I'm mostly an open content geek: recording all that can be in the digital memex (i.e the Wikimedia universe); mapping and walking in Fremantle (for OpenStreetMap); striving for a bit of simplicity; and now and then building bits of wooden furniture by hand.
I cycled to Perth yesterday, mainly as a way to stop thinking about things. I didn’t really think there would be any OSM mapping to be done on such a popular route, and there wouldn’t have been if it weren’t for the roadworks along the freeway
which forced me to cross over the overpass and ride through the streets of South Perth. The official detour ended and I could have crossed back, but I carried on… through non-cyclepaths and large detours around intersections.
I looked at the map, and it did actually look like there was a whole path along the golf course that wasn’t on the map, but actually it was added a month ago and OSMand hasn’t updated yet.
But it was interesting to see the new timber shingles being put on the Old Mill.
Great post yesterday from The Blasphemous Bicycler about people not controlling their own data:
The reasons for this are fairly easy to deduce. We were all swept away by “social media.” To send a tweet, update your Facebook status, or post a picture of your victuals on Intagram is a trivial task. Composing a blog entry requires a modicum of thought, and at least several minutes of your attention. So, in abject laziness, we abandoned our duties as Jeffersonian Yeoman bloggers, and became digital sharecroppers, churning out content for Mark Zuckerberg and his Hamiltonian ilk.
I’ve recently been twittering a bit, just to see what the Guardian’s on about in their four daily articles about how brilliant Twitter is, and I think I’ve firgured it out: it’s actually complete rubbish. It’s a cross between an IM system and a never-ending “quote of the day” competition, and the former of those is the one we need — and it’s perfectly well fulfilled by Jabber etc.
The big advantage, of course, of the big social media sites is that everyone’s there. But there is another funky-groovy technology that is massively widespread, easy to use, and also permits you to own your own data: it’s called the internet.
I rode again this afternoon and evening on the bike path that runs down from Hampton Road to South Terrace, and was reminded of the poorly-laid new surface that has been installed on the lower part of it. It’s rough and bumpy and looks like an amature job. Why does this happen to such a important bike route?! It’s not like whoever builds these things doesn’t know how to make beautifully smooth and well-curved paths — they managed to do it over at the northern end of the South Beach car park with that new S-curve bit, which was done at about the same time (although I’m not sure why it had to be an S-curve).
But it’s not like this bit of crap path really matters. And there’s probably some advantage in having the bottom of that nice hill a bit bumpy, so that over-enthusiastic cyclists (or just well-greased-bearing bearers) don’t feel like swooshing on into the pedestrian crossroads at the end, or onto the road.
What is most annoying is that such shoddy work would never be accepted on a motor-vehicle road!! Why must bicycle traffic be always considered second-class?! Why not build a network of bike paths with a view to people actually using them to get around (and not just for Saturday-morning pootling down to a cafe?). Why not take this stuff seriously?
A new cafe, on the way home from a ride this morning: the Mocca Lounge, it seems to be called. I guess they mean brown and not quite one thing nor another, but at least relaxing. It’s a reasonable place to sit for a while and read a book. It’s an inside cafe with no windows (can you believe such a thing?!), but it is at least dim and carpeted and large and mostly empty, which are good things. And I’ve a coffee and a book and time, which are also good things.
So, three cheers for all that, then.
I’ve been sorting out a new filesystem nomenclature, these last few months…
The top level (my home directory, /home/sam) contains one directory per year and ~/tmp, and a pile of other stuff, as usual, but that’s all maintained by various programmes and the OS.
Each year has only a single level below it, topically- and old-fashionedly-named to maintain alphabetical sorting:
Subject, andother aspect of it/
Again, something else/
There are no files at that level, only directories.
At the turn of the year, items which are of continuing activity are moved to the new year. All else stays put. This means that the current year only ever contains things that are useful and whatever is old but still needs to be kept—and which will rarely be looked at—disappears out of sight in the old years.
I’ve always found it annoying that computer organisation systems don’t allow things to moulder away in boxes in sheds (as it were), instead forcing everything to be current and visible — and thus liable thrown away once no longer useful. A core part of my archival system is to hide things from my own penchant for disposal.
Within each item, and within the tmp directory, there is no prescribed ordering. Files take whatever names and arrangements as seem suitable.
File and directory names contain whatever characters they want, with the exception of quotation marks, slashes, colons, asterisks, octothorpes, and anything else I think is likely to be annoying in scripts, moving between filesystems, or other filename handling.
What Shimano have to say about the chainrings on my bike (From bike.shimano.com; I’ve reproduced it here becuase I rather suspect they’ll move the page and the image one of these days, and I want persistent reference.):
Reduced slippage under load: Shift pins and ramps are placed in the chainrings to ensure that shifts are executed at specific points in the pedal stroke — when riders are applying the least power to the pedals — reducing the chance of the chain slipping, and ensuring proper function.
Shimano patented performance: Shimano pins feature proprietary design and are placed at a specific angle that allows them to effectively pick up the chain even as they wear — making for sustained, predictable performance, even as you rack up the miles.
Advanced Tooth Profile: Look closely — the teeth on a Shimano chainring vary considerably in shape depending on their position. The tooth shapes are optimized to further enhance and facilitate shifting in perfect conjunction with the pins and in harmony with the rider’s natural fluctuations in power output.
I shouldn’t really be blogging this morning — I’ve got my last exam tomorrow afternoon and I’m supposed to be studying — but, when the spirit moves, what can we do but be moved by it? I’d thought that I’d not blog again, or at least not for a while, but this morning the bus didn’t come.
Strange, isn’t it, how some events can lead one to feel strong and seemingly quite unconnected emotions? I didn’t want to wait until the next bus, so I went home to get out my bike — for the first time in three weeks — and ride to school. Being the pedant that I am when it comes to Things (things be right or fuck them off I say!), I couldn’t bear just jumping on the dirty, sad machine, all rained-on and ignored, so I got out my tools and cleaned and pumped and oiled. I knew all the time that there were faults (the rear wheel being a case in point) that would annoy me and make me feel nothing short of miserable, and many times in the three minutes I thought I’d stop and give up…
Like a textbook case of someone being emotionally affected by the smooth-running, or lack thereof, of machinery [is there such a textbook? I’d love to read it!], the failure of my gears to change smoothly this morning nearly had me in tears. I was close to getting off the bike, throwing it in the gutter and storming away from it forever! Nothing unusual in that, though; why do you think I haven’t been riding lately? I knew that this would happen. What came of this though, and what prompted me to blog, was a realisation that in fact it is precisely because I am so affected by the well-workingness of the things around me that I must strive to have them as I wish. If one can be provoked to intense love by nothing more than the particular position of a teapot on a tray (for example), then one must certainly not deny positioning it thus! There is too much at stake to shrug it off, to say that it doesn’t matter, to *try not to care*. Nothing is more important than paying attention to the things that you care about!
My cycle’s grinding gears made me sad, so I plotted — the cable needed to be loosened by a bit less than a millimeter I figured — and I stopped, did what needed to be done, and huzza! hooray! glory be to the god of the cog! it worked! and my bike ran smoothly all the way to town. I smiled. Life was once again, not only okay, but perfect, glorious, joyful and I lov’d it. Riding to school on the bus never would have done this for me.