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How green is green?

June 25th, 2009 admin No comments

Reading time: 6 – 9 minutes

How “Green” is green?

A few thoughts which started off from the idea of buying a new car but ended up thinking and researching about more general things, Nevertheless finding some trends.

A car? .. it never had been a “must have” in my life. but there has been instances when i do muse about one . scenarios like

1. standing in some random busstop in Bengaluru Maha Nagara ( scanning for some 327D or 201G on the busses) I see an old college batch mate /colleague sailing ( read: stuttering along the traffic) along in his ( ahem .. the Bank’s) brand new hatchback ( yeah .. thats the max) with the new GF (obviously related to the bank and the balance) in the side seat. Simply great!

2. After a rather lousy and one-sided row with an auto driver, i have ( and many of my friends have) considered rushing to the next auto-showroom and drive down my own “Automobile”.

Anyway luckily i never reached the critical point (breaking/boiling point) any time during my 3 + years in the “Nagara”. i continued the life on my legs, BMTC busses and occasionally with the autorickshaws

In some way i am satisfied since i never regularly contributed to the pollution or the traffic chaos in the city . regularly in the sense , i used to ride a bike (Motor bike) some times towards the “end of days” at the Nagara.

Now faraway from the nagara, i consider buying a car – for no particular reason. we have our family car , which i don’t touch .Hmm.. My own automobile! .. but i have to be conscious .

So i get to research ..and find new trends. Petrol and Diesel cars .. lots of options .. but too pollutive . Then there is an option of converting your petrol car to run on LPG( it is some Italian technology). After which you can hook an LPG cylinder (yeah , the red scary one in the kitchen) to the boot of the car and run it .

I did see a lot of LPG converts (:) ) along . but i am a little skeptical about the safety. As i know the cylinder is not supposed to be kept sideways, but these guys have put it along all directions which is comfortable . and there has been reports of accidents (fire) due to improper conversions . Also, the cylinder in the boot means, there is no space for anything else in there for a hatchback car like a Maruti.

Then i find , the Santo Eco from Hyundai Motors which is a new craze. it runs on CNG/LPG (Compressed Natural Gas/Liquified Petroleum Gas) .And .. it is dual fuel . means if you dont have LPG/CNG, run it on petrol . It looks just like the old Santro and Hyundai has fixed the space problem in the boot. With a special gas tank, it has the same space in the boot as in any Santro.

http://www.indimoto.com/blog/index.php/2008/09/30/lpg_santro_eco_hyundai_launch_india

I search for Maruti ( the de facto indian “Volksvagon”), yeah even they have dual fuel variants for the OMNI van.

CNG has helped a lot to bring down the level of pollution in many indian cities. Eg: Delhi , after they changed all the public service vehicles to CNG. it was an ongoing activity when i visited ND in 2002 . 6 years from then things have changed a _LOT_

CNG/LPG is an option . but i will the depleting the fossil fuels ( Although, it is said that with the current rate of consumption, natural gas deposits in Qatar alone can serve 200 years) and creating lot of green houses gases but much lesser than in the case of a petrol or diesel car.

Another problem is the distribution of CNG . You don’t see CNG stations as common as the petrol/Diesel stations. Anyway since there is an option for dual fuel i wont be stranded on the way during a trip , but still i think it is not time yet.

So the conclusion there is , consider the “Deep RED” petrol/diesel , CNG /LPG automobiles are very “Green” .

Bio diesel or other biofuels are not that popular in this part of the world. Hitting on the food supply to run an automobile is not that ethical i feel. So leave the bio diesel

The other option is to go for an electric car . The images that come to my mind are the google funded “Tesla Roadster” , some video that i saw in Youtube which say you can run a car using water (using a fuel cell) . Ohh .. no .. all those are in the clouds . ! come back down ..

http://www.teslamotors.com/design/gallery-body.php

Tesla Roadster , looks like a ferrari!

I “eye” on the “REVA” . A little “Curious” car which can be found in roads of the Nagara. A 2 seater with rather wide tyres (they seem to be as wide as the normal hatchback car tyres)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/REVA

the price is a heart break, 12000 euros! I can buy 2 santro ecos for the same price. I am ok with the taking a small share in polluting the world than spending 12k euros.

Electric vehicles don’t emit fumes/green house gases directly, but they do have the indirect effect since electricity production is not all green. Hydroelectric , wind and other pure sources make up only a small fraction of the electricity produced.

And … ofcourse you dont get car charging points as common as the gas stations .

So electric cars .. Pretty green i’d say!

Talking about electricity , chargers etc, i desperately need a travel charger for my phone and my ipod . And ,,Yo .. i find this in ebay!

http://www.ideaforge.co.in/product/products.htm#Mechanical%20Charger

An indian company ..!!

http://www.proporta.com/F02/PPF02P05.php?t_id=1520&t_mode=des

i find a solar equivalent here . but pretty pricey.

Sun is the ultimate source . The greenest form of energy . I still remember an old solar powered video game which came to life whenever i brought it to the sun or a fluoroscent light . Just awesome.

But right now the technology is expensive and not that efficient for a big application like a Solar Powered Vehicle

tailpiece:

Not to mention …The car is safe with the dealer and the euros/INRs/DKKs are safe with the banks

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Blackfin

July 30th, 2008 admin No comments

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

Its an interesting pastime to revisit the things that you did a few years back and see how things have evolved since. Well this post is an attempt to put that activity in to words.

A tech babble , so many are not going to find this intersting. Its about the first real microprocessor that i had my hands on , almost 4+ years back. The ADI blackfin DSP .. ADI = Analog Devices Inc for the non-initiated . to be more exact it was a Blackfin 531 (the lowest end)

The DSP with a funny instruction set

 R1=(A1-=R7.H*R1.L), R0=(A0+=R7.L*R1.L) (IS)  || R5.L=W[I1--] || R7=[I3++];

I hope all  who have just seen the simplicity of ARM like mov r0,r1 , are bowled over by what kind of mneomonics is that! .. yeah is it some where in between C and Assembly
The DSP which is touted to be able to do a “LOT” of stuff

Audio /Video / normal GPP operations ..blackfin will handle anything .. blackfin is the ultimate silver bullet .. chants the sales guys!

The DSP with documented anomalies that come up in the ADI website.

http://www.analog.com/en/embedded-processing-dsp/blackfin/processors/ic-anomalies/resources/index.html   .. they give as pdf files ..so always take a printout and stick infront of the monitor before you code ..or else be ready to bang your head somewhere else

The DSP which can do to “do_not_know_what_to_do” exception on friday midnight for the dismay of the developer ..

NO..Iam not trying to be funny .. there is really such an exception .. Not convinced? .. please please look here ..

http://www.google.com/search?q=do_not_know_what_to_do+blackfin&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.ubuntu:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-a

The trend appeared to be rosy .. lots of comps esp chinese, korean and Japanese were flocking behind the blackfin .But didn’t continue for long .. perhaps it was the lack of good software support from the chip maker .. the interest slowly died out and the group which had been doing blackfin code was dismantled!

I no longer work on Blackfin at all ..but still following the trend .. i find the the proc has become very popular with researchers and students .. and another interesting trend is using blackfin based solutions in low cost VOIP PBX .. well yeah . running the asterisk PBX

Appears really good .. sometimes the things dont go the way we want .. the ultimate destination is too chaotic to predict .. something like how 3M made the postit notes .. it was supposed to be something else but become totally different .but nevertheless useful and ubiquitous

I want to start the BFin work again in an amateur way .. so planning to buy a Kit soon .. it has become affordable now!

~D

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