Wireless Lan

23 Aug 2006 In: Personal

wireless routerWe’ve had broadband for just over a year now and recently we were upgraded to 8Mbs download speed, it averages at about 7.6 Mbs which isn’t bad. There was always a queue for the PC which was our only connected computer, either my wife shopping on Ebay, my daughter playing games or me just wanting to read my email. So I finally shelled out for a 3Com wireless router and I have to say the install went like a dream. Our main PC is connected directly to the router and I’m currently writing this in my garden on my laptop using the free wireless card that came with the router. I reckon I’m a good 50 feet from the router as the crow flies. The problem I have is in connecting my daughters iMac to the WLan. We also got a USB wireless stick with the router unfortuantely it did not have a Mac driver with it. I did eventually track down a Mac driver for the chipset and have installed this on the Mac. The instructions with this driver say you have to create another network access point and that this should automatically detect the new Zydas WLan which can then be configured to connect to the router. No such luck, the Mac just doesn’t see this network adapter at all so I may have to resort to a patch cable from the iMac to the router. I’m no Mac expert however and it’s possible I’ve missed something so I’ll keep digging and hopefully I’ll crack it. The alternative of course is to buy a USB wireless stick whick does come with a Mac driver. Anyway, it’s nice to be able to get online without having to wait in line.

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We’ve wanted to go to the Traquair Fair for quite a while but something else always cropped up. This year though I thought we’d cracked it, we got tickets well in advance, we had a new (second hand) car, and were all set to go. Then on the day we planned to leave the car developed a coolant leak, so that was that, even if I managed to fix it it would be too late to get to the fair. So the day wasn’t a complete loss I decided to fit a new aerial on our roof so we could pick up Freeview digital TV. The ladder was a bit short; the angle was a bit steep so I knew I was taking a risk. Standing at the very top of the ladder I tried to throw a rope around the chimney breast for safety, but no matter how I tried I couldn’t get it to go round. So I somehow got onto the roof without knocking over the ladder and managed to secure the rope. It was then I lost my footing and almost came right off, luckily I managed to grab the rope I’d just tied and suffered no more than a few grazes. If I’d slipped a few seconds earlier I reckon I’d have gone through the garage roof about 40 feet below, I don’t think it would have killed me but it would certainly have hurt…a lot. Anyway, after a couple more trips up and down the ladder I eventually hooked up the aerial and we now have digital TV…..I’m going to have a drink.

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Essential web tools

30 May 2006 In: CSS & Design

Lists of resources are great, but often you just don’t get round to putting them together, so it’s even better when you find someone else has put a list of resources together that cover all the stuff you would have. So for a great set of web development tools pop over to Protolize, a site set up by Tony Yoo’s.

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Walking in the rain…with a bike

17 May 2006 In: cycling, Personal

I regularly cycle the 8 miles to and from work and enjoy it immensely. The views of the Ochil hills along the A91 more than compensate for the numerous car drivers who appear to think that passing within a couple of feet at 60 mph is OK. Over the last few years I have been using kevlar ‘puncture proof’ tyres and have suffered only one puncture, until today that is. The last time I had a puncture I knew the tyre walls were in poor condition, I’d been meaning to buy new ones for ages but never seemed to get round to it, so it was really my own fault that time. However, I had grown so used to not getting punctures that today took me by complete surprise. I don’t carry tools, patches, spare tube or even a pump, and I was sure that hissing sound had to be coming from the car behind me, right? No, my front tyre was flat. This, after I’d done so well to catch up and overtake another cyclist, who then stopped to ask if I needed help. We found a tear in the wall of the tyre, so how this happened is anyone’s guess. I now faced a 2.5 mile walk home, it had just started raining, I was wearing cycling shoes and very fetching Lycra shorts and shirt. It’s odd but when your on your bike with this gear on it feels fine, but as soon as you get off to walk suddenly your acutely aware of how ridiculous you look. Even pushing a bike you feel odd, it’s amplified ten-fold when you don’t have one. And as for the shoes, they’re OK for cycling but that’s it. It wasn’t an altogether unpleasant experience walking home, at a slower pace you have more time to take in the scenery and as your on the pavement you don’t have to worry about the high speed vehicles who’s drivers regard you as an obstacle rather than a legitimate road user. So I arrived home a bit later than usual, rather wet and resolving to carry a repair kit in future.

