Search found 52 matches

by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 5:40pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?
Replies: 52
Views: 3831

Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Telecaster68 wrote:I'm getting back into cycling to commute (urban, about 25 minutes) to work on a Decathlon hybrid, plus some weekend canalpath/railway line excursions. A friend has been moderately insistent I get toe clips because of the - alleged - pull-up, so I just spent an unbelievably frustrating 30 minutes attaching a cheap pair from Halfords, only to find I really don't like them. At all.

The weight of the clip makes the pedal swivel round so it's underneath any time I take my foot of the pedal (at lights, for example). Flipping the pedal round to get my right foot back in the clip is mildly annoying but I expect I'd get used to it. But then it seems that as I ride off, mostly, in my case, in rush hour traffic, I apparently have to flip the left pedal round, catch it with my foot, and slot my foot in, as I change up through the gears and attempt not to get cut up and find a reasonably assertively safe road position. I doubt I'll live long enough to get the hang of this before I end up under a bus.

And for my purposes - a fairly short city commute, with no massive hills - I really don't buy this 'pull up' thing. I'd have to be pulling up with more significant force than these clips look like they'd take, before it would make any difference to anything.

Also, having my feet attached to the pedals just feels unsafe. My feet (in perfectly normal trainers) just don't slip off the pedals, but if I did veer or wobble, getting my feet out of the clips would take a few fractions of a second which might make all the difference, or might just mean I twist my ankle. It's a solution to a non existent problem, for me.

Am I missing something, or am I just the wrong use case for toe clips?

I use toe clips: I always have (from when I first got them). In traffic I only use one toeclip and have the other foot free, but on a long clear strech can use my foot to flip it upwards and put my foot into it. I also like to have stiff soled trainers generally if not using touring shoes: I recently got cycling shoes for longer jaunts/not errands,but put the wee insert cleat cover in - harder to get stiff soled trainers.

I have never tried cleat/clipless but am not the most coordiinated (I can manage bicycles and toeclips) so do not want to change - the muscle memory of toe clip use came back quickly after a long perid not cycling. They kind of scare me as you don't have that option of not using them (as you do with toe clips, if you do nto flip them up.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 5:31pm
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: Vango or Vaude
Replies: 33
Views: 2592

Re: Vango or Vaude

pjclinch wrote:
Caledonia64 wrote:Finding where I can see them pitched might be a bigger challenge than you might think. The only local retailer is Cotswolds who do not have them pitched (Tisos does not carry them). I also am restricted in purchasing them to a place that accepts the grant "pay card" I shall get.

If Cotswold have them they'll probably pitch them. Outdoor shops usually have Velcro tags that clip on to pegging loops so they can put tents up on carpet. Ask: that's the real point of a bricks-and-mortar shop.

Otherwise buy them both, pitch them with on a plastic sheet with a borrowed set of pegs, crawl around and pick the one you like the most, send back the second and get a refund for it.

Doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks: if there was an established objectively Best Tent at any given price point nobody would buy anything else. Tents are compromises and all set the compromise points in different places so your opinion is the one that matters the most.


I extrapolate from this that the Outdoor Shops in Dundee might be a better place to look than the ones in Aberdeen..... Off to google.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 5:25pm
Forum: Family Cycling
Topic: Help me! Complete novice who needs to travel with toddler.
Replies: 46
Views: 6675

Re: Help me! Complete novice who needs to travel with toddler.

skyhawk wrote:
rsian wrote:Hi. I’ve been reading all sorts, but now require some help!

I’m going to have to start transporting my daughter on a bike from September, she will be three. I don’t think she will do the walk from the nursery we hope she will get in (about 1.5 miles either way), and I don’t drive. The journey is along main roads. I’ll be commuting a little bit further, but not much and I’ll need to take some stuff with me too. When I have her it’ll be impossible for me to take all the stuff I need, but on the days I don’t I’ll have a laptop, ringbinder, marking and more. I take a suitcase currently to cart it all around.

I’ve also been on a bike about once in the past five years, so I want to get things sorted and used to cycling over summer.

