Sunday, 23 February 2014

IFET

I thought I blogged about this before but I looked through my blog and there is no mention of F.E.I.G.P.S.
I have been working on a little project lately. Well, maybe not so little. Towards the end of 2008 I was unemployed and living in an apartment in Galway. Life was boring and depressing because I was fairly isolated in that part of the country, being from Kerry and no relations living in Galway and very little interaction with people because of not having a job to go to. So I had to do something to keep my mind occupied when there was nothing to watch on tv during the long boring days when I just couldn't afford to go anywhere or do anything. One of the things I was passionate about at the time was Formula 1. I was worried that I would become disenchanted with the sport the way things were going and the fact that one of my favourite Grands Prix - Canada - had been dropped. It turned out that this worry was unnecessary at the time because slick tyres were coming back and Canada was only off the calendar for a year.
I got to thinking about if I was running my own formula, how I could make it compete with Formula 1 on a smaller budget and not to expect lap times to be as fast as F1 in my formula. I came up with an idea that I can best describe as being like a cross between Champ Cars and A1 Grand Prix. It would be an international racing series that would include a Grand Prix race at Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve, Il Notre Dame, Montreal. I also had it in mind to have one race in Ireland and to try and include classic tracks like Spa and Suzuka and possibly Mount Panorama if it could be made safe for single-seater slicks & wings racing. I would also include oval races to appeal to the American market, even though I'm not a big fan of oval racing. America's biggest racing series is NASCAR and if I wanted to attract those race fans I'd need to include the odd oval event because NASCAR is raced in all ovals bar 2 races..
Ireland were competing in A1 Grand Prix at the time. They would go on to be champions in 2009. A1 was a single driver and same car for all teams formula. I would have gone with this for my formula. Only my one would have the driver being the team leader so the team would be out of the championship if the driver was out. The driver builds up their team around them and the team is named after the driver. All drivers would run the exact same car/engines/tyres etc., and have the exact same number of personnel with the exact same job descriptions in their team. So the best driver and the driver with the best team to set the car up for the race would be the most competitive in what I would hope to be the most level playing field in motorsport. It would have been similar to pre-2007 Champ Cars in terms of the design of the car (except for the engine and an air scoop like F1 instead of just a roll hoop) and the fact that the drivers had to change gears using a lever in the cockpit rather than paddles behind the steering wheel. My view was that there would be more of a skill to racing if drivers had to clutch pedal and use a lever to change gears. It wouldn't be a "H" system like road cars though. It would be sequential - back for up, forward for down - with a button on the steering wheel for reverse if the car needed to get out of the way in a dangerous position.
The points system has slight variations for long, short and oval circuits and I won't go into it in detail here. But it is a system that would reward consistency and that I think fans of American racing points systems would approve of. Points for pole and fastest lap (except for ovals which only have points for pole) and generally 35 (originally 33) points for a win and every finisher gets points, was the system for Formula Eamon. I wrote the first rule "book" by hand on blank A4 paper in 2008 during those lean times in Galway. I called it the Formula Eamon International Grand Prix Series (FEIGPS). A few years later in 2012 in Waterford I tweaked and upgraded the rules and regulations and stored them on my computer with a word processor.
For 2014 I did a bit more research and headed more in the direction of  Formula 1. I decided to change from a 3.5 litre, normally aspirated engine to a 2 litre turbo engine married to a hybrid system. I considered going the same way as Toyota's WEC/le Mans car and keeping the 3.5 litre engine with the hybrid system. But ultimately I had a better idea (from my research) of what power and boost figures could be got from 2 litre turbo engines in single-seaters. I also decided to regulate fuel usage and boost output for the races in line with how the road car industry strives for more eco-friendly economical cars and the boost regulation to reward faster drivers for more natural speed. I also went with a paddle shift system for gear change so drivers could maintain 2-handed control of the steering wheel for safety at high speed. But I kept a clutch system that retains a bit of skill in the gear change and still rewards driver ability. I still based the car design on Champ Cars, but the current design is more like the old Champ Cars because it doesn't have the F1-style air scoop, but a roll hoop over the driver's helmet. The original update on the computer in Word was 27 pages. The new 2014 rules and regulations book is 32 pages and has a little bit more technical detail.
I also decided to change the name to a shorter one that would have more impact and to suit the new version of the formula. It still retains the "Formula Eamon" part of the name, but instead of Formula Eamon International Grand Prix Series, it's now called International Formula Eamon Turbo - IFET for short. It is also a better name because you can now pronounce the short version in 2 syllables instead of 7 letters: I-fet. I made one more tweak to the fuel regulations. Since originally writing this, I discovered that formula 1 regulates it's fuel in kilos because of something to do with different properties for the fuel in its liquid and gas states. So I decided to do the same. I must update the pdf copy during the week as well. 
So that's my fantasy motor racing series Formula Eamon.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

