November 2016 in the Life of Ben (Blog)

  1. January
  2. February
  3. March
  4. April
  5. May
  6. June
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October
  11. November
  12. December

Cycling Campaigns this Month (20th November 2016)

Cycling UK have a monthly summary of activism and legal cases. Worth a read as it’s reassuring to see the legal framework and support charities which exist to pick up the pieces if anything bad happens. Also covers the planning efforts to make roads safer for all in the first place.

Least fun fact of 2016: UK in top three for air pollution deaths in Europe says:

The EEA estimates that there were 11,940 premature deaths from NO2 pollution in the UK in 2013, the latest year for which data are available. NO– in the UK’s towns and cities comes mostly from road transport.

Along similar lines, Road Safety Week takes a global view:

Every 30 seconds someone, somewhere in the world is killed in a road crash.

But it also reminds me of the positive action which is undertaken around this issue.

Brake works to stop road deaths and injuries by campaigning for safer roads; supports people bereaved or injured in road crashes; and raises public awareness for sustainable transport

GTA2 Retro Gaming Reunion (20th November 2016)

A couple of days ago, playboy52 e-mailed me to say the GTA2 online scene was picking up again. That is to say, there are sometimes 4 players active in the Game Hunter chat client made by the community. That’s all you need for fine retro gaming entertainment.


Today I joined the chat and tried launching GTA2. It needed to install DirectX and this happened automatically. Neat. That works well, Microsoft. But I needed to forward ports.

PlusNet home router one has a nice user interface. Reminds me a lot of BT Home Hub from 5–10 years ago. Actually, it reminds me a lot of that! It has pre-set profiles for lots of games which need manual port forwarding. This is before UPnP was widely implemented for the task.

To be fair, the PS3 also needs a port forwarding profile to work at its best in games like Gran Turismo 6.

The game uses DirectX 6.1 it seems and the oldest profile was DirectX 7. So I selected that and it actually seemed the same. Only addition was making sure the main 2300–2400 range was on UDP as well as TCP.

Levels Enjoyed

It was just us 2 for some games but we had 4 in total for epic team games later on!

Family and Cycling in Fleet (13th November 2016)

We’ve had a quiet time and a nice dinner. Got some IT done for the old folks. ;)

Refreshed the Allen keys which had gotten worn out. Secteur tyre has held up.

Lost my woolly hat between station and house. It was about 11pm as I stayed at astronomy group beyond 9pm. The person who said they would bring pizza, Gillian, didn’t! Drunk guy on train rambling at me for whole journey. Standing room only for 40 minutes.

Hat was in my coat pocket but I hadn’t done it up. Retraced my route but it’s not like London, some dark stretches where it may have hidden. Rain all day today so I haven’t looked again. Will go to the Fleet Cycling ride to Frensham tomorrow morning.