I had thought about a cargo bike, but there’s no cycle paths and my husband doesn’t think that’s a great idea. I’ve alway liked the style of the Pendleton Somerby (for all the cycling I do :lol: ), but I’m not convinced that’s the best choice.

So, basically I’m clueless. I need suggestions on a bike for me and a child seat for a three year old. Any help would be amazing!

As a single father of three sons(all their lives) just my word of caution, as a driver like most of us are, i would personally never have a youngster on a bike on the main road especially one of those LOW follow me things, just think how invisible to morons recumbent bikes are.

You may be the most amazing caring cyclist, but it only takes a moment for a life of regret, and you say you are a novice, enough to concentrate on and learn without a precious life on the back, sorry.

Curious if by one of these low things you mean a tag-along trailer bike, or a child trailer pod attached to the bike?
It is usually possible to avoid main roads even if you take a longer route or, if the pavements are at all wide/little used, I have never found the Police or even pedestrians object to a slowly riding cyclist with a child trailer on the pavement, esp. at rush hour/dark nights.
My only issue (bar one not that close motorist incident in a throughway where no motorist should have been) was chicane gates and trysting gates, and on National Cycle Routes or Local Authority Cycle Ways.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 5:09pm
Forum: Family Cycling
Topic: Help me! Complete novice who needs to travel with toddler.
Replies: 46
Views: 6675

Re: Help me! Complete novice who needs to travel with toddler.

Late to the party I know: I found the seats be they rear or cross bar very difficult to manage and not very stable.

We had a number of child trailers (second hand the first two, very second hand both that eventually fell apart admittedly in one instance when I tried off roading with it), however the third (a Ridgeback? Avenir?) outlasted the child's ability to fit in it/towing weight (till he was 5/6 but the size of a 7/8 year old). Not one of the expensive Burleigh/Croozer. There is a Belgian site with a huge range of trailers: fiestkarren ... ke-trailer < I was looking for dog trailers.

A trailer will not tip ordinarily (even if you spill/fall) and the hitch is simple. It is a more stable way to carry a load than a bike seat (and the child wiggling is less impactful than on a seat on the rear rack, which also makes it hard to carry anything in panniers, or even a backpack); the centre of gravity is lower plus you can put all the child-paraphanelia in the luggage area of the trailer (or 20 L of soya milk though you may as I did struggle to tow that weight home with the child as well, but also shopping, is the poiint).
You can have the panniers on the rear rack to take with.

I have to say in all but one incident (where there should have been no motorised vehicle at all and it was a 17 year old bouliie basher to boot, and it was me that came off braking suddenly, so that was ok), and my toppling off the bike as I had not anticipated a new bollard/chicane gate on a usual cycle path (trailer stayed upright; I think I complained and the gate was removed). I had no incidents with a child trailer felt perfectly safe wiith my child in tow. Cars gave wide berth and Police did not sanction the use of (3m) wide pavements or wheeling it over a crossing at tricky roundabout, which I only did sometimes/if it was dark. The trailer had as many lights as the bike, and the flag too had LEDs.

There were the annoyances of the trysting gates on the cycle path (a Natiional Route I think) on LochLOmondside/Dumbarton Castle and again en route from Stirling to the Falkirk Wheel, plus the trailer getting bogged down in the mud generated by a field full of cows again on a National Cycle Route that ran through the middle of the field near Loch Lomond: my son still remembers the cows kinda surrounding us (there was a trysting gate there to boot). But these are not your average cycle trailer use and not perilous.

Our Nursery let us park the trailer at the front (there were steps up so I was not taking it up to leave with the -sometimes folded - pushcairs, plus it was not nearly as foldable as they were), locked to the gate with a cable/Ulock left there permanently (and for which the nursery had a spare key). At home (also steps up to my front door, and no side entrances to garden: straight through the front door), I left the trailer similarly at the front gate with similar semi-permanent locks (to avoid transporting them everywhere - just a light one for use out and about when the trailer was attached to the bike anyway). I latterly left the bike at the front of the house too, as I eventually had another in the hall in the house, and two in the shed (through the hall/kitchen). It kinda did for the bike even with a cover as it was a coastal-ish location too (plus it it had another two years of being outside recently near the harbouR), having said which the bike does still function 16 years on even if with a nasty sound from the bottom brackets and a random surprise number of working gears, usually about 8, rather than the supposed 21. I had a cover for the trailers too. They survived well enough too.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 4:41pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Ortlieb or not; and what size?
Replies: 21
Views: 1582

Re: Ortlieb or not; and what size?