CSS & PHP Essentials

7 May 2006 In: CSS & Design

This list is by no means extensive, nor is it in any way comprehensive, it is just a selection of sites which I have found usefull, educational or just plain entertaining. There are many many more but these are a good place to start.
a list apartPHP Builderweb standardszeldmanzen gardenDzine labsCSS Maniamandarinholly css zeldmancss layout creatorhot scriptstutorialsphp editor

web design links

4 May 2006 In: CSS & Design

All of the software mentioned on this page is free to download.

HTML Editors:

Nvu is a great WYSIWYGHTML editor. In fact its the same editor as in Mozilla, just stand alone with a few enhancements.
Mozilla This is effectively Netscape after release to the open source community. it comes with a very good web page creation function (composer) which is WYSIWYG
Probably the best free
HTML editor I’ve come across. It has a vast ifferent modes, easy, expert, hardcore and normal. Also has built in FTP upload. Arachnophilia An old favourite of mine, it’s very easy to use and quite simple. However, version 5.x is written in Java and I found it a bit clunky on older PCs, but version 4.x is still available. Read the rest of this entry »

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Free Hosted Blog from Qlue.in

2 May 2006 In: WordPress

Qlue.in is a free hosted blogging system which uses WordPress and also has integrated Google AdSense. So not only do you get a free hosted blog but with AdSense you might even make some money on the side. So if you’re want your own blog but didn’t know how, then just create a new blog for yourself.

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Driving Cyclists Off the Road

17 Mar 2006 In: cycling

The CTC are currently running a campaign to have the proposed re-wording of the Highway code regarding cyclist changed.

The most significant change to the Code is to old Rule 47, new Rule 58. Cyclists were previously told to “Use cycle routes when practicable. They can make your journey safer”. In this form, the wording presented no real problems. By contrast, the proposed new wording says: “Use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities such as advanced stop lines, cycle boxes, and toucan crossings where they are provided, as they can make your journeys safer”. The distinction between the wording of “Use cycle routes when practical” (on the one hand) and ‘[Use] cycle facilities… where provided’ (on the other) means that the use of cycle facilities will no longer be discretionary for any cyclist who wants to protect him/herself from the threat of adverse legal action.

The proposed ‘compulsion’ to get cyclists to use facilities where they exist also ignores the fact that in many instances the facilities themselves are dangerous, either through bad design and implementation or through miss-use by vehicle drivers. Taking cyclists off our roads is not the answer, reducing the number of cars is. Allowing cyclists to make informed choices of which route they take whilst taking account of all factors is extremly important.
If you want to support the CTC campaign you can sign up here.
Further Reading:
BBC news report
Weird Cycle Lanes on the BBC
CTC’s position on helmets


Cyclists’ Defence Fund
Weird Cycle Lanes

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The BBC experiment adds the processing power of your home or office computer to thousands of others to predict climate change. The same model that the Met Office uses to make daily weather forecasts has been adapted by climateprediction.net to run on home PCs.

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WordPress Help

6 Mar 2006 In: WordPress

WordPress Help -Podz @ Tamba2

This is a a handy site dealing with all manner of things related to WordPress. There are quite a few here I hadn’t heard of or tried before. I’m certainly going to try the WordPress on a USB stick method. This could prove very useful for demonstration purposes.

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About this blog

This is the personal web site of Seòras, pronounced Shaw-russ, Gaelic for George. I'm from Aberdeen (Scotland),I'm a scientist, union activist, researcher, web designer, photographer, cyclist, hill walker, guitarist & father.