Category: technology

i’m lost…..

The other half has been pestering me about what do I want for xmas and she had even mentioned a GPS and it is not the first time she has mentioned buying one (it is not as though I have a bad sense of direction). A couple of years ago she suggested one for kite flying, while I can see it could be useful when flying at the beach and you can get some good long runs at speed (you use them to record the distance travelled throughout the day, top speed and average speed for the day etc.). But as I don’t fly at the beach very often (2 or 3 times a year) it seemed very pointless when our local field is only half a mile long.

But now we are into mountain bikes I can see A GPS would be very useful additions, at least I think it would? But the more I look into it the more confused I become. Let put it this way I can see three possible usages for using a GPS with mountain biking.

  • a) For planning a route before leaving home and using it for directions while out riding
  • b) for recording a route when you are out riding
  • c) to aid redirection if you change your route while out riding

So lets start with a) this is all well and good until you find out that with some GPS units you can’t use the maps from the GPS on your PC to plan the route, you have to invest in third party software at more cost.

Then there is b) now this is fairly simple for most GPS units or so I have been told, this is useful if you find a new paths and want to record it, you just cycle down the path and the GPS will record the route for you (assuming you told it to record the route you take).

Finally c) so you have gone out for the day and you end up injuring yourself, nothing serious but it is enough to stop you from completing the ride and you need to get back to your starting point or the point where you were going to be picked up by the quickest route. So you want to be able to say, I’m at A and I want to get to B, it can do that but not in the same way as it would do it with a Sat Nav from a car. It will point you in the right direction but it won’t tell you there a large lake to go round or a cliff to get down.

Then there are the maps that the GPS units use (most come with a basic map but you need to purchase more detailed maps), various different scales, various areas of the UK and all with a nice price tag on them. Now obviously the cheaper the model GPS the less features, the bigger clearer screen the more ££££’s will be leaving your pocket. All in all it is not a cheap option.

Now before anybody says buy an OS map, I have, 3 to be exact, but they are not the easiest thing to use when out riding (also means I have to carry my reading glasses with me to be able to read the map).

I had hoped to get out riding today but the winds were just to strong, gust up to 65mph locally with the wind eventually dropping off around 5:00pm tonight. Add that to the near horizontal rain, it was not an ideal recipe for riding. Which was just as well. I had some new handlebar grips to put on my bike and when I went out in the shed to fit them I found I had a flat tyre. The culprit was a 3/4″ thorn stuck in the front tyre, not sure where it came from as the last ride was a mid week blast on the road around the block.

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the silences is deafening

No taker to my last post then………………..oh well onwards and upwards as they say

This post is going to be a ramble about anything and everything. It was weigh in on Monday night and I had lost 2lbs. I am now at my lowest weight for a long time, was hoping to push it this week to get a 3lb loss to hit the 3st loss mark but I don’t think I will be able to rely on the cycling this weekend to help, the weather is looking totally pants. I went for a ride last night only a quick ride around the block, set the gps on my mobile phone before I left, got it out my pocket on my return to check how far the ride was and it had failed to work. It is not the first time the gps has failed but I am not sure why. I think the ride was about 4 maybe 4.5miles and I did it at speed, well fast for me anyway and I was bloody knackered when I got back. Apparently 5 miles in 30 minutes is supposed to help with my diet, only Monday will tell.

Talking GPS, her indoors in pestering me about what I want of Christmas, a GPS has been mentioned by her but I am not sure, it really depends on the level of details that I get from the screen\maps. It certainly would be handy for cycling but a handheld GPS is an expensive items, just not sure it would be worth it and give me what (I think) I want from a GPS.

While I have been doing all this cycling the one thing that has suffered is the photography, I have not taken a picture for month. My main area of interest kite flying is closing down for the winter (at least in my area, the look site we can fly one is water logged). dscf7296The next big event we go to (and that only to take pictures) is the icicles (so named as it bloody freezing on the beach in January) event at Westward Ho! (its the same location the sidebar photographs were taken) towards the end of January 2010. Been the last couple of years for the day, would like to think I can get the camera out before then though. Would like to take it when we go out riding but I think the risk of falling off and damaging the camera\lense is to great. img_0117Thinking about going to the MTB centre near Blandford over Christmas\New Year so might do a bit of both, half day riding then half day photography and then half day riding……………..something tells me that won’t work.

The photograph’s I have added bear no relevance to this post what so ever, they are only there to break up my boring writing, the wood scene was taken 18 months ago and the sunset was taken over 2 years ago!

I have decided that I am going to make some changes to this site, while I like the quirky nature of this theme I just feel……………..well I feel I could find something better so I am on the lookout for a new theme.

Well that is enough of a waffle from me, I’m out of here

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insurance

Just spent the evening trying to organise insurance to cover the mountain bikes. We asked our current household insurer if they would be covered under the existing house insurance and they wanted to put the insurance premium up by a silly amount. So asked of a mountain bike forum and got a couple of suggestions and did a bit of googling and ended up with 6 companies to look at. So how did we get on? Well two sites would not load properly and just seemed to send us around in circles, 2 sites were using the same insurance company (and same online form) yet gave two different premiums costs, 3 of the sites would only insure the two bikes on one policy if they were both owned by you. We found one site that offered us everything we wanted, would allow us to insure 2 bikes with two different owner on the same policy so we said yes. Unfortunately the there system said no by crashing and offered us a telephone number to call!! don’t you just love technology.

Talking technology the IT world is waiting with baited breath for October the 22nd, the day Microsoft release Windows 7, their replacement for the flop called Vista. The fact that every-man and his dog has been using the beta and the RC (release candidates) version for the past 6 months has nothing to do with it. Microsoft learnt that by releasing a beta and RC version they could gain a wealth of information about bugs and other problems so that when they released the final version the release would be near faultless, well that is yet to be seen but can it really be as bad as the reception Vista got. My job is IT and I can say I am the only person in the company with a Vista powered PC because Vista is crap. I can’t risk palming it off to somebody else because if they have a problem with it I have to support it remotely which is not my idea of fun.

I have to be honest and say that I am not a great fan of Microsoft, I find there is little real innovation in their products, they build in subtle changes to their software within each version which pushes it up the power required to run ladder, thus forcing users to purchase ever more powerful PC to run ever more bloated software. It is their marketing department that deserve all the praise, they could sell sand to an Arab and the poor guy would think he got a good deal.

My main PC at home is a Linux based PC, the PC is about 6 years old, basic mini ATX type, it is still reasonably fast and run 24\7, at the end of the day it just works and I can’t ask for anymore than that.