Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Oh the Humanity

Something terrible is going on in Australia prior to and on our national day. Sausages are being recalled. How will we the nation cope?

Monday, January 24, 2005

The foibles of the modern technological world

When I went from England to France on Saturday morning, the time was adjusted automatically from Greenwich Mean Time to Central European Time. (This was slightly confusing to me, as I was not expecting it. Presumably the GSM mobile phone standard or one of the additions that were made to it later allows the network to send a time signal, and my phone (a quad band GSM/GPRS Motorola v500) supports this feature. Presumably also one of the French networks that I connected to is transmitting such information, so the phone's time was adjusted. (I am permitted to roam to any of the three French networks, and I would have been connected to all three at various times, so it is only necessary for one network to be doing this).

However, when I came back to England, nothing happened. My phone is still set to French time. Presumably my home network - the Orange network in the UK - does not transmit time signal information. Therefore I have to reset the clock manually. It is normal for phones to be allowed to connect to any network when roaming in foreign countries, but only to their home network in their home country. Therefore whereas it is only necessary for one French network to be broadcasting a time signal for my clock to be adjusted when I go there, it is necessary for one specific network (Orange) to be broadcasting a time signal for my phone to be adjusted when I come back.

This is the worst of all possible worlds of course. If you use your mobile phone as a timepiece, you want its behaviour to be predictable. You want to know that either that it will reset itself automatically or it won't. A situation where it will reset itself sometimes but not at other times is not ideal.

And it must be a complete pain in the arse for people who (say) work in cross channel ferries and whose phones are constantly switching from English to French networks and back again.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Still in Paris

It is a little after four on Sunday afternoon. I am in a faux-English brew pub near the French national library. The beer is good. The WiFi is free. I could go and explore a little more of the more remote bits of Paris, as I intended to when I arrived, or I could have a couple more pints, continue typing away, and watch Newcastle United play Arsenal on the big screen.

Life is hard.

Blog Archive