Tag Archives: Research

I am Flipped

San GiovanniI have seen the light, and I  am FLipped,  for so long, I have used Zite to read articles, and search for more of the same, it worked for me, I liked the way I could leaf over pages and add more as I wanted, Flipboard came along and I just did not get it, so Zite remained my way.

The purchase of Zite by Flipboard, also went by me, I stayed with what I liked. That is until just recently I sort of played with it this weekend, and it struck me, I got the idea, and I spent a lot of time reading pages I had made up, I did play on Flipboard over the years, and did make up pages, but lost interest as I went back to Zite,

I have even uploaded all my searches and interests from Zite to Flipboard, and I don’t think I will look back.

I use a rather old iPad, its slow and lacking in both speed and ability, but Flipbard seems not to bother.I read the articles I want, I use the evernote app to save it, and all is good in the world, Oh one small gripe, Evernote sometimes will not save a Flipboard article, just a link, so I have to use the “open in Safari” and do it from there, not a great inconvenience, but worth a mention.

So there it is, I am FLipped,

Albert Einstein

ALBERT EINSTEINLast week, there was a note on the Zite digital magazine announcing that all, and I must say, it looks like all, the documents written by Albert Einstein, have been loaded onto a web site hosted by Priceston University where he worked in the later years, all his work.

Some of it is in his native German, some is translated, so for the German it looks like Google Translate is going to be heavily use.

I can’t say I understand his work, but I read it and wonder at a boy so young working , and teaching himself, maths at such a high level.

It has little or no bearing on my work, in construction or Architecture, but its interesting all the same, and I shall devote a small amount of time to looking at it and trying,,,,,, badly to understand some of it.

The original article written by The New York Times expands upon the collection, and is also worth reading, it outlines the scope of the collection and give some other links, again worth following.

PDFpen and PDF doc’s saved to Evernote

StructureIt will come as no surprise to any reader of this blog, I am a massive fan of the paperless office, and of my use of Evernote. So today I thought I might show you the main way I save incoming documents into pdf and the easy way I save to Evernote.

The program I use is PDFpen from SmileSoftware, As far as I know its a mac product, but it has the ability to do just about All I need to take paper convert it to PDF, alter or make notes, and port it to Evernote, or just to my own system disk, so easily.

On the PDFpen site there ae a number of tutorial videos that show how to use PDFpen, the one I wanted to show but could not find and embed code is the Evernote video, it is so easy to use, and is my way of saving paper to both Evernote and to send as a clip within email.

As I am on a Mac, I also use Preview for certain PDF tasks, as I can easily add pdf files together, and alter the page order, but for the real pdf alterations, I use PDFpen.

Some time back I gave my Paperless Office presentation to some CIAT colleagues, so at the bottom, my presentation in full. For me Evernote is the way I store and now record all my CPD research, in PDF,Photo,Sound audio, and plain text, I even have a IFTTT formula to add the title to any Evernote note I make from my Diary.

Yesterday I gave my Structure overview lecture, no calcs, just why the AT student should take note the way load is transmitted through the structure to the bearing ground. So todays photo is one I used to show this taken to its ultimate , in the form of this cathedral roof.

4D Bim

4D Bim


The title says it all, but do you really know what 4D Bim is all about, well this excellent article from Nemetschek, Vectorworks is about as good as it get, and give a base for expanding some serious research and CPD on the subject.

I briefly went through it, and had to sit back and rethink this whole subject and the way I will need to teach the subject, Basically we are looking at  the next generation of project management, including project planning and scheduling, data analytics, and management.

As Always Wiki has another useful set of links and a comprehensive outline. The two videos below are old, but worthy of your time watching them.



Scanning Articles

ArcheaologyThis morning, its been a Scanning Articles marathon, by that, I mean I have been looking through that pile of free magazines, sales bunff, and other bits of article I have removed from tabloid papers. The pile has been substantially reduced and Evernote is now the wiser, or I will be, if I ever need the information, and every so often I do need it, as I search in Google, it comes up as a side panel, and shows that I did read something about the subject, and saved it away. I am away soon on hols, my laptop has been banned, but my iPad will be with me on the premise that I use it to read books, of which I have staked it up with a load of free books from Amazon Kindle store, The point here is that I will sync it as I leave and there will be a number of articles ready to read. So thats sunday morning, not a lot going on, just a little work, oh and several new jobs have come in, so a little paperwork to send out, and acknowledge. I have also rsarected an old iPhone 4, stipped it of all but essentials and left plenty of space for photos, my main phone will be used, but only in port, the spair as its now called will be for day to day use, I hate to see a good phone wasted, so this is a good chance to get some use for it, if it’s stollen, there is little on it that will show me or my personal life, the photos will be synced to a flickr account, so not lost.

