A Weekend in Norwich

This weekend I journeyed 180 miles to the ENE and found myself in Norwich, the castlated city in the middle of the flat lands of Norfolk. And there I found a bearded fellow called Steve Howe, his 15 year old daughter, Leila, and a visiting Madrigal called Lindsey.

And it came to pass on the Saturday that we did go out into the shops (eventually) and did introduce the Leila to the wonders of clothes shopping (using my debit card). If you’re interested in some before and after photographs, here’s a few… Before and After and another After.

Sunday was spent mostly eating chocolate croissants before a brief but very cold visit to Norwich city centre where it was almost impossible to find anywhere to eat/drink which was open. Eventually, it was time to go home so we said our good-byes and I departed back home.

Yet more bikes…

Well, after finding the Trek L500 the other day I popped into Beeline Cycles on the Cowley Road in Oxford and asked if it would be possible to get one imported.

The initial reaction at Trek UK, the UK importer, was that there was a 90% probability if not being able to get it. Anyway, I left it at that.

This afternoon I got two phone calls from Beeline. The first told me that yes, after initialy saying no, Trek Uk had agreed that they could import an L500 from the states and that it would take about 3 weeks after the order was placed but they didn’t know the price yet. The second, only a few minutes later, told me that it would cost me £850. I said that I’d have a little think about it now that I know the price.

I think I will go for it. Later on I may even upgrade it with the Shimano Cyber Nexus parts so that it has electronically controlled suspension and gears… maybe.

Computer museum: testing the exhibits

When I came back from Cornwall I returned with my old Atari ST and Sinclair QL, ZX Spectrum and ZX81.

Over the last few days I’ve been trying them out to see how time and Cornwall’s wet climate had affected the machines. The ZX81 I couldn’t test as it doesn’t have a plug on it but the other machines worked to a greater of lesser degree.

The Spectrum works as long as you don’t want to type much. Some of the silver paint tracks on the ribbon cables on the keyboard have corroded to the point where they’re no longer working. The machine must have been in a really damp atmosphere in my parents’ loft as the screws on the Spectrum+ keyboard upgrade have gone rusty. It is amazing that other than the keyboard it looks to be fully functional.

The ST Works fine, though quite a bit of the software I came back with is faulty with the floppy discs failing.

The QL along with its Trump Card expansion card work perfectly. No problem with the keyboard or the microdrives.

I do wonder how well the ZX81 works. I haven’t got the 16K rampack at the moment but even so, if it does work then that’s a 24 year old computer. OK, not quite as old as the Research Machines 380Z I have in the loft, as that’s from 1978, but not bad.. nearly half way back to the beginning of computing.

I wonder how much of today’s PC hardware will be able survive in working order as long.

More bikes.

This is the bike I’d really like.. pity it’s only availbale in Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg.

Grrr.. I really hate it when companies don’t sell stuff in all markets even as a special order.

Bike update.

Well, on the way home I popped into CycloAnalysts and talked with the owner.

We pawed over the UK distributor for Shimano products and found out that they don’t actually stock any of the Nexus products whatsoever. Obviously, they feel that the UK customer base isn’t ready for innovative design, and they’re probably right as most people are sheep and only want what they know.

Anyway, the owner of the shop is going to enquire on an international bike shop wholesale site and will get back to me in about a week.

Bikes

Hmm.. I had to put my bike in for service today. It needed to have the gear cable changed (and as it turned out) the cable slieves as well, a mighty £11.

Anyway, I think it’s about time that I replaced it as it’s now 5 years old which means that it’s done about 11 thousand miles and it’s getting a bit tired.

I’ve been looking around and the closest I can get to my ideal bike would be the following:-

I wonder how much that’ll cost?