Sunday, March 14, 2010

Glow Worm Bicycles

Maurice Wells, Managing Director, Glow Worm BicyclesLooking for the Addison Road Centre in Sydney on Friday, I noticed a group of people in a brightly lit shop with electric bicycles. This turned out to be the opening of Maurice Wells' Glow Worm Bicycles store. On display were a few different models of electric as well as pedal-only bicycles. Glow Worm claim to have the lightest electric bicycles in Australia, at 18kg. The lithium 36V 10Ah battery packs are in removable cartridges locked onto the bicycle frame with a key. You can remove the battery and carry it indoors by the built in handle, for charging.

On the bike I took for a brief test ride the battery is mounted vertically, low down behind the seat post (even more so on the "Lucky Legs" step through model). This helps with the balance, having the weight low down. However, it results in a more complex frame. Other models, such as the one in the photo with Maurice, have the battery horizontally under the carrier over the back wheel. This requires less engineering but results in more weight higher up.

The bikes have standard gears, brakes and other equipment. Apart from the battery at the back, there is an electric motor mounted in the oversize hub of the front wheel, and a throttle lever next to the left handgrip. It only takes a few seconds to get used to controlling the motor speed. The hard part is remembering to pedal, rather than just let the electric motor carry you along. Claims performance is 25km/h and a range of 20-50km.

Maurice said there was also a folding electric model available, but not on display. Other options include solar charging.

At the launch I met Jerry Desousa, CEO, Timor Air, (flag carrier airline of East Timor) who pased Maurice's skills as an alternatvie energy technology engineer, installing solar systems in East Timor (Timor-Leste).

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Simple web pages are best

Electric bicycle foldabe 20 inch
Had a message from Electric Velocity, who sell electric bicycles in Sydney, to say that they had changed their web pages top ASP. I blogged their electric folding bicycle after seeing it at the Balmain Markets. They commented that they get a lot of referrals from my blog posting, so could I fix the link?

I get such a query every week or two from companies and government agencies. They ask why my plain postings are so popular, when they have invested in Flash, ASP and other technologies and they regularly update their web site. I have to explain to them my postings are popular because I don't use Flash, ASP and don't delect web pages. I use plain ordinary HTML and leave the web pages where they were. As a result the pages are easy for a search engine and a human reader to find and read.

In the case of Velocity their new home page has 15 Errors, 2 warning(s) on a HTML Validation test. W3C mobileOK Checker reports "This page is not mobile-friendly!". A TAW accessibility test reports: 3 Priority 1, 62 Priority 2, 11 Priority 3 problems. Fixing these problems would make their web site more usable. Link

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Folding bicycles make the mainstream in Australia

Kmart Australia's father's day catalogue features a Cyclops 50cm "Compacto" folding small wheel bicycle for $179. This appears to be a six speed model with a luggage rack and mudguards.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Folding Electric Bicycle

Electric bicycle foldabe 20 inch
At the Balmain Markets in Sydney on Saturday, Albert Iesho was displaying electric bicycles from Electric Velocity. One which caught my eye was a 20 inch folder. As well as sales they also arrange rentals.

All the bicycles on display used the same basic layout, with a rear hub mounted 200 Watt motor and a 36V, 8Ah Lithium battery in a slide out canister just in front of the rear wheel. The folding 20 inch bicycle used the same motor and batter as the larger units and is slightly cheaper. But lacks gears, a luggage carrier and full mudguards.

The idea with these bicycles is that you can pull the batter cartridge out and carry it inside to be recharged.

The battery and motor are most of the cost of such units. The bicycle accounts for about $500 of the cost.
Foldable Electric Bike
Cost: $1,300
Frame: Aluminium alloy
Motor: 200W brushless hub
Battery: 36V, 8Ah LiFePO4
Speed: 25 Km/hr on level road
Range: 30 Km depending on terrain
Brakes: Front U-brake & rear mini-expanding brake

L X W X H(mm): 1540 X 630 X 1070
Wheel: 20 inch spokes wheel, M-finish rim
Gear: Single Speed
Battery Life: 1000 cycles
Power Mode: Throttle or 1:1 Pedal Assist
Charging Time: 6-8 Hours for 0 to Max charging
Colour: Silver & Black or Orange & Black

