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Below are the 8 most recent journal entries recorded in Adam's LiveJournal:

Thursday, February 6th, 2014
10:37 pm
I finally managed to beat my nemesis!
I purchased this book http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0738206679 (Linked, by Barabasi) on the 24th of December 2002, I had managed to make 6 or 7 aborted attempts at reading it to completion where life had suddenly got busy and just took over. This meant that I put the book down and didn't pick it up again until things were less hectic some time later and I started again.

Anyhow, I finally beat the book a few nights ago, my comprehension of it was pretty low anyhow but at least it is done. Just shows I need to read lots more given how little went in.

This entry was originally posted at http://quinophex.dreamwidth.org/1612.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Saturday, February 1st, 2014
1:56 pm
Why buying a Mio Cyclo 305 HC cycling computer was actually a great idea.
I finally made it back out onto the bike today for the first time since September last year. I'd spent some time ill in October and November which meant I had to stop exercising and as a result I've gained loads of weight over the winter and it turns out also become very unfit which can be verified by looking at the Strava ride from today: http://www.strava.com/activities/110354158

Anyhow, a nice thing about this ride is that I can record it on Strava and get this data about how unfit I have become, this is because last year I bought a Mio Cyclo 305 HC cycle computer http://eu.mio.com/en_gb/mio-cyclo-305-hc.htm from Halfords reduced to £144.50 (using a British Cycling discount). I was originally going to get a Garmin 500 but Amazon put the price up from £149.99 the day I was going to buy it to £199.99.

I knew when I got the Mio that it had a few issues surrounding usability and features but it was cheap enough at under £150 that I figured that even if I didn't get on with it I'd at least have a cadence sensor and heart rate monitor so I could just buy a Garmin 510 when they sorted out the firmware bugs with that and the price came down a bit which is still my longer term intention.

So it turns out a couple of weeks ago I plugged my Mio into a Windows VM when I was testing USB support and carried out a check for new firmware. I was rather surprised to see a new firmware update and new set of map data was available for download. So I installed it think I wasn't going to get any new features from it as Mio had released some new models but it turns out that the new firmware actually enables a single feature (amongst other things, they also tidied up the UI and sorted a few other bugs along with some other features) that makes the device massively more useful as it now also creates files in .fit format which can be uploaded directly to Strava.

This is massively useful for me as although the Mio always worked in Linux as the device is essentially just a USB mass storage device but you would have to do an intermediate step of having to use https://github.com/rhyas/GPXConverter to convert the files from the Mio-centric GPX format to something Strava would recognise. Now I can just browse to the folder and upload the file directly which is very handy.

All in it turns out that buying a Mio which reading reviews and forums were full of doom and gloom means I can wait even longer before considering replacement with a garmin.

This entry was originally posted at http://quinophex.dreamwidth.org/1308.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
6:17 pm
I should write more.
...but I'm too lazy, busy and tired to actually find time to write stuff here.

This entry was originally posted at http://quinophex.dreamwidth.org/1127.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Saturday, July 31st, 2010
10:18 am
Moving to dreamwidth.
As the post below shows, I'm now going to start using dreamwidth for my posts, I will crosspost them here maybe.. If I actually post anything that is.
10:17 am
First post!
I keep meaning to post stuff on here but don't. So I have now posted something here.

This entry was originally posted at http://quinophex.dreamwidth.org/323.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Friday, April 17th, 2009
7:49 pm
Alug 10.0 special lugmeet
It's been nearly 10 years since Alug held its first physical meeting, lots of people have left, lots of people have joined and many people have stuck with it since the beginning.

In celebration of 10 years (and more) of Linux in East Anglia, Alug is holding a special 10th birthday meetup on 3rd May between 2pm-6pm at Syleham and Wingfield village hall. (Postcode IP21 4LT).

