Running Android apps on a Mac or PC with Google Chrome

3. April 2015 13:23 by Chris in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

There is one App I wish I had on my Windows hardware (phone, PC, laptop, tablet) and that is Ap Geiriaduron (http://www.bangor.ac.uk/canolfanbedwyr/ap_geiriaduron.php.en). That's the one I can think of offhand anyway. There might be others.

You may have come across Bluestacks (http://www.bluestacks.com/) before. This is an android emulator that runs on the PC. I tried it. It worked. It was clunky but it worked.

A tweet came in yesterday pointing me to another solution: http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/3/8339197/android-apps-on-windows-mac-linux-chrome-os. This actually isn't the best article if you are not au fait with all the technologies and concepts, as I wasn't, and I work in IT. So here is a slightly better step through (IMO):

  1. Make sure you have a recent version of the Google Chrome web browser.
  2. Go to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/arc-welder/emfinbmielocnlhgmfkkmkngdoccbadn and install the ARC Welder App.
  3. Obtain the ID of the 'APK' (application package file) from Google Play, e.g. for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cysgliad.android.apGeiriaduron it is 'com.cysgliad.android.apGeiriaduron'
  4. Go to a site like Evozi's APK Downloader and 'generate download link' for yout desired App's Google Play URL 
  5. Use this link to download the .apk file for your chosen App
  6. You can then 'add your APK' from ARC Welder, specify the orientation, etc. for the App and you are away.

There are variations of the above (see links) but I think this is the simplest way.

The problem this does not solve is how to run Android Apps on my Windows Phone, but it is a step in the right direction.

References

http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/3/8339197/android-apps-on-windows-mac-linux-chrome-os

https://developer.chrome.com/apps/getstarted_arc

http://www.androidpit.com/how-to-download-apk-file-from-google-play

.NET 2015 - An Overview

2. April 2015 13:00 by Chris in dev, IT Pro  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I’ve just finished catching up with a recording from dotnetconf 2015 (http://www.dotnetconf.net/): http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/dotnetConf/2015/Welcome-and-NET-2015-Overview

I am going to attempt to share and extend the knowledge presented here.

Being a .NET developer has gradually become a more and more complex propositions over the 13+ years since its launch and after viewing the video it is safe to say that it is only getting more complex as Microsoft and others attempt to extend support to a variety of different platforms, among other reasons.

With increments of .NET we are used to getting updates to the .NET languages, the underlying Framework and technologies built on it, such as ASP.NET. With .NET 2015 we have a couple of new .NET variants to get to grips with, and that is just for starters. 

Pass1

.NET 2015 could be summarised as two frameworks, .NET Framework 4.6 and .NET Core 5, both based on underlying shared runtime components, compilers and with intrinsic support from NuGet package management. .NET Core is a rewritten, stripped down version of the .NET Framework better suited to deployment scenarios where the full extent of the .NET Framework is not required.

Pass 2

A slightly fuller list of the constituent elements of .NET 2015 might be:

  • C# 6 (and VB 14)
  • Roslyn (the .NET Compiler Platform) – new(ish) C# and VB compilers, new language features, compiler-as-a-service and open source
  • .NET Framework 4.6
  • ASP.NET 5
    • Which does not support VB.NET or web forms(!)
  • .NET Native
    • An ahead-of-time compiler that compiles apps directly to native code and contains a minimal CLR runtime. Windows Store apps start up to 60% faster and use 15-20% less memory when compiled with .NET Native. 
  • .NET Core 5, as highlighted above but also key is that .NET Core is also supported by Microsoft on Linux and Mac OSX as well as Windows. This is a ‘biggie’.

Wow. Plenty of changes to get our heads around. That’s not everything either.

A related concept that might be new is that of Universal Windows apps which will run on .NET Native (ARM, x86, x64). The concept, or ‘app model’ has actually been around for a little while. It allows code sharing between Windows Phone & Windows apps (8.1+) and are deployed to the Windows Store. Further, Xamarin has plans to support the app model for Android and iOS development.

