Category Archives: mobile

Cycling: London to Dover via Margate and Ramsgate

Yesterday (Saturday) I done one of my rather large February cycles. I didn’t go quite as far as last year’s 150 mile cycle, though I still done more than the 70-100 miles I was anticipating doing. In total it was about 115 miles (the last 4 miles were from Bromley South station home). The total journey time to Dover was about 12 hours. When I set out I decided that my camera would stay at the bottom of the pannier, otherwise I’d spend too much time taking photos, rather than getting somewhere.

The route I took was heading out fairly direct to Faversham, via Bromley, Swanley, unmapped Cobham, Rchester, Rainham, and Sittingbourne. After Faversham I headed to the coast all the way round to Ramsgate, where I hit the A256, and then the A2 to race down the road to Dover to get the last direct train back to Bromley South.

I hadn’t prepared quite enough with my GPS tracking. For those who don’t know I use a private beta of TrackMyJourney on my Sony Ericsson K850i with a bluetooth GPS for most of my location logging and mapping. I know that my main 5Hz bluetooth GPS lasts only about 8 hours, so I got my older, less reliable on cities, GPS partially charged, but not enough to last until the phone ran out of power. After I ran out of power I was using a fast direct route, so it was easy to get the route’s distance using CloudMade’s routing. I did have a GT-11 GPS as a backup, however the 16MB card is too small for my extravagant cycle journeys, though the battery did last for the whole journey. Ah well, couple of lessons learnt.

It’s been great to be able to have live re-routing over the web,  constantly updating my ETA, and the ability download map tiles live, thus able to have the cycle map wherever I am within mobile phone signal range.

I did find a part of the NCN1 to the east of Sittingbourne, where the route took you into a pile of trash at the side of a traveller camp, with no further signage.

I really enjoyed cycling along the coast, I found it quite rare to be able to go for so far that close to the coast, because usually you have private properties next to the coast for much more of the coastline. There was one place where I saw a sign telling cyclists to slow down and give way, where you would normally just get the irritating and unnecessary “cyclists dismount” sign. I really should have taken a photo of it, but then would I have had to go via London Bridge?

In the future I’ll hopefully get around to cycling from Margate to Folkstone at a more leisurely pace to be able to take in the scenery.

Edinburgh Leopard Tech Talk

Today I went along to the Leopard Tech Talk in Edinburgh at the posh Caledonian Hilton Hotel.

It was a very interesting event, and might just convince me to start programming in Cocoa and Objective-C 2.0. Objective-C 2.0 is far more like Java when it comes to memory management. This is where I tend to struggle in C. The event was under Apple Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), so I can’t publicly discuss anything that isn’t publicly available.
In the Cambridge Bar afterwards, one of the things that I tried to fix with the help of and Apple Tech guy was the Finder restarting when trying to change file permissions. This is mentioned in Apple support article 307128. However the instructions there don’t quite work. After some tries in the pub I was still getting the crash. Once I got home I had some tried the article again, and the second sudo dscl command seemed to wipe out the group record. In the end I did manage to get the problem fix, and I no longer get the crash.
I also got to play with an iPhone, and the reception on the O2 network is crap. The iPhone was only just, maybe thinking about getting a signal. On the other hand my Sony Ericsson k750i on the Vodafone network could get a full signal. Since I upgraded to Leopard I haven’t had my phone working as a bluetooth modem. With the help of the tutorial that I used the last time, and the GPRS network data table, I managed to get it working again.
The tutorial is now out of date of Leopard. On Leopard it is now a lot easier to setup. Once you have paired your phone, head into network preferences, and click Bluetooth in the left column. Then use the “User name” from the afore mentioned data table for the “Account Name” in Network preferences. The “Password” field uses the same name in both the data table and Network preferences. Next you need to click “Advanced…”. Select the appropriate vendor and model for your phone, and enter the appropriate APN from the data table. Hit “OK”, then “Apply” and you should be ready to connect.
At least now, the next time I go out with my laptop, and don’t want to pay for expensive wifi, I can use a little bit of data on my pay as you go phone.