Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> Oxford Blog
spires from Carfax


things start breaking

Life, Technology — May 2020

My (three year old) iphone has been playing up for the last month or two - maybe a couple of times a week apps start crashing randomly and I have to power-cycle it. Strangely, that started happening just as Apple announced a replacement model. (more…)

E-bikes and cycling accessibility

Widespread take up of e-bikes requires broader measures to make cycling accessible. E-bikes are not, by themselves, going to do much to enable most people to cycle.

In the Netherlands, e-bikes help to increase the distances people will cycle and enable people to keep cycling as they get older, but this is dependent on the infrastructure enabling those people to cycle already. In most of the UK, e-bikes will enable people to not cycle 4 mile trips as well as not cycling 3 mile trips, and enable 70 year olds to not cycle at the same rates as 40 year olds don't cycle. (more…)

a new desktop computer

Technology — May 2019

The computer I had used for the last nine years was built when we arrived in the UK, but was a clone of the computer I had had in Australia and was effectively over a decade old. I was running out of space (though much of that was cullable video) and when my existing storage produced some errors (some flagged by btrfs, others by read errors on my rsync backups), I decided it was time for an upgrade. (more…)

new Kindle

Technology — October 2018

As a birthday present from Camilla, I have an new kindle Oasis, upgrading my very basic kindle from six years ago. The Oasis is expensive, but is the only current model that has physical page turn buttons. And so far it's clearly better than the old kindle, except for one really annoying software regression. (more…)

Transferwise: foreign exchange transfers and payments

Technology, Travel — July 2018

Transferwise was originally a foreign exchange transfer service, but for some time it has offered a "Borderless" account — with sterling, Australian dollar, US dollar and Euro bank accounts as well as the ability to hold balances in two dozen other currencies — and now a debit card attached to that account. (more…)

moving people around central Oxford - a shuttle bus?

Oxford, Technology — October 2016

Oxford's centre faces rigid space constraints that, even if private motor vehicles could be excluded, create an apparently insurmountable conflict between livability and active transport modes on the one hand and public transport on the other. As a long-term solution, I propose that all inner-city public transport be provided by a mini-bus (or tram) shuttle loop, connecting to city and intercity bus services at interchanges at the Plain (or the bottom of South Park), St Aldates, the railway station, and St Giles. (more…)

Shimano Nexus 8 hub needs service? - SG-8R31 vs SG-8R36 redline

Books + Ideas, Technology, — September 2016

I've just had my rear wheel rebuilt — with a new rim as well since that was getting worn, but largely to replace the hub. And this post is mostly about hubs, about whether getting a Shimano Nexus hub serviced is a good idea, and whether a premium "redline" Nexus hub is actually any better. (more…)

DSLR to mirrorless CSC: Olympus E-1 to E-M5 ii

Technology, — November 2015

I recently acquired my fourth digital camera, an Olympus E-M5 II. This is not a replacement for my third camera, a little Canon Ixus 220 HS point-and-shoot bought in 2012 which I will keep as a carry-everywhere camera (and with which I took the photos below), but for my second camera, an Olympus E-1 . That was released in 2003, so is now something of an antique, but is still a fine camera and I have no plans to get rid of it yet. (more…)

cycling costs

Life, Technology, , — April 2014

I've been cycling for four years now in Oxford, so I thought I'd look at the costs involved. (more…)

a new camera?

Technology, — April 2014

I'm thinking of getting another camera (what would be my 4th digital camera). I've had my Olympus E-1 for just shy of ten years now but it's still going strong; I love using it and it takes fantastic photographs (more…)

baby moving equipment

Technology, — March 2014

Some notes on equipment we've used for moving Helen around, in case our experience is useful for anyone else. (more…)

Kettler Spirit city bike - first impressions / review

Technology, Travel, , — July 2013

What is it? It's a Kettler Spirit, the product of a respected German company which sells online into the UK (though they do have a showroom in Redditch as well). Basically an upright city bicycle: what one might call a "Dutch bike" or a European city bike, though it's fundamentally pretty similar to my other bike, a thirty year old English three-speed roadster. (more…)

a new bicycle?

