Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh to Croy via Glasgow and Bowling

Yesterday I cycled 140KM (87 miles). I first headed out to Balerno along the Lanark Road, where I joined the National Cycle Route 75. I followed it as best as I could all the way into Glasgow. Along the Clyde I switched over the the National Cycle Route 7, which took me out to Bowling, where I took a break at the Bowling Basin/Harbour. Bowling is where the Forth and Clyde Canal joins the River Clyde.

Unfortunately I managed to get 2 punctures from the rim side of the inner tube. The first around Coatbridge I managed to fix. After that I got all the way to Bowling and then start heading back along the Forth and Clyde canal. At the towpath access point for Kilsyth and Croy I got a second puncture in another place again on the rim side of the tire. I tried to fix it, but as soon as I got it all back together, I start to hear a high pitched whistle coming from where I just fixed the puncture. The tire was flat within minute. It was getting dark and it was still about another 20 miles to Falkirk, so I decided to head to Croy station and get the train from there back home for £6.05.

It wasn't all that bad, it seems to be the second most I have cycled in one day. Maybe I'll get around to doing the trip again and set myself a new record for how far I can cycle in one day.

Some photos of my trip

Maps of the trip (in 4 sections):
Edinburgh -> Livingston
Livingston -> Puncture Repair 1 (Coatbridge)
Puncture Repair 1 (Coatbridge) -> Bowling
Bowling -> Kilsyth/Croy on Forth and Clyde Canal

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Acceptability of applications to Mac users

There has been some online commentary recently on the likely acceptability of applications on the Mac platform. It basically boils down to: all applications that are successful on the Mac are well designed. They all look and behave the same way. Mac users are very fussy about the way that applications look and run. If they are not happy then they will not use the application, they will find an alternative application.
This basically means that OpenOffice.org for the Mac will have to be different from the main OpenOffice.org in a number of respects. Some of these could be integrated as an option for other platform.
Examples that could be used across all platforms include:

  • using palettes instead of dialog boxes for things like the paragraph and character dialogs
  • using native colour chooser dialogs
  • full document indexing/searching (partly implemented already)
  • system address book access
  • Mozilla plugin that doesn't require a full OpenOffice.org installation to work
  • quick view (in various incarnations)
Examples of integration specific to the Mac platform (I don't know if these are available on other platforms):
  • iLife integration
  • .Mac integration
  • Backup integration
  • (Leopard only) iChat for collaboration with documents and sharing presentations
  • (Leopard only) System-wide ToDo integration
If anyone has any other ideas or comments, please add your comments to this blog post.

Example articles:
Why VRML Failed and What That Means for OpenOffice
All I want for Christmas...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Exams Finished

This morning I sat my last exam for my Computer Science course at Heriot-Watt University. I now have just over 5 weeks of hard work on my dissertation.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh to Glasgow and back

On Saturday I cycled from Edinburgh to Glasgow along the National Cycle Network Route 75 (except the bits where I missed some signs and got lost). Then to get back home I used the Forth and Clyde canal to Falkirk, where I switch to the Union Canal back into Edinburgh.

This is the first time that I have knowingly cycled over 100 miles in one day. It took me about 12 and a half hours to get there and back. I was expecting it to take another hour or two to do the journey. Heading West took longer due to the head wind and getting lost a few times due to the National Cycle Network not being well sign posted in places and not having been in the area before.

Going through North Lanarkshire isn't particularly great on the bike due to the very high amount of broken glass lying around on the cycle paths. Livingston has some glass lying around in a few places, but it is no where near as bad as heading through the North Lanarkshire council area.

Google album:

Cycling Edinburgh to Glasgow and back


See the route.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

8 Core MacPro

Apple has released the 3GHz 8 Core MacPro. Apple have just added an extra processor option to the MacPro line.
It is available in the US for an extra $1498 over the base MacPro. It doesn't appear to be available in the UK store just now.
Now all I need to do is learn how to earn enough to afford one.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh, Airdrie and Canals Circle

Yesterday I took a long 80 mile cycle. Initially I headed West from Colinton in Edinburgh through to Airdrie. In Airdrie I lost track of the sign posts for the National Cycle Route 75. So I headed North to the Forth and Clyde Canal to Falkirk. At Falkirk I joined the Union canal home.

There was only 2 hilly sections of the route. There is a steady climb from Colinton to Balerno. Though from Balerno towards Kirknewton there is a steep downhill. Heading from Airdrie to the Forth and Clyde Canal there were quire a few hills that I went over.

Along the Bathgate to Airdrie section there is a series of large artworks along the path.


At Falkirk the sun was setting behind the Falkirk Wheel as I was passing.


I was surprised that I didn't get another puncture going through Livingston or on the Airdrie side of the Bathgate to Airdrie Cycle Path, with the amount of broken glass lying around.

The longest cycled in one day was about 70 miles to Berwick Upon-Tweed. So yesterday set a new record. Not much more now until I cycle 100 miles in one day.