Archive for the ‘ Geek Stuff ’ Category

atlbike Weather page

It is interesting to see the weather patterns for the CONUS (Continental US) and how these patterns are driven by troughs in the jet stream.  Looking at the video screen shot with the time lapse satellite infra-red image (center) you can see the jet stream driving cold polar air into the south. [click the video below]
Current atlbike weather page.

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

Note: click image below for a larger detailed view

Weather Maps: Composite (current), Time Lapse Infra-Red, 300mb jet stream.

Weather Maps

Weather Maps

Setting Windows XP default web/HTTP mail for IE and Firefox

I finally got tired of having the default web link on my old reliable XP (no-weirdness) home PC being set to windows mail , yuck.  Turns out, not as easy as I had hoped to find the “simple” solution for changing the default mail links.  Gmail has a nice notifier widget, not so with Hotmail, which I wanted for my default mail. Plus, I wanted to change it globally on the system.

You can find the gmail notifier here:

Poking around the web I found several very arcane solutions.. really???  Having to attack the registry didn’t make sense to me.  Of course there was an easier way, finally found it here:

Note: click images to enlarge for viewing.

Setting the Hotmail Default mail client.

Setting the Hotmail Default mail client.

Turns out, that you can get to this option window from the XP Control Panel or the IE Tools > Internet Options > Programs. Set Email option to: Windows Live Hotmail.

Once this was set on the Microsoft side of the house, where I really wanted this feature was Firefox… now it showed as an option:

Firefox Mail default setting.

Firefox Mail default setting.

Tools > Options > Applications > Mailto

Select: Use Microsoft HTTP Mail Simple MAPI


sunrise, sunset times: not what you might think.

Many people are aware of the winter solstice which is the shortest day of the year, which last occurred on December 22nd. However this date is not the latest sunrise nor earliest sunset for the year. Keeping this discussion practical, rather than technical, let’s ask the question, “So what does this mean to me as a cyclist?”

A good web based tool to look at for data like this.

Wikipedia has an excellent semi-technical description.



Using the data from the time-and-date site I found that the earliest sunsets actually occur in early December and the latest sunrises occur in early January. So, here we are in mid-January, how does this effect our cycling or other outdoor activities?

Data for Atlanta, Ga:
Jan 16, 2011
Sunrise: 7:42 AM Sunset: 5:53 PM
Daylight hours: 10h 10m 37s
Daylight hour change: + 1m 10s

Since the Winter Solstice occurred, our daylight hours have increased 16 minutes, but sunset times are actually 24 minutes later from early December. On the other hand, sunrise times are only 3 minutes earlier since the solstice.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the rate of change for these processes is highest near the equinoxes (equal day/night hours). During mid-March the days are getting longer at a rate of 126sec/day. During early October the days are getting shorter at a rate of 124sec/day.

So if it seemed to you, that the celestial events like sunrise and sunset weren’t in sync with the solstices, it wasn’t your imagination.