Author Archives: David Chappell

How Stocks Work

For many years nobody could explain to me the rational basis of the stock market. They told me that prices were controlled by the law of supply and demand. Investors expected the the price of shares in successful companies to … Continue reading

explainer

Review of the Sun Joe CJ603E Wood Chipper

Ever since I first saw them in a catalog years ago I have wanted own one of those garden waste chippers. Those I saw 30 years ago were made of metal and cost far more than I could justify paying. … Continue reading

electricity, reviews

Where Did Sputnik Get its Name?

On October 5, 1957, the Soviet newspaper Pravda announced that the Soviet Union had launched a 184 pound object into Earth orbit. That first satellite has since come to be known in the English-speaking world as Sputnik. In the West … Continue reading

russian

Updating Webmin’s Self-Signed Certificate

When SSL is enable in Webmin it creates a self-signed certificate which is stored in the file /etc/webmin/miniserv.pem. I recently upgraded a server from Debian 7 to Debian 9 and discovered that Webmin would no longer start.

system administration

Darwin and Pasteur

On November 24th, 1859, the naturalist Charles Darwin published a book entitled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. In it he offered his views on … Continue reading

evolution, science

Newton’s Views on Science and Theology

For the second edition of his Principia in 1713 Newton wrote an essay known as the General Scolium (introduction) in which he defends his views on several scientific and theological questions. There is an English translation of the expanded version … Continue reading

science

Institutional Memory

Knowledge is a slippery thing. If we don’t take care we can lose it. Organizations loose it when members leave or retire without passing it on to their replacements. Suddenly the organization does not know how to do part of … Continue reading

liturature, society

Fire Dogs

This following story is from Lev Tolstoy’s First Russian Reader of 1875. This is my translation. As far as I know it has never before appeared in English. (You can read the original at ReadyRussian.org.) Fire Dogs A True Story … Continue reading

liturature, russian

Electrical Power and Power Loss

Basic Electrical Units A volt is a unit of electrical potential. Electrical potential in turn is the force which a power source (such as a battery) applies to a connected device in order to push electrons through it. Electrical potential … Continue reading

electricity, explainer

Communicating Clearly About Computing

Those of use who work in IT are frequently called upon to explain our work to people who are less familiar with computers than we are. It should be our goal to speak and write as clearly as possible. To … Continue reading

english, writing style