This site is closing

This site will close soon, probably at the end of this months billing cycle, in around 3 weeks.

The reasons:

  1. Constant hacking attempts, as many as 200 per day. They’re coming from all over the world, so a script kiddie trying to get access by using incorrect usernames. I have a firewall in place that bans them after one failed attempt, this is fast becoming a very large part of the database and .htaccess file.
  2. The site at certain times of the day can take an age to load. This is unnaceptable and throwing money at the problem won’t help.
  3. I’ve contacted several retailers and manufacturers to see if they’ll loan me a bike for a few days so I can expand the reviews to cover other models… none have called me or emailed me back.
  4. I can’t be arsed updating with new posts. There’s also little to cover if I can’t get hold of loan bikes to test and review.
  5. I might one day setup the site on my local network on a raspberry pi, and yes believe it or not, it would be faster than the current host.
  6. I’m also considering selling my bike. I am a carer for my uncle who is mentally handicapped, I get 3 days a week when I have a respite carer come in and look after him for a few hours. So of course riding is dependent on the weather and if I have other errands to run in my spare time. As things are. I don’t want to get soaked, cold and miserable during this time.

Why buy an electric bike?

I’m not talking about electric motorbikes, they are a completely different category of vehicle, though to be honest I’d love one 🙂 I have a full bike licence but not the cash.

So why buy an electric pedal assist push iron? Simple, they really really do help you get up them thar hills.

Electric bikes differ visually from a regular bike very little, with newer e-bikes you could be hard pressed to tell the difference, with batteries built in to the frame or designed to looke like the frame, that tell tale bulge is now difficult to even see. Even the motor is less obvious, mid-drives even more so. I had a chat about electric bikes with a guy called Steve last Thursday in Oxenhope, it took me a few minutes to even notice he had an e-bike! So e-bikes can look identical to a regular bike, but it’s not the looks that sets them apart, it’s the feel and effort that you’ll notice immediately, but only when you throw your leg over and start peddeling.

My previous bike was a Specialized Myca, a hard tail mountain bike, and it was awesome, but being a 35 year smoker even this bike was hard work to keep going around here. (Halifax and man do we have some serious hills).

My Carrera Crossfire-E is worlds apart, a different breed all together. The hills that I had to stop on and get catch my breath are no longer a problem. Even around Halifax I can ride just about any hill without stopping once. My last ride was 25 miles, I did record it, but it was such a stop start affair (28c heat and a lack of breakfast) that I just deleted the files. This ride took in some of the biggest and steepest hills around here, and even though I did stop for food and drinks and a chat with a couple of other cyclists, I didn’t stop once to rest.

I’ve had my e-bike for a couple of years now, and I’ve used it in all weathers, for doing chores , commuting and just for the sheer enjoyment of being out, and I love it, it really gives me the freedom that a regular bike doesn’t. I could also argue that it gives me more of a workout too. Instead of doing a stop start 10 mile ride, I now do a 25+ mile ride continuous ride.

The reasons for owning an e-bike will most likely differ from person to person, the overall reason will probably be the same, freedom. Instead of being limited to short distances you’ll find yourself going further and further, to different places and enjoy riding even more than ever. I maybe lucky living in such a beautiful area, and never being more than just 10 minutes away from vast open countryside, but no matter where you live, owning an e-bike will always be a better an easier way to move around. Granted if you live in a flat town or city then the reasons maybe difficult to justify, but even this can be a positive for owning an e-bike, because you’ll just be able to go further afield, instead of just commuting you might go shopping or to friends, or just finding different routes to get to work or return home, or just go out for the sheer hell of it, because you’ll enjoy cycling even more.

If you have an injury and find cycling a little too much effort, then e-bikes again are a massive help. A couple of years ago I tore the cartilage in both my knees, and my right knee had to be operated on, one week later I was on my bike again, even the surgeon and physiotherapist were surprised at how quickly my knee healed, and the only physio appointment I had lasted 10 minutes and I was discharged. This was due to the low impact activity.

