The REAL Pigeon's Nest. Pigeon lives here. This is my nest, full of pigeony and computery stuff, plus random assorted crap... pleasures and wonders beyond anything you have ever imagined. Possibly.
Contact me
Part of the cover design of River of Dreams Pigeon's Nest
The Website of the Wild Celtic/Viking Space Pigeon
Rally Volvo Amazon drifting on dirt

Hi. I'm Pigeon, welcome to my nest. Beware of imitations. Ignore any other websites named "Pigeon's Nest", which are nothing to do with me. I am the real Pigeon, and this is the site you were looking for. Scroll down, click some links and prepare for delights beyond your wildest dreams...

Pigeons - Automotive - Photos - Computers - Engineering - Odds and sods - Rants and Burblings - Howard's Stuff - External links

Peculiar Pages - Authenticity - Contact me

Keep scrolling... This page is several screens long :-)

Quantum weirdness, symbolised by the "Ring of Changes" atom with the hitherto 
undiscovered "butterfly" nucleon Barclay James Harvest logo and a pigeon MZ TS250/1 motorbike facing to the right Animation of uniflow-scavenged two-stroke engine Volvo 164 from the front Debian GNU/Linux and Lister-Petter logos Large amounts of energy being released with enthusiasm and alacrity

(It may be old news. It may not even be true, but that doesn't matter; the point is that they said it. And it is still the funniest thing in politics since basically forever, and given the frantically depressing state of British politics since 1979 at least and the escalation in recent years to a condition meriting only utter despair, we desperately need at least one laugh even if that's all we ever get.)

This website does not have fancy layout, background images/music, multi-coloured text, Comic Sans font, frames, pop-ups, or flash, and has very little javascript which in any case does only non-essential things. It's just like a really whole-earth acoustic website, just, like, voice and guitar. Er, I mean it's just a minimal no-frills website. There's no pretty-pretty crap on it, it just presents the information in an unadorned fashion, in clear straightforward easy-to-read black text on a white background. Linux users often produce such minimalist websites, because we don't see the point in cluttering up the page and wasting bandwidth on decorative bullshit. (The little pictures above are not purely decorative, they each serve an important function and have been selected with great (if not apparent) care. And while there is music on the site, you only get it if you click on a link to a music file - ie. if you deliberately decide that you want it.)

I do admit that it could be a bit better organised though. Somehow I always seem to have something else to do rather than tidying it up... :-)

This website is not optimised for any particular browser. It's just standard HTML. Any browser should be able to cope with it.
Nor is it "optimised for mobile". It is up to the small number of mobile manufacturers to make their things work properly with what is there already; it is NOT for the millions of people who run websites to jump through hoops to work around the manufacturers' shit. Also, if anyone is dumb enough to try and read websites through a screen the size of a fucking postage stamp it's their own silly fault if they find it difficult: of course it bloody is, if you want it not to be then use something with a normal size bloody screen.
And it does not support HTTPS. Because there is no fucking point. This isn't a fucking bank or something. If your browser is whining at you about this site being "insecure" then just turn the stupid warning off; there isn't anything on this site to be "secure", and the warning is simply irrelevant bollocks.

Pigeony stuff
Pigeon's nest webcam. The hardware fault on the computer that runs the webcam has now been fixed (by replacing the computer), so this is now working again.
Hourly snapshots from the webcam over the past 24 hours.
Intergalactic Federation of Space Pigeons Ensuring the welfare of pigeons throughout the whole of known space.
Pigeon Impossible Absolutely superb animation (requires flash). Definitely recommended.
Some photos of my pigeons.
Pictures posted to over the past week. This page is generated automatically from current content on the mailing list so its contents are unpredictable and may sometimes be null. It is provided as a service to fprc posters, many of whom seem to have difficulty in viewing images that other people post to the list.
Diflucan (anti-fungal, good for pigeons) Info is about the human uses of diflucan though; dose for pigeons is 5-15mg/kg every 12-48 hours depending on what they've got. AFAIK it is available over the counter without need for a prescription.
The Pigeonator awaits those who do not heed the admonition to be kind to pigeons.
Injured pigeons - contact me and I will do my best to help/advise.
See also external pigeon links.

Automotive - Motorcycles and cars
The MZ Page A collection of information about two-stroke MZ motorcycles.
LED lighting system for 6 volt motorcycles
Optical ignition trigger, a more reliable replacement for the mechanical contact breaker
Electronic thermostat for electric fan, as fitted to my Volvo 164
Converting a Volvo Amazon or 1800 from dynamo to alternator. The wiring of such a conversion need hold no terrors.