From: Electric Velocity, 2009

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Adli Folding Bicycle

Adli Folding BicycleAldi's Australia stores are offering a Folding Bicycle (described as a "Foldable Bike") in its weekly specials from 18 September 2008. At $199 this is about half the price of the cheapest folding bicycle previously available in Australia. It is described as having Shimano 6 speed gears, alloy rims and a high-tensile steel frame. The wheel size is not specified, but it appears to be 20 inch. There are mudguards and a carrier shown in the photo. This makes it comparable to my Dahon Boardwalk folding bicycle which cost $500. It is also less than I paid to have my folding bicycle serviced.
  • Perfect to take with you on holidays
  • Easy to store and move about
  • Great for commuting to and from work
  • Alloy V linear brakes
  • Includes bonus carry bag for easy storage
  • Folding pedals
  • 95% assembled
  • Folded size: 32 x 66 x 75cm
From: Foldable Bike, product 10/40, Aldi, 2008

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Denmark Shows the Way on Urban Sustainability

Kangaroo is a family cycleIn Canberra until 1 June 2008 there is a display of Danish designed bicycles and sustainable technology: "Dreams on Wheels: Danish Cycling Culture for Urban Sustainability".

The Copenhagen Citybike "rent-a-bike" system is on display, with bikes parked outside which visitors can take for a spin. These bikes have a map of Copenhagen fixed to the handlebars and prominent white solid wheels, making them look like something from a circus. They have a very solid (and heavy) steel frame and no gears, which must help them survive hard wear in rental use, but hard to ride. Perhaps the bikes are made to be not that nice to ride to discourage theft. The Copenhagen bikes are a lot lower tech looking than DB (German Railways) "Call a Bike" rental bicycles.

Apart from the rental bicycles, most striking were the three wheel bicycles on display for the transport of children. These were by Christina bikes, who even have a model to carry a wheelchair. What stuck me was that apart from the two wheels, the bicycles were very conventional, with the usual upright riding position. A recruitment tricycle would seem the ideal starting point for carrying a load, rather than a bicycle.

The Kangaroobike is another three wheel design for carrying children. This has two small wheels under the load at the front and a conventional large wheel at the back. This allows the cabin to be wider, as it is over, rather than between the wheels. There is a lightweight cloth covered frame to form a roof. This model seemed to use more hi-tech than the Christina, and on the way to a recumbent, but might not be as robust. The Christina bikes are sold in Australia by psbikes.

Biomega, had bicycles which looked interesting, rather than ridable. They use a drive shaft, in place of the usual chain drive. This is claimed to be more efficient, but a bicycle chain is already one of the most efficient power coupling systems invented. Another of their designs features a full size folding bicycle, where the security cable is incorporated in the frame. The idea is after unlocking the bicycle you loop the security cable around a hook near the bottom of the frame. The cable is stretched tight to a point under the handlebars, bracing the frame. This makes sens as folding bicycles have problems with strength (mine broke in half while I was riding it). But using a component of the frame for this dual use is not a good idea. Unfortunately I couldn't find this bicycle on Biomega's stylish, but difficult to use web site (like their bicycles, the web site seems to be designed for creating an impression, not real use).

Apart from bicycles, there were some fact sheets from the Danish embassy on sustainability topics of environment, energy and climate. The one on "What makes technology eco-efficient?", caught my attention. Also there was a fact sheet on the history of Danish Architecture.

