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October 1, 2002

Sex, Caffeine and Internet

I'm writing this from the Teledanmark in shop in Copenhagen which appears to have some pcs with free internet access (i.e. they haven't thrown me out yet!). I've been working on the new frontpage to the site for the last couple of days, and version 5.1 of it is up now. Off to espresso house now for some badly needed caffeine.

October 3, 2002

Sitting down here...

Looks like I'm back to normal, sitting here in the middle of the night, wandering aimlessly around in other people's websites, remaining lost in some South American time zone rather than going to bed in the hope of trying to be awake with the people on this side of the world tomorrow. Never mind.

October 4, 2002

New videos

We're heading up to the summerhouse for the weekend with Nina's parents and hoping to get some work done on a couple of projects. In the meantime, if you've got a fast connection, check out some of the new videos that are up on the site.

October 9, 2002

ADSL in Denmark

We've arranged to get adsl into the flat. Apart from the fact that we're often out of Denmark for months at a time and broadband here costs around 2-3 times the price it does in Britain, we can't really go on with life in Denmark any longer without it. We recently lost cable tv in the flat due to technical reasons, and sadly we can no longer watch BBC World or any other English programmes so internet is even more important now.

October 10, 2002

Chris and Berit have been...

Chris and Berit have been keeping in touch and continuing the relationship that they began when they met on Zamindar in the summer. They spent a dirty weekend in Paris, then she met Chris' family last weekend, and now he's taking a week off work to spend with her in Copenhagen next week. I do of course plan to ruin any romantic plans they might have by dragging Chris off to the pub at every opportunity to play the complex Danish drinking game, 'woopty-woopty-slam' and giving him a tour of Copenhagen's finest kebab houses.

click for big image

October 11, 2002

A taste of wireless

I ordered a wireless card the other day from the uk and so I was excited to get a box in the post this morning. The first open wireless networks in Copenhagen have been started by a group called Organic Network, and so I installed the card, cycled into town with my laptop, and after a bit of playing around with my network settings, I'm sitting in a cafe writing this online! Nina and I are working on a project to set up some similar networks in the area, so I'll keep you up to date on progress. Have to get back to surfing now!

October 14, 2002

What not to search for...

If you do a search on Google for superyacht limitless, which is one of, if not the most expensive superyacht in the world, then this site is number 9 in the list of hits. We also seem to be quite popular with people searching for nudists in menorca, where we're straight in at number 4 in the charts, though I couldn't even remember writing about it until I followed the link. It's strange when you have to check Google because you can't remember something you did yourself, and I can imagine this happening more as I get older, "Now where did I put my keys? I know... www.goo..." As you might have guessed, tonight I've been looking into the referrals we've been getting from search engines.

October 22, 2002

Fox encounter

Last week was the October holiday here in Denmark. Chris was over to see Berit, Nina was off university, and we all ate and drank far too much. Chris had his credit card retained by an ATM for no reason at all, and was lucky to retrieve it before they sent it to the UK, where he no longer lives. ADSL was finally installed into the flat on Friday, giving us an always-on connection, except when windows98 crashes, which is half of the time.

We spent the weekend at the summerhouse with Lisbeth and Jesper, and on Saturday evening we all sat down to eat a lovely dinner of steak. The back door is right next to the table, and it was open to let in some fresh air when suddenly Nina shouted that a dog had just come in and run out again. We jumped up and looked out onto the porch to see a fox holding one of Nina's trainers in it's mouth, which it had just grabbed from inside! Nina, whilst being amazed to see a fox so close, was a bit concerned in case her trainer got rabies, and so I was sent out to retrieve it from the fox. It dropped it happily, as I'm sure it didn't taste very good, and I got it back, but the fox was really tame and just stood looking at me so we gave it some steak, which it seemed to like, and eventually we sat down to dinner again. It continued to look through the window at us for twenty minutes or so until finally it wandered off into the trees again.

(all pictures on this page can be clicked for a bigger image)

October 23, 2002

Hard drive gets wiped

I was trying to burn some backup cds this morning but my writer decided that it just wanted to spit out coasters. Then ironically I downloaded a program called CleanCenter this evening, which is supposed to clean a lot of old, redundant files out of your pc to help it run smoother. For some reason, however, it decided to delete my entire hard drive, including Windows itself! So I have spent the last 7 hours attempting to get Windows up and running again, and examining my hard drive with a file recovery program to try to recover the files that I wanted to backup this morning. Looks like this should keep me busy for some time to come. Not a good day.

October 24, 2002

Copenhagen Metro

I tried out Copenhagen's new metro today, although one of the coolest things about it is its web address, simply www.m.dk. It actually opened on Saturday, and Nina and I bought tickets and went along, but it just turned out to be a farce. It was badly organised, too many tickets had been sold, and crowds of people were pushing to get in while event security managers (i.e. fat bouncers) held them back. In the end we left the crazed crowd and walked away, giving up on the promise of free coffee and croissants inside.

