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Haynes Internal Combustion Engine

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jan 1, 2011 in Tech

First of all, I’d like to say a massive thank you to our good friend Antirealism for buying me and C such an interest Christmas present.

Secondly, I’m not sure what you all did for New Years eve, however thanks to Andy, me and C were kept occupied by the Haynes Internal Combustion Engine.

As we hadn’t planned on going out, to stand in an packed pub, which we’d spend a fortune to get into, to only have to spend the majority of the night queueing at the bar….we decided to get some beer in, and build the engine 🙂

I had no idea these thing existed until the Christmas special of the Top Gear …however after watching it, they were firmly on my radar. You can imagine how grateful we were when Andy turned up on Boxing Day with our present 🙂

The tech spec on the description gives the below

  • The engine you will build is a simplified version of a real car engine. The model is designed to be fun to put together and to help you understand how a full-size four-stroke car engine works.
  • Includes a Haynes manual giving you clear step-by-step instructions to guide you through the build process.
  • Comes complete with all of the parts and tools you need to assemble the working model.
  • The on/off controller includes a sound chip which reproduces the noise of a real engine.
  • For ages 10 years and over.

The engine took us around 2 1/2 hours to build, which wasn’t bad as we were drinking at the same time.

Below are the unboxing and building photos, and a video of the engine running.

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Google Latitude on iOS 4

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jul 11, 2010 in Apple, Application, iPhone

As you may remember from my post on iOS 4, I was looking forward to somebody developing a Google Latitude application.

Google Latitude is a way of keeping your friends updated on your location in real time. If you have a latitude application running on your mobile device, this will poll the Google servers and update your location. This is especially handy if you are meeting with friends, or want to see if somebody is home before popping in.

Google Latitude has been working as a layer on Google Map on the Nokia, Blackberry and Android based phones for some time now, however only worked as a HTML5 version on the iPhone (which doesn’t work as a background application)

Now thanks to the Background location feature on iOS 4, and Google making the Latitude API’s available, developers are able to start work on Location based applications.

The first one that seems to have emerged is an app called Latitudie.

Latitudie is still in it’s infancy stage, (Current version is 1.1) however seems to do the job. Once signed in, it will pinpoint your location on the map and start to poll the Google Latitude server. You then have to option to view your history, and thanks to  iOS 4 it will happily run in the background.

In version 1.0, the application tended to not update at all if your didn’t move locations, which would lead others to think you had the application switch off, also the accuracy would drop, making it look like you were in the middle of a field, and not at home.

In version 1.1 the developer has addressed these issues by allowing you to switch on/off “Low accuracy in background” and an additional feature of “Periodic updates” (when low accuracy in background is switched off).

As I’ve said, it’s still in it’s infancy stages, doesn’t allow you to view your friends on the map, or do much else apart from update your location. I find myself using the HTML5 Google Maps version to find my friends.

If your a data junkie and like to know where you’ve been and when, and have other friends using latitude, this app is a must. I hope as this app grows, it will add all the feature that the HTML5 version of google maps has to offer.

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ted (Television Episode Downloader)

Posted by Ub3rG33k on May 8, 2010 in Apple, Microsoft, Tech

If you are anything like me (and god help you if you are :)), and use the internet as a PVR, then this software will be a god send to you.

I’ve just recently ordered a Mac Mini to replace my last remaining Windows machine, and thought I’d better check if I could still do what I do now.

Currently my Dell machine, sits in the corner, and is used as my media server, my iTunes server and my torrent machine. Currently I have uTorrent installed, which downloads each episode using the RSS Feed option. Each of the RSS feeds points to a particular RSS feed for my favourite TV program from eztv, and once a new episode is detected, it’s downloaded.

Once the episodes are downloaded, these get copied to a shared location on my NAS Box, which I can then stream to my PS3’s or Xbox using PS3 Media Server.

I did a little googling last night, and even though there is a Mac version of uTorrent, it’s still in beta, and missing a lot of the functions that the Windows version has, eg the RSS downloader.

After a little more googling, I found a tidy little piece of freeware software called ted (Television Episode Downloader). Essentially it has a list of all the TV episodes that you can select from, and when a new episode appears, it will download the torrent file, and open this with your default torrent client.

Ok, this that fixes the missing functionality of uTorrent, however the software is a lot smarter that the RSS Downloader function in uTorrent, as once you’ve added your favourite shows, you can choose to start from the next available episode, the previous episode, or even download every episode. You then have the option to select “HD Only”, which will only download episodes with the tag of HD or 720.

The interface will also show you the name of the next episode, and when it’s going to be aired.

The good thing about this software is that is available free of charge on Mac, Windows and Linux, and only requires that you have a torrent client installed (I highly recommend uTorrent, Mac and Windows clients available).

Now some people may have a problem with downloading episodes from the internet, I however don’t mind, as I tend to buy the boxsets once they are available. Also this is little different to using BBC iPlayer, or Sky Anytime.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts, and enjoy

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