Locking through the Rideau

Not much has changed in the last 180 years or so. Not on the Rideau Canal, at least. Sure, there are shorepower ports these days, and electric lighting, and the lock staff have even started carrying short-range radios. But the lock gates are still winched open by hand, the water flow is still controlled by hand-cranked valves, and boats are still coaxed into position with rope, muscle and a bit of shouting. Even in the chaos of the August long weekend, it's a tranquil throwback to a simpler age.

Well, most of the time.

Engine access: Sterndrives, part 2 (Doing It Right)

A while ago, I showcased a few sterndrive installations of varying quality, and pointed out some of the engine access problems that result when these units are shoehorned into too-tight spaces. Here's an example of one that's done relatively well. The boat is a 19-foot Doral runabout, built in Midland, Ontario in 2007.

Doral 190

CAD in the Cloud: How it might work

I'm a bit amazed by the recent hype over cloud computing. Google Docs, Salesforce, Amazon EC3, the list goes on: the tech blogs are falling over themselves to keep up with the latest software-as-a-service and cloud offerings. Listening to Google's PR team, one might think that we're about to give up on stand-alone computers altogether.

Direct-to-torrent TV: Pioneer One's interesting approach

I don't normally follow the entertainment industry, but this thing is spreading like wildfire across the Net and I think it's worthy of mention. The half-hour pilot of Pioneer One was released on Bittorrent less than five days ago, and has already made Slashdot and racked up close to 70,000 HD and 150,000 Xvid downloads so far.


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