DaleMugford.com http://www.dalemugford.com The web is a place inside our heads Mon, 11 Jan 2010 22:07:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 A Season With Fluorocarbon http://www.dalemugford.com/2010/a-season-with-fluorocarbon/ http://www.dalemugford.com/2010/a-season-with-fluorocarbon/#comments Fri, 08 Jan 2010 21:56:43 +0000 http://www.dalemugford.com/?p=5383 The Beginning

Big GameI’ve used mono line since I was kid. Originally that’s all there was. Mono’s got some good qualities to it and they’ve improved it a lot over the years. These days you can get mono in a variety of different tints (clear, green, and fluorescent tones which aim to match the way light is distributed in water to reduce visibility). It has a ton of stretch to it which certainly can help when fighting a fish. But it has many drawbacks, too— no matter how hard manufacturers try it is still quite visible, and if you’re using line over 8lbs in test you can bet fish in all but the muddiest water can see it if they’re wise.

Attention On Braid


In the past few years pro-fishing stars and magazines have brought a lot of attention to mono alternatives, particularly braided line. Braids typically have a fraction of the diameter of monofilament lines with zero stretch and unparalleled strength. You can easily find 30lb braid with the same diameter as that of a 6lb monofilament. The zero stretch of Braided line means hard hooksets… so much so that at closer ranges you have to lighten up because you’ll simply rip the hook right out of the fish’s mouth.

Braid is also very abrasion resistant which, for a Bass fisherman like myself, is extremely important— Bass are structure oriented fish and relate to rocks, logs, stumps, docks, pilings and other man-made and natural structure, which means fishing around things which can damage and ding-up line pretty bad. Knowing that your line can withstand being run up against these kinds of things gives extra-confidence to a fisherman to “go where where the big fish are”— those places seldom fished by others precisely because of the challenges they present.

So the pro-fishing world has taken Braid as a saviour and it has meant the difference between bringing in a lunker and breaking him off for many fishermen. Its one real drawback is its visibility- though it is lean compared to monofilament relative to its strength, Braided line can be easily seen underwater and most will agree that only in stained or muddy water and in some fishing situations like heavy weeds, etc., will it not spook and tip-off fish. But there’s also another alternative, one which is virtually invisible underwater and has also become increasingly popular: Fluorocarbon.

Fluorocarbon’s Fortitude


Fluorocarbon is clear in nature like monofilament, even more so. The clearest mono lines appear smokey when side by side with clear Fluorocarbon. Also unlike monofilament, 100% fluorocarbon line is nearly invisible to fish and this fact has catapulted premium Fluorocarbon line to the front of the pack when anglers are faced with a tough bite and clear water conditions. Fluorocarbon lines also offer less stretch than monofilament (but more than Braid) for more sensitivity and also offer great abrasion resistance compared to monofilament.

This year I used Fluorocarbon line exclusively, mostly in the 8lb and 10lb variety. I tried Halo, Berkley Vanish, Berkley Trilene, and a few others. I’ve mostly stuck with the Berkley lines, I find that they’re the most comfortable combination of smoothness in casting and strength. And using the drag on my reels is now a thing of the past— I can muscle and horse fish much more and feel very confident to just play a fish with the line that’s out in combination with giving my Rod (lowering it towards the fish when they pull away in the water).

In the entire year I’ve fished likely over 125 times, and have not once broke a fish Bass off due purely to line tension. In years past even when using the same lb-test lines and activating the drag system on my line in monofilament I broke fish off regularly. Despite playing fish very reasonably I often found good fish being lost due to monofilament line. This was troublesome for me not just because I lost quality fish and pricey tackle- but because those fish were now more vulnerable to injury and death, swimming off with hooks and lures in their mouth that had I caught them to be released they would certainly not.

Monofilament line also becomes brittle much faster than Fluorocarbon, due to its porous nature. Simply put, mono takes on water as you fish it and over time the wetting and drying of the line weakens it.

Though the cost of monofilament line is much less than that of Braided or Fluorocarbon lines, one could easily argue that the newer lines need to be replaced less often. If it weren’t for losing line occassionally from being hung-up on some kind of underwater structure or shoreline debris I could likely fish a whole season with one spool of Fluorocarbon line, which I would have never dared with monofilament.