All penguinistas are welcome! the bar will be open too.
Thursday, August 7th, 2008
10:12 pm
Current Cost and a Standby Saver
Sometimes I come over all hippified and environmental (also I like saving money because I'm a capitalist pig) so I thought I'd blog a couple of products I have recently found and used to get our electricity bill down a bit.

The first recent purchase was a Current Cost energy meter, this is a device that clips a probe around your incoming power supply near the meter and wirelessly transmits the data to a basestation that reports your current power usage, estimated cost, how many units used in the past day/week/month. It cost me a total of about £33 including delivery+vat so hopefully will create some savings for us, if not it's a nice little geeky toy anyway.

The Current Cost has an rj45 socket on the bottom of it, the device itself doesn't speak ethernet but it will allow you to do serial connections if you build a cable with the right magic. Anyhow, if you do build a serial cable (that I've not built for myself yet) it will dump a bit of xml every 6 seconds via the serial port to allow you to take this information and do with it what you will, make funkeh graphs etc. a bit of search engine magic will take you to the blogs of the people who have been working with this so far and made some nice progress. Hopefully I will get a chance to make the cable in the next week or so and do something that is more useful for me that involves reading the electricity meter for me.

Anyhow, as a side effect of getting this I did a bit more digging on devices to save electricity, and came across the Standby Saver, which was on the bbc tv show Dragons Den some time ago. They make 2 versions of this device, one for computers and one for a/v equipment. The idea is pretty simple, with the computer version it senses power is applied via the usb connection to your computer and when power goes away it will power off all the devices plugged into the strip so you don't use any standby power. When you want to start them up again you push a convenient button that enables power to the entire power strip. The AV version is similar but uses an infra red sensor to detect when you tell your television or whichever remote control button you want to power on/off all of your gear.

So because of my recent drive to saving a few penguins and polar bears and some dosh I worked out that the 2 desktop computers upstairs which are only used infrequently use quite a large amount of power while powered off (standby on ATX machines is in software rather than hardware) and when you consider the added draw of the kvm etc. it really isn't insignificant. I was burning around 50W per hour for 2 machines to be physically powered off. This equates to an electricity cost of something around £36 a year just to leave the machines powered off.

Anyhow, the Standby Savers cost £20 each with a small shipping cost, so I purchased a Standby Saver for the computers and another for the A/V equipment yesterday and they arrived today. The device itself looks nice and reasonably well made. A few bits of green plastic here and there some green leds so it all looks environmentally friendly, although the shiny labels on them were peeling off in the box which looked a bit tacky.

So, I plug in the version for the computers and get what is initially a great disappointment, when the computer powered off the power strip stayed powered. After a few minutes of fiddling I realised the problem. The Asus p5k-e motherboard in my new computer keeps the usb ports powered up when the machine is off! Argh! disaster! It won't be able to work with my hardware.

After a bit of ranting and swearing and trying to find a way to stop this utterly stupid behaviour of the Asus motherboard in the bios I realise that this is in vain or that I'm crap working out which bios option means what. It seems that I'm stuck with a new device to try and save me money that isn't going to work.

I give it a few more minutes of brain storming and I'm up with an idea. In my old desktop I had to add a pci usb port card as I needed some more usb ports, I found this old card in the cupboard and stuff it into my current machine, a few minutes later I have the machine working *perfectly* with the standby saver as when you power off the desktop it powers off the pci card too. A swift pat on the back from myself to myself later and I go to have a nice cup of tea.

I still have to setup the Standby Saver for the AV equipment, that uses an infra-red sensor instead of the usb cable and button. Hopefully It won't be so much of a problem but I have already noted that the power lead is pretty short and isn't long enough for where I want to put it which is a disappointment but I can probably work around that.
Sunday, July 20th, 2008
8:59 pm
In the past week or so I have updated the firmware or flash memory on:

2 cars (engine ecu and steering column interface module)
2 Sat-Navs
3 mobile phones
4 bios updates on various computers

and it seems like to solve an issue with my mouse that the firmware on that needs updating...
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