London Marathon 2009

Once again the carnival atmosphere returned to The Island (Isle of Dogs) today, as 35,000+ people ran down our street as part of the London Marathon, including our friend Luke, and our gym instructor Marie-Jane. What a lovely day; sun shining brightly, cool gentle breeze, full tourist boats swanning their way past our flat on the Thames.

We had the 25km marker right out the front of our flat today. Two pads crossed the running track, with four cables protruding from each, connecting with what looked like a scart cable to a yellow box; this contraption was recording each runner as they went past, with an annoying high pitched chirp for each.

This data was probably available from several places; I had tried the Adidas web site, which today seemed to stall under the load. I subscribed for text-message updates on our two friends, however text messages seemed to take up to 30 minutes extra to come through. The web site itself from Adidas was all done in flash, and by design it was impossible to bookmark the runners I was following. Should my mouse run over any of the menus, the main page of the flash app completely disappeared – most disorientating. Adidas, thanks for the effort, but lets get some people with some knowledge of web design involved; how about an RSS feed for my runners? How about a bit more “real-time”?

Lying by the pool in Aqaba, Jordan

Ahhhh. I am lying on a sun lounger by the “summer pool” at the Movenpick Hotel in Aqaba, Jordan. It’s 35* C today, but surprisingly that’s not as bad as I thought it would be. Splish splash, trying not to read email, but then again I have wifi on my blackberry and am chilled… Perhaps its time to try todays “cocktail of the day”, the Zombie – which was yesterdays cocktail of the day too… Must be good!

Asus, where is the B204 w/Linux?

Dear Asus (pron: “a-sue-s”, not “ace-us”, apparently),

I’ve been looking for a small set-top home media player running Linux, with an HDMI on board, capable of running 1080p video. Looking around I’m quite fond of the Eeebox B204, but I don’t want to pay for MS Windows. I like the Bluetooth for my remote keyboard/mouse/input, and the battery UPS is cute up until the point the battery has lost its ability to charge/discharge.

I wanted to email you, but your web site has telephone numbers only. Its been a long, long time for you to bring this product to market in the UK. You’re also reselling different models in different markets, and your branding of the models is somewhat confusing: the B204 is “better/higher spec” than the B206 that was released at the same time?

Having said that, the on-line retailers I am Google-Frugal-Shopping searching through all seem to list the product, but have zero stock. Are there supply line issues? Is the product recalled? Or is it selling really well? Where are the Linux versions (sans-Microsoft-tax)? And why is your UK channel selling these at a considerable mark-up compared to the US retail prices? Currency does fluctuate, but I’m sure that UK£ and US$ are not on parity…. yet.