I finally got to the point where the browser wouldn’t let me open another tab.
People who obsessively close tabs and force close every app should probably look away now.
I’m still debating whether to actually click the “close all tabs” button or wait and see if iOS12 lets me open more. I enjoy browsing back through years worth of random tabs, like a walk down an odd kind of memory lane.
Oh, I need to explore this! The BBC have published a whole load of content from the Computer Literacy Project of the 1980s and just looking through the listings is like a time capsule to my childhood. It was this project that created the BBC Micro and put them in all the schools where kids like me found we knew how to use them better than the teachers and took control of them. And now we run websites and internet companies and digital all-sorts, and this is where it all began. Thank you Computer Literacy Project!
So far I’ve got halfway through the first episode of Making the Most of the Micro which I remember being glued to when it was broadcast in 1983. I distinctly remember the first feature on a man with cerebral palsy who used a head pointer to write on his word processor. What I didn’t remember was that he actually spent a year writing his own word processor software, in BBC Basic, that would be simpler for him to use than an off-the-shelf program (he wanted to use shortcodes for common words) or that he’d used it to write his PhD thesis. What a star! His name was Richard Gomm and watching this again made me wonder what he had done since then, but searching for him only sent me on a loop back to the 1980s. [Edited to add: I found his brother Mike Gomm is still involved with special needs technology, and mentions Richard in the past tense.]
You can also run lots of the code used in the programme on a BBC emulator, but for the full 1983 experience of getting your new computer to work (or playing with the ones in WHSmith (was it really? Or Dixons maybe?) on a Saturday afternoon) I recommend just this 😀
(You’ll have to imagine the flickeriness of the aerial connection to a portable TV, I never had a monitor that fancy.)
[found via feeling listless]
Back at the tail end of the twentieth century I started this website as a place to keep track of all the little things I found on the internet every day, and the site gradually became a weblog (which then contracted to ‘blog’) and the archive of those little things gradually came to be something that was more than the sum of its parts to me. A trail of small pieces that told me about myself as much as it told anyone else anything.
Then things got busy for a while – business got bigger, my daughter came along – and while I was distracted the world moved away from blogs and seemed to move mostly onto Facebook. Which has never really been my thing. I like hearing what people I know are up to but even when you know no one is really paying attention saying anything on that site still feels like standing up in front of the room and showing off, so I end up keeping quiet there, sitting in the corner of the room and watching but never dancing. But I like dancing. My internet activity spread out to little bits of things across a range of different sites and I reconfigured this site to mostly be a consolidation of all those bits.
And gradually all the bits fell over as I never looked here any more either. But I miss what I used to do here and I’m forever finding myself looking at some interesting morsel of the internet and wanting to share it, to save it for my future self to stumble over. So I plan to do so again. I miss the internet I used to have, but I can still make this little corner like the internet I want it to be. I’m messing with wordpress and I’ll get the goodreads reviews working here again soon, and the photos synced, and I’ll add those other snippets I enjoy in between.
Here’s a map of Holmfirth. I’ve taken the roads off and added in everywhere I have walked and cycled  in the last couple of years instead.
Walking is green, cycling is blue. I tend to get bored with cycling round here as I’m not strong enough to get up the hills and we only have (relatively) flat roads along the valleys.
I try and seek out all the different paths to walk though, I don’t like to go exactly the same route again if I can think of another. I made the map in order to figure out where I haven’t walked yet. I still have a few paths to find.
Making the map made me think of Matt at I’m Just Walkin’ who is currently 5176 miles into a walk of every street in New York City. I’m not quite in that league! Most of this is just walking the long way back from dropping Miranda at school, or getting some fresh air in at the weekend.
 I deleted a handful of gps tracks because of clunky mapping that made in look like I’d wandered in straight lines everywhere. I’m not a crow. (And I believe they don’t fly in straight lines either.)
I walked up the hill in the fog one day and took a picture of a bench looking out across a cloud bank. It just amused me.
Then I thought I ought to take a picture where you could see the view. And then I ended up taking a picture every time I walked past. You can see them all in a set on Flickr. This one proves we do occasionally get out of the clouds and into the sunshine:
And this is a recent one, with me in it, when my mum was with me to take the photo:
And this is what goes through my head when I’m sitting up there:
It’s the view from Google Earth of all the walks I’ve taken around here in the last couple of years with my phone tracking them. About as close as I can get to the view inside my head really.
Another map created from data captured by Moves on my iPhone. This tracks our entire holiday in France last summer. I’m sure I made a map of our cycle rides on Île de Ré too but I can’t find it now.
I love maps, and tracking; and ambient tracking where you forget about the fact that you are being tracked until later is great. This is the map of everywhere we walked in Prague on a break last October. Data tracked with Moves, I can’t remember the service I used to draw the map and it seems to have vanished since.
We stayed in a hotel at the southern tip of all those red lines which show where we walked. The grey lines heading off from there to the west are the taxis to and from the airport. There’s also a grey line going up northwards where we caught a tram one morning.
No doubt we missed lots of things! But we enjoyed what we saw.
I find I’m pulled in two different directions when it comes to dressmaking. Part of me wants to have a fabulous high quality wardrobe full of items with linings, pockets and fancy finishes that you just don’t find in ready made clothes – even the expensive ones. Another part of me wants to be the sort of person who can look at a bolt of cotton and be wearing a thrown together outfit the next day. At the moment I seem to have lots of “nearly finished” knitting and sewing projects so if I was going to start something new I thought it had better be something quick and easy, something from the second category.
I picked up a length of cheap cotton to go with a copy of McCalls 5430 that I already had. The pattern claims to be a “1 hour skirt *”. Nowhere on the pattern envelope did it explain the asterisk. (It does say on the website that it is “sewing machine time only” which is what I would have guessed.)
I started cutting out the pattern, view C with pockets, at 9:50am. Half an hour later I had my paper pattern pieces. Then I attacked the fabric and it took another hour just to get the fabric pieces cut out. I stopped for a coffee before spending another 15 minutes or so cutting out and attaching the iron on interfacing. So far this feels like much the same time I would have spent on a normal non-1 hour pattern.
Finally I get to the sewing machine, just before midday. I made one small mistake that required a bit of seam ripping. I stopped for a lunch break but only for twenty minutes or so. I finally had the skirt ready to wear at about quarter past three. So a total of three hours sewing time, not one. That’s before you count the hour and a half of cutting to begin with.
Apart from not having a zip to insert I can’t really see why this is supposed to be a super simple pattern, I’m not really sure where I could have gone faster. I could certainly make another skirt from the same pattern a little more speedily now I’ve understood all the instructions but not that much faster. Being a wrap skirt there are long ties and acres of waistband to contend with as well as buttonholes to make and buttons to sew on.
I do like the finished item, it doesn’t feel especially cheap & quick. (Darren did comment maybe they meant the skirt would only last an hour…) I’d make it again in a slightly heavier fabric such as a quilting cotton to be less flyaway. I’ll have to time myself making a ‘normal’ skirt to figure out whether that is indeed much slower or whether I’m just a super slow seamstress!