Google Earth Canal Maps

A very long time ago, while off work sick, I plotted every canal in the UK, including the extinct ones that had been drained and built over.

Because I foolishly made no effort to protect the data it has be stolen and re-used many times, including spelling errors.  So I got annoyed and deleted it.

But recently I decided to put my data online, with the old intentional errors removed. Click below…

 

Enumerating the Doctors

Since the recent goings on with which Doctor is which, and all the complications, I’ve put together a table to try to explain it. It might be wrong, but it is more for me than for anyone else.

And I think, as I’ve stumbled through this, I’ve finally got a handle on The Valeyard (more later).

 

tr>

Incarnation
Regeneration
Looks like
Doctor #
Known as
Played by
Notes
1 n/a willhart 1 The First Doctor William Hartnell
also Richard Hurndall and later David Bradley
n/a n/a cushing n/a Doctor Who Peter Cushing A human who created a time travel device called TARDIS. Non-canon, so I don’t even know why he’s listed here.
2 1 pattrou 2 The Second Doctor Patrick Troughton
3 2 jonpert 3 The Third Doctor Jon Pertwee
4 3 tombak 4 The Fourth Doctor Tom Baker
(A wax dummy)
5 4 petdav 5 The Fifth Doctor Peter Davison
6 5 colbak 6 The Sixth Doctor Colin Baker,Sylvester McCoy
7 6 sylmc 7 The Seventh Doctor Sylveter McCoy
8 7 paulmc 8 The Eighth Doctor Paul McGann
Now it goes a bit runny
Firstly we have the “Shalka” timeline…
9 8 shalka 9 (alt) “The Shalka Doctor” Richard E. Grant (Animated version)
Then the “Final Death” timeline
9 8 rowan 9 (alt) “The Nineth Doctor” Rowan Atkinson
10 9 withnail 10 (alt) “The Tenth Doctor” Richard E. Grant “The Conceited Doctor”
11 10 broadbent 11 (alt) “The Eleventh Doctor” Jim Broadbent “The Shy Doctor”
12 11 hgrant 12 (alt) “The Twelfth Doctor” Hugh Grant “The Quite Handsome Doctor”
13 12 lumley 13 (alt) “The Thirteenth Doctor” Joanna Lumley “The Female Doctor”
Meanwhile, back on the “real” timeline…
Incarnation
Regeneration
Looks like
Doctor #
Known as
Played by
Notes
9 8 johnhurt n/a The War Doctor John Hurt (Not actually The Doctor)
10 9 chrisecc 9 The Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston
11 10 davten 10 The Tenth Doctor David Tennant
11 11 davten 10 The Tenth Doctor David Tennant Vanity Regeneration
n/a n/a davten2 n/a Handy/John Smith David Tennant Human Meta-Crisis Doctor
12 12 matsmi 11 The Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith
Start of a new Regeneration cycle
13 13 petcap 12 The Twelveth Doctor Peter Capaldi
14 14 jodwhi 13 The Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker
Unknown “Doctors”
n/a n/a watcher n/a The Watcher Adrian Gibbs
n/a n/a curator n/a The Curator Tom Baker
n/a n/a micjay n/a The Valeyard Michael Jaystone an amalgamation of the Doctor’s darker sides from between his twelfth and final incarnations

Now, after all that number counting and trying to work out which numbers apply to which Doctors, if you go by my reckoning then the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) was still only the 12th incarnation, even though he was also the 12 regeneration. To quote The Master from “The Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe“:

“There is some evil in all of us, Doctor – even you. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say you do not improve with age.”

As the “final incarnation” is far off in The Doctor’s personal timeline, the Valeyard problem has been untangled for now, but could surface in the future as a plot point.

 

 

 

Ports of The Dalek

I’ve decided on what interfaces the Pi-Dalek will mounted on the rear of the case.

