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June 2007 Entries
Roadsafe 2007 - Piccies

Made it a long to Roadsafe 2007 at Cumbria Racecourse. Similar to last year, the live band were good - kept the rest of the family happy. There were slightly less police vehicles, which was a shame. There were more clubs with custom bikes etc. And a few more car clubs.

The Blades, an aerobatic display team were amazing - either I forgot how good they were, or they have got better since last year.

Check the gallery for some piccies.

posted @ Sunday, June 24, 2007 6:53 PM | Feedback (0)
Roadsafe 2007

I'm off to Carlisle Racecourse tomorrow to go to Roadsafe 2007. This is a road safety event run by Cumbria police - I just go to look at the police motorcycles and cars. Thankfully there are live bands and other things to keep the rest of the family amused.

The weather was excellent last year, but there is lots of rain about at the moment so I'm hoping it will be ok.

posted @ Saturday, June 23, 2007 12:06 PM | Feedback (0)
Fun with Excel 2003 and Web Services

Work are breaking me back in gently to the technical stream with one or two small jobs with bits of coding. I'm currently finishing up a Microsoft Excel 2003 based utility that imports and exports information from a system. A new version is on the way, so in the meantime we work around missing functionality by creating utilities. This particular one calls a few web services, and also a couple of aspx pages. In between we save a few xml files.

Got really stuck last night with an xml document that wouldn't de-serialize at the server side. What was really annoying was that the document was based on an empty one that another method on the web service had provided. You'd think it would accept back the xml it had created? Wrong!

We narrowed it down to a problem with dates. The xml we were dealing with had two dates, one as an attribute of the parent element and one as a child element in the xml itself thus:

<PARENT action="Update" lastChange="2007-06-21T18:50:24.2970000+01:00">

<WHEN_CREATED>2007-06-21T18:50:24.2970000+01:00</WHEN_CREATED>

</PARENT>

We tried all sorts of combinations of date formatting, I had a good hunt around the web for UTC date format related things and typed these in manually to no avail.

Then my colleague came up with an idea to do with the timezone offset, he had a theory that the plus sign adjusting us for British Summer Time in the UK was causing us a problem. And right enough, when you replace the plus sign with the escape code %2b (i.e. the hex for the ascii code) it would go through the process on the server side which was trying to fit the information into system.date format, thus:

<PARENT action="Update" lastChange="2007-06-21T18:50:24.2970000%2b01:00">

<WHEN_CREATED>2007-06-21T18:50:24.2970000%2b01:00</WHEN_CREATED>

</PARENT>

Interesting to see that the effort I had to go through with form submission in the old days of the Internet are still around with us.

posted @ Friday, June 22, 2007 7:40 AM | Feedback (1)
IAM Motorcycle Test Route

For my own notes, here's a copy of the notepad text I prepared earlier:

  • Start from McDonalds Newbridge.
  • Follow exit route from carpark at front of McDonalds round back to T Junction, turn right onto B7030.
  • At T junction turn left and follow road to lights at Junction with A89.
  • Turn left onto A89 and follow road to lights at Junction with B800.
  • Turn right onto B800 and follow road to lights at crossroads in Kirkliston.
  • Turn right into Main Street.
  • Turn left off Main Street onto unnamed road towards Almondhill.
  • Follow unnamed road towards A90 and take slip onto A90 headed North West.
  • Follow A90 until slip road for A904 before Forth Road Bridge.
  • Leave A90, turning left from roundabout onto A904 past McDonalds.
  • Follow A904 to Newton, turning left at end of village into B8020.
  • Follow B8020 to Winchburgh and turn right onto B9080.
  • Follow B9080 through Winchburgh, onwards to Linlithgow.
  • Turn right at small roundabout in Linlithgow onto A803.
  • Follow A803 through Linlithgow and onwards over Motorway, and turn right into A904.
  • Follow A904 until Newton and turn right into B8020.
  • Follow B8020 to Winchburgh and turn left onto B9080.
  • Follow B9080 into Kirkliston, and turn right at traffic lights crossroad into B800.
  • Follow B800 to lights at junction with A89, turn right onto A89.
  • Follow A89 to layby behind Broxburn for debrief.
posted @ Tuesday, June 5, 2007 3:25 PM | Feedback (0)
Recommended for Membership of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

Just back from my test with Dougie, the IAM examiner. And I got a "recommended for membership" which means I passed!

Points to work on were linking bends i.e. "apexing" and one or two opportunities for overtakes where I was a bit late or missed the opportunity.

A great milestone, and he said to keep going and improving by considering IAM Observing, Senior Observing or by thinking about working to a Rospa Gold grading.

Route to follow. I'm off to Vittoria's this evening to celebrate.

posted @ Sunday, June 3, 2007 3:07 PM | Feedback (3)