I missed this news at the end of June. US Sailing is adopting the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick system for sailing dinghy handicaps.

That really means a tonne of work I had in progress is not required to release to the US AppStore!


It’s not often you see Oscar’s eyes, but he does look handsome after a grooming. Toffee, on the other hand, always acts the princess.

External display breaks the law!

I’ve been struggling with Fitts’ Law since I added an external monitor above my MacBook Pro.

Physically, the screens are arranged like this, with the MBP on a keyboard self of a table-top standing desk. The external monitor is on a height adjustable vesa mount, part of the desk.

The downside of this arrangement is that I’m unable to easily access the menubar for the bottom screen, as the mouse cursor just flies straight through it onto the top display.

I’ve tried a logical side-by-side arrangement in the displays preferences, but it breaks my head getting from top to bottom by going left to right.

My current work-around is to offset the displays logically like this, so that I get a “sticky” corner that my cursor can get trapped in. Then I just need to scroll right to the menu I need.

Currently listening to a retelling of John Wyndham - The Kraken Wakes - www.bbc.co.uk/programme…

A second Instagram video for my little iOS app: www.instagram.com/p/B8ORXUL…

I’ll write more about my first experience publishing on the iOS AppStore, but for now, here’s a link (UK only): apps.apple.com/gb/app/ti…

Interesting; I didn’t realise that antimatter is a useful tool in science (PET scans https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positron_emission_tomography). Thanks Drs Rutherford and Fry! overcast.fm/+IPRTmEhf…

SwiftUI Keyboard Layout

As a n00b iOS developer (Learning to apply Swift/SwiftUI), I have been looking at how to adjust the layout while the software keyboard is open. This looks like a brilliant solution. stackoverflow.com/a/5840260…

Here for posterity: gist.github.com/cowlibob/…

📚 I’ve really enjoyed “reading” World-Tree Online by E. A. Hooper on Audible. I never played a MMORPG, didn’t partake in D&D as a kid, yet this story was engaging and slipped down nicely.


Time to catch up with CSS again. I’m barely up to Flexbox…. CSS Grid: No Nonsense Layouts - TestDriven.io

iPad Mini

I bought my first new iPad since 2012 this week. The 5th generation iPad Mini is a delight to hold, extremely snappy (A12 Bionic) and a great improvement over 7 year old technology (who knew?).

I’m still getting used to typing on the smaller-but-not-tiny screen, but so far everything is positive. I’m using it for reading, email, web surfing and notes.

I also love the apple pencil (I borrowed my wife’s), so there’s another chunk of change I’ll be loosing soon.

My employer, Love to Ride, is hiring for a project assistant in Bristol, UK. They’re a great team down there, working to get more people cycling. blog.lovetoride.net/recruitme…

This is a great in-depth look at HTTP headers. I know they exist and roughly what they do, but never looked closely enough… www.twilio.com/blog/a-ht…

A beautiful morning at Burbage. Summer may finally be here. (to stay?)

I love these guys, but came to them late. Flight of the Conchords - live in London, funny as ever. itunes.apple.com/gb/album/…

Sailing in light airs

I’m currently reading “Fast Handling Techniques” by Frank Bethwaite (Designer of the Tasar, and meteorologist for the Australian olympic team). It starts by detailing some history of the evolution from displacement boats to planing boats (early 1900’s), to faster than wind boats.

I was struck by his description of light wind sailing (upwind), which I’ll try to explain.

When a weather forecast states a wind speed, this is measured/predicted at a height of 50 feet. In light airs (forecast 3 knots), this speed is significantly reduced as we get closer to the ground. Hence glassy water, where the wind speed is 0 knots at 0 metres, 0.5 knots at 1 metre, 1.5 knots at 3 metres, gaining 0.5 knots every metre, until 6 metres height, where it remains constant at 3 knots.

So to paraphrase, the air at the bottom of your sail is mostly stationary. The air at the top will be some non-zero speed.

Frank introduces the notion that the top of your sail should be set for the wind, but the bottom should be in line with the boats direction of travel, to reduce friction in the lower portion of the sail.

To achieve this, introduce twist in the sail (I can only imagine this means letting the kicker/vang off so the boom will rise and open the leech of the sail. So, now, the top of the sail (in the wind) is providing drive, the bottom of the sail (in stationary air) has minimised drag.

The image doesn't show light airs, but it does demonstrate a twist in the sail.

This is tip #1 I’m keen to try out in the RS500 (or RS300). More to come as I get further through the book.

Trying https://www.focusmate.com, with good results so far.

In this weeks Hacker Newsletter (448) I saw an article about letting others watch you work.

focusmate.com is a free service to pair with a stranger via video chat to get your work done, separately, together. Book a session on the calendar, join the video, communicate your goals verbally, then knuckle down.

The mind boggles, but it worked for my first session. I’ll be trying it again soon.

I’m using the Cactus layout, but have customised the CSS, with style inspiration from alexcican.com/blog The the colours though, are more Fruit Pastilles lolly than anything else.


You weren’t taking this somewhere without me, I hope?

Why doesn’t “palindrome”.reverse() == “emordnilap”?

I’m following the Hacking with Swift book, on project 12 now, but due to limits on the free Apple developer plan, the last 8 have the same bundle identifier (uk.co.cowlibob.Project4).
Here’s hoping it will shortly be worth paying the £79 yearly fee. 😁

CorrectedTime App

A dinghy racing results app that allows you to:

  • Submit race results, organized into events
  • Autocomplete everything - Sailor names, class, sail number, PY number
  • Automatic local weather report for each race
  • Explore a sailor's history and performance
  • Scoring applied to sailors, not boats. This allows change of crews & classes with little penalty.

Start a free trial at https://correctedtime.com

Inspired by @manton , I’m deploying a wiki for my apps knowledgebase. I’ve been deploying with Dokku, so I’m trying wiki.js on node for now.

An album from my childhood just made it to iTunes. My friend shared his love for Isaac Guillory with a bootleg cassette. I wore it out. Isaac Guillory Live (1988):

This is a great discussion on management and leadership in engineering. Relevant to engineers and managers overcast.fm