Wednesday, September 21, 2016

BMI formula page updated to show weights for BMI ranges for your height.

For those of us who are overweight, a question I often ask myself is what weight do I need to get down to, to be in the next range. To find the answer I'd keep dropping the weight until I got the BMI. A long way to do something that is pretty easy to calculate.

I decided to update the BMI formula web app so that once you enter your height, you can see the weight for the various BMI groupings. Now you'll instantly know the weight for the next range.

When dieting people would often ask me am I trying to lose weight. My response was, "no, I'm simply trying to get from obese to overweight".

I hope this helps others.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Nearly took one for the team on Sunday. Red light/speed camera on Warrigal Road and Batesford Road Chadstone.

Phew. That had me worried. As I was posting the video for the red light camera/speed camera on the corner of Warrigal Road and Batesford Road Chadstone I was reminded the light changed to amber as I was driving through. At the time I didn't give it a second thought as I most likely felt I was sufficiently close to the intersection that stopping wasn't safe or practical, which it wasn't. However reviewing the video made me get quite concerned. Had I been booked!!!

Watching the video you can see I was nearly across the intersection when the traffic light turns red. Anyone would consider that to be OK and it happens to us all the time. But how close was I to getting booked. A lot closer than I would have ever thought. I think once you read this you'll realise the government has tightened down their tolerance so there is very little margin for error and a lot of margin for revenue generation. OK. That's a tad cynical.

Here's a link to the video. Play the video at normal speed and ask yourself what you would have done. Stopped or gone through. (

Based on the video I travelled 1.33 seconds until I reached the white line. I measured this later and that means I was around 2 metres before the line. When we look out the front windows of a car we can't see the exact front of the car. We estimate.

Now what is generally not known is where the sensors are placed. They are not at the white line where you stop your car. The induction loops can be placed quite a bit further forward. Using Google maps I measured this to be 3.44 metres.

Why is this important? We've all grown up believing if your car has entered the intersection you're OK. It is even stated on the Victoria Police site (, "A road safety red light camera is activated when a vehicle crosses the stop line and enters the intersection after the light/arrow turns red. If a vehicle is already partially or wholly over the stop line and within the intersection when the light/arrow turns red, an infringement will not be issued. All images are verified before an infringement notice is issued."

The police don't get a picture of where you were when the light changes to red. Only when the rear of your car leaves the sensor. Two pictures are taken. A second picture is taken a second later. We just have to hope when the pictures are reviewed they get it right.

There's one more little piece of detail. Speedometers by law have to be at or below the actual speed limit and can be up to 10% lower. That means if you're at the speed limit, you're most likely travelling slower than the speed limit. When I'm travelling at100 km/h the highway test shows around 96 km/h. At 40 km/h I'd guess I'd be travelling at perhaps 38 km/h. However since I was approaching the light I made sure I was under the 40 km/h, so perhaps another 2 km/h. That means I may have been travelling at about 36 km/h

So how close was I to getting booked?

It took 1.33 seconds to get to the white line according to the video. At 36 km/h that's 10 metres. There's then actually 2 metres between my car and the white line. So I was roughly 12 metres to the line.

My car is 4.7 m long and the distance to the end of the sensor 3.44 m. That's another 7.14 m. A total distance of 19.14 metres.

At 36 km/h the stopping distance assuming and emergency reaction time of 1.5 seconds, is 22 m, so no time for me to stop. safely. OK. I did the right thing.

The amber light goes for 3 seconds. At the 36 km/h I would travel 30 m. I had close to 11 m to spare. I'd suggest that's about one car length plus the spacing between cars.

In reality I had about a second to spare. There's also 0.5 seconds after the red light changes where reportedly you don't bet booked. A total of 1.5 seconds.

It really isn't a lot. The 1.5 seconds is assumed for an emergency driving situation and in a relaxed driving situation I don't think we react that fast and certainly don't come to a stop as fast. In addition you don't just look at the lights. You look at the traffic around you, from the sides, your speedometer. and any other potential hazards. There's a lot going on and the difference between getting fined or not is very slim.

