« first day (1282 days earlier)   

12:09 AM
@headeronly walking boots. In the winter it's a technical climb, but in the summer it's fairly straightforward. A bit of scrambling in a few places, but nothing that requires roping up.
We did cross a few significant snowfields, but trekking poles were adequate.
I always hike with enough gear to stay out overnight if I had to (pad, extra warm clothes, usually a small tarp, extra food + water, etc.) but we saw people hiking up with nothing but jeans, a t-shirt, and a single water bottle. I was flabbergasted... they were still on their way up around 5pm and looked already exhausted.
It's 13-14 miles round-trip and 4900 ft of elevation gain, and the summit is at 10500', so it's a non-trivial hike for sure.
 
Sounds like a grand day out! Funny when you see "noddy walkers" - I bet they were exhausted!
I don't know my altitudes... does the air get noticeably thin at that height?
 
12:36 AM
@nhinkle yup, some people like to live on the edge. I've been in situations where we've bailed off a mountain (with full gear) because of a weather change and run into people coming the other way in shorts and t shirts. The ugly thing is that if they get caught we're the ones who will be asked to volunteer to go and look for them.
 
Hey @Mac
I notice loads of Bicycles SE users are programmers, or data analysts, or similar...
Is it the case that anybody on SE is likely to be a developer, or do cycling and coding make good bedfellows?
 
@headeronly The latter, the whole SE/SO community is heavily skewed towards IT people and especially developers.
 
Mac
@headeronly @Mσᶎ I agree that people investing on this kind of site are likely to be techos
 
@Moz thought as much. Sitting here writing an OS kernel as we speak ;)
 
Mac
I certainly found this site through stackoverflow, the granddaddy of all the stack exchange sites
I have plenty of non-technical cycling buddies but can't get them interested in this forum
 
12:42 AM
@Mσᶎ yep. I'm wilderness first aid certified and always carry a bunch of extra gear, not just to keep myself safe but also in case someone else gets hurt. And I definitely kept thinking "goddamnit I do not want to turn around and go back to help you when you realize that 750 mL is not enough water for this climb!"
 
@headeronly Whereas I'm avoiding PHP. I'm not a web developer by nature.
 
@Mac: That's how I got here too. It's nice to see such an active community of cyclists amongst the geeks :)
 
@headeronly anything about ~5000 ft there starts to be less oxygen. Above 8000 ft and altitude sickness becomes a concern.
 
Mac
Agreed :)
I wonder if reddit is the same. It seems that /r/bikewrench has some very capable bike mechanics
 
I think the sorts of people who are likely to be interested in computers/engineering are also more likely to be interested in asking and answering a bunch of questions about their hobbies/sports/whatever. Most people are like, "so you uh... ask questions and stuff? oookkk..... so?"
 
12:44 AM
I have lots of climbing/bouldering buddies who are programmers... Writing code is quite a solitary, and often intense, experience. It's about your own private headspace, y'know? Kind of like cycling, and climbing too... Personal challenges, problem-solving...
Not that these things have to be antisocial, per se...
 
Mac
@headeronly good point about problem solving. Lots of software folk tinker with mechanicals as well
 
@Moz: God I hate PHP. What an ugly mess of a language. I have to do bits and bobs of web development from time to time, and it drives me mad.
 
@headeronly the elec engineering department I studied in had a lot of climbers/mountaineers and outdoor sportspeople. And a few who weren't, but it was a fairly prominent strand.
 
@headeronly you should try Django. I learned it when I started building my bike lights site, and my god, it's so much more pleasant than anything with PHP.
 
12:47 AM
@Mσᶎ: This is my kind of code ;)
 
@nhinkle if I had the choice I would change. But it's a bit late now.
@headeronly the dudes I work with would probably agree. I think I was hired because of a collective "ewww" from the embedded guys. Luckily I have a C++ server application as well for light releif.
 
chuckles
 
And, thankfully, I'm allowed to use Linux as a platform, the user-installable stuff is all Windows based and for some reason talks to internet-accessible windows servers.
 
I wonder if there's any chat room on the stack exchange network where tech discussions don't come up frequently.
 
@nhinkle the hebrew one, they have a rule.
 
12:51 AM
@nhinkle Heh! Am I out of order for going OT here?
 
@headeronly not at all. We talk about all kinds of random stuff.
Amusingly, if you're a mod on any SE site (except SO), you're a mod on all SE chat rooms (but not SO chat rooms).
 
Well permit me to take a smoke break and come back to human level for a mo... I'm going mad here. I collect all manner of ancient analogue music gizmos, and I'm building a PCI-E card to spit out control voltages to trigger it all. It's going to be powered from a bare metal music sequencer OS I'm about 0.2% into...
 