Photo album Mostly landscape, cars and bikes.

Computery stuff
The sarge page: Miscellaneous problems and their solutions with Debian sarge. Includes a section on problems encountered when dist-upgrading Debian woody to sarge.
ClockProg for SiS6326 graphics card and SVGATextMode
Conexant ADSL PCI modem driver for Debian - not a pukka .deb, but a hack of the RedHat driver tarball. I first tried it with Debian woody (with backports) and kernel 2.4.24, then later dist-upgraded to sarge. YMMV on other combinations.
Setting up Debian woody to boot a root filesystem on LVM. This is what I did. Recipes for LVM1 / 2.4.x kernels and LVM2 / 2.6.x kernels are included. The information is still useful for sarge.
GCC's __builtin_apply() size parameter is shamefully neglected. Here is my simple method of actually calculating a value for it at runtime instead of hard-coding a wrongly-guessed constant.
Debian and Dueling Banjos: Solving the Mystery For years the Debian developers' mailing list has received occasional bizarre requests for the sheet music for "Dueling Banjos". Nobody ever worked out what it was that had caused that very first misguided poster to approach Debian about it and start the whole thing off. Trouble is, nobody had a beak. I've been pecking around and can happily announce that I have found the answer.
Linux 2.6.x kernels, cdrecord and the CyberDrive CW-088D CD writer. This drive has a bug which stops it working with any 2.6.x kernel, not just kernels < 2.6.10.
Sanyo LMU-TK12AT touch screen monitor - good user manual and a few notes; what to do if you've lost your OSD controller.
quicktun is a very neat and simple program for setting up an encrypted VPN tunnel. Here is what I found out while trying to make it work.
Repository 'blah' changed its 'Codename' value from 'bullseye' to 'bookworm' - what to do about this bloody stupid error that's suddenly started cropping up.
Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T USB Stick Firmware for Linux This page lists a collection of firmware files for use with the Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T USB Stick under Linux - at least that's what they were advertised as being for, I don't know if all of them actually are or not.
Stuff about the TI TNETD7300 (AR7), a device used in several interesting ADSL boxes.
Pigeon's Device - You've heard of Duff's device, this is the feathered equivalent.
Mirror of dated 24-05-09. Information on the RTMP streaming protocol.
Ubuntu jaunty udev rule for USB scanner. What to do if your USB scanner works as root but not as a normal user.
Hardware and software details of a parallel-port programmer for the MX25L8005 1MB serial flash RAM (often used on PC motherboards to hold the BIOS) or similar chips.
Building the medibuntu version of mplayer from source - This page answers an important question which is not addressed on any other page known to google.
Fixing juddery cab ride videos off youtube with ffmpeg - kludge to get around ffmpeg's insistence on reintroducing the same kind of errors you've just taken out.
Opera under Linux sometimes uses a thoroughly foul sans-serif font. This page relates how I stopped it doing this.
Intel 845 82845 chipsets come in different variants which support different amounts of RAM, but they all have the same PCI ID (8086:1a30) so lspci can't tell them apart. This page gives some idea of how you can tell them apart.
Creating self-signed certificates for setting up WPA2 EAP-TLS with openssl is a procedure with a hidden dog's cunt. This page tells you how to avoid the problem.
Making the CD-ROM drive eject button work on a laptop running Debian LXDE.
Patch to enable compilation of GIMP 2.4.x with poppler >= 0.17.
Gimp 2.4 menu font size settings - how I eventually managed to change the bloody things, plus moaning about it.
Setting up a local apt repository - a really simple one that is the minimum necessary to do stuff like pinning local custom packages at a higher priority than standard ones and having it work.
Thunderbird autoconfiguration without an outgoing server is sort of possible with the right obscure tweaks in config-1.1.xml.
XMLHttpRequest CORS preflight failing for fucking stupid reasons (and what eventually made it work).
Logical Unit Communication CRC Error (ULTRA-DMA/32) - a description of the idiotic wankerism that so often causes this, and what to do to fix it.
CD-Text and cdrecord "cdtext.dat" file - How to create a "cdtext.dat" file for cdrecord to use to write a CD with CD-Text on it when you do not have an original CD to copy the CD-Text data from. No fucker tells you how to do this. Except me. I've even provided source code. Aren't I a nice birdie?
How to extract AUDIO files from AUDIO NRG images under Linux. A very useful little utility by Sed of
Attack of the Lesbian Communists - The Greenham Common Game. Squash the peace camp women with a steamroller. Requires javascript.
Kernel debouncing for PS/2 mice - a patch for the PS/2 mouse driver in Linux kernel 3.14 to debounce mouse buttons with dodgy microswitches.
The NEC uPD720102 USB controller can be a fucking weird piece of shit.
NEC uPD720102 USB controller datasheets (hardware and user manual)
"make_path" is not exported by the File::Path module - how to fix this wanky shite on Debian lenny.
PNG file: foo.png - Application must supply a known background gamma - how to stop imagemagick writing broken PNG images that throw this fucking stupid error and don't show properly in xview.
Making the built-in 3c509 network interface on a Dell Optiplex GXL5150 work under Linux.
The Foxconn/ECS MCP61SM-AM motherboard front panel connector pinout is weird, because no fucker can find it until after they already know about it. Maybe this page will help alleviate the problem.
Relocation "Thing" against "wotsit" can not be used when making a shared object; recompile with -fPIC is an error with numerous possible causes. This page is about when the cause is a broken symlink to a shared library.
The Western Digital Caviar 2850 850MB hard drive is actually quite cool.
Making a bootable Debian installer image on a USB stick or SD card.
Hewlett-Packard P400 SAS RAID controller card - You CAN see and use the raw physical drives from within the OS. FreeBSD has had the facility for years and now Linux has it too.
Broken PDFs on are unfortunately numerous, but it turns out that they can be fixed.