  • USB-B socket to accept power for chrging the internal battery (a mobile phone emergency charger. Internally the socket offers a USB-A socket which is connected to the Pi with a short USB-A-to-microUSB-B cable, then the emergency charger, then another short USB-A-to-microUSB-B cable.
  • USB-A socket for memory sticks etc. Connected to the UTG socket with a short UTG cable.
  • HDMI socket. Connected to the miniHDMI socket on the Pi with a short adapter cable.

These will be mounted on the arse-end of the Dalek.  Two on the 3rd row up of the Dalek-bumps on the rear panel (both USB ports), with the HDMI socket on one of the rear flank quarters (3rd row up).

Ideally I’d like them all on the back, but the bumps on row 1 are blocked by the motor housing, while rows 2 and 4 have far too many structual bits behind it.

This still leaves me with the issue of mounting the camera. While I’d love to have the camera mounted to the eyestalk, this is impractical.  Mainly as the eyestalk is missing, but also because the camera module is a huge square blob that wouldn’t look right.

The best I can hope is to mount the camera on the Glacis, between the Whisk and Plunger, just above the top of the skirt. It will still mean that some cutting will have to be done, but it will probably not look as awful.

I’ve also decided that instead of mounting the Pi and Motozero directly to the base chassis, I’ll mount them upside down hanging from the internal ceiling at the top of the skirt. This shortens the distance to where I want the camera to be, and means only 6 wires need to be run down to the base (motor power +/-, motor left +/- and motor right +/-). Everything else will be skirt mounted. So the 40pin GPIO header connection twixt Pi and Motozero forms the split in the arrangement.

A sort of split between the head and body, if you want to make up some sort of analogy up.

I’m sure there’ll be some photos of it when its done.

 

Installing Raspbian on a Pi-zero W

There is so simple way to do this. I’ve tried several times and failed each time. So here is my idea to make things easy.

    1. Download your prefered Raspbian Jessie version from https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/ be it Lite or with Pixel.
    2. Get and install Etcher, and use that to burn your image to the microSD card.
    3. Remount the SD card and create a file on it called “ssh”.  Create another file called “wpa_supplicant.conf” with contains:
      update_config=1
      ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
      
      network={
               scan_ssid=1
               ssid="yournetworkname"
               psk="yourpassword"
      }
      
    4. This should enable you to boot the Zero-W. It should then get an an address for your LAN via DHCP. All you have to do is check you router, or use Fing (or something like it ) to find it.

IT DOESN’T WORK!

Ah. Do you have another Pi with a wired connection somewhere about the place? Good.

Pop your microSD card from your new Pi-zero into an adapter and boot your other Pi (in my case one of my KODI boxes) and boot it.

Find the machine on your network and login (“pi” and “root” have the password “raspberry”).

As root, run

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

And, while you have a wired connection, install Apache2 and PHP5.

apt-get install apache2
apt-get install php5

Set your new hostname in /etc/hostname now, so you’ll ne able to identify it later.

After thats done, shut it down, pop the card into the Pi-Zero W, and it should come up and appear on your network.

From Fing or your hub you should be able to get the MAC address and add the to your DHCP.

And it should all work.

Additional note concerning #3 above. If you are planning to use it on more that one WiFi network (example: I use my home network, and also the hotspot on my phone if I’m working on it anywhere but at home), your wpa_supplicant.conf file can contain multiple network entries.  Thusly:

update_config=1
ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant

network={
         scan_ssid=1
         ssid="yournetworkname"
         psk="yourpassword"
}
network={
         scan_ssid=1
         ssid="yourhotspotnetworkname"
         psk="yourhotspotpassword"
}

Put the entries in order of preference.

Resurrection of the Dalek

At last I can paraphrase a Doctor Who serial title again.

This time I’m going to be using a Raspberry Pi-Zero W with MotoZero control board. Gone are the attempts at bashing by own circuitry (which are already in the Model Railway control system anyway), and this time IT WILL WORK!

