Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

UK visit

I mentioned in my previous post that I’d had a quick trip to UK, the main purpose was to tidy up loose ends and bring back a few personal things that I wanted to keep. A lot of my clockmaking tools and DIY tools were stored in a garage and very fortunately for me a clockmaker friend of mine bought the whole lot. I had already arranged to sell my clock book library to a book dealer in Oxfordshire so in one fell swoop most of my tidying up was completed. When went through everything else I found there were lots of things I wanted to bring back, far too many too bring in fact so I had to spend a heartbreaking afternoon putting many items in a rubbish skip. Nothing that I threw away had much monetary value but a lot had sentimental value. Well it had to be done and now I’m back here in Turkey I am happy to have the few things I did manage to bring with me.

The most important for me to bring was this clock. It is a 30 hour longcase clock (grandfather clock).


The case I sold and just brought the movement which is now mounted on a wall in my house and is working well although the strike mechanism is missing a couple of parts that have disappeared somewhere. I found the antique movement in a car boot sale back in 2002 and made a dial for it then got a friend to make me a nice oak case which I was very upset to have to sell. I’m going to get some cedar to make a case here. Why cedar? It’s freely available here, relatively cheap and easy to work with and doesn’t suffer too much from shrinkage when it dries out, it’s nice looking too.

The other important item that I brought was a guitar, a twelve string copy of a Gibson ES 335 thinline archtop semi-acoustic electric guitar but this one is made by Aria. Frankly it’s not a very well made copy but when I’ve finished the repairs and modifications it will be a lot better.

AriaThe repair involved fixing a crack in the pocket where the neck screws in. The Gibson model has a set neck i.e. it is built in rather than being held in place by big screws and the block that the pocket is machined into should have been made to run the full length of the body to give it sufficient strength. In this one the neck was not sufficiently stable to take the strain of twelve strings and the block had cracked. Anyway I have managed to fix that and with only six strings it keeps its tune and sounds very nice. Twelve strings cause it to drop out of tune before you even get halfway through the intro of a song! I’ve simply taken the extra six strings off for now but I will order proper six string hardware for it.

There are a few other little things that I managed to tuck into the corners of my case that are not worthy of a mention individually so I’ll lump them together and call them personal memorabilia, just things that I’m happy to have with me again.

There were a few pleasant surprises in U.K. too. The roads were in a much better state than I had been led to believe by the newspapers, all that whingeing and moaning about the potholes and lack of maintenance but without exception the roads I drove upon were in an excellent state of repair. Another surprise was the standard of lane discipline and observance of speed limits. Admittedly there are more speed cameras around now than when I left eleven years ago but after driving in Turkey for ten years I found I was the one who needed to get my act together.

I was very pleased to meet up with my two brothers and spend a little time with them, we haven’t seen each other since I moved to Turkey eleven years ago, nice to see you guys, you’re looking happy and well.

Very sadly a week after I got back my little cat Stanley was hit by a car and killed. I was heartbroken, still am, he was a super little cat and had been with me since he ventured up here as a kitten ten years ago. He used to come into the house in the middle of the night and sleep on my bed.

Stan1So sorry Stan, RIP my little friend.

Posted June 7, 2015 by cukurbagli in Animals, Technology, Tourism


A few weeks ago I updated my computer operating system to the latest version of Linux Mint (Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon), it didn’t cost me anything apart from about twenty minutes of my time and it works at least as well as any version of Windows. I’ve been using Linux in one incarnation or another for the last three years.

Why did I desert Windows for Linux? I had been using Windows XP on my old (2003) laptop, it had worked reasonably for years but I seemed to be getting more and more problems. I had reinstalled XP a number of times, at first it had helped but latterly the reinstalling had just led to other problems, I wanted really to update to Windows 7 but didn’t want to spend the money.

The idea of having a different operating system had been at the back of my mind for a while but I didn’t know anything about them other than the fact* that they were difficult to learn and didn’t run the programs that I wanted. I had seen articles in the online computing press and Ubuntu Linux had caught my eye because it was free and it seemed to be the OS that most non-Windows users installed. Getting something for nothing has always been an attraction for me, what better sales pitch is there?

Then three years ago I bought a new laptop and finally had the chance to try out Ubuntu Linux on my old one. It didn’t work, wouldn’t even load and run from the live CD* I discovered it was a make and model of computer that a lot of people had tried with and failed (Toshiba Satellite a30) so I shelved the idea. Then a friend (John) said that if I really wanted to try Ubuntu I could install it alongside Windows on my new computer and choose which one to use when I booted up. That was how it all began.

John came down to my house and we had a good chat, drank a few beers and I decided to try Ubuntu. I found the website read the instructions and downloaded the image file from which I made a live CD. I’ll admit I was scared of breaking something in my new computer, it had been a major expense for me and buying another computer was not an option, so I called John and he came down again to lead me through the installation. It went exactly as the instructions said it would, I could do a Windows installation in my sleep almost and Ubuntu proved to be just as simple.

