Unlike every other weblog you ever saw, this one is in correct chronological order so you can read it the right way round.
New year resolutions
Is it just me who is sensitive about well meaning questions regarding New Year Resolutions?
Are people suggesting that I should consider where my habits could benefit from some correction? If the cap fits I suppose I better wear it. And, as my dad used to say, "If the boot fits, wear both buggers!"
So this year, instead of suggesting resolutions for other people (send more stories and photos to LPMCC.net, come to reunions etc) I'll adopt a few myself.
1) I'll watch my diet. It's all well and good going on regular cycle rides but the calories burned are refuelled with interest as soon as we reach a pub. Will cut it down to half a pint and a soup ... with a roll ... and butter.
2) I won't promise to spend less time on the website this year but I will log the hours I fritter away beating pages into shape. Monitoring may moderate my midnight oil burning excesses and it could provide measurable targets for improvement next year.
Here is the big one ...
3) I will put the Trident back on the road this year.
You have been warned. Watch out for me on the roads.
Stepping into unfamiliar technology is always a little bit daunting. I'm not too worried about drowning - most things are fairly idiot proof these days. But there is always the fear of sticking out as a Newby thrashing about just out of depth and making an almighty splashing. But you don't learn to swim by reading the book so ...
As 2011 took its final gasps I found myself pressing links that dragged me ever deeper into creating an LPMCC.net group on Facebook. It turned out to be so easy that I have a nagging suspicion that I've missed some vital bits out.
I've had a Facebook profile for some time but it seems to be a very clever communication tool for which I don't have a lot of use or time, unless I want to speak to my girls. They seem to have a Facebook implant in the place where their brains used to be.
I am beginning to see possible advantages for LPMCC.net, particularly now that we are becoming more active. I've already dabbled with updating my status using my mobile phone. That could be useful when we are out and about to let others know which pub we are sheltering in so they can join us.
There is a useful Events system which can be quickly updated and it is easy for people to register their interest in participating.
There is no intention to replace www.LPMCC.net by the Facebook group. The two have different functions. One purpose of Facebook is to drive traffic to the LPMCC.net website. Another advantage of the group page is its immediacy; the feeling is that it is an ever-running, babbling stream rather than a reservoir of stagnant memories.
It remains to be seen whether LPMCC.net's audience will take to these fresh waters with enthusiasm or prefer the quieter backwaters.
A few brave souls have already given the group a thumbs-up. If 25 people say they like the idea we can register a more intuitive name than http://www.facebook.com/pages/LPMCCnet/293764957327781.
Give it a try. Now you have a reason to be on Facebook and we can explore the advantages together.
Where's my money?
I watch browser use on LPMCC.net very closely to see when I can begin to use HTML5 goodies without alienating you. Today Microsoft announced that IE6 use is less than 1% in the USA. On LPMCC.net IE6 (and under!) is used by about 1.02% of visitors, give or take a couple in ten thousand.
Google is also in the news today because someone has been promoting their Chrome browser by paying bloggers to feature their promotional video!
When I added their video to my February 1 blog last year it was to encourage you to try the fast and future-proof browser that doesn't require you to buy a new computer (IE9 does not run on Windows XP). It was an unsolicited testimonial. I wasn't paid for it.
Now I want to know ... where's my money?
Best of times and the worst
When you make a New Year resolution, such as giving up chocolate, there is a period of grace when you have to clear the house of all the confectionary you received as Christmas gifts. It would be churlish to throw it out, not to mention children starving in China. So you have a week to gobble it all up. Call it "aversion therapy".
This year I vowed to cut down on the time I squander on LPMCC.net but I had a backlog of things waiting to go on-line. So, in the best traditions of diet preparation, I spent the past few days clearing up the backlog. I also resolved to record the time I'm frittering away having fun.
The shocking truth is, since new year I have already spent forty two hours beavering away on LPMCC.net.
Good job I've got lots of chocolate to keep me going.
Delivering ... almost
About this time last year I made my excuses for being lax with my blog updates and proposed a blog every ten days. It turns out that the blog appeared 36 times over the year which is marginally below target.
Delivery was a bit lumpy, some months I drivelled on six occasions and some months just once.
That's life, folk. Sometimes the muse takes me and sometimes I just can't get a drink anywhere.
For the past couple of years I have been encouraging you to try Google Chrome because of its speed, simplicity and standards compliance. Regrettably my recent experience with their browser is giving me second thoughts.
Over the past month or so I've noticed that Google Chrome takes ages (or refuses) to open the first tab upon opening. I have resorted to opening a second tab to access a website. It seems as fast as ever on other tabs after the first. I suspect it may be doing a background update but that is just speculation.
More recently, attempting to open some pages has resulted in the blue screen of death that indicates either a serious memory infringement or Microsoft putting in a trap for non IE browsers.
At the moment I'm withdrawing my recommendation for Chrome and pointing you instead to the other excellent browsers out there.
Firefox used to take aons to open in the first place and still has a few quirks but is generally a robust choice.
Opera and Safari are also fine choices. They are fast and keep to the web standards. They also have some decorative features.
Enough of opinions - how do they measure up?
It's over a year since I last ran a speed comparison between the browsers. Time to run a similar test. I timed from the opening of the browser until the completion of a test script. Here are the results.
Firefox has leapt into prime position for speed. Safari again comes second with a creditable score. Google dragged its heels due to the first tab hang-up.
Internet Explorer 8 came home with a derisory time after going into the computer version of snoring REM sleep - an hourglass cursor and a flickering disc light but no other activity.
Inertia keeps people with their old browser and it is a similar story with gas and electricity and motorcycle insurance. There are useful gains to be had from shopping around but folk just can't be bothered.
See Internet Explorer 9 time reported on 14 February
Wish came true
After my old digital camera gave up the ghost I shared my wish list for a replacement. Santa came up with the goods!
My new camera is a Canon A1200 that ticks all the boxes. It is about the only digital camera that still has an optical viewfinder, absolutely essential for bifocal users in bright sunlight.
It runs on a couple of AA batteries. Maplins hybrid batteries are £6.99 for four in their sale until 24 January.
Flash is pretty good. It stays off in Auto, Live and Program modes. In "Easy" mode it turns back on every restart. Three out of four ain't bad. I've still to try it with a slave flash to see if it is synchronised.
The "ON" button is sufficiently recessed to prevent being caught when in a (clean) pocket or being put back into its case. And the camera is small enough to fit into the same case that I used with my old camera.
It will operate in low light and has an ISO setting of 3200. Eat your heart out, grainy Tri-X.
Significantly it has a "Kids&Pets" setting that is appropriate for the crowd I mix with. It means it takes the picture when you press the damn button, not ten seconds later after adjusting shutter, aperture and focus.
After being very impressed by the quality of Steve White's Ashby Folville video, I'm bemused that this dinky sub £60 camera can take nearly half an hour of HD video. Better than my pukka Canon video camera!
It just needs a couple more things.
Me to choose and frame the pictures with some grace.
You to be the subject.
Deleting form fields
Just reading a forum on PC problems and a guy asked how to remove email addresses that appear whenever he is asked to fill in a form.
The answers were a bit technical and involved downloading and running dubious software. There is no need for such complications. Just move your mouse so the field is active, press the down arrow key on your keyboard to the first entry and press the delete key. Keep doing that until all the (unwanted) entries are removed.