A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Archive for October, 2010

Man and Big Van

Posted by Alan on October 30, 2010

Man and Big Van, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

I hope that isn’t the ‘big van’ in question!

Spotted just up from Leyton tube on the way to the Piglet Beer festival at the Orient.

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Taking the plunge with the penguin

Posted by Alan on October 29, 2010

A little while ago I finally took the plunge and purged Windows XP from my netbook. As an IT nerd, I have had experience with Linux in the past, but never got past the tinkering for fun stage.  This time, I’m actually using it for real. So, what do you get? First up a pretty normal looking desktop:


Ubuntu Desktop

Ubuntu Desktop


Some stuff is in new places (such as close/minimise/etc – all in the Apple Mac style top right) and but generally it’s not very scary menu browse to application system. The biggest difference is the software centre – it’s a place where you can pick up free apps to use. There’s quite a few covering many things.


Software Centre

Ubuntu Software Centre


Wander outside of the software centre to find applications and it’s a very much more scary place though. Still, for general use the software centre does the job nicely. So in terms of apps out of the box, there’s a standard set covering word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, email, internet browsing and social networking.


Social networking client


Personally I tend not to use gwibber as my social networking client – it’s a little clunky and by default only refreshes every 5 minutes.  Still, it does integrate into the OS itself meaning any updates are subtle when minimised and once setup you get single sign on.  The office type applications are much like Office 2003 – not very scary, but less familiar now that I use the MS ribbon interface all day work!


Word Processor


Browsing the internet with Firefox is pretty much the same as it is under Windows.


Firefox - Web Browsing


As you might expect, the OS does include some image integration – it’s easy to pick out photos etc through it.


Pictures - as per windows XP


Overall it’s really good.  The wireless connects instantly and holds its connection well. Even my o2 dongle works. Best of all it’s free! These screenshots are all from Ubuntu 10.04 – but 10.10 is available now which has some minor enhancements. The most noticeable being that they changed the font – pretty irrelevant really! I have found it really helpful that Thunderbird 3.1 is part of the software centre – local calendars are the way forwards – especially if you have keep a close eye on your schedule.

Posted in General Meh | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Ghosts on the floor

Posted by Alan on October 28, 2010

Ghosts on the floor, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

Just got back in from a leaving do and a ‘sten’ do. You could argue that as I am capable of uploading photos to the internet, I can’t have had that much of a good time but I assure you I did!

This shot, taken on a regular ‘compact’ camera just had to be seen on a larger screen. At the moment I’d probably struggle to capture this kind of thing on my SLR, so I am rather pleased with the compact’s efforts!

Anyway, time for a glass of water then bed!

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Crap Cycling: Chicanes on Blackwall Reach

Posted by Alan on October 27, 2010

Cycle Paths, North Greenwich

Cycle Paths, North Greenwich

I know what makes a journey more fun. Chicanes. Oh yes, somebody actually designed it to be like this – why not just have the green cycle lane down the left and have pedestrians on the right? I mean, it’s not like there’s a shortage of space.

This is the retail park on the bottom of the North Greenwich peninsula, formerly known as Blackwall Reach.

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Crap cycling in Walthamsow

Posted by Alan on October 24, 2010


Is a Walthamsow a flying pig?

Just down the road from the glorious road improvements on Wood St Walthamstow,  is this fine sign.  Attention to detail? Thought not. Further up the cycle lane disappears completely – as suddenly one is encouraged to cycle up the pavement. Personally I prefer not to – as a pedestrian I don’t particularly like the idea of sharing my space with cyclist who is probably travelling at twice my speed!


Shared space - Woodford New Road (A104)

And why bother painting the red bit of the lane if cyclists are meant to swerve off behind the sign onto the pavement? Over to the other side of the road and there’s some white paint to let you know to expect cyclists.


Man and bike

As you see there is plenty of space here. Could fit a pretty good segregated lane off to the right alongside the road. Oh well…

Posted in Cycling, Transport Rant | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Boris Bikes and Boris Hall

Posted by Alan on October 23, 2010

Boris Bikes and Boris Hall, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

Just a quick picture post today – Boris bikes lined up on the street behind the Mayor’s office, City Hall.

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Swedish Chamber of Commerce

Posted by Alan on October 21, 2010

Swedish Chamber of Commerce, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

I don’t know why either.

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Speeding cyclists

Posted by Alan on October 19, 2010

Speeding cyclists, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

I’ve wanted to try taking panning shots for a while – the idea of inverting the speed and freezing the moving object really appeals for some reason.

I reckon this photo might be better cropped – the tour bus and pedestrian are slightly ugly intrusions into the image.

For the camera geeks, this was taken in Av mode – with the aparture opened as wide as it will go on my kit lens, the standard 18-55mm canon.

Maybe I just need to lie in way on a busy cycling thoroughfare with the 50mm fixed and see what I can do. Might have to learn a bit of patience though :-/

Posted in Cycling, Photography | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Ghost Bike

Posted by Alan on October 17, 2010

Ghost Bike, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

Spotted at the corner of Tower Bridge Road/Druid St. Not much else to say other than: RIP David Vilaseca.



Posted in Cycling, Photography | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Hayward Brothers

Posted by Alan on October 17, 2010

Hayward Brothers, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

I like Victorians. Would any other society really have a propensity to try make the most banal items of street furniture vaguely attractive.

Seen on the floor just off Paddington St, Marylebone.

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