Monthly Archives: August 2010

BirdSight Australia has been updated to version 1.8

The iPhone and iPod Touch application BirdSight Australia has just been updated to version 1.8.

The good news is:
  • The upgrade keeps all of your previous sightings (so don’t stress about upgrading and losing all of your precious sightings that you haven’t backed up because the process is too tedious);
  • The location data entry form allows Google maps (if you have Internet access obviously);
  • You can cache Wikipedia articles locally. This sounds like an awesome feature that I must try out.
The bad news is:
  • The App now has a 17+ rating (why?);
  • The main view of lists of sightings show the same information twice (once in a large black font and the again immediately below in a smaller grey font) EDIT – this behaviour is just for existing sightings made with the previous version – new sightings now show site and date/time on the main page (which is actually good news);
  • The apostrophe bug I mentioned earlier is still present;
  • If you click “Share Data” in an observation and then click “Cancel” the App crashes completely.
There is so much that could be done to improve this App. I guess the underlying good news is that someone is working on it again. Hopefully it’ll get better. This is still the only App I have ever paid for.

Train Layout Progress

I have been spending some time tinkering with the train layout lately. I find it relaxing at the end of the day. Here is a summary of the work in progress and completed:

  • I have completely removed the rather badly installed branch line track and started replacing it with a more professionally installed set of sidings and a small station. It is still a branch line but it only connects to the main line at a single junction. Eventually I plan to run separate power supplies to the main and branch lines to allow for the operation of two trains simultaneously (one train could run a continuous loop and the other perform shunting duties).
  • I have started improving the scenic elements of the layout. I still have lots of work to do here. I am finding the wall plastering putty to be quite useful in creating rock shapes. I am also starting to ballast areas of the track but I am less confident with that.
  • I have repaired the buffers (again) on the old Class 37 Diesel. I still have to finish painting the blue and yellow Class 31 and work out why the Class 08 shunter is misbehaving. The Class 08 shunter needs fixing as soon as possible – it’s Cameron’s favourite. The Class 31 was painted but I was unhappy with the result so have started again. I also discovered it could be taken apart – a fact that makes the paint job much easier!
  • As a result of these upgrades I still have a fair amount of wiring left to do. Time to get the soldering iron out again…