As well as the display of bicycles (open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am - 4 pm from 3 May until 1 June), there are a series of talks, at the same venue. The film "Cities for People" was quirky entertainment as well as informative:
  • Sunday 4 May The Film "Cities for People" About Jan Gehl, who shares his ideas on how we conduct ourselves in cities and how our senses of sight, hearing, speaking and feeling respond to them. 2000, 57 min. Director: Lars Mortensen
  • Thursday 8 May: 12.30 pm: The Film "Cities for People" .
  • Friday 9 May: 12:30 pm: The Film "The Impossible Hour" A concentrated study of Ole Ritter’s attempt to recapture the most compelling and most difficult record in professional cycling: a one-hour, one-man race on a track in Mexico City. 1975, 45 min Director: Jørgen Leth
  • Saturday 10 May: 11 am & 1 pm: The Film "Cities for People"
  • 2.30 pm: The Film "Overcoming" A film that provides a penetrating insight into the closed world of professional cycling. The film follows Bjarne Riis and his team CSC as they strive for the impossible: to win Tour de France. 2005, 106 min. Director: Tómas Gislason
  • Sunday 11 May 11 am & 1 pm: The Film "Cities for People"
  • 2.30 pm: The Film "Stars and Water Carriers" The film shows the Giro d’Italia as classical theatre whose heroes evoke classical virtues, like those of mythology. 1974, 93 min. Directed by Jørgen Leth
  • Wednesday 14 May 5 pm: Speaker Todd Rohl, Managing Director for NCA Planning & Urban Design will talk about sustainable planning in the National Capital.
  • Thursday 15 May 12:30 pm: The Film "Cities for People"
  • 5 pm: Speaker Stephen Hodge A six time Tour de France finisher and Australian Olympic cyclist will share his own cycling experiences as an introduction to the movie "A Sunday in Hell"
  • Friday 16 May 12:30 pm: The Film "Stars and Water Carriers"
  • Saturday 17 May Community Day10 am - 2 pm
  • 11 am & 1 pm: The Film "Cities for People"
  • 2.30 pm: The Film "A Sunday in Hell" A powerful portrayal of one of the toughest cycling races in the world – the Paris-Roubaix race. 1976, 111 min. Directed by: Jørgen Leth
  • Sunday 18 May 11 am & 1 pm: The Film "Cities for People"
  • 2.30 pm: The Film "Fun-Cycle Trip in Denmark" Road movie-dogma style – looking at Danish bicycle culture. From the man who rides his bike to buy fish, to bike innovators in Copenhagen. 2002, 28 min. Director: Henrik Ljungquist
  • Wednesday 21 May 5 pm: Speaker Dr Rod Katz, former President of the Australian Bicycle Federation and board member of the Amy Gillett Foundation will talk about the cultural differences between Denmark and Australia in terms of bicycle use and attitudes to bicycle safety.
  • Thursday 22 May 12:30 pm: The Film "Cities for People"
  • 5 pm: Speaker Professor Poul Tranter, University of New South Wales will talk about the ‘effective speed’ of cyclists and on why giving priority to cyclists is likely to provide a better return on transport systems investment.
  • Friday 23 May 12:30 pm: The Film "The Impossible Hour"
  • Saturday 24 May 11 am & 1 pm: The Film "Cities for People"
  • 2.30 pm: The Film "Overcoming"
  • Sunday 25 May 11 am & 1 pm: The Film "Cities for People"
  • 2.30 pm: The Film "Stars and Water Carriers"
  • Wednesday 28 May 5 pm: Speaker Professor Mads Gaardboe, Head of the School of Architecture and Design at the University of South Australia will discuss whether bicycles fit naturally within the urban environment.
  • Thursday 29 May 12:30 pm: The Film "Cities for People"
  • 5 pm: Speaker Henriette Mortensen, Associate of Gehl Architects, Copenhagen, specialises in Public Spaces and Public Life Research and will talk about the design of liveable cities, especially in the Australian context where Gehl Architects have undertaken projects in both Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
  • Friday 30 May 12:30 pm: The Film "Impossible Hour"
  • Saturday 31 May 11 am & 1 pm: The Film "Cities for People"
  • 2.30 pm: The Film "A Sunday in Hell"
  • Sunday 1 June 11 am & 1 pm: The Film "Cities for people"
  • 2.30 pm: The Film "Fun-Cycle Trip in Denmark"
Also provided at the event was a media release claiming Copenhagen as the world's best bicycle city, given that my folding bicycle has been banned from Canberra buses, I can't argue:

Bright-eyed Copenhageners on the bicycle lane in the morning have long been a part of the city's scenery and the bicycle's popularity benefits both the environment and the residents' well being. The city's visitors have ample opportunity to hop on the saddle and experience Copenhagen on two wheels. But the city of Copenhagen wants to do even more to advance the bicycle culture. By 2015, the world's best biking city will be named Copenhagen.

1,1 million kilometres on bike
Today, 36% of Copenhageners travel the road to work or school on bicycle. That is one of the highest percentages in the world and the ambitious target for 2015 is 50%. Furthermore, 1,1 million kilometres are ridden on bicycle in Copenhagen - every day.

These numbers come from the City of Copenhagen's environmental plan, ECO-METROPOLE OUR VISION 2015, which together with other green initiatives, works towards making Copenhagen the world's best biking city by 2015. The project also ranks high on funding. 150 million DKK have been allocated from 2007-2009 for bicycle parking, green biking routes, more bike lanes and increased safety.

Bike City Copenhagen
In May 2007, Copenhagen was the first city in the world to be named Bike City - a distinction that strengthens the ambition to become the world's best biking city. It was the international cycling union, UCI, which appointed Copenhagen to Bike City. That means a number of international cycling events will take place in and around the city in 2008-2011. The 2011 world championship in road cycling will be the showcase event. But other sporting events like the world championship in track cycling, BMX World Cup and Track World Cup in Ballerup Super Arena will fill the city with cycle enthusiasts from the whole world. During this time, there will also be a variety of public cycling activities that will focus on Copenhagen as Bike City and strengthen a healthy urban environment.

