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Mozilla Webmaker Open Practices badge

This is a post to (hopefully) show I’ve met the requirements for the Open Practices badge issued by Mozilla Webmaker.

KnowHow NonProfit logo

Image: knowhownonprofit.org

For this I’ve used the website KnowHow NonProfit. This website provides all the information UK non-profit organisations need to set up and run their organisations. The approach is quite different to many sites in this sector as that much of the content is wiki based and users of the site are encouraged to share their knowledge and work together to build up useful information. Most other advice websites tend to provide information to non-profit organisations without the option for them to add to that knowledge. As well as wiki how-to guides there are also case studies and also more ‘regular’ content pages which are wikis.

As I work for a UK charity I use this site to share things I’ve done and add to things written by others.

Two examples of wiki how-to guides I have started myself:

Two examples of how-to guides written by other people which I have added to:

The wiki how-to guides are published under Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported and are designed to be constantly enhanced over time. This website has an active community of over 40,000 users who are working together to build an effective knowledge base.

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Leeds Castle Triathlon 2014

Having grown up just down the road I was embarrassed to admit this was the first time I had ever been to Leeds Castle for its first ever triathlon. As it was the first year of the race I wasn’t able to do much research on what the course was like other than a bit of a chat with some blokes from the local triathlon club.

Leeds castle triathlon finish line

Photo Mr. E Henty

The water was very shallow and once the 100 or so people in the wave climbed in it kicked up a lot of mud making visibility zero. It was quite a tight swim course round the moat and comfortably the best swim I’ve ever done. There was a lot of traffic throughout which I prefer as it stops me drifting off which tends to happen if I’m swimming on my own for a long time.

The rolling, windy bike was tougher than I thought and I was very disappointed by my time but looking at the results it seems to have been quite slow for everyone. It wasn’t the pancake flat drag strip I was hoping for.

Cheesy promo video below – I’m the one in the yellow hat.

The run was also slow by my standards but was a very tough cross country 5km double loop. Some of the hills were so steep they left some seasoned racers walking up them.

I can’t claim I’m happy going over three hours for an Olympic distance race but races like the London Triathlon are far easier than this one. I’m glad it was challenging as I’m more likely to have another go next year.

Total03:03:05
Swim 1.5 km00:34:55
T100:02:31
Bike 40 km01:31:42
T200:01:31
Run 10 km00:52:24

Posts from other people about this

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Windrush Aquathlon 2014

I took part in this event as a last minute entry as another aquathlon I was entered in over in east London was cancelled at the last minute. Windrush Aquathlon had been sold out but I thought I would try my luck and see if there were any places on the day.

This was a 500m swim in Brockwell Lido and a 5km run around Brockwell Park – not the parkrun course I’m told.

It was a very hot morning, almost too hot for wetsuits. I really wanted to use mine as preparation for Leeds Castle triathlon next weekend. I think it was borderline and I would have felt a bit like a Boil in the Bag cod if the swim was a bit longer.

Some blokes from the triathlon club

Photo Jonas Lustosa / Eileen Jacus

CPT mopped some of the podium places and a lot of points for the London League.

It wasn’t my fastest effort and I was a bit puzzled as I seemed very slow over the run especially. Hopefully everything will be fine next week on ‘home turf’ at Leeds Castle.

Total00:38:48
500 m swim + T100:13:02
5k m run00:25:46
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Ocean Lake Triathlon Sprint Race 1 2014

I’ve never taken part in an open water triathlon this early in the year before and I was pretty worried about how cold the water might be. It was actually a ‘balmy’ 13 Celsius. This doesn’t sound that warm but it was actually warmer than the air temperature.

The weather was poor. It was chilly but also the rain was tipping down the whole time. Sometimes triathletes can be wimps. Before the start all these guys in wetsuits went in to a shed next to the lake and stood about shivering and hugging themselves. We were going in to the lake a few minutes later so not sure why anyone was so bothered about staying dry!

