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Building Ideal Flight with Steve's favourite programming language
Delphi Object Pascal;
easily build very large and very complex programs.
graphics processing functions
global navigation functions
creating part of Ideal Flight's complicated heuristic route builder code on the scratchpad
Windows desktop programs are vast, Ideal Flight is composed of over 201,000 lines of computer code.
Ideal Flight is a very complex program that employs almost every computer programming technique.
Delphi Object Pascal makes it hard to build-in code errors,
very complex programs like Ideal Flight work reliably.
Steve got married to Sue
Sue & Steve
Sue is smarter than most of us;
Sue has worked in a scientific role at hospital,
Sue has teaching qualifications,
Sue has succeeded in the fierce world of recruitment,
Sue created her own Microsoft Office classes and taught them at college and at work,
Sue has held top secretarial roles in banks and law firms,
Sue is currently working for an American law firm in London,
Sue compiled all the legal documentation for Ideal Flight.
Sue has ridden several motorcycles and has cycled many miles.
Sue has always been very fit;
Sue has regularly run 13 to 15 miles in an afternoon,
Sue has been to the Hornli Hut on the Matterhorn out of season,
Sue has climbed complex mountaineering routes,
Sue has climbed many hills including Scotland's Munroe's and mountains in Austria.
If I were Donald Trump, I'd employ Sue right away as my secretary.
rega rp10/Aphelion, Devialet 440 monoblocks, Spendor D9 & REL G1 (out of shot)
Devialet, rega, Spendor and REL supplied by Harrow Audio.
special build speaker cables and Spendor D9 - speaker technology in a new league
The speakers are connected with hand assembled cables, made from carefully selected and arranged, multiple sections of OFC (Oxygen free Copper) obtained by special order.
These cables are carefully designed and built as twins, and perform in the system with enhanced equality.
Mains cables are hand assembled using the best quality Arctic OFC, the Devialet comes with quality mains cables supplied.
The rp10 has a carefully applied light hand polish to the belt pulley, to help ensure it is totally silent in operation, as the rubber belts arrive and leave the pulley circumference.
This rega deck also features the latest Aphelion MC, and the rigid feet modification, and sits on a custom isolated soundboard.
The Aphelion moving coil cartridge extracts unmatched detail from the vinyl.
This latest rega moving coil features the world's smallest generator, half the mass of other designs.
Its vital profile diamond stylus is specially mounted on a Boron cantilever with a hole cut into the Boron rod, and the diamond inserted at 90 degrees and rotated to fix firmly into place.
Speakers are arranged 2.1 with a Spendor stereo pair and REL sub bass driver.
The 700w class A/B active REL G1 sub adds lower registers commensurate with the class act Spendor D9 floor-standers.
The Spendor D9s are hung off the very special Devialet 440 monoblocks, the technology leading class A/D 440watt per channel computer controlled amplifier with the lowest distortion levels recorded on domestic hifi.
Be prepared to relearn how good modern Hi fi can sound.
Steve's favourite sports; rock climbing and mountaineering
Climb the Matterhorn unaided; an outdoor challenge.
There are no easy routes up the Matterhorn.
The Hornli ridge (shown in the foreground, north face in shadow)
is the easiest route up this alpine peak,
but it is the hardest of the "easy routes" in the Alps.
This extremely complex route has over 4000 feet of very difficult to very severe rock climbing.
Most holds are covered in ice and are so cold your fingers will stick instantly to them.
Self instructed; Steve has climbed the Matterhorn unguided
Steve has climbed very hard Scottish winter routes,
many sea cliffs, and many big mountain rock climbing routes,
including the Matterhorn unguided.
Many climbs have been done solo, without aid, ropes, or any kind of safety equipment.
During peaks of fitness, many solo routes were being enchained in a session, often exceeding 6000ft of climbing and downclimbing in under four hours.
Climbing at this level is hard, and requires a lifetime of fitness training and strength building techniques.
Steve's favourite motorcycle and some riding tips
Motorcycle technology has lots of secrets and cleverness just like aircraft engineering.
Kawasaki ZX900R-C2 Ninja ZX9R
The world's first true production racing SuperBike, since certain modern aspects had become available for the first time on a road legeal machine:
Mass centralised chassis configuration
Totally adjustable suspension, no need to replace with upmarket components
Real racing motorcycle cornering capability - on the road
Capable of exceeding 185 mph if carefully run-in
Mistakenly underrated in its time due to incorrect suspension adjustments defined in the manual,
and rear rebound damping always required careful setting generally falling between clicks.
Engineered very precisely; sub millimetre changes in fork height will be detected by the rider.
Properly set-up, this litre class machine could be flicked around like a moped.
ZX9R-C2: After turn-in, this machine will sit in an arc without further rider input
ZX9R-C2: Knee down without excessive hang-off
ZX9R-C2: Perfect stability even with rider sat up to observe traffic
Specially prepared Kawasaki ZX9R-C2 motorcycle.
