Category Archives: Thoughts on the World

"This is Bloody Dangerous!"

More MacBook battery woes – this time it’s serious. The title is a quote from arguably the greatest of Hollywood Musicals, Paint Your Wagon. The words are uttered by Mad Jack Duncan, a gold miner engaged in digging a shallow … Continue reading

Saturday, July 24, 2021 in PCs/Laptops, Thoughts on the World

No Middle Way

A study in UX atrocity – the Mercedes Benz COMAND SatNav I drive a 2011 Mercedes. Like many of its brethren, most of the vehicle is a demonstration of engineering excellence: smooth, efficient, safe and smart (in both senses of … Continue reading

Saturday, July 17, 2021 in Humour, Thoughts on the World, Travel

Disasters and Dystopias: Where Are We Now?

There’s a darkly humorous meme doing the rounds: It makes you chuckle, but it’s wrong. Firstly, I’m not sure even the most disheartened would actually claim to be living the events of The Matrix. Of course, there’s always the possibility … Continue reading

Sunday, January 17, 2021 in Humour, Thoughts on the World

Multi-shot Photography: Alive and Clicking

When I first made the transition to digital photography, I got into several forms of multi-shot photography, techniques where you take two or more independent exposures and combine them to get a result not possible with a single frame. As … Continue reading

Thursday, January 7, 2021 in Photography, Thoughts on the World

Last Light: A New Dawn?

We awoke on day 2 of the Dartmoor trip to a changed world at multiple levels: news from the US election of Trump’s likely demise, and much crisper, drier weather over Dartmoor. Lee decided to return to Combestone Tor for … Continue reading

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 in Photography, Thoughts on the World, Travel

Last Light Before Lockdown

After the cancellation of my Patagonia trip in March at a few days notice, and our short trip to France at 12 hours notice in July I was really hoping I could make my final attempt of the year work. … Continue reading

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 in Photography, Thoughts on the World, Travel

Design Lessons: Hotel Rooms

A humble (or not so humble) hotel room may succeed in delivering a satisfactory service to the user, but it may also fail dramatically to do so. These failures suggest that the “designer” either hasn’t thought about the user at … Continue reading

Saturday, September 19, 2020 in Humour, Thoughts on the World, Travel

That’s an Understatement!

We thought there "might be a bit of a wasps’ nest" in the loft. At first glance, I thought it might be behind a bundle of insulation, but no, it is the "bundle of insulation". For scale, the electric valve … Continue reading

Monday, August 17, 2020 in Thoughts on the World

From the Ministry of Strange Coincidences…

We’ve been getting through lockdown at least in part by working through Richard Coyle’s back catalogue. As well as things we hadn’t seen before, like the excellent Five Days of War, I tracked down a copy of The Whistleblowers from … Continue reading

Saturday, May 23, 2020 in Thoughts on the World

Demolition Man

A great piece of futurology, remarkably prescient for this year The other night we re-watched the highly entertaining Demolition Man, starring Sylvester Stallone, Sandra Bullock and Wesley Snipes (and let’s not forget Sir Nigel Hawthorne, who famously did it mainly … Continue reading

Hungry Birds!

Enormous excitement chez nous. We have a bird box, installed in the courtyard many years ago, which has been systematically ignored most years. But not this year. A couple of weeks ago we realised that a couple of blue tits … Continue reading

Friday, May 22, 2020 in Photography, Thoughts on the World

Channel Hopping Mad!

Why are digital radio and TV such exemplars of a bad user experience? In the good old days of a small number of analogue broadcast channels, watching TV or listening to the radio was a rewardingly simple process. To watch, … Continue reading

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 in Agile & Architecture, Thoughts on the World