March 23, 2007

Thermodynamics isn't Rocket Science... right?

So I took that subject in college twice, but because of that I have better appreciation of the principles that govern it. (Was there sarcasm between the lines?) It has been predicted that this summer will be extremely hot, and it'll be horrible trying to work at home sweating like a pig. So I set out to find ways to keep cool.

1. Cheap Traditional Cooling (Electric Fan): Cool on the wallet but not too effective. If the temperature of the air is hot, so will the air that will hit your face.

2. Expensive Way (Air-Conditioner): One of the best ways to keep cool but is also the worst in cost. If planned properly, it will make working this summer a lot more tolerable.

3. 300 Way: A healthy, unconventional method of keeping cool is through exercise. I'm not sure if will really work, but I'm trying it right now. I'm doing tae-bo cardio workouts during the hot portion of the day, which will get me fit and make the rest of the day seem cool.

Quest for the Ideal Air-Conditioning Setup

There are a number of factors that one needs to consider when looking for an AirCon.
  1. Room Size: The floor area of the room to be cooled is a quick way of narrowing down choices. Specifications of the units such as this tell you how big a room it is capable of cooling. If the unit is too strong, the electric bill takes the hit. If underpowered, the unit overworks and you don't feel the cooling. My room is around 12sq.m. so 0.75-1.0 hp should work for me.
  2. EER: These are the yellow labels present when you see them at stores. The higher the number, the more efficient its cooling is. Any value above 10 is plenty efficient.
  3. Bonus Features: Advanced filters, 'cleanability', mobility are some extras that you may consider.
After looking around appliance stores and the net, I found a local who sold this Arlec unit at a low price. I was interested in the unit because it was portable and cheap. Suspicious, yes. Dodgy, yes. But it was a good deal and I wanted to check it out.

I was in contact with the seller via SMS and planned to meet him to see the unit. I was cautious enough to just bring exact cash and nothing else. He was easy enough to talk to, but the packaging of the unit was in bad shape (termites took residence at the bottom of the box). The unit looked unused and in good shape. We let it run for a bit and it worked fine. I soooo wanted that unit so I paid him, called for a taxi and hauled it away.

I wasn't blown away initially, but that was expected. My room had to be modified so that heat will be shielded out and airflow reduced. But after all that trouble, I can now work or rest better through this summer blaze.

My kawaii Arlec AirCon. That's aluminum shielding on the window so heat and vented air doesn't come in. I also used a thick 600V cable to feed this lil monster.

Safety tip: For high power appliances, it is imperative to give them a dedicated line from the circuit breaker/fuse box. The line should also be rated high enough to pass around twice the rated current. If any part of the circuit heats up (wire, cord, socket) , its a sign telling that part is rated too low for your purpose.

March 22, 2007

Letters Over the Summer

I had dinner with Chari and Arvi the other night and one of the topics that came up was Snail Mail during summer.

We were pretty young and at that time cellphones, email and other electronic communication was unheard of. Being teenagers we had to make do with paper and the postal system. It might sound weird and silly, but this was how we kept in touch in the olden days. A postage stamp for less than 5Php can send your thoughts and handwriting to any place in the country. It was slow, troublesome and takes time to write, but sending or receiving one really meant something.

I miss those days, but it is you whom I'll miss dearly. Be online more often so I don't have to resort to snail mail :D

March 11, 2007

Excel Sensei?

I was invited to teach MS Excel at the Foreign Service Institute, Department of Foreign Affairs. The class spanned a month, held 2 days a week and 3 hours each session. Speaking in front of people isn't in my arsenal, so what better way to improve it than trial-by-fire *hahaha*.

Conclusion: I'm probably better off doing web stuff than teaching, but I'll categorize it as 'a worthwhile experience' :D

In the picture above: 8 out of my 12 students.

H Fever

The first time I was hit by this fever was in Roswell, New Mexico. In the land of conspiracy and aliens, catching it was almost instinctive.

Was definitely felt in the year 2000 by 100 Girls.

The most recent and just as powerful was in a place called Seattle Grace Hospital. Although just a part of Grey's Anatomy, you'll be hit and be left just as Izzy.

The fever's name is Katherine Heigl :D