North Norfolk Railway Journey

The North Norfolk Railway

The North Norfolk Railway (NNR), known as The Poppy Line, runs from Holt to Sheringham via Kelling Heath Halt (for Kelling Heath Park) and Weybourne. A total distance of 5¼ miles. My wife, dog Leo and I road the rails there and back from Holt on 10th April 2014.

You can No.76034 having recently arrived at Holt in the featured image here.

The line runs along the part of the North Norfolk coast but stays inland from Holt to Weybourne. After Weybourne it runs nearer the coast on its way to Sheringham. A map of the line is available at http://www.strollingguides.co.uk/ and the line is  highlighted here on Google Earth (which must be installed to see it).

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Mira Shower Thermal Switch Replacement

Introduction

This article advises how I have replaced a Mira Shower thermal switch in a MIRA Sport 9kW Thermostatic Shower on several occasions.

Originally I installed a MIRA Sport 9kW Thermostatic Shower as part of a new bathroom and had it tested and certified by a qualified electrician on 1st May 2007. I was very pleased with it and it worked well for three years until June 2010 when it developed a fault.

I found that in the middle of taking a shower the water would go cold for a few seconds and then get warm again. On the first few occasions I wondered if cold water being drawn off by other taps and appliances was lowering the water pressure to the shower and so causing it to operate incorrectly (although the low pressure light was not illuminating). As the days went by the problem got worse and my wife ended up washing shampoo off with cold water. I knew then that I would be in bad books until it was fixed.

I had to determine if this fault could be fixed or if I would have to replace the entire shower unit. For this I needed to take a look inside the shower unit.

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Dishwasher Rinse Aid Dispenser Catch Repair

Introduction

It must be nearly two years ago that I first had a problem with my Dishwasher Rinse Aid Dispenser Catch. The tab that has to be pushed towards the top of the door to open the rinse aid dispenser, so that more rinse aid can be added, had somehow broken and disappeared. I found I could continue to open it by pressing the remaining catch towards the top of the door using the handle end of a teaspoon.

Since refilling the rinse aid dispenser doesn’t happen everyday I was happy to continue with that opening method indefinitely. However about six months ago I found the entire catch was missing leaving the rinse aid dispenser door flapping in the breeze. I searched inside the dishwasher and found the plastic part of the catch but not the coil spring. Also when I inserted the catch its retaining clips no longer wanted to spring outwards and perform their retaining action. The whole plastic catch appeared to have been eroded by the dishwashing process. I noticed that the dishwasher liquid dispenser catch looks similarly eroded, but that works on a different principal and is still O.K. The detergent and rinse aid compartment covers are made of a different plastic which has not shown signs of erosion.

After several months without using rinse aid I decided I should take action to fix the catch. Continue reading “Dishwasher Rinse Aid Dispenser Catch Repair”

Browser Choice In Microsoft Windows Ends

Browser Choice – What’s That About

In December 2009 the European Union obliged Microsoft to offer a choice of browsers to their European customers when they installed new versions of Windows. This browser choice was also delivered in updates to Windows and so the Browser Choice screen was born and has been with us ever since. See my featured image of Microsoft’s browser choice screen offering Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and the Opera browsers amongst others.

Browser Choice Ends

It turns out that this requirement by the EU had a time limit of five years which has now expired. Consequently Microsoft have quietly withdrawn the option to choose other browsers and returned to providing Internet Explorer alone. People can of course continue to use other browsers with Windows as they see fit but Internet Explorer is now what comes out of the box. Continue reading “Browser Choice In Microsoft Windows Ends”

Cleaning A Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother

Introduction

nespresso aeroccino milk frother
The Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother with milk burnt onto the bottom.

I’ve had a Nespresso Pixie since June 2012 and at the same time I acquired a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother (Aeroccino 3 to be precise). These devices are very nice to have and work well even after 2½ years continual use. The coffee is very nice too.

NOTE: The Nespresso Aeroccino 3 has been superseded by the Nespresso Aeroccino 4.

However there is a slight problem with the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother but it is not insurmountable. It’s very easy to burn milk on the bottom where the most intense heat is applied. You can see it burnt on in this picture where the whisk has been removed.

This article advises how to keep a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother clean. There are pictures portraying the burnt milk problem and advice is given on how to avoid it.