Had I been going less than 30 km/h, then it gets very, very close. I suspect this is a reason for many people getting booked by red light cameras and speed cameras when turning and when in low 40 km/h speed zones. Great for government revenue.

This really is a reminder that when travelling on a low speed road (40 km/h), or turning at an intersection, where often the amber timing is set at the much shorter 3 seconds than for the speed limit of the road, if the amber light comes on, try to stop if it safe to do so. There's no tolerance for going through a red light and it is very costly.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, September 19, 2016

Warrigal Road and Batesford Road Chadstone red light/speed camera video

As part of my continuing effort to create videos so people who have been booked with a red light or speed camera infringement, can now review the location, I've uploaded a video for tne Warrigal Road and Batesford Road Chadstone red light/speed camera.

The low 40 km/h speed limit when travelling in a southerly direction along Warrigal Road catches close to 91,000 people each year. It's very easy to do.

You can view the video at

You can find a list of the videos on my site You can also find a web app which you can use to alert you to speed and red light cameras in Victoria as you drive along.

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bus and trams take off before people are ready or seated.

It never ceases to amaze me how inconsiderate bus and tram drivers are. When I get on a bus in Templestowe to go to the city, invariably I move down to around half way down the bus, just past the seats that are left for less others. About a quarter of the way down the bus driver takes off jerking me and I have to make sure I'm ready for the driver to suddenly take off. A few bus drivers do wait.

I've regularly seen people being tossed back and forward in buses in this way. I also saw an elderly woman on a tram who when trying to sit down and was half way seated when she was tossed forward as the tram suddenly drove forward.

As I get older trams and buses become a real concern for injury. The body simply isn't is flexible as it once was. A jerked back can easily lead to days of discomfort and I suspect many older people are in the same boat.

I decided to do a quick check on the internet and found this article in The Age.

This paragraph caught my attention.

In six years 1300 people have suffered falls, trips and slips on trams or buses, resulting in 171 serious injuries requiring hospitalisation.

That's 216 falls, trips and slips per year, resulting in 28 serious injuries requiring hospitalisations.

I also thought we need to report incidents more often. Yarra trams made the following statement.

A Yarra Trams spokesman said the company was committed to improving passenger safety and that in 2014 it had received "only 109 feedback cases related to braking by drivers" in 25 million kilometres of travel.

I know I've been tossed around by braking and acceleration and never reported it, and I suspect most other people do the same. I know my elderly mother had some terrible stories that worried us at the time. We just accept this as a negative of travelling on public transport.

I didn't report the drivers going through red lights. The drivers not stopping to pick up passengers. Drivers abusing car drivers and even arguing with passengers (but I should say the passengers didn't help). Nor on the other hand have I provided feedback of the many good drivers who provided a smooth experience.

Perhaps it's time we all start to report driving that affects us both good and bad. We don't want to get the drivers into trouble and yes they will probably get into trouble. But the drivers are only trying to stick with the timetables and that can be difficult. Unfortunately those who run the trams and buses will only blame the drivers and not themselves and the pressure they put drivers under.

In the end I'm really looking forward to autonomous cars taking over public transport. I can only see the level of service improving. The vehicles will wait for you to be ready. No driver to get into trouble and the owners can't blame the drivers just for trying to do their job. As I get older the thought of injury and discomfort caused by trams and buses becomes more of a concern and eventually it won't be worth the risk.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fill up with petrol in the morning. Good idea or not.

Because of my recent interest in petrol prices around Melbourne, I've been reading articles and questions about whether or not it is a good idea to fill up first thing in the morning. The idea is petrol expands as it gets hotter. The mornings are cooler so you get more petrol for your buck.

From my observation there is something missing from this conversation. It is how petrol prices change during the day. Each day prices around Melbourne drop by half to one cent. If you buy in the morning you'll buy at a higher price from the day before since prices don't appear to go down overnight.

