Archive for December, 2006

Dec 28 2006

iTunes Downloads Up On Last Christmas

Published by under General

I read an article today on about how the number of hits on Apples iTunes download page are up significantly on last years number.  I would have thought that this would have been good news, had I have not just received an iPod myself for Christmas.

Seeing as how I got an iPod, I can’t help but feel that the number of iTunes visitors was inflated by Apple themselves.  I’m not saying Apple has falsified the numbers.  No, the planned this some time ago!  My last iPod,  a 3rd gen. music only monochrome brick, came with a CD that contained everything you need to get you started with your iPod.  My new iPod, however, came with no such CD.

With the new iPod’s, if you want to start using it you have to head over to the iTunes website, download iTunes and then install it.  If you happen to be using 56k dial-up internet the 35mb iTunes download is going to hurt!  56k users will have to wait several hours for the behemoth to download… which will give you plenty of time to work out how much the phone call will be costing you.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Apple but I’m beginning to think that their shiny white maybe isn’t so shiny and more off an off-white.

Oh, and one more thing about Apply, with all this hype about the Apple iPhone going around.  A colleague thinks that the analysts have got it wrong, it wont be an iPhone (Cisco as the trademark on that) instead it will probably be something like the iChat Phone.

One response so far

Dec 18 2006

Still No New Guernsey Imagery

Published by under General

Google has had yet another round of updating the satellite and aerial imagery used in its Google Eather desktop mapping application.  Whilst its always good to see newer and higher resolution images appearing, it is also disappointing to see that there is still no high resolution or cloud free images for Guernsey.

Whilst most people playing with Google Earth in Guernsey will be anoyed by this lack of clear images, I believe I have just cause to be more disappointed than most.  This is because I feel I have been lied to.  Back in July (I think) I had a meeting with a couple of guys from Digimap Guernsey.  One of the points that came up in the meeting was that I wanted to use better images in Google Earth (as Digimap had temporarily provided in the past).  I was informed that Digimap had been in contact with Google regarding imaging but that the response from Google was that Google already had higher resolution images for Guernsey.

Well, its been five months and still no new images.  I’ve tried contacting Google but haven’t had a response.  The Digimap people said they’d try and supply me with some images to use in my own Google Earth layers but that hasn’t happened.  I feel like my plans for bringing mapping of Guernsey to the masses is slowly being strangled from all sides.

I don’t suppose anyones got a plane they can take me up in to get some of my own aerial photographs?

One response so far

Dec 04 2006

Grandsire Doubles: Check

Published by under Bell Ringing

Yesterday I finally got around to ringing my first Grandsire Doubles quarter peal inside.  I should have done it before but I’ve been having problems with balance recently and don’t think I could have stop up for that long whilst turning my head left and right the whole time.

If I remember correctly there was only a couple of minor hickups, one of which included me forgetting I was in the hunt and another where I forgot whether I was double dodging up or down when a bob was called.  At the beginning I was also unsure as to where I should be ringing when I was at the back a a bob or single was called but I soon got then ironed out.

I think the best piece of advice I could give to someone getting ready for their first Grandsire quarter is “watch the trebble”.  If its the last bell you ring over before leading, or the first bell you ring over when you get to the back you are in the hunt.

No responses yet

Dec 02 2006

Norway Return Route Completed

Published by under GSF600 (Bandit),Holiday

I’ve finally finished my return route through Norway at the end of my summer holiday last year (2005).  Its taken approximately 10 hours to create and I’ve included both the route I actually took and the route I would have taken if I hadn’t crashed. 

I’ve also included notes about memorable parts of the trip, places I stayed over-night (or didn’t as the case may be), must see places along the way, and a few other general notes about the areas of Norway I travelled through.

All the different bit are included in seperate folders so you can turn them off and on as you like.  Whilst it might take quite some time to tour the whole route, I would advise turning on the Terrain layer and run a tour of the alternative last day.  I would also advise turning on the terrain and having a look at the area around Trollstigen and Geiranger.  I’ve even marked a plane coming into land in Bergen that no-one else appears to have spotted.

Some of the details included in the notes needs to be checked up on, so if you spot a mistake please let me know and I’ll correct it.

Download: Norway – Hamsund to Bergen.kmz

No responses yet

Dec 01 2006

One Night Five Methods

Published by under General

And I mean the bell ringing methods.  Wednesday evening I headed up to the Forest Church (St Marguerite de la Foret) for their ringing practice.  As it turned out only four other people went.  Never the less we went ahead with the practice and it turned out to be one of the most productive practices I have attended to date.

We started out by ringing some Stedman singles (with a tenor behind).  Previously I had only attempted stedman doubles once with mixed success but (after a couple of mistakes) we managed to bring it round.  I also had another go at Stedman doubles and seem to be getting the hang of that, my only trouble being that I forget home many times I’ve made thirds in the slow work.

I was given a blast at a touch of Grandsire doubles, only this time I rang it off the four, previously I have only run it off the third.  This went came round without any trouble and so I’ve got a quarter peal of Grandsire doubles on Sunday so I can finally put that one aside and move on to bigger and better things.

Next up I was given a taster of Reverse Canterbury.  Apart from the fact that I kept forgetting to make places instead of dodging (as in Plain Bob) I managed to get though, I can’t remember for sure but I think I may have even rung a touch of Reverse Canterbury.

Finally, seeing as how the evening was going so well, we tried to ring All Saints Place and its “Extremes”.  Not only did this come round but it also made me realise that I’m starting to understand all the gobbledy-gook that more experienced ringing speak such as “Just ring treble bob everywhere unless you ring over treble in fours in which case you plain hunt.  If the treble takes you off the lead make seconds and go back to lead.” (This is - apparently – little bob).

I have always found, and this practice was no exception, that for a learner it is always better to go to a practice where there are fewer ringers , and those that are there are experienced.  Not only do you get more ringing time but also when you make mistakes you can go back and try again without feeling pressured to move over and let someone else have a go.  The more experience ringers are, however, more limited as to what they get to ring.

On a side note, I noticed just now that someone came to my site after searching for “Do bell ringers get paid?”.  I can answer this for ringers in Guernsey, however, I’m not sure if this applies to the rest of the UK or the world at large.  In Guernsey the tower gets paid for ringing for Sunday service and other parish church functions (of which there aren’t many).  This money generally goes into the tower fund and is used to pay for repairs, our annual tennerfest meal, and subsidising trips to the other islands and the UK.   The tower also gets paid for ringing at weddings (or other non-church functions), this is generally about £10-£12 per rope for half an hour, so at the Vale church it would be ~£70 but at the Town church it would be ~£100.  With weddings, each ringing at their “home” tower tends to put the money into the tower fund but if they are ringing away from home (e.g. if I ring at the Vale) the ringer gets the money themselves and can do with it as they wish.  Unfortunately we only get one or two weddings a year at the Town church :(

No responses yet