Saturday, October 27, 2007


I just finished reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I read it on my PDA/phone as an "ebook". I really like reading ebooks because I can keep them in my pocket without taking up any extra space. That way, I always have a book with me if I want one.

When I commute, I ride my bike to the train, and then I take the train to work. For the sake of my back, I don't like carrying anything extra in my backpack, so it's nice to just have my book on my cell phone. That way, I can read on the train.

Project Gutenberg is a great web site that has a huge collection of free electronic books. Since they are mostly books that are in the public domain, the best books on there are older classics like A Tale of Two Cities. On the other hand, I did read some books by Cory Doctorow who releases his books under the Creative Commons license.

I've read a few other ebooks as well. I really like them. I would be happy to buy ebooks. Except for one thing: Digital Rights Management. What's DRM? In the words of Cory Doctorow, "a stupid, scientifically bankrupt technology that seeks to restrict how you use and copy digital files after acquiring them".

I could (and would) go online and buy books and read them on my PDA, and I would not post them on the internet for all to read. But I won't buy a locked book. I won't type in my credit card number to "unlock" something I've already paid for. When I buy a book, I want to be able to keep it and use it again and again and lend it to my friends. Someday, that credit card number that I need to "unlock" the book with will be long gone. Some day that "ereader" program that I use to read the book will be long gone. That operating system I use to run that program will be long gone.

Why should I lose the book I paid for because I got a new phone? Digital Rights Management is stupid. I won't buy ebooks with DRM.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cyclocross, October 14th

I just got home from my second ever cyclocross race! I mentioned my last race here. This time I actually snapped some lame photos with my cameraphone, so scroll down for that, as well as some YouTube videos from last year's Portland cross races :)

I feel like I biked really strongly this time. On my last cross race and my road race on Tabor, I felt like I didn't ride as well, partly because I didn't know when I was on my last lap, and wasn't really able to plan my energy well. With some help from Dylan on the sidelines, and from my bike computer, I actually knew when the last lap was today, and I actually planned a sprint at the end, which put me in front of several other riders.

I don't know the results yet, but I'll post an update when I find out. [UPDATE: I came in 34/104. I'm pretty pleased with being in the upper 1/3 :) ]

You'll see from the photos that there was a mountain unicycle division! I was totally amazed at those folks. They did only one lap, but it looked very challenging on one wheel.

Dylan and I rode in different divisions, so I got some photos of him, but none of me. Here's Dylan riding up a hill. He and I both enjoyed the hills because we train on hills pretty regularly biking between home & work. Lots of people were actually dismounting on the hills and we were both passing people a lot :)

There was an entire category of Mountain Unicycles!! I think at least 10 of them!

More photos here.
Here's a video that explains cyclocross, and Portland's cyclocross series:

And this video is last year's version of the course I rode today. There wasn't anything quite this tricky on today's race :)