Monday, April 19, 2004

This week's topics: DIY & gardening. This is the time of year when people think about doing up thier home and garden. Here are some sites to try and help them from turning it into a disaster!
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew have all their information and pictures of their specemins online. You can also buy seeds, cuttings etc online.
A gardening site for people with disabilities and the elderly. Full of advice and tips on how to keep gardening even if you have limited mobility.
Advice on DIY and gardening, plus a weekly email newsletter
This DIY site has a lot of content to help you get started. Best of all, it also has forums where you can ask questions and discuss projects with others. Free registration.

A cool online tool that lets you build a blueprint for your garden, rearrange the positioning of plats, chairs etc, then print it out.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Topic: Outdoor activities for the spring
The official minimarathon website; it has full details on entering and pictures from previous years but it also has an online training programme to get you ready fro the event.
The DTO are trying to get people to walk and cycle around Dublin rather than driving. You put your starting point and destination into this site and they show you a map of yuor route, how long it will take on foot (or by bike) and how many calories you'll burn.
The water's beginning to warm up a bit and people are staring to think about watersports like swimming, surfing and diving. This site lists the EU Blue Flag approved beaches (73 of them).

Calorie calculator
A lot of people are taking up new activities to get fit and trim for summer. This site lets you see how many calories you'll burn for everything from office work to whitewater rafting; some of the results are suprising. For example, you burn more calories looking after children than lifting weights!
Finally, a really odd outdoor activity that could only have evelvoed on the Internet: Geocaching is played by people with GPS receivers, the devices that use satellites to tell you the exact co-ordinates of where you're standing. Someone hides (or "caches") a box someone up a hill and posts the co-ordinates on the internet. Other people try and find it. Surprisingly popular -- there are over 170 hidden things around Ireland!

Monday, April 05, 2004

The topic of the day is motoring sites, especially related to buying a car.
The original motor website for Ireland. This site has been running for 5 years now and is run for the dealers. They have details of most new & used cars for sale by dealers.
This is more a "person-to-person" website. It's the sister website to the paper Car Buyer's Guide (you can place your ad in either version). Also have info on valeting, insurance etc. They can also email you alerts when cars come up for sale.
Breakdown cover might be a good idea if you're buying an old car... the AA site also has details of their AutoCheck service where they can inspect a car for you before you buy it and give you a full report. The site also has a decent route planner for driving around the country.
You can now pay your omotor tax online on this site... save yourself some hassle!
Carpooling (or ride-sharing) hasn't yet caught on in Ireland, but here's a site that aims to change that. You register the details of your daily commute and the site helps match you up with others who you can share the drive with. Save money and it's environmentally friendly!
We covered this site briefly last month but it's always topical! Track the best (and worst) petrol and diesel prices on this site. You can also report the prices that you see.