Social Networks

New website - will be here soon!

I’ve been working on updating my site to squarespace v6 over the last few months; and I’m ready to go live, however dotster have broken something in their DNS system, so I’ve been unable to redirect my domain to the new server.  If Dotster manage to get their act together then soon you’ll be able to visit to see the new site.

Until then - click through the image of my new site below.


I suspect the reason Dotster are having so much trouble is I’m using a .name domain - which uses 3rd level for domain but 2nd level for email addresses, unlike every other domain structure available.

If anyone knows of an alternative registrar who’ll accept a .name transfer, and will support email redirection from the 2nd level - please let me know; or answer the question I’ve posted on quora: Which domain name registrars provide email forwarding for .name domains?


Le Collet (1530m)

Le Collet is a small col to the North East of the summit of Charmont Som that makes for a pleasant but remarkably uninteresting saunter through the woods. I was hoping for a better view from the col at the top, or at least on the way up or down, but was presented with neither.

Distance: 13.2km, Ascent/Descent: 950m, Time: 4h45

Click to read more ...


Grande Sure (1920m) & Rocher du Lorzier (1838m)

I ran this one as a 2 day hike, with an overnight bivvy on the Prairie de Vararey, simply because I’d had a long week and wanted to get into the mountains as quickly as possible after my last meeting!

So I took the advice of Alastair Humphreys & with basic planning set off at 18:00 on Friday night for the closest spot I could get to in the Chartreuse with potential for exploration. I think Chalet Charmette at 1280m is an old loggers refuge, now closed, but which forms a popular starting point for hikes up to the prairies to the west or potentially to Charmont Som to the east.

There are two main paths up to the prairies - the tracks to the Grande and Petite Vache (cols, named after cows - which presumably used to be the principal visitors to the praries) to the NW and the one to the SW - which is longer with a slightly gentler rise. I chose the SW approach, which rewarded me with an interesting forest walk with occasional views, but mostly a good solid forest path up to the plateau at around 1600m.

Click to read more ...


Gorge du Manival: 1075m climb to 1760m

A very satisfying hike on the eastern flank of the Chartreuse mountains - although with some enormous drops - so not one for those with rowdy kids or a fear of heights.

It starts from close to the little hamlet of Le Baume next to Saint Pancrasse, and proceeds through a number of quiet tracks to reach a very exposed panoramic viewpoint over the Grésivaudan valley below. This spot is called Chateau Nardent, although I’m not sure why - as I can’t imagine there ever was a Chateau here. I shot a quick bambuser video from Chateau Nardent on my phone (low quality).

Click to read more ...


Email newsletters... Don't you just hate them?

Old newspaper

Well… I do.

I mean - we used to get individual emails from people across the organization containing useful information sent to a well maintained distribution list. Anyone could send, but as each email would go out to lots of people, you would be careful to compose your email, and ensure not to send if it wasn’t going to be valuable to the receipient.

Click to read more ...


Is the Jawbone JAMBOX the ultimate portable speaker-phone?


I was anticipating great things from this little speaker, but have been somewhat disappointed when using it as a speaker-phone; although I suspect it wasn’t all the fault of the speaker. I blame the Bluetooth spec, and the marketing team for over-hyping the advantages, and not explaining the disadvantages. As a portable speaker, it is excellent.

I bought it to do three things

  1. Provide better audio volume/quality from my laptop/phone when travelling - to watch videos/music via the high-quality EDR bluetooth connection.
  2. For use as a speakerphone on VoIP conference calls (Microsoft Lync or Skype) from my PC.
  3. For use as a speakerphone via bluetooth on my mobile in the case when I can’t get a reliable VoIP connection

Click to read more ...


Le Vallon de La Fauge (1,443m) 470m

A day snowshoeing with a local mountain leader (Luc Mortier - Nature photographer).  We set off from a small parking area just above Villard de Lans, and trekked across the fields to reach the Fauge Valley, then took the path up the valley side across Pont d’Amour to a frozen waterfall.

Click to read more ...


Chamrousse Snowshoeing 1700m

Having lived in the alps for going on 6 years, I decided it was about time I gave at least one winter sport a try - so bought a pair of snowshoes a few weeks ago. In the area close to Grenoble there are a number of areas with marked snowshoe routes - noteably the areas around Chamrousse (1700m), Lans En Vercors (1200m) and Prapoutel (1300m).

At the moment, the snow isn’t up to much below 1500m - so I headed for Chamrousse (seemingly with most of the rest of Grenoble - parking was a bit of a pain).

There are 2 main routes at Chamrousse, the Circuit de Lac Achard (1700m - 1917m), the Circuit de Pre Gaudet (1430m - 1500m) and a nature path - Sentier Nature (1600m), however only the higher route was open this weekend. You can find the open/closed status on the Chamrousse website.

Click to read more ...


Pas de la Cle 1637m max / 1485m gain

The hike up to Pas de la Cle is a good one covering 750m of gain over just 4km from Montaud. The pass itself is fairly exposed - which is likley the reason for the warning signs at the bottom - indicating that is is forbidden in high-winds, or during the winter.

The path up to the pass runs to the west of a hunting area, although doesn’t cross into it, however I wouldn’t hang around there too much during November - and don’t act like a wild boar!

Once you get to the path it is a little exposed, but not too bad, and the path is easily visible. There is a little loose rock, but nothing unusually so for the region. A good pair of hiking boots and a little alpine common sense, and you’ll be fine!

Click to read more ...


Surviving the limited memory of the Nexus One

I bought the Nexus One pretty much as soon as it became available, and have been loving the pure Google Android nature of the phone since, with one (perhaps 2 - the 1400mAh battery) exceptions. The internal system memory available for applications, and application data is fine for a few apps, but once you start to rely on a suite of applications, and install some of Google’s own memory hogs (Google+, Maps, etc) you rapidly run into issues.

The device has 512MB of flash, of which 190M can be used for application and data storage, plus a microSDHC card slot which can support up to 32GB - however some applications can’t be installed to this SD memory in the native build. 

In this post I describe how I used 1tap cleaner and DiskUsage to find out what was using the space, then initially App2SD to shift most apps over to the SD card. After that I migrated to CyanogenMod and uninstalled a few of the system apps. Then to get even more space I created an ext4 partition on the SD card and moved over the dalvik cache and download folders clearing out around 70MB of space. Finally I used Titanium Backup to move selected apps data folders from internal memory to the new ext4 partition on the SD card.

Click to read more ...