Photo in Schmap Guide

Wowzers… I’m pleased to say that a photo I took whilst in Brighton of the “giant doughnut” (locally know as The Seasick Doughnut) down on the sea front has been chosen to represent the landmark in Schmap’s online guide to Brigthon.

The Brighton Doughnut
The Brighton Doughnut

The sculpture was a gift from the Mayor of Naples, officially called The Big Green Bagel. In this particluar photo you can just make out Badja’s face in the centre.

Schmap is an online resource of worldwide guides.

New iGoogle Rant

This is not going to be a long and exhaustive review of the update to iGoogle but more of a quick “these things annoy me lots” rant… apologies.

The new iGoogle
The new iGoogle

The update supports a few added features along with the option to have a full canvas view of a single gadget but these are not the simple changes which bug me. These are:

  1. I generally have a few gadgets minimised to allow me more gadgets on the one page. For example I generally have my gMail gadget minimised and only open it when I know I have a new mail and quickly wan to see who it’s from. The problem now is that there is no longer an “expand”/”maxmize” button on each gadget heading… I now have to click into the menu of that gadget and click again to alter the display (minimized or not).
  2. The old “tab bar” has now been moved to a sidebar on the left hand side… this takes up a great deal more of my screen real-estate and to be honest really is a waste. I would have thought that keeping the tabs across the top is a much better use of space especially when the whole idea (or at least I thought it was) of iGoogle is to have as much useful stuff in one place.
  3. Along with each feed title you use to be able to view more info (the excerpt or summary if you will) by clicking on the button associated with that particular item. This has now been removed and by default all of these summaries are visible. This is once again not allowing me to have the quick “snap-shot” of the web that I used to.

So that’s it… rant over. And of course I do expect to be eating my own words once I realise that the benefits of the new iGoogle far out-weigh by petty complaints.

Got to be in it to win it

Whoop whoop… just a quick post to mention that my recent mail to the .net magazine was selected as their mail of the month. The email I’d send was only very brief and was simple about the difficulty I’ve had reading some of their recent articles due to the lack of contrast between the colours of some of the text and backgrounds.

.net Magazine
.net Magazine

Apparently I’ve won a free domain and hosting with Heart Internet. I presume this is for a year and I’ve no idea what the quality of their hosting is like but hey… free stuff is cool right?

Nushka Pt 3: Steering Column and Wheel

So on further inspection of the damage caused by the low-life scum that smashed her window and tried to hot wire her (yup perhaps I should put the to-do list up in the window to deter would-be thieves) it appears that not only had they buckled the steering wheel but also bent the steering column. I can only presume they were trying to break the steering lock. I managed to get a like-for-like replacement wheel off in eBay and Chilli supplied me with a spare column. All was looking good.

Removing the old wheel and column was a relative breeze to be honest. A bit of brute force here and there saw them both removed without too much fuss. Upon opening the Haynes book of lies it seems that Nushka was not fitted with some of the parts described there… I couldn’t find the “U-clamps” that needed to be used and I still have no idea as to why I had to remove a rubber plug from the passenger footwell… it seemed to play no further part in the instructions! In the end I just reversed the removal instructions and everything seems to be OK.

Actually I do need to replace a pinch nut which I appear to have threaded which fixes the column at the base and also need to check the placement of the column which I’ll do once I have her front raised off the ground.

So, next up I need to find a way to remove the locking wheel nuts (for which I don’t have the key) and then get to work on the brakes, ball joints and checking the steering.

Will update soon I hope.

Review: Sennheiser CX 500s

I’d had a pair of Sennheiser CX 300s for a couple of years and thought they were great. Sadly they’ve started to succumb to my abuse and mal-handling and one of the earpieces started to fall apart. It was time, I said to myself, to buy a new pair… and perhaps upgarde whilst I was at it.

I had been more than happy with the CX 300s… the sound quality was excellent in my opinion and their sound cancelling was ace. Travelling on buses, trains and airplanes was made easier as I could pop the headphones in and instantly be in my own quiet world where only the dulcit sounds of Elbow could reach me. Seeing how happy and I’d been I decided to stick with Sennheiser and go for the obvious upgrade choice of the Sennheiser CX500s. I found a pair for only £18.95 on the web (might”ve been ebay but I can’t remember now) and snapped them up… and as usual with new toy purchases I was excited already.

Sennheiser CX500s
Sennheiser CX500s

Once they arrived I immediately got them out and noticed that unlike the CX300s the wires from the split point to the earpiece were of uniform length. This for me was a slight dissapointment as I generally have the right earpiece wire go around the back of my neck. This is done so that if the earpieces are not in my ear then they don’t hang right down but simply dangle from my neck. Not a major issue though and I was sure I could overcome this niggle.

Next up came a real test run on the bus I get to work… having read reviews on amazon I would have thought that the noise cancelling was excellent… sadly in my experience this was not to be. I tried all of the buds that were supplied and couldn’t find a single pair which cut out the school kids’ ramblings… so another failing.

To be honest I probably could have lived with these headphones since the sound quality was (as expected) very good in my opinion… but one last issue was to come to the surface. The CX500s came with a volume control built in and this was something I thought would come in very handy. Unfortunately I tend to wear my headphones so that the wire is concealled under my jacket/shirt. This tended to me the volume was accidentally altered by the rubbing of the material… and this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I now use my girlfriends old CX300s and my 500s have been relegated to the “box of things that might one day come in handy”.