You might be asking ‘how does the .NET framework client profile fit into all this’, if you are as behind the times as me. The .NET Client Profile is a subset of the .NET Framework, which was provided with .NET Framework 4 and earlier versions and was optimized for client applications. A bit like .NET Core 5 then, but largely not;). Starting with the .NET Framework 4.5, the Client Profile has been discontinued and only the full redistributable package is available.

Microsoft is also making a big deal of a number of the constituent parts of .NET 2015 being open sourced/ community driven. This may well be a big deal but it isn’t something that holds my interest particularly currently as I’m too busy trying to understand what all these parts, how they might fit together and what it means for the industry and me, as a developer!

Pass 3

Let’s have a third pass through .NET 2015 adding a little more flesh. I like Beth Massi’s breakdown of the topic at

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bethmassi/archive/2015/02/25/understanding-net-2015.aspx and I have blatantly stolen key sections of of her text and interjected my own thoughts below:

Frameworks and Runtimes

The .NET Framework consists of 2 main components: the Common Language Runtime, the execution engine, and the Framework Class Library, which provides a code library developers can build upon.

  • .NET Framework 4.6 is the next full version of the framework as we know it today and will be delivered with Windows Update and with Windows 10.
  • .NET Core 5 is a general purpose, modular framework that can be used across a wide variety of app models and platforms, is available as open source, can be deployed modularly & locally (side-by-side), and will be supported by Microsoft on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX, though is only available for Windows at the time of writing. It is a refactored set of base class libraries (corefx) and runtime (coreclr) which includes a new JIT compiler (“RyuJIT”), the .NET Garbage Collector, native interop and many other .NET runtime components.

Compilers

  • The .NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") provides open-source C# and Visual Basic compilers. Roslyn produces platform independent Intermediate Language (IL) and is used when building against .NET 2015, including Framework and Core. There are also key language innovations in both VB and C#.
  • “RyuJIT” is the new default just-in-time (JIT) compiler for .NET on x64. The JIT compiler takes IL and compiles it for the particular machine architecture the first time it is executed at run-time. Used for desktop and server-based scenarios, RyuJIT is an overhaul of the previous 64-bit JIT compiler that significantly reduces startup times.
  • .NET Native compiles C# to native machine code that performs like C++, so developers continue to benefit from the productivity and familiarity of the .NET Framework with the performance of native code. This takes the place of the JIT run-time compilation we are used to.

App Models

App models extend the common libraries of .NET Framework 4.6 and .NET Core 5. Windows Forms, WPF, ASP.NET Web Forms, MVC 5, etc., app models that you are familiar with today are part of the .NET Framework 4.6, come with many new features, as well as benefit from the new innovations in the languages, Roslyn compiler, and RyuJIT. It is important to note that not all these app models and related languages are supported by .NET Core 5, far from it. However, some app models are new and designed to run on the optimized .NET Core 5 only.

ASP.NET 5

I’m primarily a web developer so am particularly interested in ASP.NET. ASP.NET 5 is a lean .NET app model for building modern web apps. It was built from the ground up to provide an optimized development framework for apps that are either deployed to the cloud or run on-premises. Based on user feedback some features have been dropped to ensure ASP.NET 5 is as lean as possible, e.g. web forms and VB support. It includes the MVC 6 framework, which now combines the features of MVC and Web API into a single web programming framework, as well as SignalR 3 - enabling you to add real time functionality. It consists of modular components with minimal overhead, so you retain flexibility while constructing your solutions. Almost all features are now implemented as NuGet modules, allowing you to optimize your app to have just what you need. It also now has built in support for dependency injection, whereas previously you had to rely on 3rd parties.

ASP.NET 5 can run on top of .NET Framework 4.6 or .NET Core 5. Today, ASP.NET 5 uses the Mono runtime to run on Linux and Mac. Once .NET Core supports Linux and Mac, then ASP.NET 5 will move to using .NET Core for those platforms.

 

Right, my head is spinning. Back to the day job until .NET 2015 is released at least.