The featured image can be seen here.

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Backdoor Trojan Regin Spying Since 2008

A recently discovered Backdoor Trojan Regin is a computer bug found by the software security company Symantec. Its purpose is to spy on the activities taking place on computers. It can collect passwords, capture screen images and even recover deleted files.

The Backdoor Trojan Regin has been made to operate in five stages the last two being encrypted to make it very difficult to discover and understand. If any stage were to be discovered it would say little about the other stages. Two stages are specifically given over to loading each other and the other stages. You can see a block diagram of Regin’s stages of operation at this Symantec site.

Backdoor Trojan Regin appears to have been developed as far back as 2008 and by its sophisticated nature was probably developed by a nation state as opposed to criminals. It appears to have been withdrawn from use by its masters in 2011 and a new version reintroduced in 2013.

Regin infections have been found in the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • India
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • Pakistan
  • Russian Federation
  • Saudi Arabia

All Regin infections have been shared by these sectors thus:

  • Airline – 5%
  • Energy – 5%
  • Hospitality – 9%
  • Research – 5%
  • Small Businesses & Private Individuals – 48%
  • Telecoms Backbone – 28%

The Backdoor Trojan Regin has been made extremely stealthy so that it is very hard to determine what it is up to even after discovery. It could go undetected for years. For those interested it uses RC5 encryption which isn’t commonly used.

References

  1. BBC News – Regin, new computer spying bug, discovered by Symantec.
  2. Symantec Security Response – Regin: Top-tier espionage tool enables stealthy surveillance.
  3. Symantec White Paper on Regin.
  4. Wikipedia on Trojan Horse – Computer terminology.
  5. Wikipedia on RC5 encryption.

Hythe To New Romney By Steam Train

Introduction

It was a nice summer and I enjoyed a family day out travelling from Hythe to New Romney on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway (RH&DR) in Kent on 5th July 2014. We travelled on an overcast afternoon and the breeze was slightly chilly when it whistled through the carriages. We travelled  West from Hythe as far as New Romney, where we alighted to look at the model railway and take refreshment.

The original plan was to go all the way to Dungeness, part of Romney Marsh1, where the line ends. It doesn’t end in the usual sense with buffers at the end of the rails. The outbound line loops around the countryside until it becomes the line running back to Hythe. Trains don’t have to manoeuvre to make the return journey. They just keep going forward.

There is a Railway Station at Dungeness too besides a lighthouse, village, very large shingle beach and a  Nuclear Power Station.

Unfortunately we travelled too late in the day. We realised that if we continued our journey, from New Romney to Dungeness and back, we wouldn’t have time to get back to Hythe. Perhaps I’ll get to see Dungeness next time.

Learn more about Romney Marsh2.

Videos and Photographs Taken During My Trip From Hythe To New Romney:

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GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013

GCR – Great Central Railway

Introduction

It was a wet day this year at the GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013 (on 27th Jan). I didn’t take so many photos and the videos were short. For the most part the videos are of trains leaving stations. The event ran all day but I only arrived in the afternoon. Here is the Featured Image of No.6023 ‘King Edward II’ for those who can’t see it.

Note: Interactive Google Maps are used in this post. Help using them can be found here.

Videos and still photo’s of the GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013:

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Manual Search Using Binary Chop

The Problem To Be Solved.

A good friend of mine had found that an Excel spread sheet no longer had a formulae in a particular cell. It had a number there instead. This meant that any changes in other cells associated with the missing formulae had no effect on the result in the TOTAL column. On a regular basis my friend had sensibly made a backup of the spread sheet and now my friend had a great number of them. It was imperative that my friend found out when the formulae had gone missing. My friend was about to conduct a manual search and work through all the backups to find the time when the formulae was last used in the spread sheet. Looking at every backup would have given my friend a lot of work. So I advised using a “Binary Chop” method to make it easy. See Example 4 in particular. Continue reading “Manual Search Using Binary Chop”

Dyson Slim DC18 Cleaner Head Maintenance

Introduction

This article advises how to perform Dyson Slim DC18 Cleaner Head Maintenance. This can involve removing the Brushbars to remove items that have got wrapped around them and removing the Soleplate for access  so dirt can be cleaned out. In extreme cases the Motor Housing can be opened so that dirt can be sucked out of it too.

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