Hot and Sandy

Travel writing, pictures and stuff for people I know. Quite a lot of cycling talk, and some semi-controlled ranting. Hiking, outdoor and two-wheeled stuff, perhaps a little computing when it's worth talking about. Meandering thoughts.

Friday, October 13

i3 REX at 33k Miles

More adventures in energy-saving. The car had a first service and a safety recall for a fuel tank vent issue, which went without a hitch.

The rear tyres are looking a little low (3mm) - legal but I think I can already feel an effect on handling, especially now that the weather is heading towards single digits. I will probably buy some Nokian winter tyres (all 155 section) and fit to stock REX wheels. Then I can keep the pair of good summer Bridgestones for next spring.

As before, the total driving distance has been lower because of working from home and a summer of using my GS when it was convenient and appealing. Some other changes to take into account also affected cost - we moved to a Tonik Energy 100% renewable electricity tariff, which is slightly more expensive (TCR of 13.6p, compared to 11.something before). And due to my works' chargers, the rate of dinosaur juice consumption has gone down and total % electric has risen (although slightly oddly the petrol MPG has actually gone up).

One final point to make about the average mi/kWh - mine is severely limited by my journey type. There is no way for me to hypermile effectively when I have to travel at 70mph on dual carriageways and motorways - the aero drag alone at those speeds is huge. Bearing in mind the recuperation scores and total eco measures I get, I am confident that we could achieve way more than 3.7 if the journey was different.

Wednesday, September 6

CPL or no CPL?

Thursday, August 3

GoPro on my Bike

Thursday, April 13

Email Encryption

Today I am at home with commitments. But find myself pondering the pros and cons of email encryption for regular users. It seems absurd that mainstream services were ever unencrypted. But I guess it's harder to use secure services, and the old adage of email being more like a postcard than a letter makes a lot of sense (even James Blunt wrote a song about it - yay go James). For me it's not about The Man - more like the little weasley people at my ISP and in the van outside Starbucks.

Edit: As if proof were needed that I repeat myself.

Sunday, March 12

i3 REX at 25k miles

It's still a great little car. Some minor warranty fixes (mine had a new pro nav head unit and a new A/C condenser after it started whining), and a couple of scheduled firmware updates.

So we're 110 weeks into ownership and my mean mileage has only been 230 miles/week. I was expecting this to be more like 400, but electing to work from home more (with a supportive employer), travelling away with work and using my motorbike have all had an impact.

Stats still looking good though, happy to see the electric portion growing!

For reference, this is the last set of numbers and this is when I last raved about the car:

Friday, February 24

DNS Racing

If you're interested in making the most of the Internet you pay for, have a look at using a local loopback hosts file to kill off blacklisted domains (worth a google, I've mentioned it before).

If you've already done that, then look at customised / carefully chosen DNS services. I like OpenDNS because they offer transparent logging / filtering if required and they have a nice little daemon to track your public IP if your ISP changes it. They also run anti-phishing and URL typo protection.

Once you've chosen your DNS provider, test them using Google Namebench (free download). This was my result - surprising that Virgin Media do such a good job of DNS resolution! I was expecting to be able to smugly declare that OpenDNS was a massive improvement. I guess this result is because of where I live.

Friday, January 13

Garmin Dash Cam 35