Archive for July, 2004

Good Technology History

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004

Since it’s coming up to Good Technology’s tenth birthday I’ve been doing a little usenet paleontology.

First message from October 1994 - “Pulp Fiction Web site - with movie clip!!”

http://tinyurl.com/6nwqp

Here’s a job ad from 1995:

http://tinyurl.com/5zuz9

When the company started up in 1994 I was 17 years old - still at school doing my first year of A-Levels. I didn’t really get to play with the internet until I landed at university in 1995 and then joined GT after graduating in 1998.

Dubrovnik

Sunday, July 18th, 2004

Low budget ursine taxidermy Close up, showing sellotape claws.

Had a lovely week in Dubrovnik with Sarah. We got back from Gatwick late last night and we’ll be driving out to Wales in a couple of hours, so theres only time to bung a few quick recollections here.

The Good

Hot and cold running kittens on every street corner. Not sure what this says about the life expectancy of Dubrovnik’s cats, but the place was crawling with affectionate feral kittens.

Kittens!

We were lucky enough to sit on a clifftop bar and watch an electrical storm rolling in over the sea at night. Should you visit Dubrovnik, Buza is a bar on the cliff face outside the walls of the old town with an amazing sea view. The only signage for the place inside the town is a wooden sign marked “Cold Drinks”, it’s well worth a visit.

Buza - Cold Drinks

We really liked Levanat - a pretty nice restaurant in the Babin Kuk area of Dubrovnik, at the end of a scenic and kitten infested path alongside the sea.

Levanat

Also: Patchily repaired stuffed bears with Sellotape claws. The sandy beach on Lopud. The Napoleonic Fort on Lokrun. The pond at Trsteno, full of fat green frogs and goldfish. Fried Squid. The number 6 bus - like clockwork every five minutes between our apartment and the old town.

The Bad

The Croatians are enormously proud of their wine, and exclude all other countries offerings from their menus. Overheard at an adjacent table in an otherwise lovely restaurant:

French Lady: Is there something wrong with this wine? Is it supposed to taste like this?

Waitress: Yes, that’s how it should taste.

French Lady: Are you sure? I don’t want to get ill….

After trying a few bottles we decided it all had an aftertaste of gasoline, so switched to beer for the last few days.

Dubrovnik is pretty poor for shopping, nothing of value to tourists seems to get produced in Croatia. The locals seem to be impressed with shoddy Italian goods, which retail at ridiculously high prices.

The Ugly

I’m a big fan of interesting bugs. Croatia is home to irridescent green beetles as big as the end joint of your thumb, and trees full of noisy cicadas.

Beetles Cicada

That’s all for at least a week. Bye.

Dubrovnik & Wales

Saturday, July 10th, 2004

I’m off on holiday in a few minutes, heading to Dubrovnik with Sarah this week, coming back briefly next Sunday before going to West Wales for another week.

Don’t bother checking here while I’m away as nothing much will happen, though I may post some photos here quickly before we head to Wales.

Barrel Jellyfish

Friday, July 9th, 2004

I saw one of these barrel jellyfish while snorkelling in Pembrokeshire last year. I was very surprised at the time to see one of these metre long ghosts swimming just inches below me.

Apparently the huge numbers of jellyfish in the Irish Sea are drawing in leatherback turtles, though you’d have to be very lucky to spot one.

Captain Slack!

Tuesday, July 6th, 2004

Seen here in his classic winged dressing gown, hand made from navy and burgundy super-inertial towelling.

Captain Slack! When justice calls, he'll be sleeping.

When justice calls, he’ll be snoring on the couch.

Like wandering through a rainbow’s colon

Tuesday, July 6th, 2004

After taking Sarah out on Sunday afternoon for some practice driving around in a car park we stumbled across the suburban delights of the East Barnet Community Festival. The festival seems to be snowballing into something quite large these days, with a large selection of white elephant stalls, carny folk and mechanically questionable fairground rides. Surprisingly there was also edible food on offer this year - we ate some very tasty jerk chicken bought from a jamaican barbecue.

The most interesting thing we found was the “New Age Colour Experience”, a giant inflatable tent with rooms of all different colours. Some of the pictures came out quite well:

Sarah got the blues Blue - Green - Red Into the white

The “New Age” part of the experience was a well meaning woman warbling indistinct vocals into a loud PA that carried through the whole tent. Could have done without that really….

The end of the Mountain Grill?

Friday, July 2nd, 2004

Not sure what’s going on at the famous Mountain Grill, but the sign was painted out and the windows were partially white-washed when we went down to Portobello for lunch today.

It cannot be!

You can almost make out the mountain mural through the window - they haven’t painted over it yet.

Is this the end?

Here is the picture of the grill from the sleeve of “Hall of the Mountain Grill”, the Hawkwind album from 1974.

hawkwind sleeve pic

I really hope it’s not gone for good, it’s a great Portobello landmark. Where else could you picture Luther Arkwright selling magic mushrooms to Lemmy over a cheap cup of tea?

Update: The Mountain Grill is no more. Time to leave West London.

All bow before Norm!

Friday, July 2nd, 2004

I gave in and bought the Robosapien yesterday evening. I have christened him Norm.

All bow before Norm!

Robot Henchman sighted in UK Gadget Shop

Thursday, July 1st, 2004

I really want one of these Robosapian toys:

But it's a robot!

I came incredibly close to buying one on impulse last night, saved only by a lengthy phone call to my brother where I begged him to persuade me that I wanted to keep my 80 more than I wanted this robot. He only just managed to win by arguing that he couldn’t handle the personal failure if he lost the argument, all other lines of reasoning went something like this:

A: Come on, that’s 80 - think what else you could do with the money!

P: But it’s a robot!

A: You’ll get bored of it in a month.

P: But it’s a tiny robot henchman!

A: 80!

P: Robot!

I was mid way through the second three hour long, tube strike commute of the day when I spotted it in the gadget shop yesterday. I’m not quite sure how I ended up on Oxford Street in the evening. After a 3 hour journey in the morning I decided to travel back by brownian motion, getting on any bus going vaguely in the right direction, fortunately some of the Northern line was running by 9.00 and I got home at about 9.30. If the gadget shop staff had mentioned even a slim possibility of programming the robosapian to hunt and maim RMT members, they would have made a sale.

Now I think about it a little more, it seems there is a real risk of these robots turning bad and handing control of the planet over to their demented inventor. Maybe by not buying one I’ve avoided a horrible “Child’s Play” inspired death. Yeah….. that almost makes me not want one…..

Not so fun once you hear the context.

Thursday, July 1st, 2004

Daniel S: “Cecile’s is not that big, but it’s more bushy”.

He was talking about her basil plant, which is now competing with our tech department favourite for the prestigious “biggest basil plant in the gt office” prize.

Fortunately we have a secret weapon, ours is constantly nourished by the cathode rays from a Timesplitters 2 pause screen:

Basil!