I decided to see what I could find out. The density of petrol changes about 0.12% per degree C. So yes petrol density does change with temperature. If we look at the temperature change from minimum to maximum, it is unusual to see more than a 10 degree change. The minimum would often be around 5-6 am and the maximum mid afternoon. So even if you did decide to fill up in the morning, most likely it will be after the temperature starts increasing. However this assumes a direct relationship with the ambient temperature. Petrol is stored underground and is less affected by the ambient temperature. For simplicity lets say the temperature did change for say 5 degrees. That would be 0.6% change in volume. Perhaps in summer with hotter days, this may mean a larger temperature variation.

The price of petrol in Melbourne is currently fluctuating between around 100 cents to 130 cents per litre over roughly a four week cycle. With prices in the discount part of the cycle changing around 0.5 - 1 cent per day, filling up later could save half to one cent per litre.

Too put this into perspective, if we fill up a 50 litre tank and there was a 0.6% density change due to temperature, if we use 115 as the price per litre of fuel, that would gives us a saving of 30 cents.

On the other hand, if we fill up at the end of the day and take advantage of the dropping price, that could save us 25 - 50 cents.

In all sincerity I suspect the actual temperature variation would be lower since the tanks are stored in the ground, but in any case, you're more likely to gain more by taking advantage of the dropping price. Overall however, saving 30 or 50 cents, is a very small amount and it would be hard to justify changing your habits for such a small saving. There's bigger and better savings to be made. However if I were to pick, I'd pick filling up towards the end of the day because the price cutting will most likely mean a better saving.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

BMI formula web app now available

Some time ago I wrote a BMI/BMR calculator. Whilst this is very handy web app, often people only need to perform a BMI calculation. I decided to create the BMI formula web app.

Only two figures are required to calculate your BMI. Your height and your weight. The BMI formula as you can see on the web app does not use your sex or age.

You can find the BMI formula web app at

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Monopoly rare pieces 2016 for Maccas Australia

A couple of years ago I created a web app so people could submit their monopoly pieces they'd collected from Maccas. By knowing the pieces collected I was able to determine the rare pieces.

Since Maccas Monopoly 2016 has started, I decided to dust down the code and make the web app available again. If you have Maccas Monopoly 2016 pieces for Australia, please feel free to enter your pieces. Once enough pieces have been entered I'll be able to start determining which are the rare pieces and let everyone who has contributed know.

The site is

Good luck and enjoy.

Kelvin Eldridge

Update 20th September 2016

Not as many people submitted pieces as had been hoped, so I performed a review using the internet. The list of rare pieces is not available. Whilst these haven't been confirmed by people's input, there is a high degree of certainty.

To see the rare pieces enter a piece, submit to obtain the password. Then enter the password and submit. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Are the Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus overpriced in Australia?

Last March you may remember I reviewed the pricing of the Apple iPhone 5SE to compare Australian pricing to USA pricing. The result was not good.

I decided with the new Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus, I'd perform a similar review. Basically we take the US dollar price, convert to Australian dollar, add 6% for exchange rate costs and then add 10% for GST. So how do the prices compare.

Apple iPhone 7 32GB
USD price $679
Converted price in AUD $1,050.
Apple's price in AUD $1,079.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus 32GB
USD price $769
Converted price in AUD $1,189
Apple's price in AUD $1,269

At this stage the prices for the full range of the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are not currently listed on the Apple USA site, so it is not possible to perform the calculation for the entire range.

We can see that whilst the based iPhone 7 converts to Australian dollars very well, the iPhone 7 Plus is marked up around 7% greater than the USA price, which isn't good.

In terms of value for money, it may be wise to perform the above calculation. It may be the higher priced models means a greater mark-up for Australians and less value for money. Ultimately however it boils down to the price you're prepared to pay.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, September 09, 2016

Find the nearest petrol station in Melbourne and surrounds

Looking for the nearest petrol station. Perhaps you need to find the nearest petrol station for your discount vouchers. The latest web app at is now available.