Bike lanes & green routes
There already exists many ways to safely get around Copenhagen on two wheels. In the last 100 years, 300 kilometres of bike lanes have been built in the City of Copenhagen - and an additional 50 kilometres are on the way. Currently, the city is building green routes through the city to ensure a safe and green transport route for cyclists while creating green spots in the city's landscape. Out of the 100 kilometres of green routes planned throughout the city, 37 kilometres are completed and a good part of the route through the district of Nørrebro has already been established. When that is finished, there will be green bicycling connections through several areas of Copenhagen, namely from Emdrup in the north across Frederiksberg to Valby in the south. A bike and pedestrian bridge over Aagade is part of the project to create safe cycling connections between the City of Frederiksberg and the City of Copenhagen.

Green wave for the cyclists
There are only a few places in the world, where you will find traffic lights specifically for cyclists. But in Copenhagen, you'll see the miniature traffic lights many places, especially at heavily trafficked crossroads. The clearly marked blue bike lanes also increase traffic safety for the vulnerable cyclist. On Nørrebrogade, green waves have been set during the morning and evening "rush-hours" so the approximately 30,000 bicyclists that ride this stretch daily get a quicker and safer bike lane. The traffic lights are set so that the 2.5 kilometre stretch between outer Nørrebro to The Lakes can be covered in only seven and a half minutes at 20 kilometres an hour. The speed is brisk but kids can also keep pace. Soon, cyclists in other areas of the city will enjoy the green waves because more are on the way.

On bike in North Zealand
North Zealand offers a wealth of scenic routes that can be covered on bicycle. One of these routes is Strandvejen, the costal road between Copenhagen and Helsingør, which is also a Marguerite route - an especially beautiful route through the landscape. Enjoy views of Øresund and the large coastal houses, Bellevue Beach, Dyrehaven (The Deer Garden) and Eremitage Castle. At the same time, sights and attractions pop up along the way -- Denmark's Aquarium in Charlottenlund, Karen Blixen Museum in Rungsted, Louisiana in Humlebæk and Hamlet's Kronborg Castle in Helsingør. In addition you'll find more than 3,000 kilometres of national bicycle routes that wind their way through the beautiful Danish countryside.

Take your bike on public transportation
Over time, public transportation in and out of Copenhagen has conformed to the bike culture and it is possible to take your bicycle with you on the S-trains, Metro, local and regional trains as well as InterCity and InterCitylyn trains. Most S-trains have a special area or flex-room for bikes. All trains require a special bike ticket, which can be purchased at the station. Do remember to reserve a spot for your two wheels on InterCity and InterCitylyn trains.

Experience Copenhagen on two wheels
The colourful city bikes make it possible for the city's visitors to discover Copenhagen on two wheels. And, they are free to use with a deposit of DKK 20. 2007 marks the 12th season that the 2,000 city bikes have dotted the city landscape from April to November. With 110 city bike stations in the inner city, there is always a bike nearby and the four rolling workshops make sure the bikes are in top working condition every day.

Guest of many of the city's hotels can also rent a bike directly from the hotel reception for approximately DKK 100 per day. For example, the hotel chain Arp-Hansen Group offer bicycle rentals from its nine hotels in the centre of Copenhagen.

A good alternative to finding your way around the big city jungle on your own is a guided bike safari with a personal guide. It is a different and more active way to experience the city's life and architecture. Both Copenhagen Tours and City Safari arrange guided tours for one person or groups. The tours' themes range from Historical Copenhagen, In H.C. Andersen's Footsteps or Danish Design Safari as well as themed tours such as Photo and Quiz Safari, Big City Organics and a guided tour through the city's nightlife can be arranged. Tours are two and a half - four and a half hours long and it is possible to supplement your experience with lunch in the green areas along the way.

The Asian inspired rickshaws or bicycle taxis make it possible to experience Copenhagen by bike without having to step on the pedals. The two largest operators are Copenhagen Rickshaw and Flying Tigers Rickshaw. They both primarily serve the inner city but you can also hire them for longer trips. Call and reserve a trip or hail one of the colourful bicycles on the street. Most drivers speak many languages, know the city like the back of their hand and can recommend sights, attractions and events.