Oldjohnw wrote:I recently purchased an Ortlieb 35L dry bag to take all the stuff that gets strapped to the top of the rear rack such as tent, chair, sleep mat. About to use it tomorrow for the first time as I spend 4 days in the Yorkshire Wolds.

Give me the review when you get back.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 4:40pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: 4 train Q: Eurostar LNER
Replies: 6
Views: 604

4 train Q: Eurostar LNER

1) Eurostar: EUrostar say no knives in the compartments/carriages: they have to go with Eurodispatch. Can I just ducktape or similar my wee camping knife (with integral potato peeler) to the rack /sneak into saddle toolbag, or should I just wait and buy a new sharp paring knife in Belgium? (DO they mean compact paring knives as part of regular camping equipment anyway, or muckle great hunting/fishing knives?)
I have had no success contacting them to ask - it is obviously not on the script of questions they are expecting to be asked.

2) Eurostar: I have a wee bike blanket thing (protective) - if my bike is travelling fully assembled will I be able to put this over the bike when it gets on the train at London/Brussels (it can go with my son to Holland while I cycle round Belgium and come back for the return journey)? Also do fully assembled bikes on Eurostar require the removal of panniers?

3) LNER: we board the train to London at Stonehaven. The bikes on these trains go "old school" in a guards/bike compartment. The LNER trains do not fit fully along the platform length at Stonehaven and the bike carriage (last into Stonehaven) is off the platform. The staff assure me that as long as they have the paperwork (each way - it is not so relevant coming home as they will know the bike is on the train), the driver will pull the train forward so the first carriage is beyond the platform but the rearmost bike carriage (A/B) is accessible from the platform. How dependable are they with this? I do not want to have to career up and down the length of the platform trying to get to coach F to put it in the disabled space only to have to wheech it off at Montrose and run back up the platform to the other end to put the bike in the bike carriage?
(I fully intend to be there 15 mins ahead of time to inform any available early morning station staff that there is a bike to go on the train in the bike compartment so they can ensure the driver is aware; I just do not trust the trains nowadays).

4) I am presuming if only so it can be lifted (?by me) on to the carriage...step up I think not smooth platform level entrance... I will have to remover the panniers and rack bag for the LNER train.

5) Can you still get platfrom tickets for LNER trains at Kings X? For Eurostar at St Pancras? Have a friend meeting us in the change over who could help.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 4:24pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Bag for panniers
Replies: 24
Views: 1646

Re: Bag for panniers

I have never removed panniers from a bike while touring (except for overnights) and they have always been fine. I did not use to remove panniers from my bike around the city (Aberdeen, when I lived there) unless I needed the contents or to fill them with shopping. Only once did I have an empty Karrimor pannier removed. I can't remember if it was an old green random single barely waterproofed/bashed up pannier, or a newer single one, which was pointless of the thief unless s/he had the components of that complicated fastening deviice Karrimor had latterly: I think it was the latter, the newer one as I recall I had one Basil basket and one pannier for runaround trips for a while),
I think after that I had two small kryptonite (whatever) cables wiith a loop at each end to attach the panniers to the rack and through which thread the cable lock proper (attached to lamp post or cycle stand). I don't use them where I live now.

For town in the later years of cycling in Aberdeen and since I moved here/started cycling again, for out and about my daily business i use Basil baskets (no fancy attachments, the weight of the contents keeps them unflapping): handy for shopping as you can fill them up as you go round to prevent over-loading then repack with a £1 fold up bag if necessary, or the allotment as the dirt is sieved out. I have cargo nets for the rack basket, and waterproof "shower cap" type covers for the baskets (which retains potential runaway cauliflowers if you fill the baskets to the limit).

