Ouch! Snowdon

Holly and I went hiking in Snowdonia over the weekend with Andrew Allen and one of his mates. Andy, being the gung-ho type, insisted on doing the hardest route via Crib Goch which was more a rock climb than a scramble.

At about 17:00 we started to worry about daylight, and were just working out what we should do when some very experienced hill runners (yes, runners!) came up to us. They advised us to return the way we'd come, which was up a steep, rocky cliff.

With their help, we made it just in time for dusk. We're actually very very lucky that we ran into those guys when we did!

Now, however, we're both incredibly sore. It was probably the toughest "hike" I've ever done. And certainly the scariest.

Photos shortly.

Bookmark manager solution?

Steve points out an interesting use of Firefox's new "Live Bookmark" feature. Point it at the RSS of your del.icio.us account and you've got instant synchronised bookmarks. This is a problem I've talked about before.

Only problem with this approach is you just get them in chronological order, losing all of del.icio.us's categorisation features. You can painstakingly go and add each category, but there needs to be a nicer solution.

This movie doesn't want to be seen

We keep trying to see Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut and being foiled. A week ago we tried to see it at The Other Cinema only to be foiled by the person I spoke to giving me the wrong time. Then we tried to see it at The Ritzy in Brixton only to be foiled by London Underground. We waited for half an hour at Victoria until we knew we were going to miss the film. Ack!

It's still on for the rest of the week, so hopefully we'll manage to catch it...

London Open House

On Saturday Holly and I went to see some buildings as part of the London Open House thing. For one weekend each year, buildings, or parts of buildings, that are normally closed are open to the public. We saw the Royal Courts of Justice, 120 Fleet Street and Staple Inn.

Highlight was definitely the art deco interior of 120 Fleet Street, former home of the Daily Express. An absolutely amazing interior.

Photos we took are here.

Thin client

I recently bought an IBM thin client machine on eBay. Very nice piece of kit. The plan is to stick the jet engine-sounding machine in a cupboard and use the thin client as the actual desktop. Depends on the video playback performance though, really.

So I bought a USB keyboard and mouse adapter, because this beastie only has USB. Works a charm.

Next step is to install an OS on the CF card and attempt to boot it.

Satellite navigation for bikes?

Yesterdays ride ended up about 120km. My legs are very very tired, but it was a good ride. Good preparation for our big ride in a couple of weeks too. Gonna be a few days around that distance!

Part of the reason for the extra length yesterday was Lonely Planet's shitty directions and maps. It got me thinking: why hasn't someone come up with a satellite navigation system for this kinda thing? I guess cost is still too high, and probably not enough demand compared to cars.

For city cycling, though, it should be a relatively easy matter to overlay the government-provided cycle maps onto an existing map of a city. The navigation engine would be programmed to prefer the cycle routes, avoid motorways and A roads, and prefer shorter distances. I guess it could get difficult in hilly cities, a bit more complex as going downhill is a very different thing to uphill.

Perhaps something for the hobbyists to start?

Summary Offences revistied

An email on the Critical Mass Sydney email list brought a court case involving the NSW Summary Offences Act to my attention. My last clash with this insidious piece of legislation was when organising a protest against the Internet censorship legislation for EFA.

On that occasion, the coppers initially refused our protest because it was at lunch time and involved a march which would cause disruption to traffic. I now see why they backed down so quickly, with this lovely quote from the judge:

It is in the very nature of the entitlement to peaceful protest that disruption will be caused to others.

I'd recommend the case to anyone planning protests in NSW. It basically says that the police have very very limited rights to oppose any protest that has been correctly notified to the Police.

And this choice nugget:

I order the Commissioner to pay the defendant's costs.

Lovely.