Nearest Petrol Station Melbourne and surrounds

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Video of Cemetery Road West And Royal Parade, Parkville speed/red light camera

In the continuing series of videos on speed camera and red light camera locations, I recently took a video whilst travelling along Cemetery Road West turning into Royal Parade in Parkville.

The aim of the videos is to allow others to easily review the speed/red light camera.

Around 6,000 drivers drivers are being booked at this location generating revenue of over 2.5 million dollars a year. The main reason is people going through the red light when turning right into Royal Parade. The amber timing is quite short at 3 seconds. The approach traffic lights are high overhead and not visible as you approach the stop line.

There were only 32 speeding infringements for the turning lanes and around 600 for those travelling directly through the intersection.

The aim of these posts is to help people become aware of the speed limits in different areas. We may not agree with them, but in the end the law is the law and if we don't comply, then we can expect a fine.

You can view the video by clicking on the link to the video at

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Video of Fitzroy Street And Lakeside Drive, St Kilda speed/red light camera

I recently took a video whilst travelling along Fitzroy Street approaching Lakeside Drive in St Kilda. The aim of the video is to allow others to easily review the speed/red light camera.

Tens of thousands of drivers are being booked at this location generating revenue of over 12 million dollars a year, which is mainly as a result of the low 40 speed limit.

The aim of these posts is to help people become aware of the speed limits in different areas. We may not agree with them, but in the end the law is the law and if we don't comply, then we can expect a fine.

You can view the video by clicking on the link to the video at

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Flinders Street and William Street Melbourne red light/speed camera.

The video of the intersection of Flinders Street and William Street Melbourne has now been uploaded.

For those wishing to review this intersection hopefully the video will assist.

Flinders Street and William Street Melbourne red light/speed camera

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to spot the petrol price hike is occurring using Petrol Prices Melbourne.

It's that time when petrol prices spike in Melbourne. Yesterday we saw the first petrol stations jump from around 99.9 cents to 129.9. I thought I'd share what you see on the Petrol Prices Melbourne ( map.

During the price discounting cycle you'll see the average price being a yellow marker and prices above being orange to light red, and prices below, being olive to light green. However when the petrol price spikes you went up with prices being at either end of the range. The old much lower price and the new much higher price. That is you'll see lots of dark reds (those that have increased their prices) and lots of dark greens (those that haven't yet increased their prices).

It takes around 3-4 days for the new higher price to become the norm (this is called the restoration phase of the discounting cycle) and then for the discounting to start again.

When you see lots of dark reds and lots of dark greens it is time to fill up.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, August 29, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Alert - Speed Camera Locations - Audible alert when approaching speed camera location (red light camera).

Alert - Speed Camera Locations - Audible alert when approaching speed camera location (red light camera).

Just finished first release of the alert for speed camera locations. A good way to become aware of speed camera locations on your trips around town. You get an audible and visual warning of an approaching speed camera location. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Costco Epping petrol may change petrol prices in the northern suburbs.

Since starting the Petrol Prices Melbourne web app I've noticed a number of interesting trends. One particularly interesting trend is where the price of petrol in Melbourne is consistently the cheapest. It turns out the best petrol prices tend to be around Costco in Moorabbin.

The following is a snapshot of the petrol prices around Melbourne as shown on the Motormouth site. The dark green markers show the cheapest petrol location.

Anyone in the Moorabbin area can take advantage of the reduced petrol prices and not just at Costco. Without purchasing a Costco membership those shopping at Woolworths can use their discount voucher to often match the Costco petrol price. Other petrol stations get very close negating the need for a Costco membership.

Should a Costco open as has been suggested in the media in Epping, it is very likely Costco petrol prices may have a similar effect on petrol pricing in the northern suburbs of Melbourne around Epping. Good for consumers but perhaps not so good for some of the petrol stations.

The reports in the media also indicate Costco were granted a permit in 2013 for 20 Jovic Road, Epping. With another article in the media stating "The Costco proposal will include the extension of a road from Cooper St, between The Northern Hospital and Epping Plaza, to Deveny Rd."

