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Bill last won the day on March 29

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About Bill

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  • Birthday 09/28/1950

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    Drinking real ale and a bit of diy

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  1. Yes and that’s why any employer that advertises for staff gets flooded with applications from people who know they haven’t got a cat in hells chance of even making it through to an interview and just want to say they’ve applied for something. Even when offered an interview, most make excuses for why they cant attend, I’ve had first had experience of this and it’s sickening when young fit and intelligent people would rather stay at home than work. I know not every one’s a lazy sod and there are many who could work but have resigned themselves to the fact that due to age, ability or family circumstances probably never will, and simply adapt their lifestyle to making do with a lower income from the state. It’s people from this latter group who could be tempted to go out and pick fruit provided it’s well paid and there are no drawbacks such as having to wait ages for support again when the work finishes. This isn’t rocket science, it’s doable but it’s the same old chestnut of it not being the way we do things here in the UK unless it’s been debated for years. Look at the ventilator that the Mercedes F1 team helped to get up and running in a week. The device got instant approval because of the emergency but under normal circumstances they estimate it would have taken several years to get made and several more just to get it approved. Bill
  2. I once visited a designer outlet in Alexandria Scotland that was built on the former site of a car manufacturer that had long since closed. They had a small museum showing how during the war, the factory was the largest producer of torpedoes in the UK. Being almost on the banks of Loch Lomond it was the natural to use the loch as a testing ground and some of the loch’s freshwater dolphins were trained to chase and recover the test torpedoes. Although there were never any accidents, small plaque in the museum pays tribute to their role in the war. Plenty of shops for the ladies and old cars for us blokes, it’s a worthwhile stopover if your ever up in that part of the world. Bill
  3. Davy. I think the farmers do have to pay minimum wages irrespective of where the labour comes from but it’s the fact that even at that level, the foreign workers are getting three time more for doing the job. The Poles can earn a small fortune over a few months and make enough to put their feet up for the rest of the year, so having to relocate for a while is worth it. Now contrast that with the British. Would anyone here like to move away from the family and go and live in a caravan or shed, miles from home for three or four months at a time and earn about the same as you’d get for sitting at home watching TV? It’s just not going to happen, so we either continue to import cheap labour or do something to radically change the system. Maybe if the farmers were given a subsidy equal to the dole, that could be paid on top of the minimum wage, then seasonal fruit picking would become a chance for the unemployed to get out and earn some decent money. Or if you don’t like the sound of that, let people on the dole be able to go out and earn minimum wages but don’t stop their dole or benefits. Either way, the fruit gets picked without importing people and nobodies any worse off. Everyone’s a winner. The worker gets more. The farmer doesn’t pay any extra, the government doesn’t pay any extra, unemployment figures go down and the fruit gets picked!!! I should be the bloody Prime Minister, budge over Boris. Bill 😊
  4. That would mean that a Polish worker say would be getting three times more here than he would back home, no wonder their queuing up to come over. Bill
  5. I believe if there was an appeal for help in doing this, then there’d be plenty of people willing to get involved. People’s attitudes change during times of national emergency although I’m sure there will always be some miserable sods who would rather sit on heir backsides than lift a finger to help. It always rattled me to think that we import labour from the continent while paying huge amounts to have people out of work because it’s not the kind of job they want. Bill 😊
  6. A lot of the nasty viruses seem to start off there or so it seems. Maybe it could be something they do that makes it easier for a virus to mutate into a new strain that we have no immunity to, who knows? But if that's the case, then the only thing the world can do is to ask or demand that they change their ways and hope they listen. I doubt China is going to do anything to try and compensate the world for the loss of life and financial problems and before anyone suggests it, sending everyone a deep fried bat isn't a great idea. Bill
  7. Asp A few years back I had to modify the taxi dispatching software for a company where a large part of their business was picking up and dropping off pilots in the Thames estuary. Many of these points were extremely difficult for drivers to locate because as far as Google Maps was concerned, most appeared to be in the sea. As you know, failing to get the pilot to his connection point on time and missing the tide could result in a ship not being able to sail and that’d be a lot of dosh up the swanee (or Thames) so it was vital we got it working for them. Bill
  8. Never heard of her so the publicity's not working on me. BTW my mates still right poorley with it, it's been a week and he's no better. Bill
  9. Latchford. I shopped at Sainsburys on Tuesday morning about 10.30 and there were no queues and inside everything was reasonably quiet. There were still some gaps on the shelves but it was much better than the previous week when people had gone mad over the weekend. Plenty of stuff to choose from but depends on what you class as essentials. Bill