No one wants to steal Basil baskets. However when I go to Belgium touring (given I will be in big cities at some point, though usually that will be daytrips with just the courier bag strapped to the rack, inside a plastic/dry bag to contain straps) I shall take the loopy extension cables. Ortliieb and Vaude I believe each have their own accessories that serve the same function plus you can get zip padlocks for zipped panniers.

As I said I do not imagine removing the panniers while touring and on short stops: maybe secure them and remove just the courier bag (if I take it over a backpack) and the bar bag plus eg any specific valuables. No one wants to nick three pairs of Endura cycling socks, a pair of Rocket Dog canvas sneakers and 3 M&S Active Sports Tops. Maybe I would be more precious with the Trangia/a Tent/a good Sleeping bag at the top of the pack.

What Ortlieb do have (I have not tried it nor am I intending to buy it) is the backpack adapter for their panniers. Other brands (and Ortlieb) have coverta-panniers or converta-dry sacks that become backpacks: though how successfully/functionally it straddles both uses I do not know. Usually the shoulder straps on better brands of panniers are usable: my old Altura front panniers (now used for day trips as rear panniers) have shoulder-padded straps, and the Ortlieb panniers have straps. When I once flew with a bike packed the flattened panniers into a backpack with the rain cover secured. And a duffle bag with a tent. This might not have been your average bike on a plane scenario as this was from Spain in 1986 when I had 100 kg in boxes of books and it happens not just a £1000 in £10 notes in smuggled out currency/savings, but was on crutches a broken ankle (from an accident at a canoe regatta).
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 3:53pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: YHA Infomation and updates
Replies: 92
Views: 15292

Re: YHA Infomation and updates

I just signed my son up for his first SHYA adult membership (ie not junior "lifetime"), and got a leaflet etc through the post which said that contacting the hostel direct secures a much better price (on any of the various type of accom) than does booking through eg Hostel International or the SHYA website directly (and this backs up what I have found in the past - but usually because under 16 child and different sex of parent I could not book online for hostels in this country.

Interestingly I was also noticing that the Spanish HI on the Camino de Santiago seem to have a "contact directly/can't book in advance online" policy possibly in order to accomodate pilgrims or other camino-ers whose daily mileage may vary, leaving them needing on the spot accom.

I also worked out that, if you buy outdoor gear (and even in my most inactive years our winter clothing was walking boots, and Peter Storm hats/gloves etc, and serviceable outdoor gear waterproofs...frequent purchases for the growing child, less frequent - apart gloves - for the mother) the annual SHYA membership with its % discounts at Blacks, Cotswolds etc almost makes the annual membership worthwhile.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 3:41pm
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?
Replies: 72
Views: 5314

Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Vorpal wrote:
I also have a Carradice cape that does the best job of dry & ventilated (and it's warmer than you might think!) but it's 820 grams and doesn't exactly pack small, so I mostly use it for utility cycling about town, and for walking when I have something like a rucksack to keep dry underneath it.

Never managed to get Capes to work in Aberdeenshire, even in the town.

I have a Vaude Air Jacket III in pistachio or some such, I got for £40 (male xxxl which is fine around the chest but not cut for a woman round the hips still it fits).

It iis waterproof but not sure yet how breathable.

I have a breathable walking jacket (Berghaus - canna mind the model) in bright red so not really visible: it has needed reproofed after 3 years. But is bombproof though obviously not a cycling jacket in cut.
I gave a way an Altura jacket that being a male sizing (for the chest) did not ever quite fit riight and wasn't much used (I gave it away when not cycling at all really). So I have bought for my big trip and the autumn a Vaude Lierne Jacket in Pear (bright green) but women's specific in the very rare size I need (it is hard to get sizes for average/larger women). It was 1/4 of usual price on Amazon beiing an older version. The sizing was the deciding factor along with the reliiability of the brand name.