My version of PHP is angsting about whether to add a services "layer" to the mini-MVC framework I'm using, and trying to abstract out stuff like pagination and database ID translation.
 
@Mσᶎ my advice would be not to build too many layers. I prefer big, flat (but sensibly-named) APIs to deeply-nested stuff
 
@headeronly that sounds like the sort of project that could distract you for quite a long time. My latest happyjoy is the SBrick (kickstarter.com/projects/sbrick/…) that gives bluetooth control of Lego. I have one channel on a breadboard at home...
@headeronly it's very mini, and the question is just how much copy-paste-modify do I want. PHP is very prone to "copy the paging code and change the database table name in the phtml file"
 
12:56 AM
@Mσᶎ that looks pretty cool!
I'm about to pull out the Lego NXT kit again to do some tinkering
 
Seconded! Ohhhh the joys of being a kidult! Wireless lego!
 
The NXT has bluetooth, but it's so much bulkier than that thing.
 
@nhinkle yeah, I decided a few years ago that Lego is the cheap way to keep myself entertained. This was after I sold a 4 axis CNC mill project for $10k (it ran off a nasty, nasty DIY 3 phase inverter fed from two single phase power points). After that we agreed that a few grand spent on Lego was cheap at the price.
 
@Mσᶎ O_O
Wow.
 
I mean, it was safe but not certified, if you know what I mean.
 
12:59 AM
I was looking at possible future employment opportunities a while back... Lego had a posting for a process engineer with plastics experience. AKA me! Sadly I need to graduate before I can get jobs.
 
@Mσᶎ Yeah, keeping column names in sync is a b!tch. PHP just doesn't interface with DBs nicely; it's a flawed pattern. As (gasp!) JavaScript JIT compilers get better and better, it seems to me like a native JSON DB system would be a good idea... but widespread adoption would never happen.
 
@headeronly ugh. Too much JS already.
 
I hear you. But it pays the bills and doesn't hurt like php.
You're preaching to the converted though, I'm a C++/ASM kinda guy
 
I use it all the time, I just dislike it.
 
@headeronly I quite like some of the OPF stuff in Python etc, but javascript I'm not a fan of. Even the wrappers (Smart Mobile Studio, CoffeeScript) don't do it for me. Although you can get cheap embedded boards that run it now.
 
1:01 AM
Then again, I'm not so into assembly myself.
 
I am, however, about to dip into 3D printing since work fell for the "cheap but crappy" scam and so are not using it for anything. What moron decided that single side support was a good idea for any CNC machine? But anyway, it's there. it's available, and ShapeWays is expensive.
Saving ~$1000 buying a cheap one, then paying an engineering for two days in order to get a ~$50 part printed is the sort of thing you really have to just point and laugh about.
/engineer/
 
I'm excited by Lotus' forays into 3D carbon fibre printing. They've found a way to control the weave, from what I have heard...
 
@headeronly that sort of stuff is fascinating. Someone in Melbourne has a 5 axis CNC cutter/layup rig for sea kayaks that I was looking at a couple of years ago (for speedbike builds) but they wanted a fortune for builds on it, and we couldn't justify the size/space to build our own one.
 
This will be big for bike tech too, in the long run, I reckon. But first, it's going to change motor racing in dramatic ways... Think new formulae, in which teams turn up two days before race day armed with nothing but an engine, CFD data and a 3D printer!
 
Thing is, those machines are not especially hard to build these days if you want DIY/semi-production quality rather than "full speed, all the time" industrial level.
 
1:08 AM
It's all voodoo to me, I'm no engineer
 
@headeronly I think it's more about being able to build car parts that are optimised for the exact track and weather they are facing.
@headeronly it's a tiny bit more complicated than Lego. You draw up parts, send them off to the laser cutter, when the bits arrive you assemble them and point the MIG welder at the relevant joints (spray'n'pray is good enough). Then you bolts the motors and stuff on, plug in the wires and and the controller you bought off ebay, and there it is.
 
@Mσᶎ Gotcha.
Going further, 4D printing is plain scary. So far it's limited to some pretty crude experiments ATM (self-assembling cubes... people talking about self-erecting camping furniture and stuff... pah!)
But when it's coupled with more advanced composite manufacture (nanotechnology?) we're going to see T-1000 type shit
 
Woo! My university's library got the FL1 standard in, and it's being sent to the nearest campus for me to pick up.
 
