Life of Ben (Blog)

WAMP on my GL702 (27th August 2017)

Had a really productive evening enabling Apache modules and using the built-in localhost tools to create Virtual Hosts on my new laptop. My website is running locally again so I can update!

Also got VB6 components registered by using a Run As Administrator command line so I can do the local built process for this blog.

It’s an ASUS GL702VM-DS74-HID1. (No link because I can’ quite recommend the after-market upgrade seller until one last thing is resolved about the sale.)

Work has been peaks and troughs this year. Gaming has been the inverse and cycling has increased across the board. Currently riding 17 miles to work and back most weekdays, still on my trusty Secteur.

(More to follow.)

Bicycle Part Swap (17th February 2017)

Condor Brake Shoes Replaced (17th February 2017)

A standard Condor brake shoe is all one piece. The pad is part of the shoe. This means we couldn’t use the grippier Salom Kool Stop version, which we hoped might be grippier.

Secteur’s brake shoes use a cartridge for the brake pad, meaning it can use softer rubber. It also means I can just replace the pad when they wear out, not the whole shoe. It fitted in Condor’s caliper so I bought a pair of Shimano brake shoes with cartridge pads for Condor.

When they arrived I swapped the pads salmon pads into them. Used the leftover Shimano pads in the front of Secteur as they needed replacing. Fitted the new shoes with kool stop pads into Condor and it all went without a hitch.

We’ll need to do a couple of short test rides to make sure everything is working properly before our next Penge CC Sunday ride. This technical change should make it easier for Fiona to get decent braking force without tiring out her hands.

Iraq: A Deadly Deception (1st February 2017)

Saw this on Al Jazeera HD. Iraq: A Deadly Deception (video will play automatically) is currently a free stream on their website. That page features a summary in written article form.

Discovery style chronological documentary about the key events which led to war in Iraq. Well researched with transparent sourcing and important interviews.

The fall-out from this invalid war still dominates politics today. Hundreds of thousands injured and killed, likely over a million displaced. All because of lies from USA and UK elected leadership.

In that context, President Trump’s travel ban can only signal a new era of tragedy and danger.

Protesting Trump’s Travel Ban (30th January 2017)

Cycled to the Eastern end of Downing Street after buying some waterproof cycling gloves. On my way there was a chanting group marching from Charing Cross towards Trafalgar Square and presumably on to the protest at Downing Street.

There was a somewhat sparse turn-out when I arrived. Started thinking about finding a place to park. Within a couple of minutes the crowds had filled the pavement and just a lane of the broad road was free for traffic. It soon ground to halt so I found myself in the very heart of the demonstration for the best part of an hour and a half!

Fiona stopped off at Westminister tube but there was no way I could progress down the road to meet her.

An inspiring experience. When I got home I asked if that sounded corny and it didn’t – we both felt uplifted at the tangible opposition to the facist corruption of America which Trump has immediately undertaken.

What Comes Next is the Future Web History Interviews (26th January 2017)

From about 30 minutes on it feels so re-assuring to hear the now unpopular (or merely unknown) principles of the web being refreshed and placed in proper historical context. The web is flexible and control is intended to be in the hands of the user and the user agent. Responsive design is easy to forget when people use photo editing software to decide how a website should look.

From about 40 minutes they compare and contrast app stores with responsive websites.

50 minutes describes the standards process. If anyone feels disconnected with the individuals who are designing the next generation of web standards, just join their mailing list! They ask you to join in. If you don’t join in, it’s because you were too lazy to join a mailing list. (Or your employer was too narrow-minded to pay you a couple of hours a week to participate.)

More: What Comes Next is the Future Web History Interviews

The Four Quarters Arcade Bar (14th January 2017)

Tremendous fun in this venue on Saturday afternoon with a friend from out of town. Star Wars Trilogy game was superb! Fire button shoots with every press so you could spam it like mad until the weapon (in the game) eventually overheats.

Also played Time Crisis (first time in an arcade for me) which had surprisngly accurate aiming. Sega Rally was hard to play as you stand with 2 pedals that are set high, with long travel. Daytona racing game was also tough, barely playable even when I sneaked a chair over to it.

Mario Kart was on a projector, looks great for party play but I really didn’t understand the drift steering!

Rogue One (No Spoilers) (14th January 2017)

(More to follow.)

Dead Funny (No Spoilers) (23rd January 2017)

We saw this play at Vaudeville Theatre. A couple of familiar faces in the cast and the fact it’s a comedy convinced me to go.

The stage is a single location for the duraction. That enables it to look really authentic, like a TV set. A small number of characters, all with excellent delivery and genuinely funny lines balanced against natural dialogue and sub-plots.

Types of Eating (5th January 2017)

BBC iWonder diet durvey thing (requires Flash) puts mr as British Classic.

More: Types of Eating