Posts in Category: Geek

I’m Not There

Saturday 21st February 2009

As ever, I’ve been meaning to write something here for a while. But, I started work again a few weeks ago. Which is enough reason on it’s own for the gap, but because of a snafu of some sort with the site I was gonna work on in Cardiff, I’m working at Brize Norton. Staying in a hotel nearby during the week, then driving back home for weekends. So fairly busy, and fairly tiring…

Work’s very good. I’ve mostly been helping the engineer with surveying, which is good. Fairly pleasant too when the weather’s as mild as it has been the last few days. I’ve been trying to work out whether I prefer consultancy or contracting. To start with I was leaning towards consultancy, but I’m enoying work more and more now, so I think I’m starting to lean the other way. Which is good, because apart from anything else it’s much easier for me to stick where I am (providing they offer to sponsor me after my placement year).

So basically, life’s good :)

In other news, I downloaded the Spotify beta last week. Holy crap, it’s good. Apart from not having a few artists (Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Led Zep), it’s very comprehensive. The sound quality is pretty good, and the streaming is really quick. The only niggle I have with it is that it’s easy enough to find something if you know what artist/album/song you want to listen to, but if you just want to browse and see what takes your fancy, there’s no way to do that. Thats not a dealbreaker though, and I’m really considering paying the subscription. I’m gonna see if I keep using it as my main music player first though.

Posted In: EngineeringGeekMusicTechnology Tagged: | 9 Comments

Teh Lulz

Monday 19th January 2009

This made me laugh, hard.

Funny cos it’s true…

Posted In: GeekTechnology Tagged: | 4 Comments

Smooth Operator

Saturday 17th January 2009

I am currently temporarily unemployed (technically), so I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. Lately, I’ve spent some of that time fiddling with both my computers.

Firstly, the Windows 7 beta was released last week, so I decided to install it on my Desktop machine. To be honest, it’s very similar to Vista, so theres very little to write home about. Except to say that it’s the first version of Windows I’ve ever installed that has configured both monitors right from installation. It still doesn’t let you choose different wallpapers for each screen or give each screen its own taskbar, but it’s a start. Speaking of taskbars, I like the new one. It’s fairly minimalistic, but it works really well. It bunches each application’s windows together, and you hover over the icon to see the different windows. And if you use IE, you can hover over the icon to see all the different tabs you have open. It’s kinda hard to explain without screenshots (which I can’t take, cos I’m on the other pc). Also, networking seems to be much improved over Vista, which is good (although I’m having a fairly weird problem at the moment where it sometimes refuses to see my network connection). However, it’s still fairly tempramental; I ran quite a few beta versions of XP (or “Whistler”, as it was called then) and it was always rock solid. That said, I also ran one of the Vista betas for a while (“Longhorn”), and I seem to remember that it was fairly dire (although that may have been before they restarted the development programme, so…).

Talking of Vista, it’s had a hell of a lot of bad press since launch. I’ve been running it for a while now, and I think it’s rather good. It’s always been completely stable and ran really well on my system. The only reason for everyone disliking it was the poor driver support at launch, but Microsoft can hardly force hardware vendors to write new drivers. I was reading a thread on a tech forum about the new Windows beta, and there were loads of people saying that they hated Vista but love Windows 7. Really, there’s very little difference between the two…

Anyhow, that’s the less interesting fiddling that I’ve been doing (and lets completely sidestep the possible innuendo there…). I mentioned a while ago about buying an Acer Aspire One netbook, and said that the only weak point was the software. Well, ages ago I read about a new flavour of Ubuntu which was being tailored especially for netbooks, and thought it looked kinda cool. A version was released not long ago, so I decided to install it.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix - Desktop

That’s the UNR desktop, and it’s really a joy to use. The top-left shows all the currently-running programs (so in this case, just Firefox), the top-right is the system tray (or whatever it’s called in Linux), the middle bit (which says “Home” in the screenshot) shows the titlebar of the software that’s in focus. It’s as good an interface as that supplied with the Eee, but much better looking in my opinion. It all sits on a kernel that’s been specifically optimised for netbooks like my Acer that run on one of Intel’s Atom processors, so everything runs really smoothly (well, it does now I’ve tweaked it for the Acer’s solid-state storage). Out of the box, pretty much everything works; I’ve done a few tweaks to get it working how I want it to work, but other than that it was fine. Certainly it needed less work than the Linpus distribution that the computer came with. The only snag at the moment is that I can’t mount network shares by NetBIOS name, I have to do it by IP address. Which is actually only a snag because I want to run Amarok for my music and it needs my shares mounted to the filesystem; the filemanager goes to smb://mydesktop/myshare with no problems, but Amarok can’t for some reason… I had the same problem with Linpus and I can’t remember how I solved it, which is irritating.