Next Year

In conclusion I know for 100% certainty that I will continue to use the Fluorocarbon lines permanently. The new endeavour I’ll attempt next year is to use 6lb Fluorocarbon line on my spinning reels, which i haven’t tried. If you fish at all, even as a casual or occasional fisher, these ‘super’ lines are worth every penny for increasing your chances at reeling in a memorable time.

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Bumps and Bruises http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/bumps-and-bruises/ http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/bumps-and-bruises/#comments Thu, 29 Oct 2009 15:48:21 +0000 http://www.dalemugford.com/?p=5379 Just a short note to myself here: The corner of the bed is out to get you. It wants that fleshy part of your knee and your best bet is to avoid it at all costs. Someday, and sometime, it’ll get you again. Idle in the mind, it’ll creep up and nab ya. So be watchful, Dale, be cautious. Otherwise, wear a helmet and knees pads.

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Arment on Our Conditioned Attitude Towards Computers http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/arment-on-our-conditioned-attitude-towards-computers/ Thu, 22 Oct 2009 12:51:31 +0000 http://www.dalemugford.com/?p=5376 Marco Arment writes:

“Our industry has collectively taught average people over the last few decades that computers should be feared and are always a single misstep from breaking. We’ve trained them to expect the working state to be fragile and temporary, and experience from previous upgrades has convinced them that they shouldn’t mess with anything if it works.”

I Ain’t Got No Regrets http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/i-aint-got-no-regrets/ Thu, 22 Oct 2009 04:05:05 +0000 http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/i-aint-got-no-regrets/ Think you dont have regrets? One day you’ll wake up and realize there’ll come a day when you won’t. On that day you’ll be presented with your regrets. Hopefully that day leaves a few for you do something about them.

This Brings Out By Inner Superman http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/this-brings-out-by-inner-superman/ Thu, 07 May 2009 20:21:56 +0000 http://www.dalemugford.com/?p=5206  

Check out this demo reel of Levi Meeuwenberg doing some jaw-dropping “free running”. Free running is very similar to Parkour in the athleticism required and specific techniques and movements used, but while Parkour is about getting from one place to another in as efficient a manner as possible, free running is less directed and more creative in nature.

Wayne MacPhail Demos the PogoPlug http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/wayne-macphail-demos-the-pogoplug/ Fri, 01 May 2009 12:57:43 +0000 http://www.dalemugford.com/?p=5199 Hard Drive, Online – No Problem. “I demo the Pogoplug, a super easy way to get your hard drives online and accessible from anywhere, even on a iPhone. I ordered this online from the U.S. It arrived in two days. Worked perfectly right out of the box.”

A Favourite Quote http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/a-favourite-quote/ Wed, 29 Apr 2009 03:04:36 +0000 http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/a-favourite-quote/ “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.”
~ Gandhi

Twitter Is A Medium… http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/twitter-is-a-medium-for-conversation-not-just-broadcasting/ Tue, 28 Apr 2009 12:55:56 +0000 http://www.dalemugford.com/?p=5190 Duane’s written a fantastic piece on Twitter usage. “I gotta ask this quesiton — if these politicians can’t figure out Twitter, a simple service that facilitates easy interaction with the public, how on earth are they going to solve some of the larger problems, such as homelessness in the downtown eastside?”

Account File Sharing: DropBox vs. MobileMe http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/account-file-sharing-dropbox-vs-mobileme/ http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/account-file-sharing-dropbox-vs-mobileme/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2009 18:06:25 +0000 http://www.dalemugford.com/?p=5161 dropbox-mobileme

Recently Duane and I made a switch in how we handle files for BraveNewCode from MobileMe (20GB — $99/year) to DropBox (2GB free/50GB — $99/year) and this review explores the reasons why. There are pros and cons to each service, and as someone who discovered DropBox and praised the file sync heavens, I wanted to let others know just why we made the switch and what the various benefits and drawbacks are between the two services.

Available Services

At current I’m not that aware of other similar services, but chose to stick with MobileMe previously, and now DropBox because they offer sturdy Mac/Windows syncing. At current we only run Macs, but Duane and I use VMWare Fusion to work in Windows XP/Vista/Linux, and it’s nice to be able to sync working files into the installs through services like MobileMe and DropBox.


