In my last post (too long ago, I know) I talked about the Weather Company acquisition. It is open for business under the IBM brand and we are incorporating Watson technology. The interesting thing is that Watson will be used to make advertising smarter. Get ready for big changes in how we interact with advertising.
Speaking of getting ready, this time around I'm ready for another 30 inches (76 cm) of snow like we had last year. The International Cub still isn't ready, as it is so heavy we need a crane to pick up the body to work on it, as well as to remove the wheels and move them around (with wheel weights, we're talking a couple hundred pounds - around 90kg - per wheel). The good news is that we have finally finished the shop crane (more on that another time). In the interim we needed a newer lawn mower, so while we were at it we decided to buy a garden tractor that can also push some snow around. Being the "big operators" that we are, we decided on something with some real power, so we purchased a used John Deere 430 (diesel!) with low hours on it. My son Zeke did a lot of work refreshing the machine:
- Changed the oil
- Fixed a problem with "creep" in neutral due to a wore-out linkage
- Sharpened the blades on the mower
- Replaced the glow plugs
- The battery tested marginal so it got swapped out for a new Interstate
- Cleaned the grill (years of grass were accumulated)
- Changed the coolant
- Installed a weather-proof cab with working lights and a wiper blade
- Added a home-made weight attachment to the back
- Changed the transmission oil and transmission oil filter
- Fixed a hydraulic coupler leak
Here's a picture of Zeke out in the driveway getting ready to practice on some sleet we had earlier this month (December 2016). Notice the hearing protection - the diesel is very powerful and very noisy! It's almost industrial equipment.
I also found a great deal on a used tracked two-stage Cub Cadet snowblower and it is sitting in our garage, cleaned up, lubed, and ready for action! Here's what Zeke did on this one:
- Cleaned the carburetor
- Replaced a fuel line
- Cleaned and gapped the spark plug
- Added a wind screen
When we get ready for winter we don't kid around!
As you can see from our example, a few tweeks to technology and you're really in business. I think this applies to 3D NAND. Now NAND flash is nothing new, but the arrival of better yields of 3D NAND allow two very important things: the price comes down, and the density gets better. Not that long ago the idea that NAND flash would ever supplant disk drives would have been ridiculous, as the price differential was simply too high and the capacities too low. But take a look at one of the options for the IBM SVC - a whopping 15.36 TB flash drive in a drive form factor. What's really astounding is that the 15.36 TB drive comes in a small form factor! With TLC NAND driving the cost down, and 3D fabrication driving the capacity up, I see disks getting squeezed into a niche for use only in secondary or archival scenarios.