Monthly Archives: August 2013

How many screens does a single lad need?

lcdTHIS TIME last year I found myself in San Jose, kitted out with a notebook, a tablet PC and a phone.

A nice chap  said to me: “Mike, you’ve got three screens there. How many screens do you need?”

That set me thinking – and so today I decided to do a count of how many LCD (liquid crystal diode) devices I have here in the hoose.

The results are shocking, unless you’re an LCD or glass manufacturer. I have a total of 13 LCD screens here in a house where only one person lives.  Eight are upstairs and five are downstairs.

If I had 26 pairs of eyes, and could function on two levels at the same time, and had many heads and arms, there might be a point to it all.

I haven’t counted the number of LEDs there are in the house, but after all, they just wink at you, don’t they?

Thames Water screws up again. Hi Bob

* UPDATE: I have just had a call from Thames Water – the shutdown will happen on Monday the 19th…


MEMBERS of my community here in Mill Street, Oxford,  received a letter from Bob Collington OBE, operations director of Thames Water.

Bob CollingtonThis letter, reproduced below, is slightly alarming for a number of reasons.  The first is that the “interruption to your water supply” will happen on Tuesday the 19th of August 2013 between 10AM and 4PM. Tuesday is not the 19th of August – it is the 20th of August.

Realising the anomaly, I decided to call up the 0845 number to ask what gives. 0845 costs, of course.  Talked to a very nice chap who said that basically Thames Water had screwed up and I’d have to talk to another nice chap on another 0845 number in the morning.

Spoke to another nice chap. He said yeah it was a cockup and the interruption happens on Tuesday the 20th of August. I asked why. He said: “There are very few details on the file. But we’re changing the iron pipes to copper pipes on the estate.”  He asked if I had iron pipes. I said, I dunno, haven’t dug up the front to find out.

I know some people round here. A few of them have had similar letters from Thames Water. I asked if Thames Water was going to clarify the cockup so they knew when the famous “interruption of service” is actually  going to happen.  No, said the nice chap. If they need clarification they will have to individually and severally contact Thames Water on the 0845 number.

You can email Bob at this address and I will be asking him to refund the money I’ve spent on behalf of my neighbours, all probably just as confuzzled as I am. ♥

Thames Water

Geiger counter in Oxford, anyone?

Geoger counterMY SOURCES here in Oxford, and they are highly reliable sources, tell me that it’s not just diesel contamination people have to worry about.

As we reported here earlier, and subsequently followed up by the venerable Oxford Mail, diesel pollution is the name of the game in certain parts of this City of the Screaming Squires.

A completely different source informed us, off the record, that Oxford City Council might well sue the university over the diesel spill.

But perhaps boffins from the university, not far from Port Meadow, should get out their Geiger counters and check out how much ticking there is at a spot nearby.

Radioactivity is nothing to fear – heck we come from Aberdeen, Scotland, where Geiger counters tick like there’s no tomorrow because of the granite bedrock.  But there’s a time and a place for everything and it’s time to examine the place, not far from Port Meadow, we are reliably informed.

Gazprom comes to Mill Street

SENIOR EXECUTIVES from Russian Fed firm Gazprom tipped up in the Kite, tonite, to have a tipple.

We asked why Gazprom was here, hoping that they would rescue us from the Mill Street disaster, already filed on this here Volesoft blog.

Unfortunately, the tight lipped suit refused to say anything whatsoever, apart from asking for another pint and displaying his Gazprom credit card to staff at ye Kite, to pay for his “beer and snooker”.  We did wonder, however, why there were four Russians in the Kite at the same time. We could tell they were Russians, because they had snow on their boots.