Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Alternative Window Managers

For sometime I have been using Ubuntu, and been very happy with it. More recently I have started to be less satisfied. Not sure why. Since upgrading to 12.04 things have not been so good. It is probably about time that the machine was installed fresh as that last happened at 10.04.

Before doing something that drastic, I decided to have a look at some alternative Window Managers. This is what I found.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New Cycle Bag - Carradice SQR Tour

Finally got fed up with using a back pack on the bike. My old bike had panniers, but I did not want to fit them to my current bike, so have been using a back pack. Although it was a good bag, it meant that my back was always hot and, err, sticky!

So I looked around for an alternative, and this is what I found. It is from a company called Carradice. This model is the SQR Tour. It is of solid construction. It is easy to fit to the bike and can hold sixteen litres of my junk.

A couple of advantages are that I can put tools and spare tubes in the side pockets so that I don't have to rummage through my clean clothes to find them when required. It also includes a plastic strip to act as a mud guard. Finally, there is a mounting position for the rear light on the bag. Next winter, when I get to work, I will only have to collect the front light from the bike when I lock it up. Small point, but they all add up.

After one week, I am really happy. Lets hope it holds up!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Broken Seat Clamp

Image of broken seat clamp

The very first day I rode my bike to work, the seat post was slowly sliding down into the frame. A few weeks back I had to adjust it up again. Some would suggest that the bike is trying to tell me to loose some weight. Again, the seat was too low. 

So, this evening, I went out to put it up again ready for the morning. So I tightened it up. Then a bit more, Well then just a bit ... ping!!! Nuts.

What to do? First a quick check of the old bike. That was too small. Next I called my brother to see if he had a spare. Same problem. This bike has a seat tube of 34.9mm. It was getting late, and there was only one thing for it. A quick dash to the local Halfords and I managed to pick up a spare.

Image of new seat clamp
We are back on the road.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Portable Apps

Portable Apps Logo
While at work I wanted to have access to the applications I am familiar with on Linux available on my Windows machine. For some time, that was achieved by running Ubuntu in  VirtualBox.

This does work great with only the slight issue of getting access to my networked drives.
Thinking I may be over complicating matters, I started to look at the native Windows versions of the programs that were most useful to me from Ubuntu. These were Gimp and Inkscape. The CAD package that is the base of most of my work does occasionally fall over. So to help reduce that, it is not ideal to load lots of applications.

Somewhere along the way I found a nice tidy solution with Portable Apps.
These are intended to be loaded onto a USB stick and run without doing a full install. Well there is no reason why they can't also be installed onto the hard drive.
This gives the following benefits:-

  • I now have easy access to lots of native applications.
  • They don't need to be 'installed'.
  • All updates are from one place.
  • The latest 2.8 version of Gimp.
The VirtualBox solution will remain, but day-to-day work will be with the Portable Apps.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

New Blog

OK, this is a first post. I have used Wordpress for my blog, but now I no linger desire to keep my own machine running all the time. So from here on in, I will try and use this blog, hosted by Google.