The best visible one was one I bought in a hypermarket in Normandy in France in the 80s... breathable too and packable: my friends called me a walking migraiine with iit on. It lost its proofing after about 20 years even trying with Graingers to reproof again.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 3:30pm
Forum: Bikes & Bits – Technical section
Topic: How Old is Your Trangia ..
Replies: 46
Views: 2568

Re: How Old is Your Trangia ..

Early 90s I think.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 3:20pm
Forum: Cycle Camping sub-forum
Topic: Vango or Vaude
Replies: 33
Views: 2592

Re: Vango or Vaude

Finding where I can see them pitched might be a bigger challenge than you might think. The only local retailer is Cotswolds who do not have them pitched (Tisos does not carry them). I also am restricted in purchasing them to a place that accepts the grant "pay card" I shall get.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 3:17pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park
Replies: 7
Views: 833

Re: Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park

Cunobelin wrote:I have spent a number of years following the Northern Lights, and have been successful (even if only a poor show om occasion)

However what I was told from. the start is that you do not make these things the main focus.

I have a bad track record with the Northern Lights and other such things locally, though I have seen them several times randomly.

Accept that the weather may be cloudy all week, part of the week or none of the week then plane things that you can enjoy and make the holiday worthwhile even if you do not get the weather you need.

Oh I know that. I guess I am saying that I would not plan to go star gazing in Scotland between the end of April and the end of September given how late it stays light (though Galloway is much further south than 56.9ºN). But equally camping between the end of November and March in remote areas of Scotland are things to be thought through and not (maybe) foisted on a not very outdoorsy, sensory-issues son who has not camped much since he outgrew the child traiiler, apart this past summer with chums (his first wild camping which I think he maybe enjoyed less than he pretended to).

Obv. if he is with me (and/or the dogs), I won't be shifting the same distance, over a long weekend (or any time unit) inasmuch as getting from point to point (Glen Trool to Clatteringbridge/shaws to Loch Doon) as he does not cycle (and with the dogs I would have a trailer even if they were on there are other rabbit factors to consider there).

I am realising that if on foot (walking) it would probably be a one/two stop thing: the observatory and Loch Doon plus (maybe) walking in further to wiild camp but not necessarily one of the other aforementioned locations. But more limited. In terms of the observatory, I have a dog-walking/sitting friend who lives down there who would accomodate the dogs for short outings/experiences.

I think Galloway Forest Park is too far away from home (not just miles/accessiibility/logistics) to go off on my newly rediscovered own and leave my son home alone. Apparently there is a Dark Skies Park closer to hand in GlenLivet/Tomintoul but that is possibly even more challenging to get to by self-propulsion and/or locomotives or by bus. Plus the ideal months factor.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 3:02pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day
Replies: 61
Views: 3613

Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

freiston wrote:
Vorpal wrote:If the OP were planning to do nature or sports photography where having a good optical zoom is critical, he likely wouldn't even be posing the question. For most other applications, a good sensor, sufficiently high camera pixel density, and decent camera software, it is unlikely to make that much difference.

Digital zoom on my old Nokia with the 41 mp sensor was better in some circumstances than optical zoom and an 8 mp Canon.
By high camera pixel density, I can only presume you mean sensor pixel density - which typically means lower image quality - higher pixel density means smaller pixels which means less light per pixel - this is why bigger sensors give better quality images (other factors such as optics/lenses aside).

millimole wrote:By the time you've bought a couple of 1980s top/mid range cameras (at around £30-50 each) and factored in films, processing and scanning to email you've got a lot of money left over.
The last time I used a film SLR, I shot 6 rolls of 36 exposure 35mm film. Even with Jessops low prices, the cost was a considerable chunk of the cost of an entry level DSLR. At the time, even though I had a digital compact camera, the cost of the film, developing and printing caused me to give film up and go DSLR. Admittedly, I wasn't taking the odd shot on a cycle tour (I was taking airshow photographs), but it was obvious that a DSLR would be cheaper than a 35mm SLR in a very short time.
Wanlock Dod wrote:A competent photographer can get great results with a good phone (better than a novice with a good quality camera)
Although I agree with this sentiment, a competent photographer will recognise the limitations of the equipment and will accept that the equipment dictates the shot he or she takes. If a particular shot is the goal, then the competent photographer will ensure they have the right equipment or they will move the goalposts to suit the equipment they have. They would not attempt some shots with a phone camera that they would with a DSLR.

