Friday, January 22, 2010

GPS not included

Good morning!, originally uploaded by indigoid.

A couple of nights ago I went out to my bike in order to head up to Newtown in search of books again. I was displeased to find that my GPS and its Hornig mounting bar (which, frustratingly, also had my RAM camera mount attached) were missing. I deserved this, I guess, since I had become very lazy about removing it from its cradle, just leaving it there most of the time with the "security" screw preventing its easy removal from the cradle. I knew that they could just remove the whole cradle without any real trouble, but having got away with it for almost a year...

Now looking around for a new GPS. Garmin recently announced their Zumo 220. Here's an article about it. Looks like it might be a good option. I'm not sure if I'll get another Hornig mount bar. It cost $200 and while it was a (much!) more solid mount than a RAM equivalent, it wasn't any more secure. We'll see...

Most of the time I only used the GPS as a more accurate speedometer. Perhaps this hike/run/cycle watch might be a better option while I assess the navigation-capable GPS landscape. Not sure how I'd mount it, but I'm sure something could be arranged.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Flickr / Blogger interoperability could be improved

Flickr's "blog this" option would work better if:

  • Blogger (or Flickr, it matters not) didn't translate newlines to BR tags[1]
  • You could select more than one picture to include in a blog posting
  • You had the option of having all Flickr "blog this" posts be saved by Blogger as drafts for later editing, instead of them being immediately published
[1] When I write a new post in the Blogger interface this seems to be off by default. Not sure why it happens to my Flickr-sourced blog posts. Odd.

A different breed of science fiction

King St., Newtown, originally uploaded by indigoid.

For some time now I'd been on a fairly serious fantasy fiction binge. I'd long had Brian Aldiss' Helliconia Winter on the shelf, but had never read it. Recently I found a second-hand copy of the first book in the series, Helliconia Spring and started reading it. It has been most enjoyable.

Far too much fantasy fiction seems to be about combat and magic, and not enough about the very characters involved in such events. Fun for a while, but it gets dull. Robin Hobb's writing seems to be a pleasant relief from such drudgery. As a general rule, according to a colleague, any fantasy fiction written by a female Australian author is likely to be good. I haven't tested this to a great degree yet, but I have in the past thoroughly enjoyed Cecelia Dart Thornton's work, particularly The Ill-made Mute.

Happily, I found, at Elizabeth's Bookshop in Newtown, a good second-hand copy of the middle book in the Helliconia series: Helliconia Summer. I now have all three and hence no frustrating delays will be experienced. :-)