twayne's blog

Entertainment of Yesteryear

Poker on TV? Nothing new.

bridge by Radio

1927 Ottawa Citizen


Ottawa Public Schools 1918

Another find from the Internet Archive

Table from The public schools of Ottawa (1918) found at

In 1918 First Avenue School had 645 students occupying 13 classrooms plus a kindergarten. Connaught School, new at the time, had 604 students in 13 classrooms plus  a kindergarten. Mutchmor had 545 students in 11 classrooms plus a kindergarten for an average of almost 50 students per classroom.


The Schools of Ottawa Chart


Kingston-Wayne Venn


Family in summary.


New theme for

We have changed the theme. The new theme is probably just as dull as the previous theme. But NEW!


I have returned the voltmeter

My time with the Ottawa Public Library's Kill-a-Watt meter has come to an end. It was fun and informative. My final measurement was of my stereo system while not in use. With all my components (amplifier, CD player, turntable) off, or rather on stand-by,  my stereo draws 17 watts of power.

I will have to re-order the meter from the OPL when I have more time.

The Kill-a-Watt meter is one example of a non book or other media item the OPL has available.


Take a look at for more items.

Shocking Voltmeter News!

Well, I was a little shocked.


I have been having a running discussion on monitor power usage. When flat screen monitors first came out I was told that they used less power than the old CRT monitors. Lately I've been told that large flat screen monitors actually use more power than large CRT monitors. So, having the means to test this, I did!

I currently use two Dell 19" flat screen monitors. To make the test fair I unplugged one flat screen and connected a Sony Trinitron 17" CRT monitor. I have also heard that a white screen uses more power than a black screen, so I tested that as well. 

  White Screen Black Screen
Flat Screen

28 watts

.37 amps

29 watts

.39 amps


86 watts

1.03 amps

63 watts

.78 amps


The results were clear. Flat screen monitors at this size use less power than CRT monitors. The shocking results?  While black screens may use less power than white in the old CRT world, the opposite is true with flat screens.


While browsing the Ottawa Public Library site I noticed that they had watt meters available for borrowing. These are the kind of meters you can plug into the outlet and then into which you can plug various electric devices. I put one on hold and it arrived less than a week later.

I've been curious for a while about the actual draw of the many electronic devices we have, especially when in 'standby mode'.

How much electricity does it take to run the VCR's clock?

What is the difference between a computer in 'sleep' mode versus a computer in 'hibernate'?

How accurate are the watts/amps on the device's labels?

What uses more power a flat screen monitor or a CRT monitor?

Now I can find out!

 My first project was to check out my computers.

Computer Electricity Usage

When measuring the computer electricity usage I noticed that the numbers varied quite a bit depending on what the computer was doing. Booting up took more power than idling. Anytime the hard drive was accessed the numbers jumped up. The numbers below are averages of a few seconds of observation. Where there was a large spread I have given the spread as best I could observe. I assume that there are probably other factors I didn't consider that may affect usage.


  Watts VA Amp
Laptop Sleep Mode .03 14 .13
Laptop On 53 93 .70
Laptop Hibernate .03 14 .14



  Watts VA Amp
Desktop On  60-80  93-117  .77-1.00
Desktop with Flat Screen  80-90  158  1.11
Desktop with Two Flat Screens  110-120  164-185  1.36
Desktop with Monitors and External Hard Drive (running) 120-130 119 1.5
Desktop with Two Flat Screens and iPhone plugged into USB port 115 177 1.47


It turns out that usage varies quite a bit and seems to depend on what the computer is doing. If I were testing multiple computers for comparison I would have to be pretty rigorous in my approach to ensure that each computer was working the same. It does make me wonder if different operating systems would have different electricity usage. Plugging and unplugging my iPhone had a small but measurable effect on usage.

Omeka Content Management System

I have recently installed the Omeka content management system version 1.2.1. It is an open source CMS developed by the Center for History and New Media to serve the museums/archives community. It comes with support for Dublin Core metadata and is clearly designed with the item/exhibit model in mind.
It installed fairly easily and was very easy to set-up once installed. In terms of total ease of use it falls into the (largish) gap between Drupal and Wordpress.
There are a number of plugins available. Most of them focused on extending Omeka's metadata functionality (adding geocodes, annotating images) or on making it easier to get data in and out of the system. I do not know how large the Omeka community is, but the support forums are small relative to any of the more established content management systems.
I was able to create an exhibit with items in just a few minutes. As always, the time consuming part of the project will be adding content and metadata. Omeka lacks the flexibility and depth of functionality of Drupal and Drupal can be made to do everything that Omeka does. On the other hand what would have taken me a few hours in Drupal (install and configure specific modules) took me a few minutes with Omeka. I may change my mind after using Omeka for a real life  project, I would seriously consider using this CMS if I were creating an online exhibit or scholarly collection.
I'll link to my installation once I get enough content up there to be able to demonstrate Omeka's functionality.


Bank St. Bridge

bank st br1

Image from Ottawa Archives Code: AN-039265-001
Title: Lord Alexander, 17th Governor General of Canada, and Lady Alexander arrive in Ottawa. Alexander visited Canada many times after the end of his term as Governor General.
Date: 1955

Current image taken by me.


Wellington St. Ottawa then and now

Former American Legation. Former American Embassy. Former future portrait gallery.



American legation

Mash of City of Ottawa Archives image AN-SC-012603-001 (1959) and current image taken with iPhone.



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