Export dates from ical using Python

28 October 2012

This script exports dates from an ical file, I needed it to put them into a spreadsheet. You need the icalendar module for this.

Export dates from ical using Python - Comments

Clarify Amazon Used and New Prices by including Postage and Packaging

15 October 2012

Here is a small script I’ve written which seeks to improve Amazon product pages by including postage and packaging in ‘used and new’ prices. The prices including delivery are automatically updated whenever you visit a product page.

Updated: Now also gives the option to show prices including delivery in search results.


Once you click through to the 'used and new' page itself, prices including P&P are shown too.

Install instructions for Firefox

  1. Install the Greasemonkey addon
  2. Restart Firefox if necessary
  3. Go to the Userscripts.org page and click ‘Install’ at the top right of the page

Install instructions for Chrome

  1. Install the Tampermonkey addon
  2. Go to the Userscripts.org page and click ‘Install’ at the top right of the page
  3. Click ‘OK’ twice in the dialogs that appear


It’s very untested, having not existed for long.

The script is currently not functional for Amazon.jp or Amazon.cn.

Neither I or the script are in any way affiliated with Amazon.com, Inc. All trademarks and copyrights are property of their respective owners.

Github repository (report bugs here)

Clarify Amazon Used and New Prices by including Postage and Packaging - Comments

JavaScript – Reload window without query string

24 September 2012

Here is a way to reload/refresh the current web page in JavaScript, removing any query string parameters in the process:

window.location = window.location.pathname;

This preserves protocol selection (HTTP/HTTPS) and is more succinct than the existing methods I found on Google. Note that this will remove the fragment as well (#part).

More information about the location object

JavaScript – Reload window without query string - Comments

Italy and the End, for now…

16 September 2012

We’d stayed in Budapest much longer than originally intended, for the simple reason that it was brilliant! However, we had to make our way to our final destination in North Italy – Sëlva di Val Gardena. The train journey was long and there was a bus to get at the end of it, so we decided to split our journey halfway in Salzburg. Unfortunately the hostel there turned out to be consummately awful, my favourite thing about it was writing a scathing review for Hostelbookers. I don’t think there is a way to directly link, but it’s somewhere among the others, some of which are bafflingly positive. We didn’t really do anything in Salzburg except traipse from the station to the hostel and back, so I can’t really say anything except that it’s rather expensive.

Once that leg of the journey was over, after several windy buses along sheer cliff faces, we arrived in Sëlva. We had a great time there, fitting in a lot of mountain trekking along with the usual gastronomic odysseys that you will be bored of reading about if you’ve seen my earlier articles. There were a lot of peaceful hillsides with very relaxed-looking and bell-wearing cows tinkling along. The views are spectacular and the air clean and refreshing. It was an invigorating and relaxing place to finish our trip.

A precariously parked Land Rover

They get a lot more interested when you open your backpack

Interrailing with Lucy was a great experience and I really want to do it again as soon as possible. It was refreshing to get out of the UK for an extended period. I liked not being aware of anything going on at home, though I am a bit addicted to online news and must admit I did peek. The almost constant sunshine helped a lot too. It was interesting seeing the little differences between every country, and feeling more European than British for probably the first time. It was embarrassing being so incompetent when it comes to languages, I should try to learn some more before going next time. I do not think I will ever be conversant in Hungarian or Slovak though.

A typically rainy Gatwick airport greeted us after a reasonably short flight from Innsbruck (a fantastically small airport with no multi-mile walks to get in and out). That was unfortunately the end of our Interrailing, for now…

Italy and the End, for now… - Comments

Budapest Part 2

2 September 2012

A lot of people had told us about the famous Budapest spa houses so we felt we just had to go and try one out. We opted for Széchenyi, which was a 15 minute metro ride away and offered about six indoor and outdoor pools. There was a hot (38C) outdoor pool where we managed to play a game of chess after the old men miraculously left one of the boards unclaimed. More excitingly however, there was a slightly cooler pool which had a sort of whirlpool enclosed by walls in the middle. Periodically it got going and was soon crammed with humans of all sizes. There was a delightful lack of health and safety with seemingly only one lifeguard for all three outdoor pools. He was texting when I walked past. We both managed to get horrendous sunburn, I keep telling myself I should rethink my cavalier attitude towards UV radiation.

This has nothing to do with the article, but I didn't take any photos after the walking tour so it will have to do

Afterwards we decided to get a Hungarian snack, Lángos, which is a sort of deep fried bread. It was alright, but tasted so greasy that I could practically feel the acne breaking out as I ate it. Having also had some dreadful fast food for lunch, we were looking forward to a free Hungarian cooked meal in the hostel. Anticipation turned to slight dismay when the free meal turned out to be Lángos. The situation was salvaged by eating half an orange each for health considerations. We met people around the table and decided to go on a bar crawl together. The first bar we went to was a bit nondescript but enhanced greatly by free alcohol.

Next however, we went to Szimpla, which was pretty damn cool. It is a ‘ruin bar’, which means it is in an old Soviet-era building complete with rickety furniture and crumbling concrete walls. There was also bizarrely a woman selling raw carrots which they say help to soak up the alcohol. After, we went to what could be described as a ‘ruin club’ set at the top of an old department store building. It had a rooftop bar where you could stay to watch the sunrise. At about 4:15 we got too tired and went home though, wusses.

Bright but not very early the next day, we endeavoured to go to the Terror Museum, which showcases the brutality of the World War II Nazi-collaborating regime and the communist government afterwards. It was pretty gruelling in places, with detailed video descriptions of hanging for example, but very interesting and educational. We got back to the hostel and fell asleep on the couch where I believe we got photographed. Our time in ‘Njoy Budapest’ had run out, but we decided to move to ‘Hostel Goodmo’ instead of going to Croatia, since the trip would have taken too damn long (18 hours). Luckily we arrived in time for their weekly free meal, some sort of stew of onions, potatoes and sausages brewed in a big cauldron. It was very hearty and just what we needed. We went back to Szimpla but didn’t go any further this time, as next day we were going caving!

In the morning though we went to the Palatinus __water park, it was a great start to the day and had a potentially whiplash-inducing slide at about a 70° incline, with no surly lifeguards at the top of course like in British water parks. We lounged about for a bit but then had to rush off to get to the meeting point for the caving trip. After quite a long bus ride, we got to the Duna-Ipoly National Park. We got on some overalls and helmets with torches, and went down to an entrance to the Pál-völgyi cave system with ten other people and our guide. Neither of us had ever done caving before, but it turned out to be a great experience. We spent 2.5 hours at depths of up to 50m and variously had to crawl, slide on our backs, shift along on our stomachs and climb slippery clay covered rocks. Along the way we got to see some fossilised seashells and learn that caving is a lot more physically intensive than it sounds. The guide from the company we did it with spoke excellent English and was obviously very experienced in dealing with people getting stuck etc. – the tour was actually designed for people who had never done caving before.

A view from the Buda side of the river, the Margaret island on the left holds the Palatinus water park

The evening held some very well deserved seafood paella (yes I’m back to talking about food already), which had at least five different species in it, very tasty. We went up to the rooftop bar of Hostel Goodmo and had a few farewell drinks with our new friends, we were leaving in the afternoon of the next day. In the morning I suggested we go to the central market, but ten minutes later remembered I hate shopping, so after making some avocado and speck sandwiches it was off to the station.

Budapest Part 2 - Comments