Archive for Normal

Bonnersfield Lane

Bonnersfield Lane is a quiet, unmetalled, ancient country lane – right in the centre of suburban Harrow. What a delightful surprise! Read the rest of this entry »

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Open Street Maps

For the past few days I’ve been playing with the Open Street Maps application. It’s a Wiki-like mapping system, that allows you to edit the map. I’m very pleased with the work I’ve done on the area near my house.

Why bother? Well, I wanted to give someone directions from the station. Google maps’ version has the station in the wrong place, and adds confusing little roads that aren’t actually there. Google’s map would just send my friend off in the wrong direction, so I started looking for something better. I tried the Open Street Map, but sadly all of the street names in my area were missing.

Well, with Open Street Maps I can just fix that myself. I did. And I added a bunch of nearby footpaths. And I corrected some mistakes that I found in the nearby town-centre. It was easy and fun. And now I have a good map that I can use to show my friends where my house is.

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Text Editors

I’ve just been trying out TextMate on my Mac. Verdict: It’s too clever by half. Read the rest of this entry »

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Petrol costs me US$ 8.00 per US gallon

I can’t remember why, now, but I just worked out what the price of petrol is in the US… 40p per litre. That made me lol – I honestly can’t remember paying so little. When I first started driving and paying for my own fuel, I paid about 42p – that was about 1992. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Image Car Hifi in Harrow: Avoid

“New Image” is a car audio shop at 537 Pinner Rd, North Harrow. I suggest you avoid them, and shop elsewhere. I just bought a car stereo from them, but after wasting my morning they’ve removed it and I’m back to square one. Read the rest of this entry »

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Greenland Ice Melting Faster?

The Guardian reports that the Greenland Ice Sheet is melting with unprecedented speed. Oh dear!

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Facebook’s UI is appalling!

I’ve signed up because a colleague wanted to use it as an example for some work I’m doing. So far, the UI is just grim. Here’s a list of issues as I find them…

  • Why on earth do they need my date of birth? What are they going to do with this information? They don’t explain why they need it, and they don’t give me the option of not answering. Consequently, I lied.
  • Search by High School/College/whatever. Clicking on a link opens a new window!! Is this the 20th Century? Am I using Netscape Navigator 3.0? No!
  • Search by High School asks me what country I live in, with options like ‘England’, ‘Scotland’ and ‘Wales’. Hello? What happened to the United Kingdom? Did these US wankers just decree its dissolution? That pisses me off.
  • Having searched for my former “High School” (or as we call it “school”) classmates, what happens? It doesn’t work – I just get plonked straight back where I started: “Find your friends on Facebook.” I’m using the latest stable Safari – what “Web 2.0″ developers don’t bother to test on a Mac?
  • OK, let’s see if we have better luck with “College” (or as we call it “university”)…
  • …No let’s talk about that localisation first. They’ve gone to all the trouble of cutting my country up into dozens of little parts (right down to ‘Isle of Man’ and ‘Channel Isles’) but they can’t be bothered to make a localised version of the site? Hang on let me check… Right, I’ve changed “country” to “England” in my profile, and now it says England is my “Hometown” (note, that’s oneword), but it still hasn’t changed any of the UI option accordingly. I’ve tried other countries, but as far as I can tell, you can have Facebook in any language as long as it’s US English.

Don’t I have anything nice to say? Well, some of the UI features are quite nice.

  • Some of the search boxes have auto-completion, which works smoothly and well. Not all of them though, which seems odd.
  • The “Add a Friend” dialogue pops up inside the page, and then fades away once you’re done. Nice.
  • The draggable profile elements is nice, but over-sold. The two-column layout seems fixed – all I can do is choose the order of (some of the) elements.
  • The search filters don’t seem to work very well. I’m looking for my friend John Smith (not his real name) but there are a million of those, so I filtered on “male” and “ages 24-35″. Result? No hits! Not one! I suspect that SQL query needs looking at…
  • I take it back, the searching is rubbish. I’ve just searched my friend Paul Scott (actually his real name). The vast majority of hits are people called “Paul Scott ?Something?”. Why on earth do they think I’d type in someone’s first and middle names??? And I can’t even filter by COUNTRY!

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Easy Ajax Album 1.0.beta-1

My easy online photo gallery software is now complete enough to be given a version number. Please welcome version 1.0.beta-1. Browse the example site to get an idea of what it looks like.

Easy Ajax Album is an open source PHP script that enables you to create an online photo album in seconds. Just copy the index.php file into the image directories on your web-server. That’s it! Download it here! [source]

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Easy Ajax Album

My easy online photo gallery software has taken another big step forward. Browse the example site to get an idea of what it looks like.

Easy Ajax Album is an open source PHP script that enables you to create an online photo album in seconds. Just copy the index.php file into the image directories on your web-server. That’s it! Download it here! [source]

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Flood Maps on your Web-Site

I’ve had loads of requests from people who want to put Flood Maps on their own web-site. Well, I’ve finally found a way to allow it, and still pay for my server.

Just place the following IFRAME code on your site, and voila!

  <iframe style="width:600px;height:600px"
   src="http://flood.firetree.net/embed.php?w=600&h=600"
   scrolling="no" frameborder="no" marginheight="0"></iframe>

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