"it" being a CNC router, mill, cutter or whatever you happen to want on the day. Or you buy some clapped out old robot arm that's worn past a refit being useful, and go "goody, 2000 micron tolerance works for my new carbon layup robot". 2000 micron is useless for, say, a TIG welding arm, but for my garage? That's just peachy. Add a 2 or 3 axis platform to hold the part and you can cust a block of foam into shape, swap heads and wrap tape onto just about anything.
The problem is space, noise and power. It helps to have a few hundred square metres with 3 phase power and no neighbours. One guy I know owns a little software company and builds radio controlled aircraft as a hobby. Using a big garage and about $100k worth of home-made CNC machines. As you do :)
 
@Mσᶎ You make it sound so easy :) Damn, if I could just afford a house, I'd be half way there!
@nhinkle I just googled FL1. Your excitement made my day :D
 
1:15 AM
@headeronly you must be new here ;)
 
Well, yeah... every time I've swung by chat, it's been deserted! Nice to finally meet you all :) [edit: irony wasn't wasted on me :p]
 
I used to write bike light reviews on this site's blog and then eventually made my own bike lights website. Companies send me lights, I test them and write reviews, then random people on the internet apparently read them, or so my analytics software tells me.
 
@headeronly be grateful you're not in Australia. We're in the top 10% of households by income but we're still looking at 10+ years of after-tax income to buy a house anywhere close to city/rail line. So we're arguing about an apartment vs living an hour from work on the train. I'd rather have a house, but she who must spend that hour on the train is not convinced.
@nhinkle and with any luck random people on the internet send you bike lights too.
 
@Mσᶎ that too. Did you end up putting those in the mail?
@Mσᶎ an hour from work via train, or an hour from the train station?
 
@nhinkle not yet, but hopefully today.
@nhinkle an hour on the train, living within 15 minutes walk of the station.
 
1:18 AM
Cool. No rush, apparently Serfas just sent me 4 lights that should be here by the end of the week, so I'll have my hands full.
@Mσᶎ yikes.
 
Sydney has a reasonably good train system, but house prices are nuts. For ~$600k we can get 10 minutes walk, 45 minutes train, 10 minutes walk as a commute. Or for ~1M we can make that train trip ~15 minutes.
 
Based on what they've told me, Serfas' new commuter line is going to blow a lot of the competition out of the water with regards to features:price ratio.
 
@nhinkle that would be excellent... if the beam pattern is bearable.
 
@Mσᶎ yeah. That's what I'm worried about, they don't have a good track record with regards to optics.
 
@nhinkle I've seen your site, it's really nice. As far as lights to be seen by go, have you seen the fibre flares? They're not particularly good value, but I love how flexible, sorry, versatile, they are.
 
1:21 AM
I was late leaving work yesterday (~1700) so I got to ride home into a stream of people coming the other way. It was NOT FUN.
 
@headeronly just curious, did you see my site from here or find it elsewhere?
I haven't checked those out yet, but people have mentioned them before.
 
@nhinkle I saw a link somewhere on SE... can't remember where. I have a red FF bent around my rear brake bridge - it looks like a glowing brake booster :)
 
@nhinkle they seem to absolutely require brand new batteries if they're to be visible at all. Or at least the AAA powered ones do/did. Hopefully they're using LiIon batteries and proper controllers now.
 
@Mσᶎ the fibre flares?
 
On their website it looks like they have some with integrated rechargeable batteries and some that take AA(A)'s
 
1:23 AM
@headeronly yeah.
 
The red ones last quite a long time on AAAs (at least mine seem to). But when the batteries get old they trick you. Turn em on, and they're nice and bright. Two minutes later and they've faded to nothing.
But, it's nice to be seen from the side. Haven't seen many lights that are visible from all angles...
 
Part of it is the losses from their light pipe, and part of it is just cheap, shitty electronics. I prefer lights with a "fuck you" mode for when I'm forced onto major roads at night as well as mid and low power modes. I may be one of the few people who actually like having full-full+flash-mid-mid+flash-low-low+flash modes.
@headeronly many rear lights are visible at least 180°. I'm pretty sure Nathan includes that in his ratings.
 
@Mσᶎ I'll read his reviews in depth then. Re: FU lights, I'm with you. For the dark roads I rock an Exposure Maxx-D on full and an Exposure Strada on blink. Total punishment for anyone coming my way, but I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles...
 
Man I need to write up my "FU" light.
 
@nhinkle New sub-category for the site? :P
 
1:28 AM
It's one of these hooked up to a LiIon battery pack (but in amber, not blue, since I don't want to get arrested)
@headeronly what I really need is to add some sort of blog or something, but I've got too many other features to implement first.
 
Dude that is heinously bright :D
But this is the greatest thing I've ever seen
 
I use it almost exclusively for daylight riding when I'm on roads with fast traffic and no shoulder.
 
@headeronly yeah, PoV lights are cool. But they're kind of an expensive toy.
 
I rarely use it at night unless I'm really in a tight spot, since it's just overpowering.
 