 

References

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bethmassi/archive/2015/02/25/understanding-net-2015.aspx
http://www.hanselman.com/blog/IntroducingASPNETVNext.aspx
http://www.dotnetrocks.com/default.aspx?showNum=1121
http://stephenwalther.com/archive/2015/02/24/top-10-changes-in-asp-net-5-and-mvc-6
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.NET_Framework
https://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/introducing-asp-net-5

Horizons/ Gorwelion

29. March 2015 14:06 by Chris in ForTheRecod, Welsh  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

We're off to see the Horizons/ Gorwelion event at Chapter in Cardiff tonight (Sunday 29/03/15). I thought I'd have a listen to the singers/ bands and might as well make a note of a few links while I do.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1WhvnGjVSWVwMTtLw0GXkJ8/what-is-horizons-gorwelion & http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/emg5v2.

Theatre

Gabrielle Murphy https://soundcloud.com/gabriellemurphy @gabymurphy 19.30-20.00

Climbing Trees https://soundcloud.com/climbingtrees @ClimbingTrees 20.15-20.50

The People The Poet https://soundcloud.com/thepeoplethepoet @People_Poet 21.00-21.35

Houdini Dax https://soundcloud.com/houdini-dax @HoudiniDax 21.50-22.30

Social Space

Chris Jones http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02fhw3m @chrisgwerin  18.25-19.00

Seazoo https://soundcloud.com/seazoo @seazooband 19.20-19.55

Kizzy Crawford https://soundcloud.com/kizzymerielcrawford @kizzkez 20.10-20.35

Gabrielle Murphy https://soundcloud.com/gabriellemurphy @gabymurphy 20.55-21.10

Baby Queens https://soundcloud.com/baby-queens @baby_queens 21.25-22.00

 

 

Configuring SQL Server to listen on a specific port

26. March 2015 10:17 by Chris in ForTheRecod, IT Pro  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Looking at our SQL Server 2008R2 box, which was exposed to the internet on the default sql server port of 1433, I noticed in the event log we were getting sporadic brute force attacks by bots on various SQL Server user accounts. A quick google indicates that this configuration is just not on. You are just asking for such trouble. I didn't set this box up by the way. I don't think ;) There are articles out there with several recommendations but the key one is move to a different port. The MSDN article on this topic isn't perfectly clear and it does depend on your network setup - configured IP addresses and the like. So here is my quick guide on the matter.

In SQL Server config manager go to to TCP/IP in network config for the server instance and change the TCP port settings to another number - the top end is about 49000 and a few are reserved. Google/ Bing is your friend. The slightly confusing bit, for me, was which to reconfigure port forwarding entries to reconfigure - networking isn't my day job. IP6 looked like the correct option. That didn't work when changed, service restarted and connecting from management studio from another machine - the default port was still working. As I had SQL 2012 on the box as well installed on a different port I compared settings and all its ports were set to the same bar 1 so I did similarly for 2008R", in fact configuring them all to the new port.

I then check management studio again, connecting to the default port on the local network to the machine name and it failed. I tried on the configured port - servername,portno - and that timed out as well BUT I figured this was firewall security. I added an inbound entry for that port in the firewall for TCP and whiel I was there I disabled the existing rule for 1433. Tried again and bingo, I was in. All good.

Next step was to check the sub-domain forwarding on the LAN router set up to direct connections from the internet to the box where the sql server instance resides. Not particularly recalling the config detail at the I hoped this would 'just work', but it didn't ;( SQL Server 'actively refused' the connection. Checking the router config I was reminded that it was port forwarding that was configured for the external static IP so of course this was set to 1433 and had to be modified as well. Then, ... it worked. Joy. The one final test I need to get to is to make sure that connections *actually* external to my LAN can access the SQLServer through the new port. But there is no urgent requirement to do so and I have these notes to return to now if needs must.

I then also cleared all those application event log entries for the brute force attacks and will keep a closer eye on the logs from now on.

This is recorded here in case I need it again but, you never know, it may be of use to someone else!

However, I may not need it again as

a) I'm moving which might mean discarding the current static IP (though I may need to keep that for other work reasons actually), and

b) I should really be using Azure by now anyway!

