The New Route Planner Forum

In case you’ve missed the announcements in the comments elsewhere, there’s a new forum dedicated to the Marengo GPS Route Planner. You can find it at

It’s the best place to post your rides, ask questions and find “how to” articles. Or at least it will be when we get more than three people signing up to it :-)

Price Cut!

A short post just to say that the price of an annual subscription to the Marengo GPS Route Planner site has been slashed from £12.99 down to just £4.99.

Route Planner 2.0 !

I’m pleased to announce the release of the new version of the Marengo GPS Route Planner.

It’s full of great new features, including:

  • Save and load routes to/from the central route database
  • Easy sharing of your route(s) with anyone
  • Import and export GPX files without copying and pasting
  • Geocoding (location searching) including most UK place names
  • Mouse wheel zoom in/out
  • A dedicated “zoom” window
  • Smart new 2.0 look
  • Better browser compatibility – tested on Firefox, Opera, Safari, IE6 and IE7.
  • No advertisements taking valuable map space

This version is kind of commercial: there’s a minimal PayPal donation required per annum for the ability to save routes on the Marengo servers. The first 30 days are free and without commitment. This gives you a chance to make sure that you think the new version is worth donating to!

You can get your login here:

If you want to continue using the free version, it’s not a problem – it’s not going away.

I’m announcing this release here first as a kind of limited beta – I’d appreciate feedback on any comments or problems you may have with this release.

Ubuntu “Feisty” Unmount Bug

The new version of the most popular Linux distribution – Ubuntu – is brilliant. However there is one small problem I’ve come up against which is an annoyance. I rely a lot on external USB hard disks – for instance three video projects of mine recently required 200Gb of storage – more than you can fit inside a laptop.

When it comes to unmounting (i.e. safely disconnecting) a drive, the latest version of Ubuntu (called “Feisty”) seems to have an issue. It simply tells me it “cannot eject volume”. If I go behind the scenes and issue a “sudo umount /dev/sdb1” it’s fine, but (a) it’s annoying and (b) regular users wouldn’t have a clue about this.

There appears to be an unofficial fix for this. If you have the same problem, try entering this in a terminal (all on one line):

sudo mv
/usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-storage-policy.fdi ~

Seems to work for me. I assume this will get fixed fairly quickly in an update.

Opera 9.2 Released

Hmmm… I wrote earlier to say that Opera 9.2 seems broken for Google Maps, and hence the Marengo Route Planner too.  However, playing around with the “encoding to assume for pages lacking specification” setting seems to have fixed it.  To be honest I can’t remember what the initial setting was, but I set it to “iso-8859-1” and stuff sprang into life.  The thing that gave me a clue about this was the fact that, when trying to find out what the problem was, all the Google javascript was coming up in Chinese…!  Odd.

Blog Spam

I get loads of spam on this site in the comments. Thankfully a marvellous WordPress plug-in called Akismet filters it all out, and all I have to do is check the quarantined stuff occasionally in case there’s been a false positive. So far it’s worked perfectly, with no false results.

I’ve noticed recently that some of the spammers, instead of putting meaningless crap in the comment body, have now started putting jokes instead. Which is nice, because it gives me a chuckle when I’m clearing them out. I thought I’d share a few with you…

Continue reading “Blog Spam”