So, the ingredients for *this* incarnation of the Dalek are:

For now I’ll forego the distance sensors, as I’ve already bashed them into a sort of thermin idea.

Anyway, the key stages for this project are:

To make things easier to track, the new Category Pi-Dalek has been created.

 

Windows XP – Three Years Dead

Windows XP has now been officially dead for 3 years now. Yes it really has been that long since Microsoft cut off support for the wheezing old grampus. Has the lack of support really changed anything though?

Well, for me at least, no. I still use my aging WinXP machine every day. It may be an aging laptop (DELL Latitude X300) with a wonky screen, iffy keyboard and unreliable battery, but having long ago been re-purposed as a desktop (new screen, keyboard and mouse – total cost £35), it is still working remarkably well. Sure, I don’t play games on it (except a hooky version of WoW on my testing server – but shush about that), but nothing else has changed.

The machine itself is nearly 14 years old, which in today’s fast paced computing terms puts it about on the same level as a car built in the 1950s. And like a certain vehicle made in the 1950s, these buggers were made to last (Land Rover Series I, if you wondered).

Like an elderly car, you can’t expect miracles with a 14 year old laptop running a 15 year old operating system. You aren’t going to set any speed records, or impress anyone, but if you know your limits, you’ll be ok.

I still regard computers mainly as tools, so I enshew the bells and whistles and shiny things that attract idiots. I hated Tablets until I was given one, but thats another story.

So for the tools I use: Context, PuTTY, VB6, PhotoShop CS2, Filezilla, the Arduino IDE, OpenOffice, TightVNC and Firefox, everything works fine.

But surely, you ask, don’t you have problems with viruses? Well, in a word, no. Because I’m not an idiot.

 

Crackpot Brexit Theory

So now its time for my Crackpot Theory – which I formulated while having a crap.

Brexit will fail. Spectaculary. And this is why:

The Tories never wanted Brexit, but the Cambot put it in the manifesto because politicians will tell you any old shit to get votes and they didn’t really expect to win anyway.

Sudden shock, they win. Oh crap, we have to carry out one promise, so lets go ahead with the referendum, because nobody in their right mind will actually go for it.

Teresa May appears in a load of photos supporting “IN”.

Boris the Moron is appointed on “OUT” duties, as he is a total buffoon. Surely nobody could agree with that idiot.

Nobody takes this thing seriously, as those in power think that the public have some common sense.

Lies are told (Syria in the EU, £350 million, etc)

Euston, we have a problem. It seems after all that the British public are a bunch of jingoistic, gullible fuckwits.

Brexit wins by a tiny majority.

Cambot realises that as he was on the “IN” side he has to quit, so he makes a speech, wanders off making “do-de-doo” noises and has a wank.

Much butt-clenching terror within the party as everyone tries to not be leader. By now they are playing a game of pass-the-parcel, and the parcel contains a massive turd

Theresa May (Thatchbot 2.0) ends up with her hands covered in shit and realises that she has to come up with a way out of this.

There is no easy out on this. So now she has to adopt the “OUT” stance. She is commited to commiting economic suicide. And no, I’m not proud of that sentence.

Terms are invented. “Red White and Blue” seems to become a way to describe something other than a flag, and a very good Blues band see their website hit counter go mental.

Bound to Execute Order 66 (or whatever), she does the only thing she can to derail things. She puts fuckwits in charge.

Its a well know practice that if you want something to fail horribly, then you assign the task of sorting it out to complete blithering idiots.

And that is where we are now.

No plan, idiots in charge, an absolute disaster.

An easy out. If its all fucked, we can pull the “didn’t mean it after all card” and actually get back to the business of selling stuff to Europe again.

Well apart from France. Don’t start me on the French Protectionist policy. Just go look up the SCART socket for more details about that.

Yes I said I came up with this on the shitter. No, I wasn’t feeling well that day.

moan, moan, flippin' moan