Originally we started with MobileMe, mostly for the syncing capabilities they offered us individually, so we purchased a $149 Family Pack and have enjoyed the effortless syncing of Safari bookmarks, calendars, contacts, and push e-mail services MobileMe offers. And we also figured out how to use the Shared folder feature of the iDisk component of MobileMe, and have used that to date to share files and folders over the web to our individual computers and each other.

The Problem

But syncing files in the Shared folder of an iDisk isn’t ideal, for several reasons:

Server Life
First, when you load the Shared folder of an iDisk, it’s always and permanently on the server— there’s no way to sync it down to your computer like the rest of the iDisk. This presents trouble when you’ve got files several tens of megabytes in size: you have to download them each and every time to your hard drive to open and work on them.

No Open/Save On The Server
Next, you can’t open files directly on the server, at least, not the files I tried to modify. So you can’t open a file on the server, modify it, and re-save to the server automatically. Instead you have to download it manually by dragging and dropping the file to your computer, open and modify it, and then re-upload it to the server.

The Whole File
Every time you do this the whole file is going to be downloaded and uploaded. Depending on your bandwidth this could mean considerable sync time. You can set an iDisk to automatically sync anytime a file is changed, and this is helpful, but it only works for files and folders which you can to sync to your local computer, not the Shared folder. Arduous, even ponderously long sync times are endured.

One At A Time, No Way Back
Because of this, you can’t expect to be working on the same file at the same time as someone you’re sharing the file with without problems.

This situation is difficult for a number of reasons, but most importantly if you are working on a file with someone else also doing the same accidentally and the wrong version is saved last, there’s no way to undo this and recover the previous file. Revision capabilities don’t exist with iDisk.

The Solution

DropBox, of course! With DropBox you can battle all the above limitations, and then some! Let’s use the same sub-header and look at the differences.

Server Life, No Open/Save On The Server, The Whole File
Files do live on the server with DropBox, but they also live on your computer(s), too. You can access them anywhere on the web by visiting your DropBox account and clicking through the easy navigation tree. When synced to your computer you can open, edit, save, re-save etc., just like any other file on your computer. Everyicon is given a nice little status icon in the corner of the original icon, so you can see whether the file is done (checkmark) syncing (circling arrows) or having trouble (an ‘x’).

Once you’ve synced a file, every update to it from now on will invoke a block-level update— an update whereby only the changed parts of a file are synced, not the whole file. This is a huge space saver, especially when I’m working with several-megabyte PSD files, to say the least. It also saves on bandwidth, freeing your connection up for less mundane tasks.

One At A Time, No Way Back
Nope, not with DropBox! When you re-save files you’re working on DropBox saves a revision history for you, allowing you to revert to a previous copy. We’vre already rescued one file using this capability, and certainly before we could have used it, but had to resort to manual backup strategies (I use ChronoSync on my Macs to sync certain folders elsewhere for backup protection on an scheduled basis).

We haven’t tested this directly, but you should be able to work on a file at the same time and save/re-save changes overtop of each other comfortably, knowing that each save is getting tagged for a revision and you can revert if need be.

But Wait, There’s More!

Not only can you do the above, but DropBox also has a couple other really neat features.

Make It Public
including a Public folder which enables you to drop files in and have each one automatically have a public URL associated with it that you can easily use to share in an e-mail or on a website, among other purposes.

There’s also a Pictures folder which allows you to easily drop pictures into it to create a web gallery (or folders of pictures, for different galleries). While I don’t reckon we’ll get much use out of this feature it’s a nice one to see and one that I think many folks will enjoy.


I hope I’ve painted a clear picture of just how incredible, easy to use, failsafe and powerful DropBox can be. I’m looking at getting family members setup with an account so we can easily and quickly share files over the web together.

Check it out today if you’re interested, and sign up for a free account. If you do so hitting that link in this post, You’ll get an extra 250MB of space in your free account, and I’ll get some extra space on my account too. There’s no ads, no trial, just simply a 2GB test account (plus the bonus 250MB) that you can use and try out. You can refer others and gain up to 3GB of extra free space as well.

I don’t think anyone could be disappointed by this service.

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Old Browsers: Do they still exist? http://www.dalemugford.com/2009/old-browsers-do-they-still-exist/ Fri, 24 Apr 2009 13:25:37 +0000 http://www.dalemugford.com/?p=5153 Snook asks whether we should care about older browsers when developing websites. A great read exploring the considerations we make when we design & develop in 2009.