-- Business blog now available --

A quick note to say that I've set up my Business blog, to be able to speak with a clear voice on both personal and work issues (i.e. by having separate blogs).

Monday, 22 June 2009

Deadwater MTB trail - Kielder Forest

A post to commemorate taking the afternoon off last Thursday, and taking my bike up to Kielder. As per my tweet:

First piece of Leave this year - taking the pm off, & the MTB up to Kielder

Named after Deadwater Fell, part of Kielder Forest, and more about which is here. Most of the trail has been built by Kielder Trail Reavers, supported by The Bike Place.

Learning points

The trail is bearing up well, but has become quite uneven, with lots of stones, where the surface has been worn away.

  • My fantastic Marzocchi Bomber fork needs pumping up – it was slightly hairy going off large rocks / bumps and the forks compressing more than I’d have liked. Where is that shock pump?! Gah
  • My skills & stamina definitely need a big improvement!
  • Also, my brakes needs sorting / bleeding & new brake pads installed

btw, if you double-click on the photo of my bike and the associated gear, you will open a browser window at Flickr, as I have annotated the photo (and the next couple…).

Monday, 8 June 2009

Dan Hannan lays into the BNP

In the immediate aftermath of the European elections, I thought it useful to repeat this rather fine clip which sums up why I don’t like the BNP [although there are many other reasons].

From Dan Hannan’s blog at The Daily Telegraph

Can you suggest any other links / reasons etc.?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Monday, 1 June 2009

GoodReads, LibraryThing, Shelfari, or WeRead?

I’ve read a few cyberpunk and popular science books over the last few years, and I thought it’d be fun to catalogue them online and see whether there were folks who might suggest close matches to the micro-genres I’ve enjoyed.

To that end, I started looking around for websites that might provide this service.

This should probably be seen in the context of similar searching a while back, which lead to checking out Collectorz to catalogue my CD collection [so last century I know! ;-)].

  • GoodReads
    • Second most established
  • LibraryThing
    • Seems to the most established
  • Shelfari
    • Owned by Amazon (altho others get book data from Amazon)
  • WeRead
    • Is this the most recent of the 4


A google search for comparisons of the four yielded these:

However, this post looks like the clincher. I have therefore signed up with this account at GoodReads.


Whilst checking out Collectorz, I found that one can scan the barcode of the CDs (and hence books) to more rapidly upload the details to the Web / desktop application.

The scanner of choice seems to be CueCat. Initially LibraryThing had this post and I thought LT would be the way to go. Happily this help item on GoodReads shows GR do the same, so CueCat is now on my birthday list!

If I go with Collectorz for CDs, I will let you know. I see there is discussion on GR re cataloguing CDs, but it’s not mainstream.