Over the next few months I opted for Ubuntu more and more when I started the computer, it was updated, reinstalled, new programs installed sometimes uninstalled, upgraded to a newer edition etc etc. Then one day I read an article extolling the virtues of Linux Mint which tempted me to swap over to it, I couldn’t have made a better choice. I’m not a computer genius, I’m not even much of a geek, I just read the instructions and if I need help I take advice freely given on the Linux forums. It didn’t take long for me to abandon Windows altogether and have an exclusively Linux Mint computer, I haven’t regretted it. Of course there are still times that I get frustrated with my computer but not as many as I had with Windows.

I have come to realise that my knowledge of computers and Windows was learned over a period of about twenty years so changing to a different OS was bound to seem scary. I now wish I had started my Linux experience with Mint because it is so much like what I already knew about Windows.


The GUI (Graphical User Interface, what you see on the screen) works in a very similar fashion, so similar in fact that two of my friends that I have recently helped to install Linux Mint could use it right away with almost no learning curve.

One of the things I particularly like is that Linux Mint comes with over sixty programs included, from a full featured Office suite (Libre Office, which in most respects is the equal of Microsoft Office) to a powerful picture and photo editing program called Gimp. Getting used to the names of programs is probably the hardest part of the learning process with Linux. It’s also probably the only thing I don’t particularly like because the names seem to be conjured out of thin air or made up by a dyslexic child but once you get used to them it’s okay.

I don’t hate or even dislike Microsoft or their Windows products, they do a good job for a lot of people, it’s just that now I can have an up to date operating system for free with loads of programs that I can get for free. I don’t have to agree to manufacturers licences and there is no piracy issue with the software if I want to install a program I like on another person’s computer.

To anyone having trouble with Windows or who has an older computer and doesn’t want to buy a new one or pay to upgrade their version of Windows I would say “Try Linux Mint”. It’s free, you don’t really need an anti virus program and for most home and small business users it will do everything that your Windows computer will do now and more. If you spend long hours playing games or have specialist programs that you need to use then it might not suit you so check that out before you try it.

If you’re going to try it out then reading the instructions is a must, you can find out all about it by clicking the link below.

Linux Mint Website

I finally got round to writing a little guide to downloading and installing it on a USB Memory Stick on this page.

*Actually Linux is not that difficult to learn, it’s just that because you’ve used Windows for the last umpteen years and probably know a lot more about it than you think, learning something new feels scary.

* A Live CD is just a CD that you can put into the disc drive and run the program from there. You can also have a Live DVD and Live USB Memory Stick.

Posted December 17, 2013 by cukurbagli in Technology

Olives Kaş Cake

A bit of catching up to do here, been distracted by a few things recently including power cuts and storms that dampen the enthusiasm a bit. One of the things I like about the weather here is that it will rain like hell for a few days then clear up and be sunny and warm(ish). Today started well but it looks as though some rain is going to arrive before long.

A while ago I got a little Sony Vaio computer, a bit like a net book but not, if you see what I mean. Well now I have my Samsung smart phone I can get emails and access the internet anywhere there is a mobile phone signal so I was wondering what to do with the Vaio. Then I had an idea and hooked it up to my guitar amplifier and accessed BBC Radio 2, now I am sitting here having the delight of listening to Terry Wogan. Some may not be as delighted as me.


Three weeks ago I harvested the olives, I have two trees but only one had olives in it, the other one is too small yet. I got 1.6kg off it and asked Suleyman’s wife Hatice how to prepare them to be edible. I tried one once straight off the tree and nearly made myself sick. So they are now marinading in salt and with another couple of changes of salt to come they should be ready in another six weeks or so. That’ll save me buying any this year.

Buyuk Cakil

My New Year’s resolution this year is to take more photographs so I had a drive down to Buyuk Çakıl (Big Pebble)  beach to take a few. It looks quite inviting but the water was pretty cold, a couple of the bars/restaurants were open though. Afterwards I went over to the other side of the town to the theatre.

Kas and theatre

I’ve been told that I shouldn’t call it an amphitheatre because they are completely round and the semi-circular type are correctly called theatres, I didn’t know that. Well ours has had some restoration work done on it since I last saw it, a few people were very upset and disappointed to see concrete in the restoration and let the world know about it too. Personally I don’t think it looks that bad, at least they used white concrete which fits in with the rest of the colour and at least it’s safe from falling down and hurting someone. Actually I doubt many people would even realise it was concrete.


Yesterday I made a couple of cakes, banana and yoghurt. The flour looked a bit unusual and upon inspection it turns out that I should pay more attention when I pick up things in shops because it wasn’t ordinary flour but wholemeal. Both cakes turned out well although with a bit more of a texture than they would normally have. Actually I think I like it more but I need an independent tester to check them out for me before I rewrite the recipe, any volunteers?

Posted January 20, 2013 by cukurbagli in Food, Gardening, Kas, Technology