James' Blog

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 09:26 PM

Here's a, erm, fun way to waste half an hour. What's the longest route you can create on Google Maps without any extra waypoints? The longest I could manage was 7994 miles, which Google optimistically estimates an 8 day and 4 hour drive.

It's not as easy as you might think. Google can't route through a lot of countries, and can't route between others. Watch out for the funky routing algorithm too - changing the start and end point by just a few metres can make a thousand miles of difference to the journey length.

Monday, November 19, 2007, 01:12 PM

Jo and I just got back from a holiday in Portugal (very nice thanks, photo's are online). Anyway, I drank quite a bit of this beer - nothing special, just a cheap local brew from the supermarket (Lidl, I think). It wasn't until the last day that i took a closer look at the label. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a warning of potential side effects!

Thursday, August 16, 2007, 11:20 AM
I'm about go off-net for a couple of weeks for another walking holiday. This time it's the West Highland Way, followed by the Great Glen Way hopefully with a climb of Ben Nevis in between. All told we'll probably cover about 200 miles.

Two weeks without touching a computer will be good for me, I'm sure!

Friday, August 3, 2007, 10:01 AM
Jo and I have just got back from a holiday in Inverness to celebrate her birthday. Most of her family live there so I've visited a few times, but something was different on this trip: decent beer.

On all previous occasions that I've visited I've ended up drinking whisky. Not that it's a chore, of course, as there's inevitably an excellent range of malts available, but I'd rather have a good beer and, up until now, that just hasn't been available with gassy, chemically lager being the order of the day.

So I was very pleasantly surprised on this visit to discover a number of bars serving really good local beer. The Castle Tavern is just down the road from Jo's mother's and they had some excellent beers from Cairngorm Brewery and the Isle of Skye Brewing Company. Elsewhere I also had good beer brewed by the An Teallach Brewery, and the Black Isle Brewery. All of these companies are new - starting in the least decade or so, and many more Highland breweries have started in the last five years.

There's been revival of real ale brewing across the country over the last fifteen years or so, but it's good to see that the Highlands aren't being left behind. So here's to the Highland renaissance - it will make visits to the in-laws that much more appealing!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007, 11:42 AM

A while back I signed up to some free introductory offers with DVD rental companies and, needing to fulfil their requirement of ten or fifteen titles on the list, I went browsing for a web site to tell me which films feature computers (yes, I'm a sad geek, I know). I was suprised to find that no such site existed, at least nothing very comprehensive.

So, www.starringthecomputer.com is my attempt to create such a site. It's very much in its infancy at the moment, but I'd humbly suggest that it's already useful for people, like me, who are interested in such things.

Please give it a go, and let me know what you think at my spangly new email address for the purpose: james@starringthecomputer.com.

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