For me cycling has made a huge positive impact on my life, and its all down to the e-bike, without that extra help from our friend the electron, then I would have probably given up or would have had to push myself much much harder just to get out.

I cannot get over the point strongly enough, e-bikes ARE amazing and good one even better. Give one a try and I guarentee you’ll be a convert too.

 

 

 

 

EU Rules Change – We will need a motor insurance policy

The EC courts have ruled that all pedal assist bicycles will need a mandatory motor insurance policy, however it’s not yet law so don’t panic just yet.

Also if it does become law and a state can adopt this as law if they want to, does this mean you’ll need an applicable licence and registration?

https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/180524-proposal-motor-insurance_en

I thought the whole idea of restricting the speed was to keep pedelecs within the realm of bicycles, so should the speed limits be removed too?

Source: https://www.bikebiz.com/news/bikes-need-3rd-part-insurance-in-eu

Tektro Vela Replacing the brake pads

I’m in desperate need of new (front especially) brake pads, and seeing as this is the first time I’ve ever done it, I thought I’d better get some pointers from Youtube.

This is a job that requires you to remove the wheel(s). But it looks dead easy and can be done in just a couple of minutes.

The brakes for the Carrera Crossfire-E are Tektro Vela. The second video is replacing the brake fluid.

 

My next 2 areas of maintenance are brake fluid replacement and a new chain.

UFO, my Story.

True story: My UFO sighting near Manchester Airport. It was around 2005 and I was driving from Halifax to Airdrie (Near Glasgow) and back.

I was a class 1 HGV driver, and since it was a very long drive and could over run my driving hours it was double manned, so there were 2 drivers taking turns. On the way back we’d come down the M6 – M61 – M60 – M62, and this one morning we were stuck in early morning rush hour traffic trying to get on the M60 just south of Bolton and I was driving, the other guy, (Shane) was fast asleep.

Then I noticed a small but very bright light to the south, around Manchester airport area, and for a while I just watched it dart around, sometimes smoothly moving around, sometimes darting, almost like it disappeared and reappeared instantaneously some miles away. After around 10 minutes (we really were stuck in traffic) I noticed what looked like a fighter jet trying to chase it. The jet had no chance, it just couldn’t keep up, I thought it was just my mind playing tricks, so I woke Shane up (he wasn’t happy about it) and told him to look, and he saw it too. This went on for around 30 minutes before the light vanished once and for all, but the jet kept circling for a while before it too disappeared (problably landed).

Alexa Ghost Commands

Are you looking for a complete list of Alexa and Ghost commands for Destiny 2?

This is almost a complete list, and everytime I find a new command I’ll add it here.

Alexa, ask ghost (about)/tell ghost (to): . . . Milestones:

Prefix – “Alexa, Ask/Tell Ghost to show/tell me about…”

 

 

Alexa, ask Ghost what I should do next.
Alexa, ask Ghost what is my next mission.
Alexa, ask Ghost who in my clan is online.
Alexa, ask Ghost for a clan update.
Alexa, ask Ghost about the Tower.
Alexa, ask Ghost to tell me more about the Speaker.
“My milestones”
“What’s next?” . . . Gear:
“Save my current loadout as my crucible/raids/strikes/nightfall loadout”
“Equip my crucible/raid/strike/nightfall loadout”
“Equip my most powerful kinetic weapon/energy weapon/power weapon
“Equip my most powerful hand cannon/shotgun/submachine gun/auto rifle/ rocket launcher/sword/etc.” . . . Clan:
“Call for backup for nightfall/raid/strikes/crucible”
“Clan summary”
“Clan Rewards . . . Lore/Other:
“The planet Earth/IO/Titan”
“The tower”
“Twilight Gap”
“The Battle of Six Fronts”
“Ghosts”
“The Vex”
“The Fallen”
“The Red Legion”
“The Taken”
“Oryx”
“Rasputin”
“Osiris”
“Cayde 6”
“The Nine”
“Xur”
“Humans”
“Tell me a joke”
“Tell me a story”
“Tell me something funny”
“Ask Ghost about Twilight Gap”
“Ask Ghost about The Battle of Six Fronts”

Youtube Red SCAM Warning

I’ve just received an email from Apple (I think not!) that’s telling me I’ve subscribed to Youtube Red (a streaming music and TV service from Google), and it’s going to cost me $14.99 per month.