Further information
Wonderful Copenhagen, tel.: +45 3325 7400
Senior project leader Susanne Bendsen, email:, tel.: +45 3355 7437

Further information regarding Bike City
Senior project leader Lars Vallentin Christensen, email:, tel.: +45 3355 7443

Find more press features at:

For press photos:


Copenhagen City Hall

City Bikes


Arp-Hansen Hotels

For dates on Bike City events

City Safari

Danish Cycling Association

Copenhagen Tours

State Railways (DSB)

Copenhagen Rickshaw

Copenhagen Metro

Flying Tigers Rickshaw

From: The world's best biking city, Press feature, Copenhagen Convention and Visitors Bureau, January 2008

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Small wheel and folding bicycles banned from Canberra Buses

bike rack on on Canberra ACTION busAfter the conference dinner for the ET GOVICT2008, it was a little late, so I put my folding bicycle in the luggage carrier on the number 34 Canberra ACTION bus to get home. As I got on the bus driver commented that if I unfolded it and put it on the carrier on the outside of the bus I could travel for free. I thought this was a joke, but it turns out be part of ACTION's bike ‘n ride policy.

The catch is that I can only travel free if my bike is one of the two on the carrier on the outside front of the bus. The bike racks on the busses are designed for bicycles with wheels 22 inches (55 cm) or larger, so small wheel bicycles and most folding bicycles are not permitted. Placing bikes within the bus is not permitted. The ACTION web site does not mention folding bicycles, so on the face of it these bicycles are banned from ACTION buses, which is not a very environmentally friendly policy. Cities in Denmark have much more bicycle friendly polices than the ACT Government.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Folding bicycle film

Lynette Chiang, folding bicycle traveller and author of “The Handsomest Man in Cuba”, will be in Melbourne and Canberra, Australia in May. Apparently she has now produced a video. For more details of events, see the BikeFriday web site :

May 2008
Australian Flag Mackay Maiden

Let's jump on the MBTC Sunday Easy ride of Melbourne's bike paths - meet 9.15am Federation Square and circumnavigate the 'burbs, reacquainting yourselves with "the cyclists roadways". Plenty of places to bow out - lots of train stations. This is a good social "BF getting to know each other ride." Rain cancels, I presume...


Anyone want to suggest a ride (in between showers) that we can all join? Please contact me and I'll post it here. There isn't a formal Melbourne BF club as such, but plenty of enthusiastic Friday friends! I'm here til May 14, so anytime in between.

Galfromdownunder Film Fest @ BWM, Melbourne, Australia

May 2008
May. 13
6 Bond St South Yarra, Melbourne (just around the corner from Cafe E Cuccina on Chapel St)
Lynette, Peru River
Australian Flag Mackay Maiden

TIME: 7pm – 10pm, Peru screens 7.15pm, Route 66 screens 8.15pm
Click here | Parking at Jam Factory, bike parking under the building of 6 Bond St
Small donation towards costs and the Peru Orphanage featured in the film
The Galfromdownunder's award-winning bicycle films shot with a simple digital camera and minimal technology have been praised by cycling and multimedia audiences across the USA. 16,000 Feet on a Friday travels the world's highest highway to a remote orphanage in Peru, and was voted Audience Choice at the inaugural Boston Bike Film Festival. Route 66 by Bicycle is a 29-day expedition along the original alignments of the famous historic route, visiting beloved icons of roadside America. Q&A includes a demo of her folding bicycle and her techniques of "handlebar moviemaking" revealed. Visit

Thanks to Belgiovane Williams McKay (creators of the Telstra "Too Many Rabbits in China" tv commercial), for the use of their theatre.

Galfromdownunder Film Fest @ ANU, CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA

May 2008
May. 15
Manning Clark Theater IV, Union Court, Australian National University, CANBERRA
CRUSOE Lynette Chiang Peru 2004
Australian Flag Mackay Maiden

TIME: 7pm – 10pm, Peru screens 7.15pm, Route 66 screens 8.15pm | Directions

COST: Small donation towards costs and the Peru Orphanage featured in the film
The Galfromdownunder's award-winning bicycle films shot with a simple digital camera and minimal technology have been praised by cycling and multimedia audiences across the USA. 16,000 Feet on a Friday travels the world's highest highway to a remote orphanage in Peru, and was voted Audience Choice at the inaugural Boston Bike Film Festival. Route 66 by Bicycle is a 29-day expedition along the original alignments of the famous historic route, visiting beloved icons of roadside America. Q&A includes a demo of her folding bicycle and her techniques of "handlebar moviemaking" revealed. Visit

Thanks to Bike Friday Club of Canberra leader Nic Gellie for organizing this event

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Choice magazine test of folding bikes