Whats the pickup speed of an escalator

Timber Escalator MaceyWhats the pickup or step on speed of an escalator, its a question I have recently asked, and as yet, I am not getting a reasonable answer, my father recently went “A over T”  on an escalator in Birmingham, the staff recorded he must have passed out, but as he has no history of this, I thought I would start to look into why he fell.

First thing I did was to take him onto another escalator to see how he managed, is clears, at 87 he finds them difficult, with his walking stick in hand he has to grab onto the black rail and manage the step onto the moving platform, all in one movement. Just as a passing comment, have you noticed the way the black rail moved quicker than the tread !.

I watched as he tried this manoeuvre, and for a second it looked like he was going to do the same thing, but managed to stay upright, I was right behind him so no harm could be done, but it showed me that the old have a problem with these stairs.

I thought, ok how would he manage with a bag, his stick and an escalator, simple answer he did not, the step was a step to far and I had to hold onto him. the black band was to much for him, it pulled as he stuttered to step onto the tread, and he was almost over.

So my initial thoughts are, did he really pass out, well he might have done, but I think it was not the result of a faint attack, it was more like the impact of his head on the metal tread.

My next step is to look into the laws that covern the use and design of moving platforms or walkways and stairs. BS EN 115: 1995 is the main doc, and a vey useful HSE doc called “Guidelines for the safe operation of escalators and moving walks” runs through the main points but as yet I can find no information on the access or mounting point, and the speed. BS5656-2 might have some points again I have it on my list to review.

Next I thought I would phone the HSE to get a comment, no joy here, all requests for information need this need to be put in writing, so an email has been sent, again watch for the update to this post.

So whats next, a manufacturer, I did a search and as predicted i got loads, I chose one I recognised instantly and rang their tech help line, to asked the simple question what work can I read on the mounting speed of escalators, no joy, answer phone !. so another message left.

Next port of cal is Google Cite, new we are getting somewhere, loads of stuff, far to much to review today, but it looks like I might find something here.

Thats it, a little research has thrown up a lot of questions and as I thought, a lot of reading material. Shall I take my father on another trip, depends on him, but I think its highly possible, he is “pissed off “people telling him he passed out, he has a point to make. I plan to do an update to this in the very near future, perhaps as a technical paper.

One thing I failed to do was conduct my test in a busy time, we did it early one morning, it was quiet, and no pressure from other passengers, another factor I want to add into the report.

Todays photo is of a timber tread escalator in New York USA, I think it was Macey’s, slow and easy to use, plus it looks and feels right.

Architectural Technologist – Googles Nest

There is a buz in the press over googles acquisition of Nest, the very nice heating control that's taking the market by storm. The point is that Google seems to be trying, quite successfully, to push the android OS into the home control market with the Goole nest and with the Intel card the size of an SD card, it certainly looks like they are making ground.

What's this to us, well, are we going to have to take notice, will products change, and will heating systems become intelligent, and not reliant on the almost basic equipment and calcs currently in place. I certainly think so.

The quest for us, and the CPD here, is to track what Google is doing, who they are aquiring and how they will push android into the building industry. We have already seen locks and home security being targeted with a number of “E” locks coming onto the market.

What else, well sensors within the house are almost there, I did a report to ICAT as an abstract on sensors technology using backscatter technology to power them for almost ever. The quest as far as I can see is to watch this with even more than a passing interest and see what else we might have to consider. my fear is that we migh wel be forced into a fajita comply, and the power of Google will squash the other players.

Windows and doors might seem the next big thing, closing on there own, locking and opening to allow ventilation if the “next” wants it. Power generation via solar, is also now almost main stream, will the nest together with android! Control it's use, even demand you install solar tech.

One or two people in the know, seemed to think apple was in talks to acquire Nest, but this move by google is making them the almost dominant player, if the regulatory people approve the purchase, and I can't see why not.

Oh and take a look at the car industry, several big manufacturers are now using android, both as the interface for our coms, and also as the running system. apple is seriously lagging behind.

My other problem is, should I now reconsider my next phone as a Next with android OS, not apple! just because of this! I need to learn about android and using a google phone will make me understand. You will see from the article yesterday, that I use google and their docs rather a lot, to write and generate documents for my students and linking with friends! plus the embedding I like to do.

As far as estate set up and planning, is concerned, should we make sure that the likes of BT and other laying cables have access, to each house, bt has their system, but even with new houses, they have to rely on fibre to the street box's and copper to the remaining small but significant stretch to the house, and here we might look at what Google is doing to there test city Kansas in the USA.