All in all, I’m fairly convinced that this is the best OS out there at the moment for devices like this. It’s astoundingly good. I really appreciate it when developers set out to make a UI which works really well; one which is immediately intuitive but also pretty powerful. The technology we have today is amazingly clever and can be amazingly complicated, but I don’t think that using it necessarily has to be the same.

Posted In: GeekSleepTechnology Tagged: | 8 Comments

The Night, Almost the Morning(?)

Monday 5th January 2009

I’ve had loads of ideas of things I want to write here recently. But unfortunately I’ve not bothered, and now when I sit down to write something out I can’t remember what the hell I was going to say. Really, it’s a lesson to not put things off too long. Or to write things down, I’m not sure which.

Anyway, it’s 2009. This is the first January for a while where I’ve not got any exams, which is pretty great. It means that since I finished work a couple of weeks ago, I’ve spent most of my time alternating between playing different games (various things on the Wii but particularly WiiSports and Tennis, Left4Dead on the PC, and lately Darwinia and Bioshock – thank you Steam January sale). Not that I probably would’ve spent my time all that differently if I did have exams, but this year it’s all guilt free…

Speaking of the games, I thought Darwinia was absolutely brilliant. It’s hard to explain what it is, so I won’t try. All I’ll say is that it’s bloody addictive, and it’s caused a fair few “oh shit, is that the time?” moments over the past few nights/mornings. Left4Dead is also rather good, but then you’d expect that from a Valve game. Bioshock has disappointed me a little, if I’m honest. I love the style of the game, the look and feel of the whole thing. But for some reason I don’t think the actual gameplay is that good; it’s not quite as compelling as other games are. It doesn’t keep me up till the early hours of the morning or make me say to myself “I’ll just finish this one thing, then I’ll go”. I’m not sure why exactly.

Anyway, 2008 was pretty good, all told. Probably could’ve been better, but it was certainly better than 2007. That said, like (I guess) most students years really start and end for me at the end of Sept/start of Oct, so the “proper” new year isn’t quite such a new start.

Uhm, I cant think of anything else to write. Thats a bit poor really. Le Sigh.

Posted In: GeekRandomSleepStuff Tagged: | 2 Comments

Eeeasy Rider

Saturday 6th September 2008

As you may recall, a few months ago I bought myself an Asus Eee. I said at the time that it was great – almost perfect in fact. And I stick by that statement. I bought it just as a toy really, a pure impulse buy; but for a toy it’s been spectacularly useful. Combined with blanket Wi-Fi coverage across the various Uni buildings, a small notebook (“Netbook”, I think the preferred term is) is absolutely ideal for looking something up quickly, or having access to all your lecture slides/past papers/tuition sheets when revising.

I said when I got it that the biggest flaw was the screen. So, when the new wave of netbooks trickled onto the market – almost all of them with larger screens – I was intrigued. The other week, I splurged on an Acer Aspire One. It’s very closely based on the Eee, but with an 8.9″ screen running at 1024×600. It also has a slightly better keyboard, which is useful.

In terms of hardware, this thing is probably better than the Eee. It’s much more usable, which isn’t to say that the Eee was unusable, just that this one is slightly better. The only thing that lets it down is the software. One of the things I really appreciated with my Eee is that everything was really well thought out. For instance, there was a command on one of the menus in the file browser thing to mount network shares from Windows-based machines. That makes it so easy to use the Eee as part of a network, which is probably a vital part of a machine like that.

On the Acer, you get the feeling things were rushed slightly in development. The biggest error that I can see is that an old driver was used for the graphics which meant that dithering didn’t work properly, meaning that fewer colours were displayed. That was really noticeable as banding on gradients, such as on the BBC website I use as my homepage. Or the menu screen that the thing initially boots into… It also doesn’t have an easy way of seeing Windows shares (to use winsock names you have to edit one of the config files. And even then you have to mount the share from the terminal, rather than a nice friendly window). Once I’d mounted my shares – so I could listen to music from my desktop – I discovered that the included media player is the biggest pile of shit ever. So I had to install something else to do the job (incidentally, Amarok is now my new favourite player and I wish I could use it in Windows too). Oh, and while I’m talking about the media player, I should mention that it doesn’t support DivX/Xvid natively. Also, at one point it stopped loading the network manager tool at boot (purely randomly), and I had to run it from terminal if I wanted to connect to a network.