Cornering capability and safety is available only with expert calibrated suspension settings and meticulous preparation.
Even with more recent SuperBike machines, do not attempt to lean a motorcycle much beyond 40 degrees.
Motorcycle performance and safety
Steve says: I've found out a lot of useful stuff about motorcycles.
If you are interested in motorcycles, please read on...
Always counter-steer into each corner, once turned in, try to allow the motorcycle to sit in a natural arc
As the bike leans over, move just off centre on to one cheek,
and sit straight and parallel with the bike, this allows the bike to stand up more in a corner
Point your inside elbow toward the inside of your knee
Stand on the outside foot peg, with the heel of your boot up against the peg
Place the ball of your inside foot on the peg, keep your toes back
Do not point your inside knee at the road, just allow your leg to hang away
Don't push your luck if you cannot get your knee down, something is wrong
A bike must be set up just right to lean far enough and could wash out on either end if not
If you have short thighs, and thin knee-sliders, you will have to lean a lot more
Use the front brake for all it's worth, at first pull progressively and smoothly, then as the weight is transferring, increase the breaking force
If you are stopping quickly, the rear wheel is about to leave the road,
trying to use the rear brake at the same time may cause you problems
Leave the rear brake for special manoeuvres
When braking, do not sit off to one side in anticipation of the next corner
Stay in a dead straight line as you brake
Finish your braking in a dead straight line, do not try to brake up to the apex
With track racing it's all about "progressively coming off the brakes into the apex area", but this technique is not for the road or road racing
Change down gear without "blipping the throttle", otherwise you will upset your breaking force and slop weight around front and rear
Once the engine is spinning quite slowly, change down then, you will find you need not blip to match engine revs, release the clutch carefully so as not to slow the back wheel suddenly
Recent SuperBikes come equipped with slipper clutches to allow the clutch to take up the final rev difference smoothly to prevent rear slides
Changing suspension settings:
Softening any suspension settings too much can result in the rider being thrown from the motorcycle,
err on the stiff side when trying damping settings,
set off carefully after making any adjustments
Shortening the fork height by moving the forks up through the headstock can result in unstable handling,
the trail can easily become too short, and over a bump the front wheel may want to turn to face the rear,
weight will move over the front wheel, leaving the rear suspension feeling too hard,
further encouraging unwanted weight transfer to the front.
Adjusting the front preload will also alter the fork height by moving the top of the spring within the fork,
this does not alter the chassis in the same way as positioning the fork legs in the headstock,
but it will effectively alter the balance of weight between front and rear, and can prove to be a very useful adjustment.
Since sag has been set at the factory with the strength and length of the rear spring,
adjusting the rear preload to change "sag" may be a bad mistake,
on a monoshock and rising rate link design this can have undesirable effects,
adjusting the rear preload can alter the position within the link and change the effective spring rate adversely.
If you fall off the bike:
Always wear fully protective motorcycle clothing
Make sure you are protected as best as you can afford
Even in a small get-off you will find yourself leaning on something heavily, it will hurt
Make sure you are double protected on these points, the palms of the hands, knees, forearms, elbows, back, bottom
If you fall off, don't try to hold the bike up on your knee,
do not keep hold of the bike
Avoid landing on your elbow and shoulder, you could break a collar bone,
instead keep your arm in and curl the shoulder into your chest,
you should then roll onto your back and slide along from there
As you slide along the road,
try to point your limbs away from you in the direction you are coming from, and try to keep them off of the ground
As you slide along the road,
don't try to get up until you really have come to rest
Don't move until you are sure you have no injuries,
moving a broken limb could result in a ruptured artery
Avoid hanging around with cars travelling at the speed limit if these drivers bunch up behind you,
they may drive over you lighting their cigarettes,
and anyway, shouldn't you be riding in the gutter so they can come past?
No matter how good a rider you are, riding a motorcycle amongst other traffic is dangerous,
anything can happen at any time, and nothing to do with you
As a motorcycle rider, you may have to use the performance of your machine to avoid an accident,
or perhaps to make some road sections safer
Cornering harder to avoid an obstacle is better than crashing,
you will be surprised just how hard your motorcycle can corner
Steve says: I was just peeling off a roundabout, and a van came straight out like I wasn't there,
I simply turned back to the right suddenly and managed to continue round the roundabout.
I was confident I could make the sudden right turn,
instead of trying to stop which is the automatic reaction,
I cornered harder.
You must use proper motorcycle riding skills for your own safety's sake
Do not go to a local roundabout and attempt to get your knee down
Go to a track day to practice high performance cornering and braking
Knee-down cornering is not appropriate for the road, but it is not illegal
One day you may save yourself from a serious accident if you know the limits