Inveterate dabbler in business, travel, gadgets & life

EverTrail on the iPhone

Another day another new iPhone application. Today it was EveryTrail.

In the past I used my Garmin Etrex as a GPS and a regular camera, by fiddling with LoadMyTracks, HoudahGeo and Flickr I managed to upload my walks to Everytrail. Today it all changed 🙂

Here is my test walk around Cambridge with the iPhone:-

cambridge station walk

Widget powered by EveryTrail: GPS Geotagging

EverTrail iPhone screen

On the iPhone the application looks like this, very intuitive to use, give it your login name ad password then just walk and take pictures. It isn’t using the cell networks or WiFi so these can be switched off. I didn’t and the iPhone battery was dead in about 2 hours 🙁

Battery life is a real issue with all these new applications, it means its a playphone rather than a real tool for saying doing day long hikes.

Other than that its a great little application – the log was uploaded over WiFi in a few minutes at home.

It could be improved by having the screen shut off and some positive indication that it is locked to the satellites, maybe buzz if it loses the GPS signal. A screen showing satellite positions and strengths would be cool too. I also noticed that it lost the Altitude data when transferring to Everytrail – not so bad in Cambridge but annoying on a mountain walk.

Apologies for poor image quality – obviously a sticky finger left some traces on the camera lens – a snag when you have to hold the phone for so long!

A good free application that is really only limited by the poor iPhone batteries and satellite receptio.

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Steve Pavlina on Truth, Love & Power

I originally discovered Steve Pavlina‘s blog when searching for public speaking, several years ago using Google. His blog led me to Toastmasters which I then discovered met in a hotel literally 100 yards from where I live in the UK!.

Since then I have followed his experiments with great interest using his blog as a model for everyone I meet who is interested in blogging (I have now introduced over 20 folks). A lot of what he says resonates with me particularly his attitudes to food (I became a vegetarian about 10 years ago) thinking and life in general (My favourite experiment was his experiments with polyphasic sleep, I’m convinced it drove his wife, Erin, nuts). Some things I disagree with like his attitude to mushrooms which he doesn’t view as a fruit and somehow considers them undesirable, this to me is weird for someone who is a convinced raw foodist.

I jumped at the chance of getting a free, prepublication, copy of his new book, Personal Development for
Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth
(Hay House;
October 15, 2008),
in exchange for writing this review. I was dismayed when the book arrived in pdf form rather than as a hard copy. So in true Pavlina fashion, how could I turn this setback into a positive outcome. The answer; do an electronic review, here it is:-

This is the full text of the book, 101,365 words according to wc (excluding external quotations), as processed by Wordle. I then ran the full text through a text analyser to discover the most frequent phases etc which is where the post title of truth love and power comes from, it is used in the book 111 times! The top two individual words are to, you.

The wordle sums up the book beautifully and is for me an excellent review. The book itself looks a good read (although without its physicality its impossible to review since a lot about buying a book is the form as much as the content)  and I’m sure it will be succesful, although for my part its more interesting following Steve on his journey through life.

Note to publisher: None of the text files used by wordle etc have been stored

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A day in the country…

Vera from the Cambridge Rambling Club organised an excellent ‘A’ rated walk on Sunday for 13 of us keen ramblers, A 15 mile circular trip from Grantchester to Toft. Sally and I added on a 5mile trip to get there from Cambridge!

Here is the route with photos:-

Cambridge Ramblers – Toft Walk

Widget powered by EveryTrail: GPS Geotagging

An unexpected bonus is that Vera had discovered a load of permissive paths from Comberton to Grantchester which are ideal to incorporate in my Scholars Way walk, thus replacing a tedious footpath walk from Barton to Comberton with a delightful meadow walk alongside Barton Brook. Many thanks to Lark Rise Farm and The Countryside Restoration Trust for opening up this area.

A great day thanks to Vera and a splendidly organised ramble and providing an excellent home made tea in her beautiful cottage garden – excelled The Orchard in every way 🙂 Also thanks to Ellee for suggesting that we went and unfortunately couldn’t make it herself.

Beeching’s cuts 40 years on.

Just under a year ago I posted up to YouTube some of my Uncle Kens (He married my fathers younger sister, Helen) old cine films which we had converted to video.

The film that he took in around 1969 showing the demolition of Nottingham Victoria station, which he shot from his offices, has now had well over 10,000 views and garnered 67 comments.

Imagine my surprise when Tamsin from Screenhouse Productions called me to say they wanted to include Extracts from the film on a documentary they are doing on the Beeching ClosuresThe Documentary is called ‘Beeching’s Tracks’ and is due to air on BBC Yorkshire on 26th Oct  2008 at around 19:30

Demolition Nottingham Victoria Station

Ken Widdowson Obituary
Ken Widdowson Obituary

Uncle Ken, alas, died in 1972 well before the invention of the internet and YouTube although I’m totally convinced as a gadget man and lover of anything new he would certainly be an avid internet user.

I think he would be well pleased with the popularity of his cine filming.