Folded bicycleChoice magazine has published results of a test of seven folding bikes (plus a video). They tested the Birdy Orange, Brompton M3L, Dahon Boardwalk D7, Giatex Sport 6 speed BICI 660, Progear Cross Road, Strida V3.3 and Yeah YRA062. The Dahon Boardwalk D7 and Yeah YRA062 were rated best overall. I don't know the Yeah, but as a happy Boardwalk owner of some years, can agree with that recommendation, despite some problems.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Africa by bike project

Outside Schreufa, Hessen Germany photographed by Andreas NarfströmJust got a message from Andreas Narfström about his africabybike project. According to his web site he started in June 2007 cycling from Sweden to South Africa, via dozens of cities. The early postings from are in Swedish, but he changed over to English when at Schreufa, Hessen Germany July 28th, 2007.

The photos are interesting, but I will suggest some changes for the web pages to Andreas. There is so much content on the home page that it took several minutes to download. While that was happening the black text was hard to read, displayed on a gray concrete background.

ps: For my more limited trips, see my
series: By Bending Bicycle

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Green CIO Conference

The first Green CIO conference was held at Darling Harbor in Sydney yesterday. There were displays from Wyse, IBM, HP, Ethan Group and Lawson. The ACS President talked about the recently released Australian ICT Carbon Emissions Audit and a Policy Statement for Green ICT. I talked about Reducing Carbon Emissions from the ICT Industry and the ACS Green IT Group. The day ended with the Green CIO Awards.

In keeping with the theme of the event I used the folding bicycle I had bought in Beijing to get to the electric tram stop. Darling Harbor is very good for this as the Sydney Light Rail goes past the convention center on the route to central station. The convention center cloak room accepted the bicycle for the day, without an objection.

In some ways green ICT represents a return to the origins of computing. Worrying about power consumption and materials introduces a discipline which has been lacking from the Moore's Law fueled increases in computing capacity. Wyse were displaying Thin Client units, which are essentially new century versions of last century computer terminals. Other companies were talking about "virtualisation" to run desktop PC applications on timesharing servers. IBM were displaying how to optimize air conditioning load and power in a high capacity data center using blade servers. These are all issues which would be familiar to an IT professional trained in the 1970s, but probably not one from the DOT.COM era.

The conference was useful in discussing what some of the issues with Green ICT are. But there is a lot of work needed to communicate those issues to the IT profession and to their customers. New and innovative products and services are needed. While thin clients and virtualisation are a start there is much more to do.

Some of the complexities were shown by the Wyse range of think client workstations. They had a range of small boxes, which mostly looked the same but ran different software. There are thin thin clients running a minimal operating system which just accept data from a remote application and display it much like an old terminal, all the way up to fat thin clients running applications locally:

  1. Wyse Thin OS: A simple and optimized thin client that is easy to install. The perfect inexpensive ICA/RDP appliance. ...
  2. Windows CE: An efficient and powerful thin client with the right balance of features for environments needing a Windows user interface. ...
  3. Wyse Linux: An adaptable thin client that is scalable from a simple appliance to robust workhorse. ...
  4. Windows XPe: A robust and flexible client built to run the most demanding local applications including video and Java. ...
Adapted from: Wyse Thin Clients, Wyse, 2007
The thinest thin clients suit vertical applications, such as in a warehouse or retail counter, where a few specialists applications are run. The thickest thin clients are a replacement for a general purpose computer.

Virtualisation allows personal computer applications to be run from a shared server. Applications and data can then easily be moved from the desktop PC to a server in the data center. But before doing this you first need to consider if the PC application would be better replaced with one designed to be run on a shared system. Emulating hundreds or thousands of PCs is a very inefficient process, compared to running a few applications with hundreds or thousands of users. Also the data formats used can be made more efficient. As an example replacing a desktop word processing application, with a shared application could reduce the size of the system needed (perhaps to one tenth the size). While using a blade server might be more efficient than desktop PCs, a more efficient application allowing for a smaller blade server will be even more efficient.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tag Cloud for Net Traveller Blog

This Tag Cloud shows the frequency of phrases used in my Net Traveler Blog:

