Frodo Baggins Contacts REX Computing

Name: Frodo Baggins

Interested usecases: “Scientific Computing”

Subject: Natural Resource Mining Oppurtunity


Eredor is only safe to drill for short intervals of time due to the current draconian government of the region. Due to this, the main restraint on the flourishing of our company is the lack of rapid data turnaround which is necessary for us to meet our drilling schedules.

We require optimized hardware for data processing and image analysis.

Any initial slowdown in collection of acoustic impedance data (which must be processed into a 3D matrix) delays the beginning of analysis.


Hello Master Baggins,

Thank you for you interest in REX Computing. This is a very interesting area that we are actively exploring, and would be interested in working with you to capture this market. In exchange for providing evaluation systems for your use, we would be interested in access to any mithril deposits in order to work on new prototype systems requiring mithril oxide deposition techniques. In general, we believe that our product solutions would be able to accomplish your goals, and assist in reconstruction efforts in Middle Earth.

Would you have any potential connections for recruiting in your land? I’ve CC’d our Chief Scientist and ex-Rider of Rohan, who speaks fluent elvish and dwarfish.


Thomas Sohmers
CEO, REX Computing

Hello Master Thomas,

Unfortunately, mithril is not found in the mines of Erebor. The production of all new mithril stopped entirely after the fall of Moria, and this precious metal has become priceless. The only way we can obtain mithril is to melt down existing heirlooms and weapons to use as mithril oxide in your new prototype systems.

Given your need for large amounts of this practically extinct and priceless metal, I propose the following: Our Fellowship is glad to partner with yours in symbiosis if you partner with our company to overthrow the draconian government of Erebor and take back the hoard of the Longbeards: the largest dwarfish treasure hoard in Middle Earth. Your reward will be the doors of Moria which are inscribed with Ithildin, an alloy that contains mithril. We have removed the aforementioned doors and they are kept in an undisclosed location.

If our arrangement is broken, you will have no source of mithril-oxide besides that of our lovely Galadriel’s Nenya. This ring is ordinarily invisible to all but other ringbearers such as myself. I will warn her of your interest and warn you that the ring is unattainable and it is unethical to consider destroying it due to its role in her people’s preservation, protection, and concealment from evil.

On a lighter note, our company partners with teams of dwarfish engineers who would be glad to assist in the research and development of systems that may rid our mining system of inefficiencies to optimize production. All elvish engineers have been called in emergency to assist in the preservation of the kingdom of Lórien, and are unavailable to work on any side-projects at this time. However, I will alert them of your interest and keep you posted on their availability.

Fondly, Frodo

Random Thought: Thermoregulating Your Shower

As I was showering the water rapidly switched temperature and I found myself thinking of thermoregulation systems to amend this annoyance. 

I mentioned these thoughts to my friend, Chris Walker, and together we brainstormed possible solutions. 

My Suggestion

The hot knob is kept at max and a temperature sensor (connected to a microcontroller) is placed in the hot water pipe to detect significant temperature change. If temperature change is detected, the cold tap is moved accordingly via a stepper motor outside of the shower with a plastic rack & pinion. In my case, the cold tap is connected such that counterclockwise = more cold, clockwise = less cold. The microcontroller estimates the amount of cold water needed to compensate for the change in the hot water pipe until the main flow is within the accepted error bars, and adjusts the cold knob accordingly. For kicks, there is a green LED that alerts the user if the temperature is||is not within accepted bounds. 

Chris’s Suggestion

Shower usually have either one or two knobs. These arrangements locate temperature in Cartesian coordinates; where cold stream magnitude is your $x$ axis and hot stream magnitude is your $y$ axis. You have to reset it every time and estimate based on touch where the right hot/cold ratio is. This could be improved with polar coordinates:         1 knob for our $\theta$ value, which determines the hot/cold ratio 1 knob for magnitudeAfter setting the $\theta$ knob to a comfortable value once, turn the magnitude knob on or off when you get in or out. Less precise, but far simpler than my method.
This entire issue can be mitigated by turning the knobs to the same place each time to achieve the same temperature. This would not account for changes in available water pressure for your hot/cold pipes, slowly running out of hot water as the tank empties, that sort of thing.

Purely Mechanical Puzzle

It would be neat if you could get it to adjust for temperature and/or pressure with a fully mechanical system based on thermal expansion. Unfortunately, having a thermally expansive material jammed in the pipes would limit flow. The thermally expansive material would have to be fed through a high surface area/volume ratio, such as a much wider tube with a plug of expanding material in the middle. In any case, it would likely be highly impractical. It’s a neat idea to think about, though.
The most elegant solution seems to be a thermocouple, two solenoids, and a microcontroller.