A Make Over?

Ok, I'll be very brief with this one. I'm thinking of giving my blog a make over. Changing the colour scheme to something brighter perhaps. Or maybe keep this the way it is and set up a new blog for specific types of topics. Although, now that I think of it, I don't always post here with any degree of regularity so maybe keeping 2 blogs on the go would be a bit of a chore if not a waste of time.
No, I won't set up a new blog. I don't like that idea now that I've thought about it. I'll experiment with a new layout and colour scheme for this one though.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Lost Contacts

I got a text from a friend last night. I had a fair idea who it was because of the nature of the text, but his name didn't come up with the text just his number in the form of +35387... So I assumed he must have got a new number. I wanted to text someone else today and noticed that all the texts in my inbox bar those from one contact, had only numbers and no name up. The one number I would have known without the name was the one that happened to have the name with it. Anyway, for some unknown reason all my contacts were lost. I went into the contacts app and tapped on a few letters to no avail. I read the texts in the inbox and could tell who they were from because they were all family except for the guy I mentioned at the start. I went to the gmail app, thinking I could recover them from there because my contacts are supposed to be backed up to google. The problem is I can't access a contacts folder in the android gmail app. It was lucky I had my old Nokia E5 stashed in a drawer in the bedroom. I was able to get the numbers off of that, including where I'm doing my internship and my doctor's number. When I finished that sentence I double checked my phone to ensure the contacts are still on it. They are... whew!
A couple of things could have caused it. The first is that it could have happened when I stopped apps and fiddled with settings and moved data to the sd card to clear phone memory - although there is plenty space in the phone's internal memory even without the sd. Maybe it hid my contacts in a way that I don't know how to recover. But I did a thorough search of all the sd card folders and nothing showed up. The other thing, that I think is the more likely of the two, has to do with the twitter app. I downloaded it a few days ago. Whatever it is about the phone software, facebook and twitter have some sort of sync going on with twitter for xperia and facebook for xperia. I just thought of a third probable cause but I'll get to that soon. Back to the twitter issue. When I login to twitter there is a sync contacts on twitter for xperia. I tapped the 'agree' button, thinking it wouldn't do anything. I didn't register my gmail when I opened my current twitter account. So it tried to sync my other email that I use for applying for jobs and registered for online banking and getting electricity bills by email and business like that. None of my contacts are saved there. So maybe twitter for xperia synched my contacts app with twitter and my other email and lost my existing contacts in the process. That's what I think was the most likely cause. I also remembered, as I was writing this, that I recently set up the socialife app to sync with my twitter and facebook so that I could view both feeds at the same time and share news, sport and entertainment stories. Maybe that caused it. I doubt it though because I registered with sony using my gmail.
My contacts are back on my phone now. But I'll be disallowing that sync option when I login to twitter on the android app from now on. I may even delete the app altogether if it gives anymore trouble. You need to be careful what you allow the apps on your phone to do.