 

 

Wesh Language Books

24. March 2015 06:29 by Chris in Welsh  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I keep coming across Welsh books that I don't (yet) have the time to read. So here is where I shall remind myself I should at least give them a go. I'll also add notes here when I do get round to reading them and I'll also add the few books I've read already. As such this a work in progress I'll hopefully return to regularly.

Just as background in case you've not come across my other posts. I'm a long-time Welsh learner mainly doing the 'slow and steady' approach with once a week classes and supporting outside activities but have attempted to 'step things up' a little over the last couple of years with a twice a week course and an intensive course at the end of last year. As a result I'm at level Uwch2 and supposedly ready for the pseudo A-level (Welsh as a 2nd Language) which, to my shame, 5 or 6 of my fellow students are preparing for currently (24/03/2015). Maybe next year.

 

Dirgel ddyn by Morgan, Mihangel

This is one of the choice of 'A-leve'l books and my tutor is particularly keen on this author. I borrowed this book from the library a few weeks ago, struggled through the first page due to the complexity of the vocabulary and put it to one side as I had another to try. I had been told it was a difficult but good book but as I've been put off wading through books like this in the past as it is just not enjoyable I may return to the library and try again at a later date.

On a related note there is an opinion that you shouldn't get too bogged down reading books in your second language expecting to understand every word and that if you appreciate the gist/ main threads this is sufficient. I can appreciate the argument and even agree, to a degree, but this may come down to the type and character of the reader. Personally I find it frustrating if there are too many words in a page that I can't work out from the context. It also spoils the reading experience as the length of time it takes and the complexity of the process of 'reading' compromises the ability to appreciate and hence enjoy the story.

 

Blodwen Jones Trilogy by Bethan Gwanas

Bywyd Blodwen Jones (1999)

Blodwen Jones a'r Aderyn Prin (2001)

Tri Chynnig i Blodwen Jones (2003)

These books were great for me at my stage of learning - Canolradd if memory serves. They are part of the Nofelau Nawr series for adult Welsh learners. Compared to the book in the same series I tried to read over one summer (Deltanet - see below) they were a joy to read. The level was more appropriate to me and they were amusing. The dialect was not the South Walian I was used to but, hey, you need to get used to the regional variations at some point.

 

Deltanet, Andras Millward

Didn't like this book. To be fair it might have been too high a level for me when I started. When I returned to it a year later after reading the Blodwen Jones series I did enjoy it more.

 

Modrybedd Afradlon, Mihangel Morgan

Struggled a bit again to get into it but finished the second half at a good pace which I think is key to enjoying a book. I agree with the review at http://ssiw.pbworks.com/w/page/36027266/Fiction%20and%20Poetry.

 

Smoc Gron Back by Eirug Wyn (1994, 192 pages)

There was an excerpt from this book as part of a homework in course Uwch 2 and it was a) good and b) intriguing, so I ordered the book from the library immediately. I now have 3 books out for the library so I'll have to decide which one to go for and return the other 2 for the enjoyment of others. I think it'll be this one I go for.

 

Noson Yr Heliwr by Lyn Ebenezer (1994, 160 pages)

Another of the A level reading books. Heading towards the 'horror' genre direction judging by the blurb and the first couple of pages. Based on a film apparently. One of those waiting for me to return to.

 

‘Blwyddyn’, ‘Blynedd’ and ‘Blwydd’

15. September 2014 19:24 by Chris in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I went to a revision class last Saturday before the start of my new Welsh course. One of the topics we went over was 'years' and it quickly became apparent that I didn't know much about the topic. Hence this blog post by way of additional revision! The below is based on 'Welsh Grammar' by Christine Jones as well as the examples from my last session at Cardiff University's Welsh for Adults Centre. 

‘Blwyddyn’, ‘Blynedd’ and ‘Blwydd’ are all used to refer to years in Welsh. 

Blwyddyn is a feminine singular noun, the plural of which is blynyddoedd.

Blwyddyn is used on its own with the cardinal one and with all ordinals:

Buodd hi’n gweithio yn yr adran am flwyddyn.
She worked in the department for a year.

