What is the cause for the degradation of environment?
Capitalism, corruption, consuming society? - OVERPOPULATION!
Please, save the Planet - kill yourself...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How to update BIOS for free if you don't have a CPU

In the situation when you need to update BIOS to let your new CPU work and you (and your friends) do not have another CPU that would be able to start the system, you have to pay for service to so called "experts". In my case prices varied from 20 to 50 Euro... for this 5-minuets work O_o. New CPUs have the same price...

Solution is quite simple actually. You just have to buy new suitable CPU ;-) I've purchased the cheapest model for 25 Euro, used it for a 5 minuets to update BIOS and then just returned it in the perfect condition to the warranty department of the shop where I've bought it. Now I have BIOS updated and my 25 Euro back. The only expenditures were for the public transportation - about 1 Euro.

Relation Between Fires and Distanse to the Nearest Road (Recalculated)

As you may already know, I'm a proud owner of AMD FX-8150 8-core CPU. And I've purchased it not for gaming reasons, but for science. My previous CPU was painfully slow with such calculations as determination of the relation between fires and distance to the nearest highway. I even didn't try to perform that calculations on the whole dataset of the roads mapped in OSM in Leningrad region. But now I can do this!

With the new CPU I've recalculated previous distribution (with the same data) in dependence only on highways and performed new calculation on the whole roads dataset. Some numbers first: 
  • 6,990 - number of fire points detected by FIRMS for the last 10 years in Leningrad region;
  • 10,966 - number of the highway features used as highways for calculations;
  • 87,422 -number of features from whole dataset of roads;
  • 2,3 Gb RAM and a single core were consumed by R during calculations for the whole dataset.
Recalculated fire distribution for the highways
Recalculated values for the highways are different to the acquired at the last time despite the data was the same. But there were hardware update and most important - software updates for R and its packages (OS was updated too). But this graph looks far more reasonable than the previous one.

Lets see what we've got for the whole roads dataset (I will compare it to the graph above).
Distribution calculated for the whole dataset of roads
The maximum distance from road decreased almost in to times: from 41 to 26 kilometres. The distance for the highest values decreased accordingly: a rapid decreasing stops at 7 kilometres and for only highways it was 18 kilometres.

So the first 5 kilometres from the road are the most probable zone fore the fire event. This distance is easily covered on foot in two hours. Another evidence of the massive anthropogenic impact on fire starting.

If I will ever lay hands on the road data from the topographic maps (here OSM data used) I will perform the calculation again to get the most precise data.

Conclusion: FX-8150 worth buying )))

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sverdlovskaya Region, Russia: a Field Survey in Autumn (Part 1)

While every normal environmental scientists perform their field surveys in Summer (unless there is a need to do this in a specific time of the year) I had to do mine when the weather was not that good. In a five days my colleague and I had to collect land monitoring archives of 3 districts of Sverdlovskaya region, soil samples for analysis for heavy metals concentrations and take pictures of the disturbed lands.

Hit the "read more" button to read the rest of the story...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

AMD 8-core processor: finally I can use it!

Over a month ago a motherboard of my 4 years old desktop died right in the middle of the important work. I had to make a decision whether I should repair it or buy a new PC. At that moment I've already faced a lack of performance and knew that a simple upgrade will not help much. But I had no intentions to spend money for purchasing completely new PC. So I decided to buy new powerful CPU, a corresponding motherboard, and a lot of fast RAM.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wuala vs Dropbox: a decision making

After sudden death of my computer I've understood the necessary of the backup storage for the most important files. Of course I would like to store hundreds of Gbs of my GIS projects, but no such option is available for free. 

Actually there were no problem at all with retrieving data that I need for the current project. I just went to the friend of mine with my hard drive, connected it to his desktop and copied about 40 Gbs of crucial data to my laptop. Seems Ok, but there are some files that I would like to have now, but I need another 3 hours for traveling to get it or buy some SATA adapters (and I don't want to by something just to use it once).

The sizes of these files are actually small: my scientific library, my articles, my writings maybe some shp-files. So common free of charge 2 Gb of space that is provided by several companies would suit me well. There are a lot of options nowadays but I limited it to a Dropbox and a Wuala. I need to pick up one... Let's see...

Dropbox do not offer RPM for openSUSE, Wuala do. Dropbox requires Nautilus to be installed (when I prefer Dolphin and KDE), and Wuala don't. Conclusion: Dropbox sucks, Wuala.