Laptop for Lowri

I’m on the lookout for a laptop for Lowri Davies at the moment. She is a student here, currently on industrial year, and a Kayaker -she’s not bad at it either – European womens freestyle champion as well as being British champion. She’s been selected for the British Universities Expedition this year, which is to the Altai Mountains – called the Four Borders Expedition

Lowri has asked me if I can provide a laptop for them to blog whilst on expedition, as their last one died whilst she was in Uganda, and they’ve gone and spent all the money already.

I’ve managed to scrounge a palmtop machine which could be used for blogging as long as they provide memory cards, and can find ways to connect it to upload the data on a regular basis, but it would be really nice to be able to provide her with some form of Panasonic Toughbook, as those things are supposed to be indestructible.

Is anyone out there willing to chip in a tenner or more towards one of these refurbished models? (I’m looking at the CF27 of £200 at the moment, plus a wireless network card and some more RAM) At the very least it’ll enable us to jealously watch her progress as they work their way around the rivers of Mongolia and the surrounding region.
Toughbook at SterlingXS

If there is enough interest I’ll put up a paypal address for you to contribute to, and we’ll buy one for her.

Bike passed MOT :-D

My GSX1100F powerscreen passed it’s MOT today, so I’ve just taxed it on-line. I must say that appears to be a government IT system that appears to work – I just typed in the reference number from the registration form, and it found the fact that the bike is insured and that the MOT has been done, and all I had to do was provide a credit card to pay the bill, and my new tax disc is in the post.

Now I’ve really got to do more mileage on it this year than I did last year.

09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0

It’s a fairly hot number – decimalists may prefer 13256278887989457651018865901401704640

Actually it’s really old news, but I’ve not had a takedown notice for a while… Of course, if I do get a takedown notice similar to the ones that have been issued, then it’ll contain the URL of this page, which incidentally is
and that of course, has the number in it, so I can reasonably post about it as it’s the title of a web page that was taken down.

The genie has been out of the bottle for a while now. When will these people realise that we want to be able to use things that we pay for in ways that they haven’t thought of yet. We don’t like DRM, because it stops us from using Macs and Linux boxes, not to mention my old Amigas. Their bully boy tactics just irritate the savvy punters, and are they not usually the early adopters – the ones that pay the premiums to prove the new tech before the prices come down to consumer level?

There’s some rather nice designs for shirts with it on at Cafe Press

And don’t forget to get your very own number at Freedom to tinker

Good on you Tom Robinson

From Tom Robinson’s web site

Free Downloads: iTunes downloads cost 79p per track. Writer/publisher get 6p, Performer 6-8p, Visa/Mastercard 7p, Apple 12p, and Record Company almost 50p. Sod that. Help yourself to my songs & share them with your friends: right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) on titles to download. Optional: if you’d like to help with hosting costs, click below

Go get yourself some music…

If you like what you hear, give Tom some money :d

Gatso and bikes

This story really made me chuckle a little today.
v sign biker take by gatso
Basically a guy on a bike had been regularly passing a speed camera above the posted limit, but it was one of those cameras that face the front of the vehicle. Because motorbikes don’t have number plates on the front, this guy thought that he was safe, and at one point even felt cool enough to flick the ‘V’s at the camera while doing 105mph.

This annoyed the local Bedfordshire constabulary, to the extent that they identified the model of the bike with the assistance of BMW, then trawled the DVLA registration database to find out that there were only three of that model of bike locally in the area. (A reasonable assumption from the repeat offences)

They then proceeded to look at each of those and identified Philip Coffey by his leathers and the extra headlights that he had added to the bike.

He was given a years ban from driving for the 10 offences, was let off the 72 penalty points given the ban, and was fined £900 and ordered to pay £600 costs. Of course, as he made his crust by driving buses, he’s lost that job as well.

Now I do consider myself lucky to live in a county where there are no fixed cameras – we have mobile units, but they’re in published locations, and pretty sensible ones if you ask me, well except for the one at Southgate junction, which usually has stationary traffic at any times when I’m going through it. We also have some of the best biking roads in the country, but then most people already know that as attested by the 300+ bikes on the prom every weekend during the summer.

Mind you, auntie beeb has been scaremongering again with her typical tabloid reporting on Week In Week Out this week. They appear to enjoy finding the most extreme, irresponsible arseholes and promoting their antics on television, giving a very distorted view of the biking community.

They also appeared to present a picture which indicates that the number of fatalities was on the increase over a number of years, yet BikeSafe Dyfed-Powys indicates a reduction in fatalities over a number of years.

And one last thing that has been annoying me for a while now:
Birdbox or fake gatso.
(Apologies for the rubbish photo)
It has been vandalised, but it keeps reappearing. Apparently it’s a birdbox…come on – what self respecting bird is going to nest in that thing, that close to the road.

Charlie and Ewan are off again!

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman are off on a bike trip of a lifetime again – this time it’s the Long Way Down from John O’Groats to Capetown.

Good luck guys, I’m looking forward to another great TV series from this one.

I’ve just booked my GSX in for it’s MOT, so it’s ready for a bit of a trip later on this summer, but I’ve still not decided where… Never mind – I set out for a 2000 mile trip last year with only a weeks planning, and that went great (apart from the camera dying)

Mac dying? – It lives!

After a few weeks of instability on the PowerBook, I got pretty fed up with rebooting it so often. I know – Macs don’t need rebooting – they’re really reliable – all that guff.

Well I’d pretty much diagnosed the problem being with the hard drive, it was fairly obvious that the Mac would crash when certain files were accessed, and I’d been getting pretty paranoid about doing backups so if it did die completely, I could resurrect my data.

Today I bit the bullet and bought a new 120GB hard disk, and spent a hour disassembling the PowerBook, and installing the new drive, then had all the fun of re-installing MacOS, and migrating all my old apps and settings over.

Oh well, at least it’s done now, and I’ve got twice as much drive space as I had before.

Oh, and hard drives really shouldn’t rattle when you rock them from side to side. :-S

I also managed to straighten out the bent piece of case that kept popping out the power plug, so it should charge better now.