# The International Space Station is finally getting a printer upgrade

• Let's hope the drivers don't crash the system.

It seems that the Chinese installed the HP drivers recently on their space station:

Chinese drivers amirite?

• IIRC, the transfer rate of radiative heat transfer is proportional to the ΔT4. It's really efficient when the thing you're trying to cool is, say 1000K. Not so much when it's 300K. (Space is effectively about 4K, close enough to 0 that it can be ignored for most purposes, and just consider the temperature of the radiating body.) Plus, you have a big blob of 5000K gas radiating heat at the thing you want to cool.

Close, but not quite. It isn't delta-T, but just T that's raised to the fourth power. An object radiates in approximate proportion to the fourth power of its absolute temperature. "Hot enough to glow" is a misnomer. Everything is hot enough to glow, even if only a little tiny bit. What we mean, though, is "hot enough to glow visibly in ambient conditions".

And as pointed out, space doesn't properly have a temperature because there is nothing there.

Well, yes, that's not true either. There is a very thin gas up there, but it's actually pretty hot. The 4K thing is actually only about 3K, and it is the "Cosmic Background Radiation", the dreg(1) of the Big Bang.

(1) It isn't enough to be "dregs".

• It isn't delta-T, but just T that's raised to the fourth power.

You are correct, of course. I realized I probably had it wrong (long) after I posted it, but didn't bother fixing it. (Edit: Of course, when T2 is 0, it's .)

1→2 = σA1F1→2(T1 4 - T2 4)

For a black body, of course; it's more complicated for real objects with non-unity ε.

Everything is hot enough to glow, even if only a little tiny bit.

Yes, and the amount and energy distribution of its glowing is described by Plank's Law, which I'm not even going to think about trying to write using MarkDumb; if you care, follow the link. (I used to understand that stuff, but I haven't studied or used it in over 30 years, and just looking at that page makes my brain hurt; it's too early in the morning, and I haven't had enough caffeine.)

• I am not aware of Microsoft Word being a shitty tool

It's mostly alright, but saves all sorts of crap that makes parsing the files with anything other than Word more difficult than it should be. For example, if you have a misspelled word in a paragraph, that gets wrapped in its own tag inside the run of text. Or if you save with your cursor in the middle of a word, that word gets split in half to make room for the `<textcursor position="right here" whogivesashit="nobody" />` tag. Or review markup and comments. Or...

• the vacuum would suck out the actual air molecules from his suit

Vacuums do not suck. Air pressure pushes.

• if you have to support all the backward-compatible crud that got bundled into it

My impression is that MS would very much like to not support the vast majority of that stuff too; it's in there to support perfect rendering equivalence with other products, but just for existing documents.

• Although it's a hackneyed thing to suggest: If you find compatibility problems then file a bug. My experience with LibreOffice has been that bugs of that sort are taken seriously and fixed - provided that you can provided a good reproducible example. (I was favourably surprised by the positive response to an obscure and not very significant file incompatibility that I reported)

Glad it worked for you. My Excel file import bug dates back to OpenOffice 2.0.2 (2006) and continues to be ignored.

• if you have to support all the backward-compatible crud that got bundled into it

My impression is that MS would very much like to not support the vast majority of that stuff too; it's in there to support perfect rendering equivalence with other products, but just for existing documents.

A related consideration is undoubtedly a source of relief for Microsoft that Win32/x64 does not support running DOS and Win16 applications. They can finally deprecate the DOS int21h calls that were part of the Win32 API when Win95 came out. (All the long file name support for DOS programs launched from inside Windows is officially documented in the Win32 API SDK documentation.)

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