Life, Technology, — June 2013

I've been very happy with my old three-speed over the last three years and it's still a fine bike for getting around Oxford, but I'm thinking about buying a new bike. (more…)

halogen to LED conversion

Technology, — April 2013

Our new house was somewhat overlit when we moved in: if all the lights had been working and turned on at once, they would have drawn nearly 1.5kW. There were twelve lights that weren't working, because of dead transformers or blown bulbs, but such was the redundancy that replacing those didn't seem urgent. It did, however, give me an opportunity to switch a huge variety of halogen bulbs to LEDs or compact fluorescents. (more…)

utility inefficiencies

Technology — February 2013

When I set up a landline with British Telecom, back when we started renting Catherine St in 2010, I enabled a number of features. A few days later I received five different pieces of post, each informing me that a particular feature had been enabled, along with separate pieces of mail informing me that my account had been set up and the landline activated. (more…)

what's in my bag?

Life, Technology — December 2012

I've always carried a small backpack with me pretty much everywhere I go. This is perhaps a hold-over from school and uni, continued because I always want to have a couple of books on me. These days, however, there's a lot of other stuff in there as well. (more…)

ultrabook or Air?

Technology — August 2012

My little Acer Aspire One netbook is increasingly feeling underpowered, so I'm contemplating getting an ultrabook. more

Didcot A Power Station

Technology, Travel — July 2012

Last week we went on a tour of Didcot A. Commissioned around 1970, this is a coal-fired power station capable of generating around 2GW, with four 500MW units. The tour lasted more than two hours and we got to see at least something of most of the parts of the station. (more…)

a new camera: Canon Ixus 220 HS

Technology, — June 2012

I've just acquired my third digital camera, a Canon Ixus 220 HS (aka Elph 300 HS in the US). Comparing this with my first digital camera, a Canon Powershot S330 bought almost exactly a decade ago, provides a nice illustration of how much camera technology has improved. (more…)

Kindle acquired

Books + Ideas, Technology — February 2012

I got a Kindle for my birthday. (more…)

between the bicycle and the electric car

Technology — June 2011

When it comes to "green" personal (rather than public) transport solutions, the only real options seem to be bicycles and electric cars, but I think the continuum in between those deserves more attention. (more…)

Google algorithms: positive + negative selection

Technology — June 2011

Motivated by Google taking a dislike to my book reviews, I've done some thinking about the latest change in its search algorithm. (more…)

Google no longer likes my book reviews :-(

Books + Ideas, Technology — June 2011

My web site dannyreviews.com has ranked well in Google searches for more than a decade, but in the last few months Google has taken a dislike to it. This appears to be a result of the search algorithm change called "Panda". (more…)

Web 0.5

Technology — February 2011

A few people have already used "Web 0.5" by back-construction from Web 2.0. Sean Coates used it derogatively of MySpace, but this O'Reilly blog post is more positive, suggesting Web 2.0 is a return to earlier Internet applications. (more…)

my first ebook (on a Kindle)

Books + Ideas, Technology — February 2011

I've just read my first ever ebook, Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, using a borrowed Kindle 3 (thanks Sophia!). (more…)

Kindle considered

Technology — February 2011

Another friend has acquired a Kindle, joining early adopter Sean. I've also noticed Kindle books (and hardware) cropping up in increasing quantities in my Amazon affiliate reports.

I had a brief play with Sean's first generation model) over lunch once and was pretty impressed. And at $139 from Amazon or £111 from Amazon UK (basic wifi model, prices current as of 5th February 2011), the Kindle is really not that expensive now. (more…)

cycling: helmets, lights and cars

Oxford, Technology — December 2010

I'm not sure where I stand on legally mandated helmets for bike riders. (more…)

iPod Touch + mobile computing

Technology — November 2010

I don't have a mobile phone, but I've been using an iPod Touch for the last eight months, which has made me think about smartphones and "mobile computers". (more…)

bicycle maintenance and evolution

Oxford, Technology, — October 2010

Camilla and I have just done a bicycle maintenance course with Oxford Cycle Workshop Training (a member-owned cooperative). (more…)

comparative utility costs

Life, Technology, , — September 2010

Utility costs are very different in Sydney and Oxford. Overall the UK is more expensive, even at current exchange rates. (more…)

Europython 2010

Technology — July 2010

Europython 2010 was conveniently in Birmingham — an hour forty by bus — and Camilla was going with two of her colleagues, so I tagged along. As a sysadmin I've never done any large-scale programming, but Python has been my programming language of choice for fifteen years. (more…)

upgrading my camera

Technology, — July 2010

For five and a half years now I've been using an Olympus E-1, which as digital cameras go is now something of an antique, since it was released seven years ago. (more…)

Oxford Blog << Travelogues << Danny Yee