Mae hi yn y flwyddyn gyntaf.
She is in the first year.

Dw i wedi byw yn yr ardal am flynyddoedd.
I’ve lived in the area for years.

With the exception of one blynedd is used with cardinal numbers (traditional):

un flwyddyn
dwy flynedd
tair blynedd
pedair blynedd
pum mlynedd
chwe blynedd
saith mlynedd
wyth mlynedd
naw mlynedd
deg (deng) mlynedd
un mlynedd ar ddeg
deuddeg (deuddeng) mlynedd
tair blynedd ar ddeg
pedair blynedd ar ddeg
pymtheg (pymtheng) mlynedd
un mlynedd ar bymtheg
dwy flynedd ar bymtheg
deunaw mlynedd
pedair blynedd ar bymtheg
ugain mlynedd

With the more modern number system blynedd will still mutate after 10 according to the number it follows or you can use the plural which simplifies matters:

un deg dwy flynedd or un deg dwy o flynyddoedd
un deg pump mlynedd or un deg pump o flynyddoedd
un deg chwe blynedd or un deg chwe o flynyddoedd

‘Blwydd’ is used when referring to age and age is always feminine regardless of the subject of the sentence. Also blwydd can be omitted but oed will remain.

Mae e’n ddwy (flwydd) oed.

On its own blwydd means a year old.

Mae’r babi’n flwydd oed.

Further Examples

  • Cwrddais i â fe dair blynedd yn ôl.
  • Mae merch dwy flwydd oed gyda hi.
  • Mae eu mab nhw’n flwydd oed yfory.
  • Roedden ni’n arfer mynd yno bob blwyddyn.
  • Y llynedd oedd y bedwaredd flwyddyn i mi fynd yna.
  • Rydyn ni’n briod ers pymtheg mlynedd.
  • Hon ydy’r ail flwyddyn iddo gystadlu.
  • Maen nhw’n byw yna ers deugain mlynedd.
  • Flwyddyn yn ôl ro’ch chi yn yr ysbyty.
  • Roedd y llynedd yn flwyddyn brysur iawn.
  • Blwyddyn newydd dda!
  • Dw i’n gobeithio ymddeol ymhen pum mlynedd.

 

Think you see a mistake above? It's distinctly possible so let me know!  

 

Enquiry Cymraeg

9. September 2014 18:47 by Chris in Welsh  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I received an email enquiry and I thought I'd share my responses on the blog: 

"... I learn languages quickly but it is much easier for me to learn a language if I have a more formal grammatical introduction to the language.

1. Is there a book, either obtainable on-line or in the UK (where I've family and friends) which you could recommend for learning Welsh that way, especially with regular lessons, vocabulary and readings as the grammar is covered?
2. Is there a good and thorough dictionary you would recommend giving Welsh-English equivalents and vice-versa?
3. Finally, I regret to say that I am woefully ignorant of Welsh literature written in the Welsh language. I do own a Welsh translation of Harry Potter but once I've learned the language well enough to read that translation, how can I find out about what there is to read properly in Welsh?"

 

Re: 1 -

 

This is interesting as it emphasizes the fact that different people learn in different ways. SSIW (https://www.saysomethingin.com/welsh/course1) is the first option many recommend but this is very much a course about developing speaking conversational skills over grammar, at least as far as I have experienced listening to course 1.

 

A better option in this case, and a course I can personally recommend, is Catchphrase (http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/catchphrase/catchphrase1/lessons1.shtml) which is a little long in the tooth but little changes with languages over such a relatively short time and has both more of a grammatical focus as well as supporting documentation you can also download. There is also a good initial grammar guide available from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/learnwelsh/pdf/welshgrammar_allrules.pdf). I have several other welsh course books I could direct you towards if these links are not suitable, but I haven't delved into these much as I have had enough to cope with attending classes in person. I do dip into another book: Teach Yourself Welsh Grammar by Christine Jones (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0340887869/) - this has useful exercises to reinforce learning as well.