So today, I returned, determined to see a train. The new underground stations have been designed to be bright and open, and rather than entering from the usual rabbit style hole, the entrance is down escalators through a wide vertical shaft. The stations themselves are very small (60mx20m), with little space to walk around, and with escalators cluttering the platform it can get quite cramped with people waiting. As is often the case in Denmark, it looks good, and more thought seems to have gone into attractive design rather than efficiency. On the platform they had someone shouting at people and organising them into rows like schoolchildren so that passengers were able to get off the incoming trains, and a big bouncer was there to deal with you if you didn't listen. The trip through the clean, new concrete tunnels is terrific though, as the trains are driverless with large windows fore and aft, and it feels more like you're travelling through the Death Star than Copenhagen. It's a shame though, that the chance to put in a smooth, efficient system has been missed, especially compared to metro and monorail systems in Asia, where lines are painted on the floor where you have to queue, and to seperate people entering and exiting, and the stations are long open spaces without obstacles. Most people in Denmark don't understand the 'please stand on the right rule' on escalators, and there are no stairs to run up if you're really in a hurry to get out of the station, so the only way is to take the lift or stand behind people sleeping on slow escalators (1min 5sec to climb 18m). Unfortunately, as is so often the case with these things, no-one asked me for my opinion when they were designing it.

October 25, 2002

Anti-globalisation protests

While cycling into town the other day, we noticed a bright yellow circle painted on a wall, and wondered if it had been someone warchalking without chalk. As we continued into Copenhagen, however, they became more and more common, until finally there was one on almost every shop. Then we spotted some lettering in the same day-glo yellow - the word lott.dk. So we checked the site when we got home. As Denmark currently has presidency of the EU, the next EU summit will be held in Copenhagen on Friday the 13th December, which is perhaps not the wisest choice of dates. Lott.dk appear to be planning a huge 'day of action' on that date, and their website describes it in a frighteningly black, fairytale style. Worrying stuff.

Wired is reporting that water voles are being pushed towards extinction in Britain due to people confusing them with rats and killing them. They are now the country's fastest declining mammal, having disappeared from 90% of their sites in the last 60 years. The Wildlife Trusts website helps you discover the difference.

I found this Bush Speech Generator on BoingBoing today. Make your own George Bush speeches, then watch him read them out!

October 26, 2002

Saving data

I've gradually been picking through the remains of my deleted hard drive with recovery programs over the last few days, trying to find some of the files that I don't have backups of. As far as I can see, my main losses seem to be recent photographs, files, webpages, and most of my email, though some of my program disks, including DreamWeaver, which I use for websites, are on the boat, and therefore difficult to re-install from here! The upside of the accident is that Windows 98 is running much, much better since being re-loaded, and my pc is as fast as it was in the beginning.

October 27, 2002

The blog migrates...

Blogger, where this normally lives, got hacked yesterday, and so I went back to trying to get MovableType up and running on the server, something that I'd previously attempted. Well, after most of last night and all of today trying to understand cgi scripts, I'm happy to say that this is it, and so far it seems to be running!

So apart from the fact that this looks different, what is MovableType? Well, it's a server based content management system that allows me to log into my server from anywhere with internet access and update this. The biggest changes to the site are;
you can search the site
you can add comments, and I can reply ;-)
you can click on a category to go to its postings
all days with a posting are highlighted on the calendar

Hope you like it, though I'm still ironing out the bugs. Any problems or comments?

October 28, 2002

Returning to Scotland

I've just booked flights to Scotland for next week and I'm hoping to catch up with all the friends I haven't seen for over a year. My flight from London to Glasgow cost a whopping �1.99 plus tax (under �9 total) with Ryanair.

For flight info click below

4 Nov Flight GO406 Dep 2055 Arr 2150 Copenhagen - Stansted
5 Nov Flight FR407 Dep 0950 Arr 1100 Stansted - Prestwick

October 29, 2002

Saddam Hussein's website

According to this article on Wired, Saddam Hussein's email account has been hacked into (no, it wasn't on Hotmail), and apparently they found lots of emails from American companies trying to sell him products. His homepage and short biography (English) are here, and his birthday is only two days after mine - it must be something about Taurians.

October 30, 2002

adsl and pixies...

The WeatherPixie
Yesterday I spoke to Ocean on IM, whom we stayed with when we were in Hong Kong last year, and there he pays �10 a month for a 3-Mbit adsl line - 12 times faster than the connection we have in Denmark, and a fraction of the cost. Electronics and internet access are much cheaper in Asia as they're considered to be everyday items, rather than having the luxury status they command in the west.
This is WeatherPixie, and right now she's showing what the weather's like in Copenhagen. As the weather changes, the graphic changes and she changes her clothes, which I think is very cool. Should she have a permanent place on the site?

The Neon Fountain

Copenhagen has so much beautiful architecture, though personally I think it would be nice if more of it was floodlit at night. I was, however, a little surprised to see that someone aesthetically challenged has decided that it would be a good idea to cover one of the oldest fountains in town with neon lights. They've also added neon shapes to one of the buildings facing it to ensure that now, when it gets dark, H�jbro Plads looks like a strip club.

October 31, 2002

Better security for Wi-fi?

Joi Ito mentions that WECA are about to annnounce a new set of mechanisms to address the vulnerabilities in wireless LANs. This is interesting as we're just in the process of writing a report on wireless security and while wardriving for it we found that around 70% of wireless networks didn't even have basic security settings enabled.