘Nil inti ach gearrchaile,’ arsa Bill agus uafás air.

    ‘Cailin beag láidir, ionraic, macánta,’ arsa an Duinnineach. ‘Ba chóir go mbeadh náire ar a hathair gur shamhlaigh sé dúnmharú léi.’

    ‘Fayley could not deny the crime because he feared in his heart that Mary had killed Bella Prunty,’ Dineen said to Bill. ‘On the same subject, he could not ask her any questions for fear of directing attention to her.’

    ‘She is only a young girl,’ said Bill in horror.

    ‘A strong, honest, little girl,’ said Dineen. ‘Her father should be ashamed that he dreamed of her committing murder.’

    gearrchaile young girl, lass m
    ionraic Upright, honest
    macánta Childlike; gentle, meek, mild; honest

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