Engineering oddments
Some Unusual Engines - LJK Setright Read online a scanned version of this fascinating but out-of-print book, or download the PDF.
Article on the Class 66 from RAIL 492
Napier Deltic T18-37K Manual
Clerk "Trilink" hydrostatic transmission for road vehicles
Nikolai Yarmolchuk's "ball train" - a novel Soviet monorail design
Multiple coupled inductors in SPICE - don't forget to include ALL the coupling coefficients!
AD633 in PSPICE: Fucking convergence errors.
Magnetic Core Saturation - How to calculate saturation current using parameters that you can actually find quoted on core suppliers' websites.
Combination hot water cylinder problems? Pigeon's Self Purging Balls empty themselves automatically to avoid those embarrasing overflows.
Single-cell LED flasher with >2-year battery life - A replacement for the LM3909 LED flasher IC, but with two orders of magnitude lower current consumption, so the battery lasts for years instead of months.
Circuit to drive a so-called "digital" radio controlled model servo - not all that useful in itself, but provided for the incidental information pertaining to it.
YAPP - Yet Another PIC Programmer - for the 16F88 and similar PICs. Works off the parallel port. Includes Linux source code.
The Lighter Lighter - because when they don't light it's a really heavy bummer.
24V 10W LED driver circuit, used to convert an incandescent mobility scooter headlight to LED.
Honeywell SE4355-002 and associated detector - messing around with some unmarked IR devices that I happen to have a lot of for no very well-defined reason.
Nichia NDV4542 405nm 100mW laser diode - pinout diagram, driver circuit and notes.
Pioneer PD-204 CD player service manual - actually genuinely downloadable with NO BULLSHIT.
Datasheet for the M1593FP (aka. M51593FP), the optical pickup preamp IC used in the above CD player.
Converting a dud Pioneer PD-204 CD player to a standalone DAC unit.
USB optical S/PDIF output to feed the abovementioned DAC from a PC.
Bizarre behaviour of Nd:YVO4/KTP composite crystal - 593nm light from sum frequency generation in an off-the-shelf green laser pointer component.
Brunel's Atmospheric Railway - IT WASN'T BLOODY RATS! Discussion of common misconceptions about Brunel's use of the atmospheric traction system on the South Devon Railway.
LED Lights that Aren't Shit
Spunking Cock Christmas Lights - Build your very own ejaculating electric penis.
Build Your Own Equoid
Simple Geiger counter circuit using a Russian STS5 (CTC5) Geiger tube.
The world's simplest logic probe costs 2p off Amazon.
Electronics design and PIC programming