The aim of the Petrol Prices Melbourne web app is to help people save money on petrol. Knowing where the cheapest petrol is around Melbourne can save some money. Moorabbin may not always be close to you, but if you're passing through the area, keep in mind the petrol prices are often very competitive. If you're running low, a top up may be a good idea.

Kelvin Eldridge

Update: 21 August 2016
For those wanting to buy petrol at Costco Epping you'll be in for a long wait. A few days ago I decided to check to see what progress had been made at the site. The site is still a vacant area. No construction work or anything has been started.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Speed Camera Locations new web app in development.

I write web apps for myself, family and friends. When I see something that interests me and I can solve a problem using a web app, I'll create a web app. The latest web app I'm creating is Speed Camera Locations. Recently I saw a couple of red light/speed cameras mentioned in the press and thought, I wonder why they catch so many people.

Now I should say I don't think it is a good idea to speed or go through red lights. But sometimes you can't help wondering how much is revenue generation versus public safety. Two cameras that caught my attention were the cameras in Flinders Street and Williams Street in the city and Warrigul Road and Batesford Road Chadstone.

The speed/red light camera on the corner of Flinders Street and Williams Street Melbourne generated the second highest number of fines at 66,429 with a potential revenue of  $15,327,627 in 2014/2015. That's a staggering $15 million dollars. As I stood watching cars go by I felt many cars were simply lucky that the light changes red. If you're stopped you can't get fined. A couple or cars who had a clear run with no traffic were pinged in a matter of minutes. They weren't going overly fast. The speed limit is 40 kph in the city. I for one didn't know that and others I've asked also didn't know. The signs are relatively small signs and given how busy the city is with signage, easy to miss. The big jump from 2013/2014 from 27,138 I can't help wondering why such a big jump. I also couldn't help think if 40 was painted on the road the additional information may assist drivers to keep to the speed limit. I think it would be an excellent research project to see the before an after effect of painting 40 to provide drivers with more information.

Whilst looking at the data I noticed an intersection I was booked at a while ago. The intersection of Warrigal Road and Batesford Road Chadstone.  I was driving relatively slowly (quite a bit under 50 kph) and if I recall, did a U-turn or turn to go into the Maccas on the corner. It was around 1:30 pm in the afternoon on a Saturday. The catch here is there is a 40 kph sign, which sort of makes sense due to the high number of students, but what doesn't make sense is the time restrictions. The speed restriction currently is 8 am to 12 am Monday to Saturday. Whilst I may be wrong, when I was booked I seem to recall the time restriction ended at 3 pm on the Saturday afternoon. Perhaps the signs have changed or my memory fails me. I've never seen a sign with this time period before. Why not Sunday as well? Why Saturday if not Sunday? I did ask for the fine to be reconsidered and luckily it was withdrawn.

When you look at the number of fines it makes sense you could get caught at this intersection.There's huge number of road signs in the area. Reading the smaller time periods as you drive and concentrating on the road and cars around you, plus the times cover an unexpected period, increases the chances of making a mistake. This intersection has the highest number of fines at 93.371 with a potential revenue of $21,349.786. This is an increase from 13,680 and a value of $3,048,927 from 2013/2014. That's a huge increase.

In both of the above cases I highly doubt if the huge increases was because of worsening driver behaviour changes. If I were to guess it was either due to operating part of a year, or the reduction of the signed speed limits.

In this case I can't help feeling when the time periods change, flashing 40 kph signs should be used instead.

One day you're driving along and there's not a problem. The next you're driving along and you've broken the law. Certainly doesn't seem fair and it doesn't seem like the government is doing enough to make it easy for drivers to comply.

The Speed Camera Locations web app is designed to help people better know where the speed cameras are located and by increasing their knowledge they'll be better able to comply with the law. I certainly didn't know I'd broken any law and had no desire to break any law, but yet I did. Not knowing is not an excuse, but it certainly doesn't make the fine any more palatable.