It is generated dynamically by Zoom Clouds and can be applied to any web site which has an RSS or Atom Feed. If you can't see the generated version, here is how it looked when first created:

amazon (3) australian government (3) actors (2) anu (2) australian universities (2) best practices (1) crucible (3) china (5) citizen journalism (3) chinese equivalent (1) controversy (1) canberra (7) constraints (1) dey alexander (2) development organisation (1) energy grants (2) eco (2) electricity (2) exception (1) folding bicycle (2) first episode (2) fedora (4) google (5) have signed (2) interchange format (1) international covenant (1) jobs (2) journalism research (2) microsoft research labs (4) national library of australia (3) nick craswell (2) photovoltaic (2) private cars (2) renewable energy (2) rubbish removal (2) research job (3) sml (3) standards australia (1) storage technologies (2) standards development (2) standardization (1) sydney (3) scholarships in australia (2) w3c (2) web ir (2) water energy (2) web standards (1) web accessibility (2) world wide web consortium (1) world wide web (1)

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Folding Bicycle in Echohouse

The first episode of SBS's Eco House Challenge TV show went reasonably well. The idea is that two families try to get along with limited water, energy, rubbish removal and no private cars.

In the first episode we are introduced to the two families and watch their worry as the water and electricity are disconnected from their homes. The families are given a kit of portable alternative energy and water gadgets to help them get along. In later episodes the houses will be provided with low energy and water saving devices to make them more livable.

One of the gadgets provided was a small folding bicycle. I am a folding bicycle enthusiast. These can be used on their own for short trips, or combined with a car or public transport. You can put the bicycle in the boot of a small car, or take it on a bus, train or aircraft. This makes it much easier to minimize car use.

The EchoHouse challenge is useful is showing how dependent we are on energy and supplied water. But those who watch the first episode my get the idea that energy saving results in a drastic drop in the comfort of life. In fact with the right investment a home can be very livable while using minim of energy and water. Hopefully that message will come through in later episodes.

See also my:

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bending Bike Broke Again: Hinge break on a folding bicycle

Broken hinge on Dahon folding bicycleThe steel hinge on my Dahon "Boardwalk 6", 6 speed 20" 2003 model folding bicycle broke. I was attempting to fold the bicycle and was having difficulty, so I pushed a bit harder and the bolt broke in half.

In retrospect I realize should have stopped when I was meeting resistance and adjusted the bolt, as per the instruction manual.

I have put it into the local bicycle shop to see if they can fix it. They can probably make a replacement part fairly easily, but are first checking to see if the supplier has a replacement part.

This is the second breakage I have had with the bicycle. The frst was much more serious, when the frame broke in half while I was riding it. The frame was replaced under warranty and I was very happy with the result.

The bicycle has been across Australia and Europe on planes, trains and automobiles,with relatively few problems.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Folding Bicycles In Sydney and Online

Kent Ultra Light Magnesium Compact Folding BikeCell Bikes has a shop in Sydney selling folding bicycles (also by mail order). As well as some Dahon models, they have their own "Cell" brand folders.

The smallest folder from Cell is their Cell 16, a 16" gear-less bicycle featuring a magnesium frame. This appears similar to the Kent Ultra Light Magnesium Compact Folding Bike, but without the Kent's six gears. These bikes are a too small to a large adult like me, although I managed to travel around Beijing on a 16" Dahon for a day .

Schwinn Run-a- bout 20-Inch Folding BikeMore practical is the Cell 20" with 6 speeds. This has an aluminum frame which looks very similar to the Dahon Vitesse. There are similar bicycles on sale online, such as the Schwinn Runabout Folding Bike 20". I travelled around Europe with a 20" Dahon.

The Cell folding bicycles are around half the price of the Dahon units (which are already cheap compared to other bands of folding bicycles). The Cell bicycles lack some accessories, such as carriers and mudguards and you don't get Dahon's warranty. But you could buy a lot of accessories and repairs with the savings.

The Bicycle in Wartime: An Illustrated HistorySimilar folding bicycles are also available on-line via Amazon from various suppliers. So I set up my own Amazon folding bike store. Also I found some Books Mentioning Folding Bicycles. Folding bicycles were used in the attack on the German nuclear program in World War 2 and Lynette Chiang (and ANU IT graduate) wrote a book about riding a folding bicycle around Cuba.

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Bending Bicycle Better

Cheeky Monkey Workshop

I wrote in "Bending Bike Broke: Frame break on a folding bicycle" September 08, 2005:
The steel frame of my Dahon "Boardwalk 6", 6 speed 20" 2003 model folding bicycle broke in half Tuesday. At the time I was riding it at a bicycle path road crossing in Canberra. Fortunately there was no on-coming traffic and my helmet and clothing protected me from serious injury.
The people at Cheeky Monkey have installed a new frame and the bike is as good as was. There wasn't a steel frame available so my Dahon Boardwalk now has the aluminum frame of the up-market Vitesse model. This is painted a cool looking matte black. This was done under warranty and I only had to pay a small shipping charge.