One thing I will say in favour of the software is that the “easy mode” is based on XFCE, which is probably my favourite WM (from my previous brief forays into Linux). I turned easy mode off fairly quickly.

Now, I don’t mind having to do all these hacks to get the system working as I want. Actually I quite enjoy it – I’ve learned much more about Linux by tweaking this than I ever did from using the Eee. But I can just imagine someone non-techy getting one and having all these issues with it, would make Acer look fairly daft I think. Which is a shame, because it really is a good device – the screen is absolutely stunning (now that I’ve updated the graphics driver…). A worthwhile upgrade from the Eee, I think.

I have to say, I really love devices like this. It just makes sense to have a small, light device that boots up quickly (about 20 seconds) and can do simple things like get online, or quickly edit a document. Actually I’d happily work all day on the Acer, the keyboard/screen are that good. I can imagine that for schools, it’s be really great to give kids one each instead of textbooks and whatever, and throw a wireless network across all the school. They’d be able to access all their books at once then, as well as get online to get other info. Of course, it’s completely unrealistic to do that, but even so.

Anyway, it makes me wonder why someone didn’t come up with the idea sooner. It’s just pure brilliance.


Posted In: GeekSleepTechnology | 4 Comments

Seriously, Who Uses Password as their AP Password?

Monday 18th August 2008

Poor, poor form. But at least I can do something at the train station after missing the train. That said theres some fairly hefty rain falling, which is making me fear for my Notebook’s safety, somewhat. Never mind, plough on.

I’m currently listening to the new Sigur Ros album, and have to say it’s fairly stunning. Rather unlike their previous efforts in a lot of ways, but really good nonetheless. I particularly like “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur” (means “within me a lunatic sings”). One of those songs which is just pure, unadulterated joy.

OK, so there was just an announcement over the station PA telling everyone to be careful because the platform might be wet. Honestly, if you can’t work that one out by yourself…

Anyway, stuff. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’ve been working lately, which is the cause of the lack of blogging. To be honest a lot of the time I’ve not really had anything to say. And then when I have had stuff to say, I’ve just not been awake enough to say it. Pretty frustrating, to be honest.

I enjoy working in some ways. Gets me out of the house, gets me money, etc. That said lots of things about this job annoy me, and I really can’t wait to start a “proper” job in September. It might not be immediately clear what I mean by that, but it’s one of the things on my to-do list as far as this thing is concerned. Actually I started writing about it the other day, but… C’est la vie.

I was back in Cardiff last week for reasons previously mentioned. Something that annoyed me about that actually is that for the first time I sat the exam, revision was something I didn’t particularly like doing and the material didn’t make all that much sense to me. This time round, I really enjoyed revising (it was like doing a more useful sudoku, if that makes sense), and had no trouble motivating myself. Of course part of that is possibly down to there being no second chances this time, but I dont think it was completely down to that. Irritating.

Anyway, Cardiff. I drove there, and it’s the first time that I’ve really driven round there (I drove there once a couple of years ago, but that doesnt count for several reasons). As I was driving around the city, I realised that it felt really alien, as if I hadn’t been there before and didn’t know it that well. Probably because it felt completely different seeing and feeling it from the car. On familiar roads you get used to how they feel; where the bumps are, the texture of the road, how things work etc. It kinda felt nicer from the driver’s seat than it does from the pavement, but thats more down  to the quality of the paving in Cardiff…

Wow, I’m rambling now.

So yeah, as well as that alienness there was also a proper recognition of the place, as you’d expect considering the fact that I’ve (mostly) lived there for a couple of years now. Driving around, seeing lots of different places brought back some of the memories from the last couple of years. Sort of “oh, I remember doing such and such here”. It was nice, if a little weird when combined with the unfamiliarity I was feeling.

Still doesn’t feel like home though. When I’m on the motorway and I see a sign for The Midlands, it just feels like “That way be home”. Don’t feel that when I see a sign for Cardiff.

Train o’Clock. Bye

Posted In: CarsGeekMusicRandomSiteStuff Tagged: | 8 Comments

Another Hustle Just To Make It Big

Thursday 24th July 2008

Tunnel of Love by Dire Straits is the best song ever. Fact.