Speed Camera Locations is currently in development. As I update the location information the web app will be updated. Once all the camera location information has been added, if there's sufficient interest, I'll develop further tools to assist drivers.

The first step in assisting drivers is to provide a map where the speed camera locations are colour coded. The coloured markers hopefully will show people where the biggest issues are as experienced by other drivers.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hostgator cancellation form didn't work.

Often I look after the admin tasks for clients as computer related issues can be beyond clients and it is easier for me to handle them. I cancelled a client's hosting with Hostgator on the 20th of July using Hostgator's online form. The client just received an email for the next month's bill and payment had been taken out of their credit card, which obviously means the account was not closed as expected.

When systems don't work as they should it takes time to fix things and this can cost money. In this case it took half an hour and this time will be written off, but could often be charged. It does also mean the client has to keep an eye out for the credit on their credit card and if it doesn't come, another support call.

One good lesson out of this is don't trust Hostgator's form to close an account. Use the online chat available under the support option. That way you get a support ticket ID, someone who you can then make sure they understand and will do what is required. You even have available a printout of the conversation you can use if you have further issues.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support

Tuesday, August 09, 2016 not working

I had my first call tonight from a person not knowing what to do to go to the census site. No problem I thought. Then it became obvious that many people are going to have the same problem.

The letter states "Just follow the simple instructions below". The first instruction: "Go to".

The person opens their browser on the search page as many people do. Typed in and saw a list of sites. None were

Not so simple after all.

The instructions should have been more specific. Something along the lines, "In the address area of your browser type in". Now of course some people don't even know they are using a browser and some people wouldn't know where the address area of the browser is.

The government has made assumptions there's a far greater understanding by the general population than a large segment of the population actually has. It is lucky those who don't know will be assisted by someone who does know. In effect the government has dumped the support role for their systems onto the IT literate amongst us.

Now the additional problem is the site is overloaded. It is not working. This will be causing a huge amount of grief for people. People who will be worried they'll be fined for not completing the census.

It really is a pity the government doesn't get things like this right. We saw the click-frenzy failures of the past for commercial organisations, but for the government to do this is almost beyond belief. It simply shouldn't happen.

Kelvin Eldridge

11:48 pm, 9 August 2016
Decided to try site using mobile. Click on button to complete census just goes to blank about: page. On the notebook you get the census page, then clicking on the button gives a message to try in 15 minutes.

Update: 10:19 am, 10 August 2016

I read this in today's online News site. "However the ABS took the “precaution of closing down the system to ensure the integrity of the data” just after 7.30pm."

What is bothering about this, is had the ABS put this or a similar notice on their site at 7:30 pm that the site was not available until further notice, the time wasted by millions of Australians could have been reduced or avoided. The lack of transparency and being upfront with clear information is a considerable concern.

Update: 14 August 2016

It should be a concern the census system capacity was 260 forms per second. That is 936,000 forms per hour. We were all told to fill in the form on census night. For most people that would mean between 7 pm and 11 pm on Tuesday. There would be a large peak sometime during this period, the submission would not be evenly spread. It would be expected there would be somewhere around 10 million people submitting the census, although not all online. It is conceivable the system capacity could be exceeded by two to three times the design. Capacity did reach 150 forms per second at 7:30 pm when the system was shut down. Around 2 million people had submitted their census by this time with quite a few submitting during the day and the previous day (not census night as we'd been told).  At 936,000 forms per hour that would only allow for around 4 million forms during the 7 pm to 11 pm period. Far less than the 7 million plus expected for the census to break even. There is little wonder the census failed.

Why do some households get a census form, some get no form, and others get the census letter with code?

I found it very interesting that we received a letter to the resident for the census. The letter has a code and we're expected to complete the census online, or request a paper form.

What I found quite surprising were two other people I know. One received the census form to complete. Another person didn't receive a form to their property at all.

Why do some households get the paper form, others the letter and others nothing at all? Questions I certainly can't answer, but thought was an interesting observation worth sharing.

Kelvin Eldridge