Many of my serious photos (though I have not taken many in a good long while) are black and white: portraits, odd items in interesting closeups, street photo and some buildings, though I would take landscape shots in colour (or sunsets etc) but printing out would be black and white. This is why I abandoned film: because it became impossible (costly/long time duration) to print B&W (and I don't have the space or the tolerance of chemicals to develop myself, nor the equipment: I did work experience on a newspaper/worked on student paper and remember stinking of the chems. for developing).

For my holiidays/cycle touring, it would generally be holiday snaps/memories with the odd captivating street shot or still life of something interesting. I settled on a second hand "excellent" (low shutter count) Olympus OM D E-M 5 for just over £150 and £50 "mint" 14mm-42mm lens, which gives me options for additonal affordable used lens without them being £300 odd things as my Nikon lenses are. I do want to find a means to transport safely my Nikon D7000 and (telephoto and other) lens, in various combos, to local points of interest on a bike (no other vehicle) and without the weight of the camera and accessories in the barbag affecting the handlebar as in making it more skittish to steeer. I may get used to it again, of course. If it is shorter local trips (once I get back up to speed/adeptness) I may resort to a DSLR bumbag or active sport backpack... panniers would be a risk with the bike getting blown over if standing still.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 2:50pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day
Replies: 61
Views: 3613

Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Tangled Metal wrote:It also depends on whether you need the top quality photographs. What do you do with your images? Are you a photographer out for the best image possible for printing out? Or are you a snapper out for a memory jogger of a holiday or activity? Or any stage in between?

Answer that and the tool to get those images become easier to decide on.

Whilst I look at the fancy cameras in the shop and might want them I realise that a £3k dslr won't have most of its functionality used. I always look for a camera and think that's a good choice. Then I notice the one next to it, it has more functionality and better reviews. It's only £40 more with cashback. Hmmmm! That's a good deal. But that one along the shelf has WiFi / nfc / BT connectivity, a fast lens and even better for just a little bit more. £50 more isn't much. Before long I'm looking at a very expensive camera (to me). So I think I'll think about it and in the meantime I'm using my old honor 8 and get images good enough for our use. We can see decent images on the screen, which is how we often share the photographs.

It's not the best images I'm sure but who cares if it jogs our memories when we look at them. It serves my purpose. However if you tell me there's a £150-200 camera that's so much better I'll think about it.

I think i am both but on the bike on holiday a holiday snapper: I am not going to get the most stunning shot ever of Bruges bell tower - that can be bought as a postcard or some such. At home and out and about locally (or without a bike) maybe it isi the quality/street photos/wild life. And these would be printed.
by Caledonia64
12 Sep 2019, 2:46pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day
Replies: 61
Views: 3613

Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

mercalia wrote:on a related matter how many people here actually print their pictures or just view them on a pc screen, as I do? My pc screens are just 1920x1080 ( for blu rays) - thats just 2 mega pixels I think? My phones have 5 & 8 mega pixel sensors that are way beyond the screen display, You often see in reviews blow up of tiny sections from your 30 mega pixel sensor - may make sense in a review but unless you are a spy or cop makes no sense? I have a simple Kodak 5 mp camera I take on my bike gives good pictures, uses AA batteries and has an zoomable optical viewfinder, fits in the palm of your hand

I print portrait photos of my son or some black and white shots that are (if I ever put the up) designated to line the staircase. Other shots I tend to have on a screen saver on the Desktop (we have no TV) or did till I came home and found my son had moved the Desktop ("his" computer) up to his room for his birthday party last year. It has not ever managed to be brought down again .... a pity for the photo reason and for the music/iTunes that was wired up via a sound card to the old, old hi fi/amp. I have improvised and discovered his "cheap" laptop actually while useless for photos or photo editing (horrible blue-spotty non glare screen) has a B&O sound card itself... but that does not solve the photo display issue. I may get a digial photo frame, though it is not a priority and I do not really want to.