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Member postings for Nick Clarke 3

Here is a list of all the postings Nick Clarke 3 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Whicht "Fonts" were used on th e Somerset & Dorset Joint Rlwy??
29/03/2021 11:00:16
Posted by Tim Stevens on 28/03/2021 17:56:43:

And for the pedants among us, a font is a set of type of one design and one size only. If the printer needed a different size he bought a new font. Computer designers got this wrong (as in so many other things).

Cheers, Tim

Having shared an office with printers for several years, one of whom taught typography, I can assure anyone that cares that the term 'pedant' is scarcely strong enough when professionals discussed the subject.

Talking about the Times family of typefaces, to take just one example, there would be arguments as to which of the different commercial versions (before personal computers there was no such thing as a 'free' font, they were all copyright to different companies) was best, with aesthetics, ease of reading and inkholding all entering into the fun.


PS - Different sizes of metal type, nominally of the same typeface, did not always use the same glyphs for corresponding letters - these were sometimes simplified in smaller sizes.


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 29/03/2021 11:04:00

Thread: RH vs LH threads
29/03/2021 09:33:14
Posted by John MC on 29/03/2021 09:27:05:

I thought it time to ressurrect this thread. The choice of LH vs RH threads on a bicycle is done for good reason. Considering the pedals, RH thread on RH side, the often made assumption is that the pedal rotates CW on this side , it doesn't, it rotates ACW, the direction that will undo a RH thread. So why the RH thread?

A couple of the replies to my original question have "got it", what I am looking for is a simple explanation. So, once again over to you guys.


A pedal will indeed turn anti clockwise on its spindle, however the spindle is not totally frictionless so the force of a power stroke from the rider will tend to tighten it in the crank surely?

Thread: A problem with my Tich running gear that I can't solve at the minute :-(
29/03/2021 09:25:36

I suggest looking to see if an axlebox is sticking in the horns.

If not look to see where the boxes are vertically in the horns - you have added weight so they will be higher up in the horns than before so does it run if the loco is supported under the boiler to take some of the weight off?

27/03/2021 14:47:50

Regarding he smokebox front I don't think it was ever described in full or drawn in the magazine.


Cast frames or tender frames were usually the production of individual suppliers - if I had to guess I would suggest perhaps W.K.Waugh, trading as Wilwaugh - but this is only a guess. These 'extra' castings were something he often produced alongside the standard ones. Long gone and when his passing was announced in ME there was no indication that his patterns were taken over by anyone else.

Thread: Tich cylinders
26/03/2021 17:47:34


Thread: New car - or is it a wheeled computer?
26/03/2021 09:37:54
Posted by Howard Lewis on 26/03/2021 09:31:08:

Even small ,cars are not immune from the "I have invented a new whistle, so I will fit it, even when not needed" syndrome.

My wife and I each run probably some of the smallest and cheapest cars on the market.

One of the features is a speed limiter. Tried once and considered to be a possible danger. (Impossible to accelerate out of a developing emergency ) based on the proposition that my motor control, and powers of observation are so poor that I cannot see the speedo right in front of me, or lift off the throttle pedal.

Wish that they had spent the money on providing a back shelf that does not fall out when anything is placed in, or removed from, the boot!

Like predictive spelling, I do not believe that a computer knows better than I do what is in my mind.

(My wife abandoned one, otherwise excellent, mobile phone because the predictive spelling cannot be disabled )

Next thing, will it refuse to close the doors automatically until my fingers are out of the way?

So much for market research driving what WE want


Edited By Howard Lewis on 26/03/2021 09:33:30

I'm with you Howard - The criteria for my present car when I bought it 8 years ago were

  1. Does it always start?
  2. Has it a good heater?

In addition it is the first car I have had with Air Con (even if it does not work if kept unused) and Bluetooth and I have grown to like these as well.

But the interesting thing about your comment on doors and fingers is that in the past people WERE trapping themselves in electric windows which did not stop, and not only small children!


