Back in the (bicycle) saddle

by on May.17, 2011, under Cycling, Non-geeky

Last week, I picked up a used mountain bike off eBay, so I could get out cycling again. I used to enjoy cycling, but the chain on my old bike (which I was actually borrowing from my father) snapped, and I never got round to replacing it, so I hadn’t cycled for a couple of years.

I decided it was time to get back out there cycling for some good enjoyable exercise, so I picked up a 22″ frame Apollo mountain bike from eBay for £40, and got out there riding (click to embigulate):

I took a 3.4 mile cycle over the weekend, but just got back tonight from riding across town to my parents and back – 3.48 miles in 20:56 on the way out (avg 9.96 mph, max 24mph) and 4.38 miles in 26 mins (avg 9.9 mph, max 21 mph) on the way back (different route). Altogether, ~7.7 miles in ~45 mins cycling, I’m happy enough with that!

If you’re wondering about the level of geekyness required to get stats like that, I’m using Google’s “My Tracks” on my phone to record the route via GPS, mostly for motivation so I can work to slowly increase my average speed and cover longer distances. It’s also amusing to be able to see your route on the map.

I’m considering uploading maps of my rides, but I’m not entirely sure whether I want to, since one end of the ride will pinpoint where I live. (On the other hand, it wouldn’t be too hard to find that out anyway, and I don’t have a policy of making enemies, so it oughtn’t be that big a deal.)

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A bit of nostalgia with DOSbox…

by on Apr.04, 2011, under Gaming, Non-geeky

For a bit of nostalgia, I decided to use DOSbox to run a few old DOS games on my laptop.

Here’s “The Incredible Machine”, from way back in 1993:

I have fond memories of US Navy Fighters, a rather impressive for the time flight-sim (way back in 1994)…

I did chuckle when installing it, when the installation program tells you that the Full Install option requires 16MB of disc space – “use this if you have plenty of disc space” :)

Just not the same with the keyboard though – may have to try to get DOSbox to work with a USB joystick at some point!

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Holy shit, nature!

by on Apr.04, 2011, under Non-geeky

The Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, with lightning thrown in for added awesomeness.

(via reddit, Holy shit, nature!. Photo by Sigurdur Hrafn Stefnisson.)

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ATV docked with space station – impressive stuff

by on Feb.24, 2011, under Geeky, Non-geeky

This afternoon, ATV Johannes Kepler docked with the International Space Station (video here).

It’s delivering “4,534kg of propellant for International Space Station reboost and attitude control”, “1,600kg of dry cargo, 850kg of propellant for Russia’s Zvezda module and 100kg of oxygen”. Whilst attached to the ISS, it will “boost” it, compensating for decaying orbit caused by drag.

The thing, once released from the launch rocket, navigates itself into orbit behind the ISS, and automatically docks with it with astonishing 1.5 cm precision, all whilst while the spacecraft and the ISS are hurtling around the Earth at 28 000 km/h. Impressive stuff indeed. (See ATV flight phases.)

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Four years of blogging…

by on Feb.21, 2011, under Non-geeky, Personal

Just a quick post to note that it’s been four years since my first post on this blog, on which my friend Jim commented:

HAHAHAHA, this won’t last long!
Like many blogs before it, it’s doomed to sit on a webserver somewhere and gather cyber dust!!

I may go for a fair while without posting sometimes, but it’s still alive, so hah! :)

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How not to taxi…

by on Feb.15, 2011, under Humour, Non-geeky

How not to taxi:

(From accident report on AviationSafetyNetwork – this Boeing 737-2T5 operated by Africa-Air Charter missed a taxiway, tried to turn back using reverse thrust, but instead backed off the tarmac. Expensive reversing mistake!)

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