 

Re: 2 -

To be honest I use electronic dictionaries 99% of the time - at least until recently when my wife lost our Android Tablet (!) as Ap Geriaiduron (http://www.bangor.ac.uk/canolfanbedwyr/ap_geiriaduron.php.en) is available for Apple and Android devices. Check out the rest of the Canolfan Bedwyr site as well as they run several projects of interest. The BBC site (http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/welshdictionary/en-cy/ runs off the same database I understand. Also for vocab Google Translate (https://translate.google.com/) isn't too bad at all, just don't tax it too much with grammar. As far as hardcopy dictionaries are concerned 'Y Geiriadur Mawr' by Christopher Davies, published by Gomer is the standard recommendation once you're past beginners dictionaries.

 

Re: 3 -

I am going to point you at 'Y Lolfa' and, particularly, their 'Stori Sydyn' series. I will also recommend the works of Bethan Gwanas and, particularly, her Blodwen Jones trilogy which are part of the 'Nofelau Nawr' series for learners. Unlike some books aimed at learners these entertain as well as introduce you to new parts of the language. I would say that any of these probably aren't any more complex than Harry Potter, but they are more Welsh!

 

Trialling Trello

18. June 2014 10:55 by Chris in productivity  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I've always struggled with task management so am giving Trello a try. Trello seems to be a very flexible tool so where to start? Well I'm starting here: 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timmaurer/2013/11/21/7-steps-to-creating-the-best-personal-task-management-system-with-trello/

http://simpleprogrammer.com/2014/02/17/secret-ridiculous-productivity-im-using-now/

I'll be back with my thoughts after giving it a whirl for a week or so. 

Chris.

 

 

 

Are cyclists invisible to drivers?

2. June 2014 10:47 by Chris in Cycling, ForTheRecod  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I cycle a lot, though not great distances: I cycle the kids to school, I cycle to the gym, I cycle to Welsh classes. I used to cycle to work before I worked from home. In the summer I prefer to get out on a Sunday morning in the fresh air while it is quiet and go out on a bike for a couple of hours rather than being stuck in a dark gym to get my exercise . 

I have a car. I'm not entirely sure why we are a two car family - historical I think when I did need to travel with work a bit more and once you are used to two cars ... I have a problem with the car, particularly in the summer, as I can end up not needing/ wanting to drive for weeks on end and I've had to call the AA equivalent twice now because the battery was dead when I did actually need to use it. My car is not the most financially efficient proposition. Particularly when compared to my bikes.

But maybe I should be using my car more in Cardiff because I'm getting a bit fed up now with car drivers ploughing into me. Maybe I've been lucky previously but after a 2nd incident this morning that makes 2 in a month or so. In both cases the driver has admitted responsibility 100%. Though maybe I should start cycling more 'defensively'. I should also count my lucky stars as I was hardly injured and it was only this morning I heard the news of another cyclist death in London.

In the first accident a mini hit me square from behind at I was waiting at a junction going onto Column Road from Cardiff University buildings where I have my Welsh course 7-9 , 2 evenings a week. It was dusk, I had lights and reflective clothing on. He didn't see me. The wheel took the full, minor impact - I was still standing wondering what had happened immediately after - the wheel had complete buckled. It was my wife's cheap Raleigh I was using that day as I don't like leaving more expensive bikes locked in public places if I can help it. So we 'negotiated' and he give me £40 as approximately the cost of getting a new wheel fitted. Though, I may just jettison the bike as it only cost about twice this new.

The second happened today, 02/06/14, at 9.30 as I came back from my gym in Leckwith at the junction of Cowbridge Road East and Llandaff Road in Canton. The annoying thing with this one is that I've previously reported this junction to the council as dangerous, having had a near misses before and observed near misses between cars as well. There are a few problems with this junction but the pertinent one is drivers turning right onto Cowbridge Road coming from the Llandaff direction seemingly either thinking they have priority over road users on Cowbridge Road turning right, to the Llandaff direction. Or often, I think, rushing to make the turn in the gap between the traffic as the lights have just changed, focussing on the cars and not seeing the bike in front of the cars also making that same turn. In fact in this instance I think the driver was focussing on the slow lorry behind me rather than me, and thought he had enough time before the lorry arrived. He may have done, but there was another vehicle in front of the lorry he didn't see, which I was riding.