Odds and sods
But being as this is Google, the most powerful search engine in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
GROAN WITH TWOTW An implementation of GROAN in Perl by Angus McIntyre is used to generate this web page.
Intergalactic Federation of Space Pigeons Ensuring the welfare of pigeons throughout the whole of known space.
An unusual cure for gutsache. How I defeated the dangerous yogurt.
Pitspeak - dull hang were judder fuchsia.
Best not let Finbarr Saunders see the cereal packet...
Remembering Joey Deacon... an unlikely kind of hero who seared the minds of a generation. Nnnnnnyyyyyyyggggnnnnn uuurh ngflg.
Quantum behaviour of macroscopic objects. Where's my bloody 13mm socket gone?; International secret agent paramilitary pigeons; How to send secret love letters (but not battlefield situation reports).
Fitting a Volvo Amazon with a B30 straight-six engine. Placed here rather than under "engineering oddments" because it also expands on some of the anomalous quantum phenomena mentioned in the abovelisted page.
Anomalous quantum phenomena are affecting my CD collection. If you find CDs mysteriously appearing please read this page.
Nuclear water pump - just the thing for those long-term irrigation projects.
Nuclear dogshit vaporiser - another application of the same principle.
A Monorail That Isn't Shit. Most monorails are shit, because once you've done the necessary to stop them falling off they end up more complicated than a normal two-rail system. So here is a proposal for one that isn't shit.
Worcester to Hereford via Camp Hill and Birmingham New Street - Watch a video of a Class 172 traversing this route, viewed as the train itself would see it if it actually had any eyes.
The Simile Quantification Facility, Canfield Place, Hampstead, London, in the uncompleted tunnels of the Great Central Railway's London Extension.
Three films with Bruce Willis (in a vest) - Ben's 15 seconds of fame.
We apologise for the delay to your journey - Excuses for trains being late. Markov-like phrase generator seeded with genuine Network Rail excuses. Requires javascript (sorry).
Install a Network Rail train delay excuses widget on your own website! Choice of a javascript excuses generator, providing both HTML and JS interfaces, or a TCP daemon written in C.
The Orphan/Often thing in "Pirates of Penzance" does not make sense to a modern British audience either, or at least it wouldn't if everyone hadn't seen the play 50 times already. Americans take note.
NASA Fakes Moon Landing! Photographic Proof! Originally on brainsluice, the original page was defaced by unimaginative morons. An undefaced archive copy is presented here.
Bubbling Well Road, the short story by Rudyard Kipling; preceded by my waffle disparaging the teaching of English in schools.
Worcester's WW1 Tanks - there were two of them, and neither of them is the one the internet has probably told you it was.
Rocket Car Crashes Into Cliff The actual story behind this well-known urban legend. Copied on here because the original site is dead.
Fuck Apple - The Fuck Apple Page
Bruce Everiss - Screenshot of Google image search result. Plus another pic of him.
Top Fuel Dragster Facts. Yes, those top fuel dragster facts. Here presented in a handy web page format which you can link to from a forum post instead of pasting the whole bloody lot in all over again when 99.999% of the readers will have seen it so often already that they are sick of it.
The Thieving Gypsy Bastards - The classic cartoon from Viz.
Bloody silly version of the Spiderman song.
Kim Jong Un, fat but no fun.
Twitter Shit - Shit I write on twitter.
Casabianca - The boy stood on the burning deck, and all that.
Jeremy Vine is a stupid self-righteous cockend, and a cunt.
Fifty Grades of Shay - the Reverend's geared steam locomotives.
The Adventures of Henry V8 - King of England 1509-1547, possibly.
Tax Reform (Birdonomics).
Lord of the Rings - some scenes from the movies.
The Tale of Vearanniel - The Sweary Nuclear Pigeons follow a Mary Sue into the world of the Lord of the Rings and fuck her shit up.
Into The Wild - WTF? Concerning the supposed dangers faced by dicks visiting a scrap bus because some bloke died of being a dick in it.
Sinistral Rectocephalosis - How the Left encourages Fascism.
Suicide - The kind of endless fucking shite that modern society unthinkingly expects everyone to accept an entire lifetime of led me to give this option serious consideration when I was 13.
Alienated Youth are alienated for a very good reason that those who worry about the alienation are too stupid to see: the life that society offers them is not the pot of gold that the worriers keep trying to make out it is, but simply a pot of shit.
Pholcid spiders are cunts and I fucking hate the shites.
Royal Babies - Exclusive footage of the mating habits of Prince William and Kate Middleton supports David Icke's idea that the Royal Family are actually lizards.
The Green Pen - a completely pointless page about some random shit from school that I was reminiscing about the other night.
A Fortunate Accident - more old school shit.
Refugees camping at Calais - a fucking shite article from the BBC that deliberately refuses to provide any information on the fundamental question of just why the fuck they think Britain is so much better a destination than any other EU country, nor to mention that the answer is "actually, they don't".
Fancy arsed map of the location of the Euston Arch.

Crap stuff. Things which are done badly through greed, ignorance or stupidity, and piss me off.
Webshite. Crap stuff relating specifically to websites, and what makes them shite. (New, so not much here yet.)