  10. I'm in that boat with you Sid.🤐 During my life, I’ve worked with a lot of programmers and always had a saying that “all programmers are made in the same mould” because they’re all arrogant and think that everyone should be beholding to them for what they create. They tend to work in self isolation and as a result can lack social skills to the point of being quite rude. Years back, I had a partnership with a company in Milton Keynes run by a such a programmer. His staff regarded him as a total ar** hole, and this was confirmed one day when I discovered secret accounts and large sums of money going missing. When confronted he said, “You’re just an engineer but I’m an Entrepreneur”. Pretty much says it all doesn’t it. I do write some software, but I’ve never really classed myself as a programmer because I’m not that good at it. It’s a bit like my house building skills, I can get good results but if it was my job, I’d have been sacked ten times over for being too slow. I see many things as a personal challenge, especially when all around you tell you it’s impossible or can’t be done. At the end of the day it’s just problem solving but rather than seeing things as one huge obstacle, I try to break things down into smaller junks and work on ways of solving those. Whether it’s nano second timing issues with my code or how to get a sixteen-foot 6x4 joist up on the roof single handed they’re all just little problems with a solution waiting to be found. I’m waffling again aren’t I. Time to get back on my head. Bill 😊
  11. End of subject? nah to heck with forum etiquette, I'm fed up with Corona virus so I'm officially hijacking this thread. You don't come across many people with assembler skills these days, you must be older than I thought. Actually, my project as I call it, started off as a simple interface to detect the state of the taximeter and panic switch, then transfer that via Bluetooth to the PDA. But there was so much capability going unused in the processor I thought I’d have a look at making some use of it. One of down sides to using a mobile device is that it’s perceived as a phone and we’ve had issues with the police and customers not understanding this. We’ve done everything humanly possible to try and make things as safe as possible, but a driver still takes eyes off the road while touching the screen. Given the PDA is web connected, the simplest way would be to use Google’s voice services to interpret voice commands and I’ve seen several devices that use this method. Two big drawbacks however are speed and cost. We need the response to be instant, but experience has shown us that latency and invisible disconnects would make this far from ideal. Then Mrs Alexa sends a whole raft of possible meaning that would need parsing. On the cost side of things, the increased data throughput required for doing this would be prohibitive as currently, each vehicle only has a data allocation of 50mb per month. Then there's Google services that are free to most people but to use it commercially as we do with their mapping, the monthly fees would really rack up. Anyhow, that’s what I’m trying to address and produce a product that works well at a price that the taxi trade won’t balk at. The first prototypes seemed to be faster and more accurate than any similar device that I’ve seen online but it was maxed out on both memory and processing time. I believe with this new device, I can improve it even more, almost to the point of detecting the words before they’ve been spoken. Are you / were you a radio ham at some point? Enough. I feel the need for halcohol 😉 Bill 😊
  12. Confused Ah I see what you mean. The wall board you see there is simply showing our own phone activity. Most of the larger taxi companies would normally have one of these big screens in their main office but they only need a standard P.C. and monitor while working remotely. As for my project, I'm developing a real time voice recognition using an ESP32 and it seems to be going quite well at the moment. I did the early stage development using an AT-Mega device and the Arduino IDE simply because I've always worked in assembler and never with C++ and at my age, working with a new processor and a new language is a bit of a challenge.It took a while but I managed to get it all going well. Here's a picture of my 1st prototype. Several bits don't appear on the rendered image (including the small OLED display) The case was done in Autodesk then 3d printed. Apologies to others if I've hijacked this thread. Bill
  13. Person A What are the options when self isolating? Person B Option 1 is to stay in with your wife and kids Person A I'll have option 2 Bill
  14. I know Sid I've just been for a walk out with the wife, said hello to the few we did see out but everyone kept their distance. On Newcut Lane though, we came across a group of five bike riders probably in their early twenties that met up just as we approached but I guess they'd never heard of social distancing. Even if people like this never watch the news channels, it's hard to believe they hadn't had the message but clearly they didn't think it applied to them. Bill
  15. They do burn in slightly because they're all constantly displaying the same basic layout 24/7. Displays in key areas though are generally replaced anyway every two years for preventative maintenance and because they're so cheap, people don't argue when we do this. The older screens just get relegated to less important positions. I've been using some very small OLED displays on my current little project and I did read somewhere that the life expectancy could be measured in hours if they're run too hard but nearly twelve months on and they're still as sharp as a pin. Bill
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