I’ve been through a slight non-blogging phase lately. A few reasons for that. I’ve either wanted to write about something, but not wanted my writings on that something to be available freely on the Internet; or I’ve not had anything to write about; or I’ve wanted to write about things on which I’m more than happy for my writings to be freely available, but I’ve not been able to articulate what I’ve wanted to a sufficiently high standard that I could get my point across well.

In summary: Moping, Unimagination and Laziness.

Another reason is that I’ve been working for the last week, which is really rather tiring. I’m sure theres something wrong with the fact that I seem to work harder over my summer vacations than I do over the rest of the year, but there you go. I realised the other day that I’ve not had a completely free summer since about 2002. Weird.

Working’s been pretty good to me though, to be honest. For those who don’t know, I work in a bank as a cashier. I first did it when I was 16, and looking back now at how I was then and now it’s probably one of the best things I’ve done, for a bunch of reasons. Mostly because the job I do is essentially a proper job that proper people do, rather than a “student” job (and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way towards other stuff btw). I’ve worked with all sorts of people from my age upto 60-odd – and obviously dealt with a nice array of customers – and I think it’s whats largely responsible for turning the shy, nervy 16 year-old I was into the slightly less shy, chilled-out 20 year-old I am now.

Theres a few of the customers in the branch I’m in at the moment who can’t work out how to use the front door. This isnt important, but I just felt you ought to know.

This is probably the last year I’ll be working in the bank. Next year I’ll be doing proper work, and who knows what I’ll be doing the year after. I’m considering doing an MSc after I graduate, and I was thinking about what sort of course I want to do. Research or taught? What area? Do I wanna do it somewhere other than Cardiff? Lots of choices.

I was also thinking about my car the other day. I’ve just got mine back on the road (first time I can drive regularly for a couple of years), and I was thinking of getting a different car in a few months. And then I looked at insurance. It’s frustrating, because I can afford some pretty decent cars, but the insurance is… Well I probably could afford it, but I’m not paying £2500-£5000 for it (admittedly the larger quote was for a Fiat Coupe. With the 20v turbo engine…). Ho hum. Might just keep what I’ve got.

I’ve also been thinking about racing a lot lately. Actually, since the British Grand Prix a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been thinking about Lewis Hamilton an awful lot. I’m probably gonna write another entry about that though, so I wont say much for now, other than: wow.

Tempted to pay to do a race weekend of some sort in the next year. I was thinking either karting, or possibly car racing in something like a Caterham. I’m almost definitely going to race when I’m in full-time work, because it’s something I love. Then, I’ll probably go karting to start with (cheaper…), but for a one-off I’m tempted to jump in the deep end. We’ll see.

Bleh, I’m tired. Should probably sleep. This has been a really awful entry, but as I’ve typed it (and think I should publish something), it’s going up. Sorry.

P.S. Theres also a few sites I keep meaning to add to the Blogroll. I’ll get round to it at some point, probably.

Posted In: CarsGeekMotorsportMusicRandomSleepStuff Tagged: | 1 Comment

Why Don’t Trains Have Wi-Fi?

Sunday 1st June 2008

Part I

It just seems like such a basic thing, in this always-connected world we live in. That said, there are probably more pressing things to sort out on the rail network…

Anyway, I write this en-route from Cardiff to the joy that is Birmingham New Street, which is probably a good example of something that needs sorting, actually. As is the way the train keeps bouncing from side to side, making it bloody hard to type. I digress.

Last week was spent in Devon, in a lovely little place called Slapton. There are a couple of interesting things about Slapton. Firstly, it has a big freshwater lake (Slapton Ley) which is separated from the sea by a narrow shingle bar, and the whole site is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), because it’s home to some rare birds or something and because it’s a really good example of that sort of habitat. Secondly, during the 1940s, the whole area was evacuated so that the Americans could practise invading it. Apparently it has a lot of similarities to Utah beach (the western-most beach they landed on during Operation Overlord). However, during the exercise (codenamed Exercise Tiger), a bunch of German ships happened to come across the landing craft just as they were about to land and managed to sink a few. As a result, there were about three times as many casualties during Ex. Tiger than there were on Utah during Op. Overlord.

Well, I thought that was interesting, anyway.

It was a pretty good week, all things considered. True to form the weather was pretty poor (after the weeks of gorgeous sunshine we had during the exam period), but it seemed to stay dry during most of our outdoor stuff, which was good. I quite like the field courses we have, because its a nice to get a chance to spend time with and get to know people that I wouldn’t ordinarily talk to. That said, it also means I had to tolerate some of the people who really irritate me, but gotta take the rough with the smooth and all that.

