Living Streets – Try20

May 3, 2016

It has come to my attention that it is National Walking Month. I realise I might not be the target audience for this (honourable) campaign, because I will actively avoid a walk which looks like it will exceed 10 minutes. I’d prefer to jump on a bike and ride for 10 mins, an hour, several hours, as long as have the time and energy for.

Ten minutes is about the break-even point for walking versus cycling for me.

I wish Living Streets the best for their efforts.

You sir, are a buffoon.

January 7, 2016

On the grounds you’ll never enforce the legislation you are suggesting, therefore it’s pointless and redundant from inception.

As a road user, on both four wheels, two wheels etc I have always felt that cycle lanes are dangerous because they bring cyclists in to potential confrontations with motorised vehicles. Given the contemporary increase in the interest in cycling there will be greater numbers of cyclists who lack the experience of joining faster-moving traffic.

My solution is so simple it’s hidden in plain sight; remove all cycle lanes so there are no points where cyclists are merging in to motorised traffic.

Therefore car drivers will have to share the roads, as they are obliged to do so. Similarly, cyclists will have to share the road, and because there are more of them now that task will be made easier.

Citrus Lime of Ulverston

December 30, 2015

Please stop sending password reminder email messages which contain the user’s password. Email messages are liable to be transmitted over non-encrypted connections, which may allow a third-party to intercept the message.

You claim “Not only are we offering a cutting edge Retail System, but the expertise and knowledge to drive all our customers forward to develop and grow their businesses.

I say: Risking the confidentiality of your client’s customers is a poor way to do business.

You need to change the system so that a temporary password is set for the account, and the user needs a second piece of information (date of birth, postcode etc) to reset the account password.

Please let me know when you’ve sorted this out.

Garmin Edge 800 – Disk Mode

December 28, 2015

A data point; having read it recently on a talk forum. If your Edge 800 does not automatically switch to disk mode when you plug it in to a PC, do this:

  1. Disconnect the USB cable, at the PC end because that’s easier.
  2. Hold the Lap/Reset button down while you plug the USB cable in.
  3. Keep the button held down for a few seconds, and release.
  4. Disk Mode – every time. Yay!

For people like me who are minded to open gadgets to fix them, in the Edge 800 the USB and micro-SD slot are on a daughter-board PCB which is siliconed in to the base. I didn’t fancy prying it out to attempt a repair. If you need to replace the internal battery, that’s not a hard job. The flex cable for the touch-screen is fiddly to reconnect on reassembly.

Putting the record straight…

November 30, 2015

… one thing at a time.

Something happened yesterday’s mountain bike ride, which saddened me a little. As someone who participates in what is (sometimes) seen as a minority sport, there may be pockets of ignorance and fear among those looking in from outside.

I’ll try and set the scene. It’s a wet day, not “otter’s pocket” territory but not far removed. I reach the brow of a tiny incline, and see there are pedestrians sharing the trail. I’m at sufficient distance to shout out a friendly “Hello!”.

At this point I’ll interrupt the narrative to let you (dear reader) know that hydraulic brakes sometimes make a lot of noise in the wet. This is undesirable, but does not indicate a malfunction. The reason why I run hydraulics is that they continue to work in the wet.

So I’ve dabbed the brakes at the summit. Squeeek!
Shouted out to indicate I’m here, and I’m just human like everyone else.
I start to roll down the incline.
Squeeek!
Controlling my speed sensibly, so people don’t feel like they’re in danger.
Squeeek!
I need to keep two hands on the handlebars, I’m modulating the braking force to prevent skidding.
Squeeek!

In a blatant display of ignorance, some old biddy says “Bell?”

Having slept on it, and scratched my head several times, I still can’t think of a reasonable explanation for comments like the above.

Therefore I conclude it was borne out of ignorance.

In conclusion the time is now to set the record straight:

  1. There is no requirement (in common or criminal law) for any cyclist to carry a bell.
  2. While I have a tongue in my mouth, and breath in my lungs, I will shout out to any other trail user. I will not change my behaviour depending on the mode of transport of the other trail user(s).
  3. While I am riding any bike it is often dangerous to remove my hands from the controls. I can retain control of the bike with my hands at the controls.
    This applies on and off the roads, by the way.
  4. I will always share trails in a responsible way, and will always make the safe choice.
  5. If a trail is a right-of-way or not is beyond the scope of this statement.

