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Heating beer with Python

Posted in Personal, Technology, Beer on 2007-09-24 22:24

Heating beer, Stavanger (background)

I think I found a completely new use for the Python programing language while tasting beer with Geir Ove at Cardinal last week. Cardinal is a nearly perfect pub, but they serve their beers too cold. I typically solve this by ordering the beers a bit early, and using my hands. If desperate, I may put the beer on top of my laptop, which usually is quite warm.

However, last week we were trying to get through the last beers before having to rush for the plane back to Oslo, and the usual heating methods were not doing the job. In fact, the beers were cooling my laptop CPU from the usual 60 degrees (C) to 50, and my hands were getting cold, too. Something had to be done, and fast.

At this point inspiration struck. My reasoning went roughly like this: running more CPU-intensive tasks makes the CPU temperature go up. The OKS test suite would work, for example. However, it only runs for a couple of minutes, so I'd have to keep restarting it. Then I realized: why make it complicated? Any infinite loop will do the job.

So I wrote a beer-heating Python script, as follows:

while 1:

Running this did the trick. The temperature quickly rose from 50 degrees to 90 degrees. It helped a little bit in heating the beer, but not enough, to be honest. I guess I need a laptop with more CPUs.

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Arnoud Haak - 2007-09-25 05:38:16

Maybe one of these will help?

Jens Dalsgaard - 2007-09-26 09:43:04

Now that is funny. I guess that you have to run the laptop on wired power to get more than one or two beers heated?

Lars Marius - 2007-09-26 11:51:11

Keeping the CPU fully occupied certainly eats battery power, but to be honest the CPU doesn't really provide enough heat for this to work fully. Maybe if I'd exercised both cores in my CPU (by running two script processes). I think Arnoud's proposal may be the best, actually. :)

baczek - 2007-09-26 15:51:06

dual core? fork!

rot-13 - 2007-09-26 16:00:42

have my laptop... it's always hot enough.... also, watch out for condensation, that could quickly ruin the fun.

Josef Assad - 2007-09-26 16:21:08

All lappies I've had have had a grille from where the fan spits out warm air. That may have been a better place to regulate your beer temperature, especially considering that the grille would reach the bottom part of the beer, and convection would move the slightly warmer liquid upwards helping to distribute the improved temperature.

daniel - 2007-09-26 21:36:08

what the hell, beers are supposed to be drinked AS COLD AS POSSIBLE

1kHz - 2007-09-27 00:42:25

Haha. Nice one...

If your laptop doesn't provide enough heat, consider lighting it on fire first before running the script :D

sveino - 2007-09-27 04:51:34

If our systems guy had seen this picture I guess he would have gone totally mad. It's risky business! On the other hand it was clearly innovative :-)

Stephen - 2012-08-03 21:37:31


It's not as simple as that. *Some* beers are supposed to be drunk as cold as possible, others aren't.

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