Thursday, 26 April 2007

I am Famous

I made it into

This is a newspaper's career section, and I am a great career minded example to follow. (That reminds me I must learn to read and write German.)

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

StatSCM Version 1.0.0 is Released

I have released the first stable version of my StatSCM Maven 2 reporting plug-in. My project was to program a Maven plug-in that wrapped around StatCVS and StatSVN to generate reports as part of the Maven project site generation.

This allows easy generation of source code metrics for Maven 2 built projects. Which means you can browser the statistics for lines of code, developer statistics and commit log reports etc...

The plug-in is automatically configured from the Maven 2 POM as 90% of the information it can use is already documented there.

For more info check out the project website.

The latest Moth Accessory.

Easyrigging have developed a set of PBO stays for the Moth. Theses look very nice and are generating a lot of Blog Space. So how good are these new stays?

I chatted to Adam who has accurate actual data and he said his shrouds are 400g. These PBO stays are supposed to be 70g. Therefore you can save about 300g in your Moth rig! Another cool thing about them is the diameter is also small so windage is even improved!

This is clearly an good investment but at about €150 more than wire shrouds I shall not be ordering in a set for my old boat but I think they may become a must have for the new one. I look forward to seeing if someone brings a set to Garda so I can check them out.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Flashheart hull panels are now on the frame.

As Europe seams to lack wind at the moment I decided to spend Saturday in the workshop rather than drifting around. I used my new €4 glue gun to hold down the panels where the double sided sticky was not holding well, and got the last hull panel on the frame.

The build technique is fast and easy but the hull is not as fair as I would like. Partly this is because there is not enough timber in the frame, and partly because the twist in the panels induces stresses that comes out as panel waves. I think a future version 2 should address both these issues if the build technique is to be the same.

I think I will have to glue on bits of foam to help fair out a couple of hollows. I am not sure how well this will work because the foam is very delicate, but at least it sands very well. I could just laminate on the outside skin and then add lots of filler but this would be heavy. Therefore I have to invest some time in shaping foam.

It is hard to build a boat in a couple of weekends and then compare the build quality to a female molded boat. The effort involved in building a female mold is too much and it is too expensive for my one off home build. It also does not allow you to alter the design between boats without lots of cutting shutting and filling. I should be able to get a reasonable build quality in a fraction of the build time, therefore I have to learn to turn a blind eye to the slight fairness imperfections that will not slow me down, especially as the boat is supposed to be in the air.

Monday, 16 April 2007

New FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) Economy.

I have been involved in testing some new features of the SourceForge site. They are trying to help developers make money from FOSS projects, and users of FOSS get commercial support. It is a very simple but cleaver development and I am interested to see how well it works and if it succeeds in building a new FOSS economy.

I think that the developers will love it but the majority of users and project managers will take a while to understand the new world order.

For those that do not know, FOSS is Free and Open Source Software. This is software that is delivered with the mechanism and right to make changes to it. It is often referred to as Free Software but that is confused with cost free. So it was "Free as in Freedom, not as in free beer" for a while. This is not very catchy so the term Open Source was started. Open Source implys the mechanism to change but not necessarily legal right to chance the source. So the name debate raged on and the term FOSS was invented to not upset anyone, and get on with the job of communicating the benefits. However FOSS needs to be explained, because no one outside the name debate understands it.

I can not help thinking if they had called it Freedom Software from the start it would have saved a lot of trouble.


My sister is getting married...! and Tomahawk's sister has appeared back in the fleet GBR 4021. GBR 4019 and GBR 4021 where built together by Adam and me in his garage when we were students. I and my sister were built one after the other by our Mum in her workshop.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

First Moth Sail in Austria

Last Saturday I launched my Moth (GBR 4019) on Neusiedler See. It is a great lake but a bit shallow (max 1.8m deep). The day was really a test to see if it is possible to sail a moth there, without the risk of destroying the boat if you hit the bottom at speed.

Martin (a Austrian Sailmaker) and I launched the boat from Breitenbrunn on the North West side of the lake. This is a great spot with a nice grass lawn, camping, playground and resterant. It was a beautiful spring day but there was absolutely no wind. This meant that there was no danger of hitting the bottom at speed.

I had modified my boat so it was possible to sail with the foils pushed up into the boat. Meaning that the normal 1.15m static draft was now about 80cm. This meant it is possible to sail out to the deeper water and then capsize and lock down the foils.

There was so little wind that by the time I had gone out 200m I wanted to turn round and go home. I capsized and did a dept test. It would have been OK to lock down the foils as the bottom (or rather silt) started at about chest height. Assuming that it does not get shallower out towards the middle and that the bottom is slit I think it would be fine to sail there. The silt is so soft that the foils would cut into it rather than the boat.

I have to test this theory a bit more and the lake water level can drop especially at the end of the summer but I think is is worth trying. I need to get to know the lake too to make sure I stay away from a sandy bottom and shallows etc...

Once I got back to the shore I let Martin have his first go in a Moth. As all Moth sailors know sailing a moth in no wind is one of the worst and most uncomfortable sailing experiences but he seamed determined to sail the boat at least 3m. It was not until after a big schnitzel lunch that he succeeded. He then started to get the balance right surprisingly quickly and drift about a bit.

Martin Drifting.

So the boat was not destroyed and Martin and I are keen to go again. Therefore it was a successful day, but next time we need more wind...