I've had a near miss in exactly this way previously and this time couldn't avoid the car and was hit from the side. Fortunately the chap broke in time, hit my front wheel, I think, to the right hand side, based on the damage, and I tumbled to the left getting away with a bruised knee/ leg. The chap was fine about it, admitting he hadn't seem me at all, providing his details and offering to pay for any damage. I didn't think there was any initially but it seems the front wheel will need to be straightened, though I'll get away without needing a new wheel according to my local bike shop. Hopefully the chap will just pay so the hassle can be kept to a minimum.

What next, more generally?

  • I'm keen to get the incident reported to do my bit to raise awareness of issues such as this to improve the lot of cyclists in Cardiff. Perversely this comes days after I was admiring the new layouts for cyclists in Cardiff Bay that the council have provided. So I will pursue this.
  • I'm going to avoid that junction on my way home and/ or get the brightest, day-glo cycling jacket I can find so we can mitigate this seeming issue of cyclists being invisible

I may be back with an update.

11/06/2014

My update is that the chap has paid for the wheel to be repaired but the local bike shop are taking an age to fix it so I am cycling slowly around on the wife's purple, sparkly mountain bike I picked up on Gumtree the other day for £15. On the plus side I've sold the remnants of the Raleigh on Gumtree for £30.

Also, more interestingly,  there is limited research that hi-vis vests don't work: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2013/jan/10/cycling-high-visibility-safe-fluorescent. This is counter-intuitive? Really, particularly for my 2nd accident above? Ta to @coshgirl for the link, care of @cyclingcardiff.

 

 

Primary Education in Cardiff and Related Post Sunday Lunch Grumpiness

25. May 2014 13:13 by Chris in Rant  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

I sat down to lunch half an hour ago and found a document on the dining room table - '21st Century Schools Engagement Document 2014: Four Wards' published by Cardiff Council. Rightly or wrongly this document has annoyed me. Perhaps I would have been better off finding some alternative reading material for lunchtime.

It seems to me, based on my 10 min flick through, to be a waste of time, energy and money. It is asking for feedback on potential school sites from the public. Several issues spring to mind with this process/ document but I'm principally annoyed, I think, because the document asks for feedback but does not contain the primary information that should inform the decision making process with regard to the location of the schooling facilities, namely the actual and anticipated geographical distribution of the children who will attend the school(s) and allied proposed catchment areas, which also needs to be informed by knowledge of the current facilities in place in the areas under consideration. Without this fuller information how can anyone express an informed opinion as regards possible locations?

Further, why involve the public at this stage and/ or in this way. The document is next to useless in its current form. What are the council's recommendations based on what should be their extensive experience, knowledge and research regarding each of the proposed sites and which option, in combination with other plans for primary education in Cardiff, also notably absent from the document, do they recommend and why? What is the point of asking the public what they think at this juncture when they do not been given the necessary information and guidance to allow any form of sensible decision to be concluded? Cart before the horse?

What I would be particularly keen to avoid are the mistakes made by the council in primary education in recent years - namely the situation with Ysgol Treganna which took (getting on for) 10 years to resolve.

In terms of my response to the council based on the scarcity of pertinent information in the document: I don’t really care where the schools are as long as they best meet the full requirements of primary education in Cardiff for now and the foreseeable future (which aren’t presented in the document as far as I can see).

About the author

I am Dr Christopher Sully (MCPD, MCSD) and I am a Cardiff, UK based IT Consultant/ Developer and have been involved in the industry since 1996 though I started programming considerably earlier than that. During the intervening period I've worked mainly on web application projects utilising Microsoft products and technologies: principally ASP.NET and SQL Server and working on all phases of the project lifecycle. If you might like to utilise some of the aforementioned experience I would strongly recommend that you contact me. I am also trying to improve my Welsh so am likely to blog about this as well as IT matters.

Month List