Other Links

I have a very busy work life but I like to take time out to relax. My hobbies? Surf around my pages and you'll figure it out. Here is a collection of links that was originally a page where I just put my bookmarks. Feel free to surf around as an introduction to the wider world of the World Wide Web... you might find something you like.



Lots of fun to be had at:


Here are the best coffee sites (I think I'm addicted to caffeine): Coffee should be traded ethically, meaning that the growers/farmers (who are usually quite poor) should be paid equitably for their beans and not exploited. A good way to measure this up quickly is to know that most companies will market their beans at roughly £28/kg (more if single origin) give or take. This is from companies verified to pay fair wages to the growers and breaking this down into shares for the farmer/processing-transport-export/roasting-packaging costs then according to the Financial Times that's about £4/£3/£21 and according to the Specialty Coffee Association it's about £4/£8/£16 - but whichever way you cut it, the farmer already tends to get very little overall. On the other hand, if you see companies selling theirs for less than half that £28 baseline then you've got to think "how did they manage that?"....usually it's by exploiting and not paying the people who deserve their fair share so have a long hard look at the companies you choose to buy from.
If you want to make a proper cup of coffee, remember that 1 shot of espresso is made from about 17g of coffee and (brewed with a 1:2 ratio) equals 34ml ≈ 7 teaspoons by volume. 1 ristretto (short pour) = ½ this amount (17ml) by volume and 1 lungo (long pour) = ½ more (51ml) by volume. Also, coffee should be brewed at about 90℃ with 9bar water pressure pulled for about 25-35sec. Note that milk is steamed at 130℃ so sometimes coffee shop drinks taste "burnt" because the barista hasn't let the machine cool down after steaming the milk before making the espresso shot.
The base for most coffee shop drinks is usually 2 espresso shots. Also note that many modern recipes are bastardised shop versions (like those incorrectly described in Wikipaedia), not the original Italian recipes as shown below (so for instance, if you ask for a Latte in a coffee chain, they will serve you a drink with the top portion made of froth, which is actually not a Latte but is in fact a Latte Macchiato) and also the naming is sometimes needlessly complicated - so a Cortado is merely half a Flat White by volume despite it's completely different name:
cappuccino cappuccino: ⅓ espresso & ⅔ frothed milk.     latte macchiato latte macchiato: ⅓ espresso & ⅓ steamed milk & ⅓ frothed milk.     latte latte: ⅓ espresso & ⅔ steamed milk.
café au lait café au lait: espresso & steamed milk in a 1:1 ratio.     espresso macchiato espresso macchiato: espresso & thin layer of frothed milk.     flat white flat white / cortado: espresso & frothed milk in a 1:1 ratio.
mocha mocha: ⅓ espresso & ⅓ chocolate milk & ⅓ steamed milk.     americano americano: espresso & water in a 1:1 ratio.     ice coffee ice coffee: ¼ ice & ⅕ espresso & ½ - ⅔ milk (± 1 tblspn syrup).


One of my new acquisitions is my tropical freshwater fish tank, detailed on my internal page Aquarium Page.



Another one of my pride and joys is my internal page Hi-Fi system My Hi-Fi, so for those audiophiles out there...

My 2nd System: This consists of a FlatCapped UK Flag Naim CD5i CD player and a Japanese Flag Technics ST-3500 AM/FM vintage Analogue Tuner going via UK Flag homemade Intrcncts to an internal page Chinese Flag AVC/VAL EL34 Valve Amplifier wired via some UK Flag ChordCo Carnival Spkr Wire going to my UK Flag Tannoy Precision 6.1 Speakers.

My internal page Headphones: I have an eclectic selection including my USA Flag Westone 4R, UK Flag Bowers & Wilkins P5, German Flag Sennheiser Momentum, Chinese Flag RevoNext QT2S and Japanese Flag Sony XBA-2. These are fed by my South Korea Flag Audinst HUD-mini USB DAC going via UK Flag homemade Interconnects to my UK Flag Musical Fidelity X-Cans hybrid triode valve Headphone Amplifier. For audiobook listening I use a pair of Chinese Flag Enacfire E90.


I mainly like Science Fiction and my best five (alphabetically) are:




Raspberry Pi raspberry pi.

I have now got a new gizmo which you can see over on my internal page Raspberry Pi Page. I find it very useful when acting as either an arcade machine, a DNS level ad-blocker or a samba media server (which is what I currently use it for).



As well as keeping fit and playing badminton, I also like:


Here are only some of the places I've been to over the recent years:
Some countries I've been to I would also recommend getting a sim card for the country you're travelling to (rather than having to scrabble around looking for free wifi hotspots everywhere you go). First go to your mobile provider account and check your monthly usage for the past few months, average it and round it up. That's your 30 day usage of data to give you an idea of what you will use. For instance, I use about 6GB/month which averages out to 200MB/ if I'm on holiday for 1 week, I'll need a 1.4GB data sim. You can usually get a good deal from the airport you fly to but check before you fly - sometimes it's cheaper in the town.

More links will be added later if I find any good ones.

1st Established in 1996