Actually, one of the nights spent down t’pub was somewhat eye-opening. There were a bunch of us in this tiny (usually quiet) pub, being studenty… I noticed after a while that the only people talking were those who were the loudest. There wasn’t really a conversation going, either; they just seemed to say something, then wait for other people to finish talking, and then say something else. We were there for a good few hours, and no-one really said anything. Now I don’t expect every conversation to be deep and meaningful; considering the meaning of life and other worthy questions. But I do think that conversation should be interesting, not just based around “this one time, I was really drunk…”, or whatever…. Eventually they got round to playing drinking games (loudly), which was just embarrassing. OK, drinking games can be fun, but there’s a time and a place. A quiet pub, where you can piss off all the locals, really isn’t it.

The next night we all went to Torquay (for a fun night out!), and I spent it with a different bunch of people. We ended up in this cramped little pub, where there was a guy with a guitar playing away in the corner. A guy with a guitar who seemed to be able to play any song you requested. Most people went to a club I think, but all present at the pub were in agreement that they missed out. Horses for courses, I guess.

The trip kinda got me thinking about where I’d prefer to live: a small place like Slapton, right next to the sea; or in a city. I really love the sea and being near it, so I think I’d really love to live near it. Cardiff is technically by the sea, but most of the city is a teensy bit inland, so I never really see the sea. So yeh, I’d love to live somewhere in an ickle coastal town, I think, but at the same time I do love cities. I love the atmosphere, and the way there’s always something happening.

I think that when I’m rich and successful in years to come, I’ll just buy a house in a city and a place by the sea, and alternate as the mood takes me. Don’t know which city, and which place by the sea though…

Part II

I had to get off the train, so I had to stop writing. I’m now writing from the sofa at home, a few hours later. Watched the Monaco Grand Prix earlier, which was really very good. I really felt sorry for Sutil (he’s in one of the worst teams, and was in 4th place until the current world champion crashed into him a few laps from the end). Hamilton was bloody lucky – his puncture earlier on in the race gave him a real strategic advantage over Massa and Kubica, and apparently he got a puncture on the slowing down lap after crossing the line. Lucky the race was shortened, then. Speaking of Massa, he’s driving fantastically at the moment. Dare I say it, title hopes? He seems to be doing better than Raikkonen at the moment, it has to be said…

Doctor Who the other day was really bloody good. Most of this series has been pretty poor, to be honest. It’s almost as if the writers have tried to make it comic because they’ve got Catherine Tate, but it’s really not worked. It’s been cheesy, almost slaptstick humour. Thinking back to the first “new” series, with Christopher Ecclestone as the Doctor, that was really rather witty and that’s the way it should be.

Apart from that, it’s been predictable as well. Like “The Doctor’s Daughter”. Who didn’t foresee her getting shot? And then who didn’t see her re-generating (and keeping her form)? Bad. Just bad.

Anyway, the last episode was good. It’s properly dark, and not at all predictable. And I really like the way that it addresses the fact that the Doctor is a time traveller. For those that don’t watch the show, I’ll explain what I mean. One of the characters in the episode knows the Doctor, but first met him at a time later than the meeting we see in the show. So she knows the Doctor and has known him for years, but he has no idea who she is. It’s pretty clever. Can’t wait for Moffat to take over the direction of the show.

The Lost season finale came out the other day as well, and I have to say I thought it was pretty good. It did exactly what I expected – answered a few questions, introduced some new ones, and basically revealed a little bit more of the story. I have to say I really like some of the issues and themes that Lost looks at. Things like Good vs Evil, Science vs Faith, Fate or Destiny vs Free Will, and so on. That, and the entire story is pretty magnificent. If you haven’t watched it before, I urge you to acquire it and to spend a few days watching it all from the start. It’s really worth it.

Posted In: GeekMotorsportRantStuffTechnologyTV | 8 Comments

A Conundrum

Monday 28th April 2008

If I try to do any work at my desk in my room, it doesn’t happen. I either gaze into space and listen to music, or watch a dvd, or play a game, or aimlessly browse the net, or something. But if I go down to the library, I manage to get loads done.

I have most of the same distractions, cos I take my Eee and my MP3 player with me. So I can still end up wasting time listening to music and browsing the net aimlessly, but I just don’t. I even sit next to the window, looking out over the green grass (and the train line. Ahem), and theres plenty of distraction there as people walk past on their way to/from lectures, or looking at the pretty shapes in the clouds. But instead I ended up writing a load of notes on English law and the court systems (for my Civil Engineering degree. Crazy talk! Incidentally, this amused me somewhat. The idea of trial by combat being an acceptable way to decide the outcome of a trial is delightfully mad. Shame they repealed the law, would’ve made Paul McCarthy vs Heather Mills somewhat entertaining. She could’ve knocked him out with her peg leg. Anyway, I digress).

