Monday, December 18, 2006

Late swerve - surveying the alley

Thornbury Rugby Club alley has been roughly surveyed with Dr Harbottle's patent cast iron spirit level. There is a slight upward slope along the final three quarters of the alley and a very shallow depression across the alley in the last quarter before the pins. Is the latter sufficient to produce late swerve? And is the late swerve that we observe from either side of the alley towards the centre?

Log in after the festive season for the next exciting instalment in our search for the last refuge of the scoundrel skittler.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Late swerve - the phenomenon

So last season's project to webcast from the alley drew to an unsatisfactory conclusion, limited by funds rather than technology - wife saw vodafone bill!

This season my chosen topic is late swerve, defined as the ability (or uncontrollable tendency) to make the ball swerve within the last third of the alley as it approaches the skittles. We all know that it happens occasionally and, all other things being equal, we know that it can dramatically increase the chances of hitting wood. So what causes it?

Let's start with a visit to The Geordies website where analysis is presented for the swerve of a perfectly spherical, homogeneous spinning ball on a perfectly plane horizontal alley. The conclusion is that any swerve should be exhibited within the first third of the ball's travel down the alley; thereafter the trajectory should be straight. This finding was investigated by nuclear ballistics expert Dr John Harbottle and Head Coach Jeff Price in experiments under carefully controlled conditions on The Geordies home alley at Thornbury Rugby Club on 4 December 2006. Most of the time the swerve due to spin was exhibited only within the first third of the alley. Yet late swerve occurred occasionally!

So we conclude that the phenomenon exists and must be a manifestation of some feature(s) of a real ball on a real surface.

The tests completed by Harbottle and Price showed that delivery of The Geordies' balls without spin resulted in no swerve, neither early nor late. We conclude that the Thornbury Rugby Club alley is a good approximation to the ideal - plane and horizontal. My future theoretical exploration must therefore probe the impact on dynamics caused by the departure of our balls from the ideal.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Walk before trying to run

For many years now I have uploaded files from my pc to websites via ftp, so I have that competence. I had not yet updated a site with images from a webcam attached to my pc so that seemed like a good starting point to resolve my problems.

I have a Logitech QuickCam Web with ImageStudio software that has the capability to set up a webcam via a free trial of SpotLife. But that doesn't get me any closer to posting to The Geordies website. Searching through freeware and shareware presented two main options:

  • allow the viewer's browser to pull the image straight from my pc used as a server
  • push images to the website at predetermined intervals regardless of whether anyone was viewing the webcam page

The first method makes the pc vulnerable to attack so I opted for the second approach. Of all the available software TinCam seemed to do what I wanted so I downloaded and installed a 30 day free trial. It seems to work so I have now purchased a registration key.

The results of a trial run can be seen here so at least I am now walking more steadily.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Several steps back!!!!!!!!!!!!

While installing some of the ftp options on the Zire 72 I have obviously made some unwise decisions on parameter settings. The results are that the Zire 72 no longer accesses the internet via the mobile and the mobile no longer synchronizes with Outlook Calendar.

There is more to life so I'm going to take a few days to reflect on the problems. I was going to include a photo taken in the alley last night (following an epic defeat by Phoenix) but I didn't even manage to save that.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Gathering resources

It's a blugger but Blogger does not like attachments! I am still hoping to use the email route but need to establish plan B so back to the drawing board and a quick trawl through www resources.

Duke has done it: So far I have downloaded FileZ to rename image files - useful whatever I decide to do. I am now investigating FTP and HTML/blog applications.

The good news here is that I may be able to dispose of the need for Blogger and post straight to The Geordies website. Even better news is that I'm learning how to get the most out of my pda & mobile. OK so the really bad news is that I'll be facing a megabill from Vodafone.

Enough for this Sunday. Time to watch the new Morse - despite the crushing reviews.

Straight from mobile.

So Blogger won't accept emails + attachments

The euphoria of successfully posting text messages to the blog is followed by the irritation of Blogger refusing emails with attachments. Serves me right for dumping the Zire 72 and using the mobile and its camera as the front line! Now I need to find a way of sending emails with images embedded so I'm back to blog or html software for my Zire .... unless ....

Testing email

If you are reading this, emailed text can be sent using VersaMail on the Zire 72, linked via bluetooth to Motorola V550 and thence via Vodafone GPRS to blueyonder mail server and finally arriving at Blogger as an email posting. Can I transmit pix in a similar way? Watch the postings!
PS If you don't see this posting ......................................

Saturday, January 28, 2006

First step

Even the longest journey starts with a single step. This posting is my first step towards using a Zire 72 and Motorola mobile phone to post pictures of The Geordies skittles games to the web so that our fans throughout the world can see our exploits as they happen. To be more precise they will see snapshots very soon after they happen - in theory.

And before you ask. No this post was not uploaded from the Zire 72 via the mobile to this weblog!!!!

However, I have already overcome the following technical challenges:
1. The Zire 72 has a camera - it just came that way.
2. I have used the Zire 72 to communicate successfully via bluetooth with my mobile phone and even more impressively used Web Pro successfully to surf the web.
3. I have tested text posts to one of my othe blogs and it was successful - otherwise I wouldn't have bothered with this blog. However, the Vodafone GPRS service is not impressive.

[Click here to learn more about The Geordies skittles team.]