À Propos de Rien - Random thoughts which are not long enough to be worth a whole page of their own.
Older but otherwise similar random crap (4)
Older but otherwise similar random crap (3)
Older but otherwise similar random crap (2)
Older but otherwise similar random crap (1)

Howard's Stuff
Howard's Stuff - Contributions by Howard on a variety of scientific and technical topics.

Other people's stuff
A collection of links to sites I consider interesting.
If you should discover that any of these links don't work, please tell me. - a website devoted to fighting the inaccuracies and scaremongering which do so much to hinder progress in the adoption and development of nuclear power. Nearly everything you may have read about nuclear power is bollocks spouted by people who don't know what they're talking about, and since Fukushima the problem has only got worse. is written by people who do understand the physics and statistics and can assess the subject rationally using valid information, which makes it a rare jewel in the all-pervading mud.

Nuclear Power? Yes Please - the "Smiling Atom" logo

External pigeon links
Pigeon Recovery. An excellent page on providing help to injured and otherwise needy pigeons. (soon to move to Lots of useful info on rescuing pigeons.
Austin Duck Police More avian rescue resources.

Barclay James Harvest
The Barclay James Harvest Site Everything you ever wanted to know about this unique and superb progressive rock band, with link to a lively and enthusiastic discussion group. Also BJH CDs for sale, including hard-to-find stuff and remastered versions of the classic albums. Lacking in information on Les's activities after "River of Dreams", for which see this site.
The Woolly Wolstenholme Site The Mellotron Maestro from Barclay James Harvest is still playing in what many fans consider to be the quintessential BJH style. Find out what he's up to on this site, and order his new CDs "One Drop in a Dry World" and "Grim".
Barclay James Harvest Featuring Les Holroyd The Les Holroyd branch of Barclay James Harvest's developmental history. What Les is doing now and who he is playing with. For information on Les's time with the "classic" and "classic-minus-Woolly" incarnations of BJH, see the comprehensive site.
John Lees's Barclay James Harvest Up to date information on the John Lees and Woolly Wolstenholme branch of the BJH evolutionary tree. Again see the comprehensive site for information on their time with earlier incarnations of BJH.
Barclay James Harvest web forum
Barclay James Harvest on yahoogroups: discussion list for all branches of BJH, and announcement list for news of new releases, tour dates etc. of all branches except Les's.
BJH featuring Les Holroyd on yahoogroups: discussion list for Les's branch of BJH only.
Myspace: Barclay James Harvest
Myspace: Woolly Wolstenholme's Maestoso
Myspace: John Lees's Barclay James Harvest
Myspace: Barclay James Harvest featuring Les Holroyd

Other stuff
The Douglas Self Site. The fount of all knowledge concerning audio power amplifiers. If this guy doesn't know it, it's not worth knowing. He's also got lots of stuff on unusual steam locomotives, road vehicles with unconventional wheel layouts and other cool technological oddities.

Mans Bjorkman's Sarati page. This most excellent dude has created a fine set of fonts for the Sarati of Rumil, as presented in the works of JRR Tolkien, along with a comprehensive description of their usage. Fonts for the more well-known Elvish and Dwarvish scripts are all over the place and have been for years, but we are far less well provided for when it comes to the Sarati, and Mans Bjorkman is to be congratulated on his extremely useful effort.

Debian GNU/Linux Fed up with Microshite crashes, viruses, trojans, spyware, total ignorance of security and general endemic dysfunctionality? Linux is a REAL operating system, and Debian is arguably the most stable, secure and well-organised Linux variant, as well as being the most "free". Find out more here.
Knoppix Linux Live CD Linux for people who are scared of computers. Download the CD image, burn it to a CD, then reboot off the CD, and magically everything works. Won't damage your existing system. Based on Debian.

The RatBike Zone Motorcycling as it should be. Ingenuity, guts, originality and a distinct lack of chrome and plastic.
The "peace65" site, an extremely comprehensive listing of diesel motorcycles.
Diesel Motorcycle discussion forum
Stefan Osswald's bike site - or at least the navigation links from it, since the site's own navigation code doesn't work.

Keswick Mining Museum Fascinating and comprehensive museum of mining. Well worth a visit.
Underground oddities - a wonderful site about the hidden parts of the London Underground system.
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Passenger trains are once more running on this much-missed narrow gauge line. This is extremely cool and froody. Find out more here.

Info on Savvis Communications Corporation - an ISP known for hosting spammers. I have included this link on my site because Savvis have tried to suppress this information by stealing the original domain: now resolves to If you are trying to reach try the above link instead. The site also provides the information as a tarball which I have mirrored here. I became aware of the original site by reading this page from The Register.

Be kind to pigeons

Contact me

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