Bag of Spoons
Just off the A1(M)

Thu, 21 Aug 2008

My Stack Overfloweth

In my quest to learn more about the art of programming I have been listening to the Stack Overflow podcast by Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood. These two seem to have a lot of experience between them and are applying it to developing a new Q&A site for developers. They are both entertaining talkers as well.

The Stack Overflow site is still in closed beta, but I managed to get in on it. It's simple, but impressive. It uses cool technology like OpenID, but can be used without registering. Users can allocate ratings to all questions and answers, so the good stuff should be easy to find. There is a complex reputation system, with badges, to encourage people to participate. So far I have submitted a couple of questions about use of wiki and email to manage information and received lots of good responses. It will be interesting to see how it evolves when opened up to the world.

I'll be interested in hearing about other good podcasts on programming and other technical subjects. I enjoy listening to them when driving to work. I still need to get myself a car radio that can play from flash media. I still have to burn an audio CD, which limits the duration of what I can listen to and sometimes plays up. I don't think I can bring myself to buy anything that does not support Ogg Vorbis. I'm not as principled as some people I know when it comes to only using open formats, but I still like to support them.

[21:18] | [/Internet] | Comments | G

Greenish Holiday

There are a number of reasons people go camping. A major one is cost, but a side effect is that it can have a lot less environmental impact than other sorts of holiday. We take a car full of stuff with us, but that should produce a lot less CO2 than flying. This year we only travelled about 100 miles to Kelling Heath in Norfolk. This was the biggest camp site we've been to, but also one of the best. Far better than the Haven site we visited. It consists of 250 acres of woodland and heath with spacious camping pitches and many static caravans and lodges. The facilities were pretty good. We used the outdoor pool. The indoor one meant paying a lot for use of the heath club and that was over the top for kids. We only ate in one restaurant once as we did a lot of cooking and ate out. We did use their cycle hire a couple of times to explore the area. This was the first time we had cycled with the kids and they coped well, even if the small hills could be tough on little legs. I really ought to do more cycling.

We also visited the beach and some of us swam in the sea. It's really not too bad once you are in. I was intrigued by the huge amount on flint on the beaches and elsewhere. No wonder they build their houses with it.

Some other UK sites I've been to do not offer much, if any, recycling facilities, but this one had plenty of bins. A few people need to learn what you should put in them. I was also impressed to see solar water heating for the showers. That seems a perfect application of the technology. I'm considering it for our house as gas prices shoot up.

I made sure I turned off as much as possible at home whilst we were away, including the water heating and even the Wii, but that only uses a few Watts. I don't think it made a huge saving, but there is no reason to not do it. I think it will barely show up in my logs at The Carbon Account.

We didn't drive much whilst we were there and so did no more miles than I do in a normal working week. Economy on that tank was pretty good at around 50mpg. It's been slightly worse this week, but that's probably down to London stop-start driving.

[21:05] | [/Environment] | Comments | G



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