Friday, 11 January 2002

Newsletter Issue 38, January 2002

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 38, January 2002
Hi guys,
For those of you who have not yet checked out LOTR; go and see it. It is a great movie, even if you are one of the minority percentage of people who haven't read the book. If you are a LOTR fan and are wanting any new information and articles, the best place to go is Stuff.
My main topic is a brief look at the new GM creation that is likely to revolutionise transport. Check out the summary; An Autonomy To Go, Please, and check out the links to the main articles.
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

An Autonomy To Go, Please

The Autonomy; newly mocked up by GM for the North American Auto Show in Detroit this month. The chassis, which is on show, is a crazy looking thing, like a cheap roller skate without the straps. Vehicle bodies then clip on top to meet your particular needs, as required.
I have no idea how this thing works. It has no engine. Nor is there a gearbox. So there is no drive train, either. It doesn't burn petrochemicals (no petrol, oil or brake fluid). No pedals. No instrument panel. No left-hand or right-hand drive.
Very low on friction: with wheels and suspension being the most significant moving parts. Very high on something called 'drive-by-wire' technology. Plug & play, apparently. And burns hydrogen via fuel cells (like those German buses). 
GM is aiming to get their prototype Autonomy running by the end of 2002. This thing is slick. Very slick.
For those of you techno-junkies who want one now? Forget it. They are talking 10 years to commercial reality. But I reckon if GM got into bed with Dean Kamen (the crazy inventor DEKA man of gyro scooter & wheelchair fame), they could do it in 5.
To check out some more info on the Autonomy, try these links;
And if you don't know who Dean Kamen is, check out these addresses for more info on this wunderkind;

Those New Year Resolutions

Ever wondered where New Year resolutions came from? Well apparently, it was all due to the Iraqis of the ancient world...
First observed in ancient Babylon (now Iraq) about 4000 years ago, the new year celebration is our oldest global holiday. Circa 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon after the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Northern Hemisphere spring (March). Their celebrations lasted for eleven days, and in those celebrations, they made resolutions. The Babylonian's most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment (hey, I'd like it if today some people's resolution was to return the books they had borrowed from me!). 
The Romans continued to the tradition of a late March new year, but their eternal tinkering with their calendar got them out of sync with the sun. In the end to set things straight, in 46 BC, Julius Caesar let the current year drag on for 445 days, declaring January 1 to be the beginning of the New Year. The Romans didn't seem to go in for resolutions so much though. A bit more on the "feasting until they popped" type.
The Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year. Running for 15 days, the first day of the new year is the first New Moon and ends on the full moon 15 days later. As the Chinese calendar is sun & moon-based, they have to "catch up" with the solar calendar by inserting an extra month once each 7 years out of 19. 
New Year has only been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for the past 400 years. New Year is an essentially pagan festival, adopted by the Church post-middle ages under the "better with them than against them" principle. It is observed as the Feast of Christ's Circumcision by some denominations.
The main, modern NY tradition is the making of resolutions, and apparently the most popular resolutions are;
  • getting fit
  • losing weight 
  • quitting smoking
The old Scottish tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or colloquially "the good old days." Early variations were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Robbie Burns to write the modern version, which was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. It is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the New Year. 

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • CDMA, Code Division Multiple Access. Multiplexing protocols used in second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) wireless communications. 
  • BO2K, Back Orifice 2000. Back Orifice is a rootkit program designed for the purpose of exposing the security deficiencies of Microsoft's Windows operating systems. 2K allows access to Windows NT and 2000, in addition to 95 and 98.
  • J2ME, Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition. Programmers technology, consisting of programming specs and the "K" Virtual Machine, using Java & related tools to develop programs for wireless aps like cellular phones and PDAs. 

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Short & Hot Keys... and now tips
All the Function keys for you - this time it's all you can do with an ALT & F2;
  • Access "To save a database object" ALT & SHIFT & F2 
  • Access "To open the Save As dialog box" ALT & F2 
  • Excel "Save the active workbook" ALT & F2 
  • Excel "Display the Save as dialog box" ALT & SHIFT & F2 
  • PowerPoint "Carry out Save As command" ALT & F2 
  • PowerPoint "Carry out Save command (File menu)" ALT & SHIFT & F2 
  • Word "Open" ALT & CTRL & F2 
  • Word "Save" ALT & SHIFT & F2
Hot Linx
This animated site is Stone Trek; a cross between Star Trek & the Flintstones. Follow the adventures of Captain James T. Kirkstone at 
Want to find out what your Hobbit name would be? Then go to and enter your name in the appropriate fields. I am (sadly) Camellia Goodbody of Brockenborings - & don't ask me how they came up with that...
Hung-over from too much Xmas? Want to find out why we get hangovers & why we feel so awful? Interested in preventions? Or better yet, cures? Check out

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here