@Mσᶎ Agreed, but whoever dreamed up that particular design is a god
 
1:32 AM
So I just ordered up a light sensor from Vernier, and a USB adapter. Going to hook it up with the NXT inside a long dark box, so I can measure the brightness of a light over time, and rotate the light using the NXT motors to measure brightness at different angles from the light.
 
@nhinkle I like to run rear daylight lights on seatpost and helmet, and my headlights are usually pretty sad because I like a flashing 180° on the front plus a constant see by on my handlebars or helmet at night. But I also run constant dyno lights obver my 106 wheels all the time. And the bike has quite a lot of reflective tape on it (white frame, ~60% coverage)
@nhinkle yay! great plan! If you can score some cheap black cloth that's often less reflective than paint. Spray adhesive + cloth on cardboard (telescope building tricks)
 
@Mσᶎ yeah I'm looking for something like that.
I did some research on light absorbent materials and all the results were from camera and telescope forums :D
Any suggestions for any particular type of cloth?
I also need to rig up some cooling fans, so the results aren't affected by the light overheating.
 
@nhinkle I have SCA friends, so my cloth shopping tends to be of the "can I go through your rag bag" variety. I'd go for thick and soft, like flanelette sheets (if you can find a dead goth they will have lots of options)
I dunno about dyeing so much, I got lucky with some black theatre curtains at the critical time so we ended up with about 50 square metres of fireproof black velvet.
 
Right, it's bedtime for me before I decide to optimise another loop down to 16 bytes. Gents, it's been a pleasure! See you round here soon :)
 
@headeronly see ya! Sleep well.
 
1:37 AM
@Mσᶎ man I wish I could find some of that!
@headeronly 'night!
 
@nhinkle it might be worth asking your local theatres, some of them have the space to hoard.
But yeah, costume people are the people to talk to if you can. They will know where to get stuff cheap, who has stuff, and where you can scrounge stuff.
 
1:55 AM
I'll post on our local subreddit perhaps
and look on craigslist free section... all sorts of stuff shows up there
 
Mac
2:27 AM
I was looking at this question bicycles.stackexchange.com/q/23780/1588 and it's been closed as a duplicate
I don't see that it's a duplicate
The other question is asking whether solid tyres are any good
This question is about which solid tyre would fit his bike
Still, not a great question, but more in the Shopping vein than a duplicate I would have thought
 
2:53 AM
@Mac Mac, vote to close tends to follow whoever voted first. I would have happily killed it as shopping, for example. The main take-away is that it's not a good question. I'd be happy I got 8 positive votes out of it before it was close if I were you.
 
Mac
@Mσᶎ not complaining about the +ve votes. I guess that makes sense. The actual question was probably closer to "How do I interpret wheel size"
 
yeah, so someone should perhaps add a link saying "for more information on wheel sizes"
I just recoil for solid tyres because they're so impossible to fit. What you really need is a flat rim that you nail the tyre to, like they did in the olden days.
 
 
5 hours later…
7:35 AM
@nhinkle yes! Managed to bail out of work in time to come home, get package, and post it. Despite best efforts of people wanting to talk to me about work stuff.
 
 
7 hours later…
2:35 PM
I'm getting so sick of Amazon product listings that say "#1 ______!!!" and have excessively long titles. Why are people paying $27 for this piece of crap? It runs on 2 CR2032's, it can't be bright. You can get a Hotshot for that much money!
Magnus Innovation

Guaranteed to be SEEN by Cars. Maximum Visibility at Night The bike tail light is high-powered with a 13 Lux red LED that is visible to motorists over 200 meters away. The innovative upward design of the silicone mount specifically angles the super bright beam to penetrate the eye level of all motorist. The tail light is made with the high quality aluminum alloy that is shock and scratch resistant. In addition with the gaps designed on both sides of the aluminum housing, you will always be seen up to 240° wide range. Also, the mounting system is equipped with a easy to install robust silicone mount strap with the two different apertures that tightly secure around the all size seat posts. Combined with a FREE extra tail light and 4 CR2032 batteries included for more convenience and ready to use right out of the box. The tail light includes 3 modes, weather resistance, and energy-efficient LEDs that last up to 50 hours on steady and 150 hours on flash mode. "Buy from people, not the internet. Innovation around the people experience." Magnus Innovation Vision & Purpose: Magnus Innovation, meaning "GREAT" in latin, believes our deepest purpose as an organization is to focus on a "Magnus" experience for our people. Our vision is deeply embedded in our core values, guiding all of our decisions, actions, processes & practices to positively impact the well-being of our people: customers, community, business organizations & team members. The "Magnus" Experience: 100% focus on auth
 
 
4 hours later…
6:33 PM
@Mσᶎ do you have a tracking #?
 

« first day (1282 days earlier)