* Posts by arwel

10 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Jan 2010

UK internet pioneer Cliff Stanford has died


Re: RIP Clif

Oh, the phone bills! I first got online in early 1994 with Compuserve and Cix on my little Atari 1040 ST and a 14.4Kb US Robotics modem, but they were all trunk calls, and so was the Fidonet site in Ipswich that I was a “point” of. OLRs were a godsend, but even so the first quarters’ phone bill after I got online was £360. That summer I was at the World SF Convention in Winnipeg and one programme item was a discussion of this new-fangled Internet thing, and we had an exercise to see how much we were spending on it - I was the last person with my hand in the air as the figure reached Cdn$720 (the exchange rate was exactly £1=Cdn$2 then), largely thanks to the Americans getting free local calls.

I joined Demon in the summer of 94, and was cartref.demon.co.uk, shortly before Demon opened a semi-local PoP in Warrington which got the phone bills under a bit of control. I kept the node until Vodafone got their hands on it, but each successive new owner seemed to result in fewer services being offered for the money :(

Thanks for everything, Cliff, and RIP.

IBM manager had to make one person redundant from choice of two, still bungled it and got firm done for unfair dismissal


Re: As I always say

Well they could be serving them broiled or fried...

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP


Re: Demon to Vodafone

Yup, I was with Demon from 1994 until a year ago - it was ditching the email addresses which finally pushed me to Vodafone FTTC VDSL, and I’m getting around 55Mb, when I was lucky to get 3Mb before.

I first got on this new-fangled Internet thingy at the start of 1994 with a Compuserve account and a 14.4K modem, and fairly soon I had a FIDONET point, but everything was at least an ‘a’ rate trunk call - it was Demon that finally got local dial-up numbers to me. I remember I was at the 1994 World SF Convention in Winnipeg at a discussion about the Internet, when they did a little survey of how much people were spending to access it - keep your hand up as they raised the price; I won because I’d just paid a £360 quarterly phone bill - at the time I only paid £270 for a return flight from Manchester to Toronto and a one-way flight from Winnipeg to Toronto on the way home!

Star Trek: The original computer game


Re: Now that's what I call nostalga!

Oh gosh. I remember playing this on my schools' dial-up connection to the local colleges' ICL 1903T at lunchtimes in 1975. And as for the UEA computing centre annexe on Friday evenings in 1976-79 when everybody was using up their weekly allowance of computer time... the introduction of VDUs saved an enormous amount of paper and was a lot quieter. As I recall, the UEA version had added black holes to randomly transport the Enterprise around the universe, and Romulans who were more numerous but a bit easier to destroy than Klingons.

UK.gov's love affair with ID cards: Curse or farce?


Re: The sad thing about ID cards

When I renewed my passport in early 2002 it cost, if I remember rightly, £24. When it was renewed again ten years later it was £77.50. I certainly don't remember my pay more than tripling in the meantime....

Littlest pirate’s Winnie-the-Pooh laptop on the way home


If the artist ever received the money in the first place - which I very much doubt.

Halifax cuts investment accounts off from the web until April 2012


Security too good

This is the bank which enhanced its security so that in addition to the sign-on and password you now have to enter the x, y, and zth characters of a "memorable" phrase to get in to your account - which is so memorable I can never remember it and have to have it reset every time I want to access my account. At least it keeps the usage down.

Nominet forgets what the first .uk domain name was


GB's a lot older than the ISO

GB has been the UK's identifier since long before the ISO was created - it's been the car identifier since at least the late 1940s, while aircraft registrations have begun with G- since the dawn of aviation.

Wiki crew launch attack on FBI official seal bluster


Not on Britannica any more

I notice the seal's been removed from the Encyclopaedia Britannica's article today...

Police cuff citizens for videotaping arrests


Cops destroying evidence

If it really was evidence, then in making you delete the clip the cop was guilty of destroying evidence and should have been reported; if it wasn't evidence, then he had no right to make you delete it anyway. In the UK the police have NO legal authority to insist on the deletion of pictures or video without a court order.