 

There are 2 immediate problems with this,

  1.  Youtube Red is not available in the UK
  2. I hadn’t even heard of YT red until today, so I certainly wouldn’t have subscribed.

Clicking on the UNSUBSCRIBE link takes you to a very well done but FAKE apple service page. This page then prompts you to enter your apple ID and password. DO NOT DO THIS THIS IS A SCAM!

As you can see from the URL’s, it’s a complete fake, Apple always links to apple.com or subdomain’s like sign-in.apple.com or something similar.

It’s a well done fake, but a complete fake and they’re after your details to access your account. Don’t fall into this trap!

 

ACER ET430 Monitor Review

I had to wait a while for this to come back into stock at Currys.co.uk, I’d had my eye on it for a while, it’s just a little outside my budget of £500, but the delay gave me an extra few weeks to save the extra £50.00

Now I’ve finally got it, I have to say I’m impressed, its 4K and supports 10bit HDR, 43 inches corner to diagonal corner, it supports HDMI 2.0 and Display Port normal and mini.

Initially I could not get my PS4 Pro to display in anything other than 1080P, after some time messing around with safe mode and nothing working, I started to unplug the PSVR and Elgato HD 60, and there lay the problem, the ELGATO HD 60 will only pass-through 1080P, so I stripped out the HD 60 and left the PSVR connected and boom! Everything worked fine, 2160P full RGB and HDR 🙂

I fired up The Last Of Us remaster and it’s utterly stunning, the resolution upscale and the HDR inclusion just made it look stunning. But I also noticed another thing, if you play TLOU for any amount of time, your team GLOW when they walk out of sight, this means you can see where your team is. On my previous monitor, an LG ultrawide monitor, there was some ghosting from the glow, not on this bad boy though. I will miss the ultrawide, they’re awesome for PC gaming and movies. Movies don’t have the black bars and the extra width give you an edge in almost any game that supports 2560 x 1080, which is most modern games.

Did I have to get a 4K panel? Not really, it doesn’t complete me, but having a 4K capable Mac, PC and PS4 Pro and not having a 4K screen… it’s a waste, it’s like employing a cleaner to do the dirty work, but in another life they were a world renowned network admin. But that’s what this panel does, it restores the balance, and seeing what 4K HDR looks like… it’s like going from VHS to 1080P.

Specs:

  • Response 5ms
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 2 x display port
  • 1 x mini display port
  • 43 Inches
  • 4K and 10bit HDR
  • Contrast: 100,000,000:1
  • Brightness: 350 cd/m²
  • Screen type: IPS

There is a minor downside though, who ever thought that having the ports underneath the back of the screen is a numpty. Getting access to them has meant taking the panel down, connecting/disconnecting and putting it back. It’s all a bit of a farce. Still, once you’ve finished you should be good for quite some time. My advice is to plug-in all the cables if you can, even if you don’t use them… leave them plugged in to make life easier later in case you do need them.

Overall I’m seriously impressed, it’s a beautiful screen, 4K looks amazing, HDR also looks nothing short of stunning, and considering there’s no TV tuner, no catch-up TV or anything like that, you can see why this monitor is probably a better purchase than a TV of the same price. You’ll get more bang and less stuff you don’t need.

AWESOME Screen, if you’re in the market for a monitor. It even sounds OK too. Not as good as dedicated speakers… but seriously, not too bad either.

Nice one Acer.

DOOM on the PC running a 6600K (watercooled) and a GTX 1070

Destiny 2 on the PC running a 6600K (watercooled) and a GTX 1070