Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

22 Jul 2007

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam (II)

Today, rather later than expected, I completed this year's batch of rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) and ginger (Zingiber officinale) jam.

The rhubarb crop was much delayed this year, we had a very hot and dry spring where the rhubarb didn't grow at all. The summer has been cool and damp so the rhubarb has grown well at long last - three months later than last year!

We got 2.7 kg of prepared stalks, to which I added 2.7 kg of sugar, the juice of three lemons and 300 g of chopped crystallised ginger. The yield was a whisker under 12x370 g jars. I've promised a few jars to friends in the village, but even so I should have plenty to keep me going until next spring.

16 Jul 2007

Browser Market Share

French browser observer XiTiMonitor report that Firefox continues to increase in market share across most of Europe. At the start of July Firefox had a share of 27.8% a 3.7% rise since March, with IE down to 66.5%.

The regional break down is more interesting, with Firefox approaching parity with IE in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Ireland. Overall Firefox continues to grow with over 25% market share in Austria, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia and Latvia, and nearly 25% in France, Sweden and Switzerland. Firefox has already reach parity with IE in Slovenia and Finland and is expected to overtake IE by the next survey.

Countries where Firefox still has not reached 20% market share include Britain, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Norway and Denmark.

Interestingly a companion survey also showed that Firefox users have upgraded to the latest version and keep their systems up to date, whereas IE users are not rushing to upgrade.

Opera, Safari and other browsers continue to grow in market share also, but not at the heady rates of Firefox.

15 Jul 2007

Red and White Currant Jelly

Today was redcurrant (Ribes rubrum) jelly day. We went to a local PYO farm. We collected about 2 Kg of redcurrants but it was a bit slow going as people don't pick them properly and make a mess. We then tried the whitecurrants (which are just colourless red) which people don't pick and were quickly able to collect a further 1 Kg of fruit.

We used the same method as previous years which resulted in 9x370g jars of ruby red jelly. The whitecurrants in the mix do not change the flavour but they do make it a little less red and more pink.

The yield was a little lower than last year when 3 Kg of fruit yielded 2 Kg of juice and 10 jars of jelly but it's still plenty to keep us going. Next weekend is rhubarb and ginger jam!

11 Jul 2007

Perl Introduction Talk

Yesterday I gave my Perl Introduction talk to the new Thames Valley PM. It was a bit of a preaching to the converted talk but even so it was useful to the non-Perl users and even the Perl users picked up something useful I hope.

I realised that things have moved on since I wrote it last year, so before I give the talk again (Surrey LUG have asked for it) I'll add a few extra slides.

Safari - Third Time Lucky

Apple patched Safari for Windows again and finally on the third go it now runs on Windows without crashing as soon as you try to use a proxy. At long last I can test it out and see how it performs.

First impressions seem to be that it's very slow to start, much slower than Firefox on the same box and IE (which is pre-loaded anyway). Once it's up and running though it seems to be quick enough, though you don't get any feeling of progress, pages change in one go from the last page to the new one. I don't think it's as quick as Opera which is a very fast browser indeed.

I'll probably stick with Firefox as my windows default for work but it will be useful for testing.

09 Jul 2007

Blackcurrant Jelly

We returned from our sumer holiday in Scotland and found that the birds had eaten the raspberries, redcurrants and strawberries, but the fenced-in blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) had survived. On Sunday we picked about 3 kg of fruit and today I turned them into jelly.

The method is as with redcurrants, mash up the cleaned fruit with some water in a big pan, filter overnight and then add sugar in a ratio of 1:1 with the juices and boil to the jamming point. We got about 1.4 kg of juice to which I added 1.4 kg of sugar which produced 6.75 jars (Bonne Maman 370 g) of jelly.