Actually it’s not too much of a conundrum at all. My room-desk is just tiny. What with the monitors and speakers and keyboard and mouse and assorted desk-clutter, there’s really no room to work. Annoying.

I mentioned the Eee there, and it’s a really brilliant little tool for revision. Cos of its size, it’s really easy to carry in to uni in the first place, and then when you’re there it takes up a tiny proportion of the space of the desk, so it’s not in the way at all. A proper-sized laptop would be too heavy/bulky to carry in (along with all my other revision materials), and would take up a huge amount of the desk. As it is, the Eee is just the right size for looking up notes or past papers from the intranet, or for looking stuff up on t’net when your notes make no bloody sense (Wikipedia ftw!).

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Best Gadget Evar!

In other news, design coursework is proceeding nicely, and will be done in the next couple of days hopefully. Maths coursework is EVIL, and is probably going to take me as long as I’ve got (and probably a bit longer). Yesterday I did my first bit of ironing… well for years, really. My phone has just run out of credit, I need to go get food (yeh its late cos I got in from the library and started eating biscuits. Fail), and I didn’t get to sleep till 4am last night. Oops.

I don’t know why anyone would care about most of that last paragraph (I don’t), but meh. Meh, I say!

I’m already bored of the way this site looks. Theres a few things I like, a few things I don’t like, and a few things that are unforgivable. Theres also a few things I want to add to it anyway. I’ll probably change it when I have time/can be bothered (not soon then).

22 days till the end! (Excluding the field trip)

Posted In: GeekRandomSiteTechnology | 6 Comments

Wot’s… uh the Deal?

Wednesday 9th April 2008

Okay, first things first (because I forgot on Monday and feel ever so slightly guilty), a motorsport thing… :-(

I’ve been reading a lot about motorsport in the 50s-70s lately, and of course been watching the F1 retro thing that I mentioned in the last post, and there are several things apparent. The sport now is much more professional, more corporate (James Hunt, 1976 F1 Champ, had a badge on his overalls that said “Sex: Breakfast of Champions”. You can’t imagine anyone getting away with that these days…), and much more expensive. F1 specifically is touted as one of most technically advanced sports in the world (with good reason), yet theres much less room for truly inventive and radical thinking. If someone came to the game with a revolutionary part nowadays, other teams would probably try to get it banned. In the past, they’d just try to make something better…

But for all that motorsport fans witter on about “the good old days”, we forget the bad things. Reading about the era, or watching that programme, it’s really scary how many drivers died because of the sport. I literally can’t imagine that, and I have no idea how people drove the cars in those days knowing that they were likely to die in them.

Whilst I’m on the subject of motorsport, a word about Max Mosley: lolz. About bloody time the arrogant tosser goes (assuming he does, of course).

Anyway, now time for rant the second. I talked last time about the net, and the whole “brave new world” thing. Well, now the flip side. On the one hand, I can’t believe that ISPs think the BBC should pay for them to upgrade their bandwidth. The BBC is just a content provider, and I fail to see how that means they should pay for the bloody network as well. It’s purely the ISPs responsibility, and frankly it serves them right. Broadband in this country is shockingly bad when you compare it to other places, and it’s about time it was sorted out.

On the other hand, I’m really not surprised. All infrastructure in this country (roads, trains, post, communications, etc) is overpriced and shit. We seem to have this aversion to investment, the philosophy of “oh well it works ok at the moment, we’ll just patch it up”. Okay, but that means that infrastructure doesnt grow with demand, meaning that service gets worse. I don’t know if that’s a result of privatisation, poor regulation, or just The Way We Are, but it’s really inexcusable. Again, if you compare something like our trains to pretty much any European ones, then you notice how woefully bad ours are.

Actually, making the point about privatisation, it amuses me how most large companies seem to massively miss the big picture. Taking the example of the trains, if they continually invested in stations/trains/tracks (and I mean basic maintenance as well as updates for faster service or whatever), surely over the long term that will save or make them more money? Provide a better service, then more people will use it… I see the same kinda thing when I work in the Bank (but with different things. There it’s the way they treat staff), and I just find it amazing. Ho hum.

Posted In: GeekMotorsportRantTechnology | 4 Comments