A little diversion: Mezzo d9 folding bicycle

A little off topic this one, but hey why not. I just purchased a Mezzo D9 folding bicycle. List price £725, bought via eBay bid for just less than £400. It’s 5 years old (the spec hasn’t changed since then as far as I can tell) and is in excellent condition.

Although nothing to do with the Raspberry Pi (although I’m toying with the idea of somehow wiring in a counter to count the number of times I fold & unfold it) it is very similar to the Pi in one respect: a very well thought out and cleverly engineered machine. The folding mechanism uses self-locking clasps and quick release mechanisms throughout, meaning one doesn’t have to twist, twist and twist again some bolt or other during the folding process. Also the main cross bar is solid with no folding joins. This gives the bicycle a certain degree of rigidity I’ve not seen on other bikes. It rides well, albeit with a lowish top speed as it only has 9 gears with the ratio of each being quite close in each case.

And to top it off it has 16 inch wheels so Mr Railway is A-OK with the bicycle (First Great Western define a folding bicycle as having 18 inch wheels or less. Amusingly their T&C of carriage do not require that a folding bicycle actually... ahem... folds. They’re a bit fixated on how embiggenned your wheels are).

A couple of pics:
Mezzo D9Mezzo D9 folded

New book on Raspbmc

Sam Nazarko is great. Not only has he developed the incredibly impressive Raspbmc media centre for the Raspberry Pi based on XBMC, he is also now a published author. Raspberry Pi Media Center from Packt Publishing covers pretty much all you could want to know about setting up XBMC on the Raspberry Pi.

From the blurb on Packt Publishing’s website:

Discover how you can stream video, music, and photos straight to your TV
Play existing content from your computer or USB drive
Watch and record TV via satellite, cable, or terrestrial
Build your very own library that automatically includes detailed information and cover material

  • When I wrote the XBMC article for The MagPi I spent a fair while conversing over email with Sam to ensure I got the technical details right. He has a very thorough understanding of using the Raspberry Pi as a media centre. Hence kudos points and bragging rights are well deserved with the release of his book.
Hats off to Sam.