Leybourne Lake

I really found the bike hard going in the heavy rain. The bike leg was down a dual carriageway and there were huge puddles which I wasn’t sure if they were just normal puddles or covering pot holes. Falling in those conditions with cars coming past at high speed could have been messy. I played it safe and probably lost a lot of time as a result. I was a good bit slower than in 2011 and 2013. The bike leg has been different every year and in previous years it was later in the year and the weather was a lot better so it’s not a straight comparison.

Total01:37:30
750 m swim00:20:05
T100:03:58
20km bike00:47:12
T200:02:19
5 km run 00:23:54
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Kingfisher Aquathlon 2014

I took part in the Kingfisher Aquathlon back in 2011 but this was the first time I was wearing CPT colours trying to earn some points for the London League and not too much of burke in the process. There is a 400m pool swim with a 9km run around a park in Morden. With such an early start it’s possible to finish and cycle home before anyone has noticed you’re gone.

Man with a lego hand

I remember getting mixed up with the distances back in 2011 when I thought I was only running 5 instead of 9 km. I didn’t make that same mistake this time although it’s hard to know where you are as a lot of the run is through the woods.

Kingfisher Triathletes do a great job in organising the race which has a really friendly atmosphere and affordable.

Total00:57:39
400 m swim00:09:42
9 km run00:47:57
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The London Classic 2014

The London Classic reached its 5th anniversary and I was back on the admin table getting people to fill in legal disclaimers, and explaining that there are about 400 signs with pink arrows all over London that people need to follow to have any chance of getting back to the Gipsy Hill Tavern to watch the Tour of Flanders.

Me at the London Classic 2014

As it was the 5th year we had some pretty awesome special t-shirts made up which we sold out in no time at all.

Bike on cobbles at the London Classic 2014

We managed to raise nearly £7000 which is enough for a special care incubator for Evelina London.

cobble riding at the London Classic 2041

I’m very grateful to Ryoko Uyama who kindly gave up her time to take some excellent photos from around the route.

Cobbles in Wapping

Blog posts from other people about this

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Why the image resize tool in a CMS is evil

I rarely get on my high horse over interweb matters but here goes! I see a lot of images on websites that appear to be appropriately sized but are actually massive and made to look small. A simple right click ‘inspect element’ in Chrome or Firefox shows the truth.

Don’t know what I’m on about? I probably haven’t explained it as well as this video does….

Size always matters

To show what I mean I have two pictures of Bodie from The Professionals, (actor Lewis Collins who sadly died recently) one of  my style icons. They look very similar but the stats show they are very, very different. The larger 4MB plus version on the left has been resized via WordPress image editing screen to look 250 px x 375 px on the blog post but it’s actually more than ten times that size. Just because you made it look small doesn’t stop it being bigger than it is. You can click on the images which will show you what they look like at their original size. The one on the right looks fine and you wouldn’t event notice any difference if it wasn’t propped against its giant cousin.

Left image: 2731px x 4096 px, 400dpi, 4.6 MB.
Right image 250px x 375 px, 72dpi, 33 KB.

Bide from the Professionals (not web optimised) Bodie from The Professionals web version

Why is this a problem?

Back when I was first building websites you were dealing with 56.6 K modems and so everything had to be optimised to be as efficient as possible – waiting for your pages to load is annoying. I regularly built whole websites that would fit on a floppy disk (1.44 MB). Once we all started getting better internet connections people got sloppy and stopped worrying about page load times. Google took action and we now use devices more and so people are starting to think more seriously about this again – a good thing.

Why not use the fancy image manipulation tools that most CMS have now?

Because they suck ass – if there is a good one I haven’t seen it yet. Classically some of these will let you edit the image and create an additional copy of the image with all your edits. So you’re left with two (or three, or four, or five…or how ever many edits your do) of the same image on your server! This makes version control and organising your files in your media manager generally, more difficult.

What should we do then smart guy?