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 26/03/2021 09:39:44

26/03/2021 09:29:31
Posted by Clive Foster on 26/03/2021 09:07:45:

Jeffs comment rings a very big bell for me.

Looks like I shall have to figure on keeping my Range Rover P38 pretty much forever.

I had an ex army Minivan in the 1980s that could have been called the P38 as that was what it mainly consisted of!

I'll go


26/03/2021 09:07:28

A few years ago we got rid of our third Renault Scenic because of intermittent non-starting.

When the card (no key) was put into the reader it talked to one computer which talked to another which checked the electronic handbrake was on or the foot brake pressed, turned off the electric power steering so it didn't try to wind itself into the kerb, and then released the steering lock and started the engine - only it didn't in our case. Oh and there was an alarm and immobiliser in there somewhere as well.

Took it to main dealer who explained they would swap out this and if it did not cure the fault they would swap out something else etc etc ad infinitem.

When we asked who would pay for all the unnecessary work and parts we were told we would have to.

Two things:-

  • We were very happy with the cars apart from this fault and would undoubtably had another - instead we bought a simpler MPV of a different brand
  • Where the main dealer was is now a building site.
Thread: Which lathe to purchase
25/03/2021 12:00:37
Posted by Michael Ford 6 on 25/03/2021 10:49:30:

Thanks everyone for your input it is much appreciated and sound advise. I now have some investigating to decide whether to go for s/hand or new.

If I decided to go the Myford ML7 are the tools and bits and pieces still available or are most new items compatible ?

Many parts are available new, but from reading these columns it appears some go out of stock for extended periods, however many are available second hand.

The issue with a Myford is that while there are many machines up to 75 years old that are in excellent, lightly used, well maintained condition there are others far newer that have had a hard life and need maintenance before use. A super 7 might be 65 years old so is not necessarily in better condition.

Buying a modern machine does not mean it will be fault free but the warranty will be there to support you which may not be the case of a privately bought Myford.

The flexibility of a Myford in good condition has already been mentioned, however if you have a look at dealer adverts (the only fair comparison with a new imported machine with warranty and support I feel) a Super 7 appears to go for between 3-5K with varying amounts of tooling - - and an unused one previously owned by the MD of Myfords was advertised at over 14K. Myfords prices for refurbished lathes are similar to dealer prices.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 25/03/2021 12:19:58

Thread: Donald Campbell
23/03/2021 22:03:06

I don't live in front of the TV, but this is the second recommendation in a week - just watched a great prog from 2013 on BBC4 (and iPlayer I presume) about Donald Campbell and his land and water speed record breaking.

Thread: New series by Tim Hunkin
23/03/2021 21:57:56

Posted by Georgineer on 23/03/2021 21:53:45:

I took my then-teenage daughter to his "Under the Pier Arcade" on Southwold Pier some years ago and she had a whale of a time, as did I (and fish and chips in the café ). [blasted smiley crept in.] Well worth a visit when it's open again.

George B

Plus 1 - a great day out!

Thread: Computer Update
23/03/2021 17:40:31

I have not long bought a Raspberry Pi 400 which plugged into the TV is a very competent Linux based machine, however my most recent good buy was an HP Chromebook £180 off Amazon (is that allowed?) and it will do everything that you want with the possible exception of run MsDos programs - but most Chromebooks will now run Linux software so it ought to be possible. If not databases are the easiest programs to export data from into a more compatible application, far more so than graphics, DTP, spreadsheets and WP.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 23/03/2021 17:42:28

23/03/2021 17:34:57
Posted by Peter Greene on 23/03/2021 15:56:23:

... also be aware that the lifetime of computers is not infinite. Some components - particularly capacitors - have limited lifetimes. There was a particular problem some years ago with electrolytic capacitors made in the East where they had been cheapened to the point where they only lasted ~5 years. It affected many/all computer manufacturers including the "good ones".

That problem was addressed and I think such machines have all passed out of the system by now. Nonetheless, electrolytic capacitors are still one of the limiting factors in computer life and I for one, wouldn't buy a machine more than 4 or 5 years old.

