Monday, June 26, 2006

Weekend ramblings

By the standards of some of my friends, this isn't a book collection. This is a sample, and not a particularly representative one either. But this is my SF collection, post pruning* and proudly installed on its new shelves. Just. The ones lying flat at the ends are surplus copies of The Xenocide Mission and The New World Order.

[*I had to be ruthless. Was I likely to read it again? Was it a classic? Would Best Beloved want to read it? Should the Boy want to read it? If it couldn't score a yes in at least one of the above, out it went.]

So, my books have a home at last: not just these, but the non-SF titles, the reference library etc, all safely ensconced. Just a small little tweak but suddenly this flat became much more like a normal home again over the weekend.

Meanwhile, as OneTel efficiently disconnected Best Beloved's phone a week before they were meant to, the Boy decided he no longer had any reason at all to keep his computer at home, so it has moved in here, a week ahead of the rest of the furniture. And been linked to this computer via a wireless network. Which, thanks to a passing Teenage Whiz Kid, has been encrypted. Now, I know I work for a company that by the end of this year will have launched a nationwide 10 Gbit/s fibre optic multiplexing bandwidth channelled network that links the nation's universities, research councils, schools etc ... but I'm still impressed, mostly because I set up the wireless bit. We're making progress.

An interesting discovery was that a book in my reference library has a photo of the grave of Teenage Whiz Kid's great great uncle. This was a man called Herbert Cave, who was a steward on the Titanic and died when the ship went down. He's buried in Halifax. On his body was found a list of the first class cabins and their passengers. This is the only known record of which passengers went where, which was very useful for James Cameron on his Titanic dives and other researchers.

TWK decided to show off by finding a proxy server in Australia that could generate a hit on my web site. He was a little deflated to find that there were three other hits from Aus too, presumably genuine. (Did I mention I'm finally on Google Analytics, six months after applying?) His next challenge is to get me a hit from Antarctica. Watch this space.


  1. Hang on. It took me two weeks to get a google invitation. We seem to have got it at the same time, but applied for at different times.

    Google must have been slow at sending out invitations!

    I see that you are still using statcounter as well. A wise move.

  2. Maybe Google just decided that Abingdon's time has come!

    There may be a problem in that the Google map doesn't have Antarctica on it ...

  3. It is probably a good thing your wirless got encrypted. Your house is on a main road and anyone nearby could access it without.

  4. That was exactly my thinking, especially in my dodgy neighbourhood. I mean, I'm right next to the police station. Don't want Thames Valley Police getting a free ride, do we?

  5. I think you should be more worried about the people above and below you than the police, although I can pick up an unencrypted connection from almost the end of my road from my house.

  6. If I really wanted to I could pick up 2 unsecured networks from my pc, as well as a host of secured ones. The stupidest networks are the ones which have their address as the network name. Those crimanals will know exactly which house to park infront of.

  7. I can detect two unencrypted and one encrypted, not counting my own. I could name the network "hah ha ha you can't hack me" but that might be overconfident.

    One day - he says confidently - it will be like mobile phones, where there is such blanket, universal coverage that it doesn't matter whose network you're on.

  8. I heard somewhere that some UK cities are having their entier centres wifi enabled for public access. The city of London alreaady has it. No plans for Oxford though.


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