h1

George Washington’s PC?

May 12, 2011

In early 2007 I decided my Windows XP Home PC had to go. But I hated Vista. I managed to buy one of the very last Acer Aspire desktop PCs running Windows XP Media Edition. I used it until two weeks ago. I always felt it was a good purchase and a good, reliable and decently performing computer.

But it started blue-screening sporadically, complaining about disk and memory errors.

Read the rest of this entry »

h1

What recession?

January 28, 2011

In the last recession I worked out three measures to determine the state of the country’s economy, and how I could tell things were picking up.

The first was the number of people on public transport during the rush hour. My logic is that no-one in their right mind would travel into London during the rush hour unless they had to. And the primary reason they have to is because they have a job. The number of empty seats, or conversely the number of people standing, on the train in the morning is a good proxy for the number of people employed and therefore the state of the economy.

Read the rest of this entry »

h1

Does it have to be like this?

October 7, 2010

A tweet from the inestimable Bill Thompson (@BillT) this morning about being over 50 and throwing yoghurt on his trousers prompted me to contemplate the pros and cons (mainly cons, I admit) of being in my 50s. It has to be said that it’s a bit depressing…

What was I saying? Yes, that’s the worst. I haven’t got to the point of forgetting what I’m saying mid sentence yet, but I’m sure it’s coming. I sure as hell forget what I climbed the stairs for, only to remember just as I reach the bottom step. I guess the exercise is good for me.

I am the invisible man. I work in the City of London, most of the time    Read the rest of this entry »

h1

Is it worth jumping red lights?

July 20, 2010

More on cycling – if this isn’t of interest to you then I’m sorry, but I do it (almost) every day, so it figures large in universe of things I think about.

It’s widely known that cyclists (especially in London) jump red traffic lights. It’s also widely known that the Metropolitan and City of London Police forces are clamping down on this practice and issuing £30 on-the-spot fines.

The publicity surrounding this made me wonder what difference, in terms of journey time, it might make.

So I conducted an experiment, and then observed other cyclists.

Read the rest of this entry »

h1

New reg’s make cyclists less visible

July 15, 2010

I’ve been reading about the EU legislation that’s going to make it compulsory for cars to drive with their headlights (or day-running lights) on all the time.

And as a cyclist, it doesn’t seem to make sense to me.

From my perspective, cars are very visible. They tend to be large, shiny and moving – which is what makes them stand out to the human eye. Cyclists tend to be smaller, not shiny and not moving very fast. Pedestrians and other motorists rarely look for cyclists anyway.

So where’s the logic in making the vehicles that are already highly visible even more so, when by doing so you make the more vulnerable road users less visible (by comparison) and therefore even more vulnerable…

h1

Cyclists aren’t helping themselves

March 2, 2010

You would have thought that the best way, as a cyclist, to avoid any form of collision is to ensure that you’re as visible as possible. That’s the prime purpose of lights on bikes – to be seen by other road users.

Well I think that. But clearly there seem to be other cyclists who believe camouflage and invisibility are their best friends!

Not only have I seen cyclists (at the last moment admittedly) in the dark dressed in black with no lights on front or back, but I’ve seen those with lights covered by their anorak, or the stuff in the basket at the front. For crying out loud, think about whether your lights can be seen.

But most exasperating of all are those cyclists with lights on their helmets! WTF? Who’s looking there? Read the rest of this entry »

h1

Look both ways…

November 26, 2009

I’ve been cycling from Marylebone to my office in Finsbury Square, a distance of just under 5 miles each way, for a month now. I’m enjoying the exercise, and I don’t miss travelling on the tube. I have got wet a few times – actually a lot – but that’s OK since I have showers and a locker at work, so I can get clean, dry and change into my work clothes.

However my domestic and laundry arrangements aren’t the subject of this blog: I have something else I want to get off my chest.

There are, of course, some risks involved in cycling around London, but my conclusion after the first month may be surprising. The biggest risk isn’t lorry drivers – I think you’re OK provided you’re sensible, don’t try to squeeze through silly gaps, and stay well in sight of either their mirrors or infront of them. It’s not taxis either – Read the rest of this entry »