Can a light van be retro and cute at the same time?

Maybe the answer is yes it can.

The beginning of Morris Commercial was in the 1920’s, and much later was subsumed into British Leyland Motors. The light vans and trucks produced by Morris Commercial in the 1950’s and 60’s, especially the J-type, had an elegant design. It’s this heritage that the revived Morris Commercial company has drawn onto create an all-electric van.

Odd, I know, to call the design of a van cute. It’s the Morris JE, a retro-styled light commercial all-electric vehicle with a claimed range of about 200 miles. Production is set to start in 2021 with prices starting from around £60,000.

Here are photos of a 1950 Morris J van and a 2020 version. Below the photos is a short video of the van in all it’s cuteness. The Sunday Times Driving section has a review of the vehicle.

My broadband transfer was faultless

Some things are immutable, death and taxes is the favoured example. Staying with your broadband provider is not immutable. We’re all prone to hanging on to our service providers, be power, bank, telephone, or broadband, mostly from fear of complications in changing.

Yesterday we changed our broadband and telephone provider. We’re now Sky broadband customers. We’ve had Sky TV for years so it made some sense to join the services together.

The change went faultlessly, and the requirement to self install the equipment, being the cause of my concern, turned out to be a simple and trouble-free process.

Goldman Sachs: “arguably London is the Artificial Intelligence capital of the world”

Serendipity is wonderful thing, don’t you agree.

It’s the Internet that provides most of my serendipity experiences, and here’s one such that provides an understanding of technology markets.

Jo Hannaford, of Goldman Sachs, describes technology innovation in Europe, saying that in the Kings Cross area of London, the closeness of the Crick Institute for cancer research, the Alan Turing institute for artificial intelligence, Google Deepmind, and the not too far away Facebook London site, constitute a thriving tech hub that she says it can be argued is the artificial intelligence capital of the world.

There are other technology hubs in Europe that she mentions. These “Exchanges at Goldman Sachs“provide great primers by experts on the state of technology and business.

Click on the image below to link to the YouTube discussion.


I love my commenters

I love the comments written on this blog. I learn such a lot from them.

See Will’s comment on the photo of British astronaut Tim Peake. He posted this video of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s talk in Wimbledon last year. I’ve watched it. Truly unforgettable, just as Will says.

Visits update No.3: Bacton gas terminal and line of sight microwave tower

Hmmm, you visited a gas terminal? Well, no, not really. Perhaps I should explain.

I worked for Shell Expro on a project for the hook-up and commissioning phase of a southern north sea gas platform, known as South East Indefatigable. In my role I visited sites producing the topsides of the gas platform and Great Yarmouth for offshore shipping support.

Computer and voice communications from land to the offshore platforms were by line of sight microwave links. The onshore microwave link, and gas receiving plants were at Bacton on the north Norfolk coast. I never visited the site while on the project, and always wanted to.

While recently on holiday to the Norfolk Broads, I achieved my goal, and visited the Bacton Gas Terminal, and saw the line of sight microwave communications tower [it’s my photo of the tower, click to expand]. Background to microwave technology HERE.

As a vital part of our power infrastructure the Bacton site is both miles from anywhere, and immensely secure. Even my arriving in the car park drew the attention of a security guard. We did though have a lovely chat about our experiences working the the oil and gas sector – he having a longer career in it than me. Anyway, the gas platforms I worked on are now decommissioned. You can read all about the decommissioning in the paper below.

Wind energy supplies almost 25% of UK power demand

I see the increasing use of renewable power as encouraging. Here’s a couple of screen captures Gridwatch over Christmas [firstly from 24th, and then 26th December] that shows wind power generating almost one quarter of the UK’s power needs. There are days when wind power generation is negligible, I am, therefore, a believer in the need for nuclear power to generate the base load of UK power needs.



I’m pleased to see the UK’s investment in wind power starting to payoff. The offshore London Array wind farm in the Thames Estuary is currently the largest in the world, with 630 turbines. It’s disappointing that the UK has little involvement in ownership, manufacturing, or research and development of wind power turbines. One market where, as a nation, we can make up for that lack of expertise is in battery technology – see Giant UK battery launch, and HERE, and with Dyson.

Pleased to recover from loss of internet access

Our iPads, my iPhone, and my laptop computer all are swimmingly connected to the internet. Sadly my wife’s laptop had the message ‘WiFi invalid IP address’ when trying to access the internet. Therefore, unhappy wife.

Dear wife is currently out shopping. Me, like gorilla beating his chest, has succeeded in fixing the issue. Proud husband. Will be looking for a kiss and some sort of chocolate treat for my good work.

troubleshootAfter much lengthy fiddling, delving, and general pondering, did the sensible thing and looked for an answer on the Internet. Many solutions weren’t to my liking – don’t like resetting anything back to original settings unless absolutely necessary. Reason being is that it takes ages to renter passwords and settings.

So. Was pleased to find this YouTube video that suggested a ‘soft’ reset of network adapters. I’m not suggesting it could work for you in similar situations. It’s worth a try.

Maybe the UK will be the ones to develop applications for Graphene

Graphene – a thin layer of pure carbon is the world’s thinnest material – discovered by two researchers at the University of Manchester, wining them a Nobel prize for Physics for their work.

uclanIt’s discovery created huge world-wide interest in potential applications. Maybe the UK will be the ones to harness the the research into useful applications, rather than, as has been the all to often case, other countries. That we have a newly created National Graphene Institute, based at the Univ of Manchester, is exactly the correct approach – investment in fundamental and application research.

The American Scientist magazine in an article, Graphene Takes Flight, report on how a University of Central Lancaster team created “A small, remote-controlled airplane with the world’s first graphene-coated wings demonstrated promising improved flight performance, intriguing the aerospace industry.”

Relief, needed help to successfully upgrade to Windows 10 Anniversary edition

Days ago I wrote about the difficulty I was having installing the Windows 10 Anniversary edition upgrade.

Nothing for it but to call in the professionals. A job for Alan Bateman of Si29 Computer Services in Camberley. Result, a successful install, and a happy family. Alan’s contact details: Si29 Computer Services, Phone: 01252 686513, Email:

Here’s a snapshot of Alan’s blog on his website about Windows 10.


Aaaaaarrrggghhh, the pain to install Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 anniversary updateMy dear wife said she’d a minor problem on her PC. Always happy to help. First task, carry out normal maintenance tasks. Thought it would be smart to install outstanding Windows updates, including the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

The word update is a total misnomer. It seems it’s a major Windows upgrade, therefore taking absolute ages to install, and apparently riddled with issues.

Why, oh, why, did I suspend my critical factors and install the darn thing. Have invested over four hours to get to 96% complete. When the pesky installation process ends, I’ve then got to check on things, and then ensure with my wife is happy. If we’re unhappy then it’ll be an urgent rollback – as it appears that a rollback is date limited. Ugh. Double Ugh.

UPDATE: Install has been stuck on 99% complete overnight. Am a most unhappy chappie.