Cheeky Monkey's shop is under the viaduct carrying the Tram to Central Station. It has a similar ambience to the bicycle shop in Cambridge. Hidden under a pile of panniers I found an Ortlieb Shuttle. This is a carryon sized wheeled bag designed for a bicycle and much like my previous wishlist.

Riding the bicycle back from was an adventure in itself. I passed the Sydney International Motor Shown at the Darling Harbor exhibition center. Tons of dirt have been piled up outside the center to form an artificial off-road driving track so that customers can simulate off road driving in large shiny four wheel drives.


Friday, October 07, 2005

Bicycle travel case which converts to a trailer?

Had a message from someone who moved to Melbourne and wanted a folding bicycle. I would still say a Dahon is good value, even though mine broke in half (and it is taking a long time to be fixed under warranty).

While looking up who sold folding bicycles in Melbourne, I noticed Dahon now sell a semi hard-sided case for transporting bikes by air, called the Airporter. There is also a "Carry Freedom Trailer" which turns the case into a trailer and packs inside the case with the bike for air travel. This is similar to the Bike Friday case Lynette Chiang used on her Cuba trip, but that had
detachable wheels on the case to make it a trailer. Bike Friday offer cases and trailers.

Travel cases have wheels, so why doesn't someone make a semi-rigid travel case where these same wheels can be used to make the case a light duty bicycle trailer? T
he separate trailer ads to the complexity and cost: US$199.95 for the Dahon case and US$500 for the trailer.

On a 2004 Europe trip I used an small wheeled cabin bag as a bicycle trailer. The extended handle of the bag formed the tow bar (attached to the bicycle carrier with a stretch strap). This worked reasonably well
for short distances, but the skate wheels of the bag were too small and hard. On pavement the wheels were noisy and on cobblestones the bag jumped around. Also the fabric of the bag was not very wear or water resistant.

In Marks and Spencer's at Cambridge I saw a shopping cart, with larger soft wheels and realized these would be better. Later at a display of suitcase production at the German Museum of Technology Berlin (Deutsches Technikmuseum) there was a semi-rigid wheeled bag with soft rubber wheels (about 90mm), which looked good. The semi rigid material is waterproof like a hard case, but flexible and light like a cloth bag (about half the weight of hard cases). The bags have zips covered with water resistant plastic gaskets.

Recently I bought a small carry on size bag made of the semi-rigid material, branded "Revelation" (made by by Antler) for under $80. Larger ones are around $100. These are not ideal as a trailer as they have the small hard skate wheels, the zips have a plastic seal only on the inside (more expensive ones have a seal on the outside as well
covering the zip) and the extendable handle doesn't look strong enough to use as a tow-bar. As well the handle retracts into a hole in the case, making it less weatherproof and weaker.

So if someone out there wants to build the ideal bicycle trailer they would build a semi-rigid case with a weatherproof zip. The handle, retraction mechanism and wheels would be mounted in a grove molded in the underside of the case, to increase strength and water resistance. There would be large wheels with soft tires. The one retractable handle would be used to carry the case when closed, to guide it when extended as a wheeled bag and as the tow hitch when used as a trailer. The case would cost less than US$400 and weigh less than 10 kg.

There are equipment cases used for transporting video equipment with some of these features, but they weigh twice as much as the bicycle cases. You can even get a military specification mobile office on wheels, complete with desk, drawers and chair, which folds up into a travelling case. ;-)


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Bending Bike Broke: Frame break on a folding bicycle

The steel frame of my Dahon "Boardwalk 6", 6 speed 20" 2003 model folding
bicycle broke in half Tuesday. At the time I was riding it at a bicycle path road crossing in Canberra. Fortunately there was no on-coming traffic and my helmet and clothing protected me from serious injury.

Broken Bicycle Frame

Broken Bicycle Frame

The tubular steel frame broke approximately 40mm ahead of the hinge in the middle of the bicycle. There was some rust visible in the underside of the fracture, which suggests that the frame has started to fail some days or weeks before the break. It would be prudent for anyone with one of these bicycles to check for cracking in the underside of the frame at this point.

Back Half of Bicycle with Break

Back Half of Bicycle with Break

As I have previously praised this bicycle on-line (to the point where some people thought I was marketing them), I thought it appropriate to bring this problem to people's attention. I still have a 16" Dahon which I am confident in using. I have also send the details to the manufacturer and the sales outlet for the bicycle.

Front Half of Bicycle with Break

Front Half of Bicycle with Break

The Bicycle in happier days: