Things have been busy the past few weeks, and I've been collecting quite a backlog of stuff to write about. Pretty much all of it is Italy- and Torino-related, as we're cramming as much as possible into our last weeks here. And at the same time getting some work done, and starting to plan and arrange things ready for the move back to UK and to Liverpool.
So, in addition to my blogging about supercar manufacturers and museums in Modena, there's the historic Lancia rally from last weekend and photos of the four-day party weekend as Torino celbrated its patron-saint day with a procession, a bonfire, and lots of fireworks.
However, none of that will be arriving on this blog any time soon, as we're busy packing stuff up ready for when I drive back to England at the end of next month. Which would give us plenty of time, but tomorrow morning we'll be catching the 8:20am train from Torino towards the coast.
We'll have our bikes with us, laden down with panniers and a tent, ready for a three-week-long cycle tour of Liguria, Tuscany and the Amalfi coast. As that takes in almost the entire length of Italy, we won't be cycling the entire distance, but will be using a combination of bikes and trains.
As a result, blogging here will be light, to say the least. I'm going to pull my twitter updates onto this page though, to give a taste of what we're up to, and our provisional itinerary is below. Hopefully my phone's GPS will work okay (once I've finished rigging something up to mount it onto the handlebars of my bike) and so in August there'll be photos and route maps.
Genova -> Rapallo -> Sestri -> Levanto -> Riomaggiore -> La Spezia -> Viareggio
Lucca -> Firenze (Florence) -> San Gimignano -> Siena -> Montepulciano -> Chiusi
Ischia -> Napoli (Naples) -> Sorrento -> Positano -> Agerola -> Amalfi -> Minori -> Vietri -> Salerno -> Pompeii
Err, just Rome.
It's been twelve years since I started writing TCP/IP stacks (the underlying protocol that governs how all the computers on the Internet talk to each other) and finally I've had the opportunity to create an implementation (albeit parital) of RFC1149.
This will be of little interest to almost everyone who reads this blog, but it made a small part of me disproportionately proud. However, a quick search on google shows that I wasn't the first and their implementation is much more complete than mine.
Sorry, I don't know the punchline to the joke, but there are moves afoot to find out.
be2camp is a proposed BarCamp to explore "web2.0 in the built environment".
It sounds interesting, maybe I can talk about using Arduinos to implement sensing and control, or maybe demo The Mazzini Project.
There's talk of it being in October, most likely (although not definitely, maybe I can find somewhere up North for it?) in London. If you're interested then head over to the wiki and register your support.
The launch day for a new project feels a bit like having a birthday. You know that it should be a special day, but if you're on your own it's hard to see how it differs from every other day - after all, the project isn't as new and remarkable to you if you've been working at it for the past couple of months.
It also feels like one of those things where it's bad form to talk about it too much yourself. Maybe that's just a British thing. Maybe it's just a me thing... you shouldn't wander round proclaiming that it's your birthday and expecting special treatment; at worst you should just mention it quietly, but preferably you wouldn't even have to do that as somebody else would bring it up and make a fuss for you.
Anyway, consider this the quiet aside that today sees the launch of Booklert, which will send authors updates (via email or twitter) on their book's rank on Amazon. Now if you'll all go off and make a fuss about it, I'll practice playing it down and saying "ooh, your shouldn't... really, you're too kind..."
It seems to be the week for new web sites. First off, John Grant is one of "ten green bloggers" (it's not clear if they're hanging on a wall...) writing about the launch of new web site CanvassYourMP.com.
It's a web campaign to persuade the UK government to set some real and useful targets for CO2 emissions. The site will help you find out who your MP is, and how to get in touch with them so that you can ask them to support a change in the Climate Change Bill.
Most interestingly, they're also collating the responses, so hopefully we'll see some report in the future of how well the MPs listen to their constituents.
When my mobile phone was up for renewal recently, I plumped for the Nokia N95 8GB - mainly because of the built-in GPS. We're planning a cycling tour round some of Italy next month, and I figured it would be cool to record where we've been.
It arrived just before our trip to Modena (thanks for the courier service Andrew :-) and I downloaded the Italian maps into it, which made it pretty handy for finding our way around the variety of supercar manufacturers and museums, but there didn't seem to be any way to pull the GPS data out from the phone.
Yesterday, Russell pointed me at the missing apps I needed to get things working properly. Location Tagger will add the GPS location info to any photos you take, and Sports Tracker will let you record where you go and then export it to Google Earth.
So when we were out for a training ride earlier, I tried out Sports Tracker. I couldn't get it to record data for very long, so I'll need to play around with it some more. I'm hoping that mounting the phone onto the handlebars might give it a better view of the GPS satellites than it gets in my pocket.
Still, it's a start, and it means that I can show you a short section and an even shorter section of today's 20-mile ride (I'll be continuing to rely on the bike computer for proper distance recordings I think...)