Probably go back to the totally ‘old fashioned’ way of using tools like Photoshop (or something like GIMP if you’re short of cash) to web optimise your image to exactly the right size and resolution and then upload it to your CMS. Leave the image tinkering to the tools that do it best.

So going back to Father Ted clip – the image on the left is far away and the one on the right is small. Or is that the other way round?

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Boards of Canada live the Warp Records 10th Anniversary 10th November 1999

Much like the Aphex Twin live performance posted a while back I found this down the back of the digital sofa. It has been knocking around the interweb for a while but I thought I would post it here as it moves me so.

I didn’t actually go to this gig but I did go to the ill fated Lighthouse gig for the “incredible” party in 2000. Despite having a ticket I didn’t get in but I try not to be bitter about it. This Old Truman Brewery gig does seem to have been slightly more interesting anyway as it included a couple of untitled tracks especially the last one (Untitled 2) which is truly spiffing.

The band themselves don’t seem to be that keen on this gig recording going public as the recording doesn’t meet their lofty sound quality standards. I’ve now idea how true this is but fits in with their whole living in a commune thing.

I’m not as big on Boards of Canada as I used to be as they seem to have entered the chin scratching mainstream (I think the NME likes them?) and I still have this crazy idea that I’m above all that. In terms of electronic music I’m at the top of the snobbery tree. Music died in 1997.

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London Triathlon 2013

I decided I would have another crack at this race which was what first inspired me to have a go at Triathlon way back in 2005. I also came back and had another go in 2006 but hadn’t been back since mainly as I wanted to try out some of other races.

This is the biggest triathlon in the world with over 12,000 people taking part. This can be good and bad. The good is that it’s local, well known, organised and supported. The bad is it feels a bit like a soulless production line as there are so many people. A bit like the Tesco of triathlon.
London Triathlon 2013

The swim went pretty well in that I dipped under 40 minutes (pretty good by my standards). It suited me as there was a lot of traffic nearly the whole distance so I had to really fight just to stay in position. Normally I get left behind after the fist few hundred metres so this was a refreshing change. The battling kept me focused as my mind tends to drift when you have your head submerged for nearly 40 minutes and can’t really see or hear to much.

The bike leg was very similar to the first time I raced here in 2005. It was two loops on a fairly flat and fast course. At times you can get up to such speeds that you feel you’re running out of big gears. I decided not to hang about or cheat by drafting – there were people doing both. Going through the Limehouse Link Tunnel at top whack is quite exhilarating and even better if you can dodge all the debris on the road!

The run was four laps of a loop running out of ExCel to the north and back. This is different from when I had last raced here as that was two loops running around the outside of the dock. It was very windy and seemed to go on forever but I got there in the end. I was definitely running out of steam by the end so I was just happy to cross the line in one piece.

Overall I was very happy as I’ve made an improvement with swim, bike and overall times – 5 minutes better than my 2006 finish time which is very satisfying especially as I train a lot less these days. I think this a great beginners course as it’s actually fast and not too challenging. I’m sure I will be back but probably not next year as I’d like to check out a few other events.

Total02:51:47
1.5 km swim00:39:20
T100:05:08
40 km bike01:14:29
10 km run00:49:45
T200:03:05
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Ocean Lake Triathlon Sprint Race 3 2013

I needed a sprint triathlon as a warm up for the London Triathlon next month. I have raced at Leybourne Lake the last couple of years as it’s very close to where I grew up. Team Outrageous, the club that ran those events seem to have done a bunk and so another club called Ocean Lake Triathlon have stepped in and seem to run all the events at the lake now.

Starting a rac at Leybourne Lake

Ocean Lake Triathlon made a significant change to the regular bike course by incorporating some quieter back roads running parallel to A228 which made things a lot more fun as there were no big lorries to contend with. Other than that the course is the same as it was before.

I was quite a bit slower than in 2011 but I was much fitter then. I still like these races and I think it will become a regular thing to do every year as these races are very well run and low cost.

Total01.33.19
750 m swim + T100:21.50
20 km bike00.45.47
T2 + 5 km run 00:25:42