In the situation I described above, the ignorant walker was aware that I was present. She was aware there were other trail users present. Yet she chose to behave in an arrogant and confrontational manner, while clinging on to an incorrect presumption. To be honest, I feel sorry for you that you’re stuck in that cognitive loop from which you’re unlikely to escape.

This trail is a permissive route for cyclists. As the landowner has given informed consent, then the opinion of a minority of walkers counts for exactly nothing.

Thank you for reading.

Smile and wave!

September 2, 2015

Perhaps the children of Lindal-in-Furness have never seen a camera:

Smile and wave!

Smile and wave!

Probably not worth being flattened on the A590 for, all the same.

Replacing the sub-bass driver on a Mission FS2-S.

July 12, 2015

My long-serving Mission FS2-S sub-bass driver succumbed to the passage of time recently, and the rubber diaphragm started to disintegrate. The driver needed replacing. A forum post revealed that Mission would sell you a replacement driver, in October 2014. When I spoke to Mission’s technical department, they don’t stock that driver and that was the end of it as far as they were concerned.
The satellite speakers only work with that cross-over and filter, and I was not ready to replace the entire system. An alternative strategy is to remove the failed speaker, and use a separate (amplified) sub-bass driver. That’s ok, but it’s a second big black box in the corner.
After a bit of searching for 8 ohm 6.5 inch speakers, I found that the Visaton W170 appeared to be a drop-in replacement. The power rating is not quite as high as the original part (40W versus 55W for the original). But the fixing centres are in the same place, the speaker physically fits in the cabinet, and it even has the same spade terminals. For a mere £20, it’s a bargain repair. Very easy to do. The only “trick” is that the rubber grommets which hold the dust cover on are hiding 6 screws which need to be removed.
As Mission were asking for £40, the price looks brilliant.
I listened to the first twenty minutes of my Blu-ray edition of Blade Runner on it, and it sounded great to my non-calibrated ears.

P1010363

SRAM X7 10-Speed Rear Derailleur – why the cheap pulley bearings?

May 15, 2015

Subject says it all really.
Why do SRAM spoil a competent rear mech. with cheap and nasty bearings which go rusty if they are in the same room as a drop of water?
SRAM ought to expect bike components to get wet from time to time, I’ve had the rear mech about a month.

20150515_SRAM_cheap_bearings

(31/8/2015) By way of an update, SRAM do say you can dismantle the jockey wheels, remove the black seal and add grease. It’s a lot of faffing around compared to using better-sealed bearings in the first place.

ST Professional Plumbing And Heating responds to security concern with “blah blah”.

February 12, 2015

(See attached image)
Suppose you are concerned about your fancy internet-connected home appliance. You might have seen that film in 1995 called “Hackers”. Therefore, you voice your concerns to the supplier. If your supplier was a professional, the supplier might say that every precaution is taken to reduce and mitigate the risks. The supplier might even say there is a report available from an independent tester which shows the security of the system.

On the other hand, I present the example shown here where the supplier (that’s ST Professional Plumbing And Heating of Flookburgh, Cumbria) say “blah blah” to your concerns. They seem to think that you must ‘take their word for it’ in their arrogance. I wonder if they are suggesting that the average man on Clapham Common is unable to understand and consider the risks.

I will not be employing them, ever. I ask you to consider the nature of the company you are considering employing in the future. It’s not national security at risk. It’s your personal security, and when you are in your own home it is your castle. I believe that when you are in your own home, you need to put the security of your family and yourself first.

As a side-note, I would expect that the people in charge of national security have probably got it sussed by now.

2015027_ST_Professional_Plumbing_And_Heating_responds_to_security questions_and_fails

Optical Express ignores Information Commissioner’s Office warning about spam texts.

February 2, 2015

After this:

High Street optician Optical Express has been admonished by Britain’s data watchdog after thousands of customers complained that the company was sending them nuisance text messages.

Guess what landed in my mobile phone box today?
Screenshot_2015-02-02-17-25-37

So that has been reported to my mobile provider’s spam-reporting service.
I can not see any reason for me to ever use Optical Express, ever. I’ve never agreed to receive junk mail from them in any format.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.