I am with you Peter - And that is someone who has 2 laptops on the table - I am typing on one - and another 4 leaning up against the table leg and there are numerous others. The newest ones are about 3 years old and the others up to 14 years old and running a selection of Windows, Pixel and Linux operating systems.

But while they all operate only one of the 4 year old ones still has a totally functioning battery - the other is warning me the capacity is not what it was. All of the rest will operate off the mains for lesser periods. I have another 'premium' system sitting in the corner that is not in use as it cannot be upgraded to Win10, its batteries are dead and I have no need for another Linux box at present.

Basically if you want a reliable 'new' laptop - that is what you need to buy. If you are prepared to accept a shorter battery life (and that of some older laptops wasn't anything to write home about, even when new) and potentially screen, power socket or keyboard issues then go ahead and buy a used one. I have done that in the past but would not do so again.

Most of those I have here have been superceded in other roles and so did not cost much if anything - but the 'main' desktop and 'main' laptop were each bought new.

Thread: Weller TCP soldering iron
23/03/2021 08:31:55
Posted by MC Black on 23/03/2021 01:01:35:

When I was a Schoolmaster half a lifetime ago, we put a glass fibre (i think) sheath around the cable so that the young gentlemen would NOT melt the cable with the iron!

It was a simple job within the skills of our laboratory technician and saved a lot of problems in the long run.


I used to swap the PVC covered mains leads for silicon heat resisting ones which as well as not melting made the irons far less 'bossy' and easier for the inexperienced to handle.

Thread: That little elf under the workbench again
22/03/2021 16:34:25
Posted by Rob McSweeney on 22/03/2021 16:20:35:

As I was typing that last line I realised that I should buy one of those magnetised trays and rest the toolholder on that when changing tips - bet the elves still get the last laugh though..

Had one of those and lost it!

It had fallen off the end of the bench and was stuck to the underside of the compressor receiver. Only found it when I scrapped that compressor a bit back.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 22/03/2021 16:34:46

Thread: Weller TCP soldering iron
21/03/2021 17:38:04

What looks like the correct Weller tip - Rapid Electronics have them in stock for about a fiver (plus etc) - or if you are near Colchester perhaps the trade counter is open.

I am only a very satisfied customer over several years

Thread: No302
19/03/2021 16:32:01

A little poem I have used to show people, both adults and secondary age children, the importance of proof reading. Silly I know.

Eye have a spelling chequer,
It came with my pea sea.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss Steaks I can knot sea.

Eye strike the quays and type a whirred
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am write oar wrong
It tells me strait a weigh.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your shore real glad two no.
Its vary polished in its weigh.
My chequer tolled me sew.

A chequer is a blessed thing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right all stiles of righting,
And aides me when eye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The chequer pours o'er every word
Two cheque sum spelling rule


Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 19/03/2021 16:33:46

Thread: The Secret Science of Sewage
19/03/2021 13:53:52

Watched this absolutely fascinating documentary last night on BBC2

Exactly what happens in a sewage works? This programme describes how waste is purified, how it can be used to make power, fertiliser, medical cures and lots more.

Added value for me is that it was filmed at Minworth, not only one of the largest treatment plants in the country - but also local to me.

It is being repeated late next Wednesday night on BBC2 and is also on iPlayer for the next year - worth watching!

Thread: Pictures in posts and font sizes.
18/03/2021 15:05:37

Regarding small fonts there is an icon 4th from the right in the upper toolbar of the post editing window that looks like a rectangular bar in perspective or, if you have that kind of imagination, a pencil eraser.

Selecting your text and clicking on this will publish your text in the standard size and font.

Thread: That little elf under the workbench again
18/03/2021 09:15:10

After more than 35 years of teaching and instructing -

Murphy's First law:

A piece of toast, when dropped, will always land butter side down. (aerodynamically correct!)

Murphy's Second law:

A piece of toast, when dropped, will always land butter side down unless you are trying to demonstrate the fact!

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