* Posts by SA_Mathieson

21 posts • joined 24 Sep 2015

The Central Telegraph Office was serving spam 67 years before vikings sang about it on telly


[In calming and slightly robotic voice] Technically Michael, it's Knightrider Street. [Makes swirly noise while line of red lights flash.]


If you're interested, here's the BT Archives entry for it: http://www.digitalarchives.bt.com/CalmView/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=BTA%2f5+PH%2f2%2f1%2f0%2fP+367&pos=448


I recall being told about the 'Cable' exchange rate at my first job in journalism, covering corporate finance from an office on Playhouse Yard, just round the corner from the GPO South/Faraday Building North site.

Yes, that would be a Morse key, although it seems that the CTO tried pretty much every cable technology available at some point - the Hughes 'piano' keyboard is particularly striking.

What made a super high-tech home in Victorian England? Hydroelectric witchery, for starters


Re: Interesting

Seahouses has a range of chippies, but I reckon Lewis's, 22 Main Street, is hard to beat: https://www.seahouses.org/where-to-eat/

Blueprint of modern construction can be found in a tech cluster... of 19th century England


Re: "passed to Historic England"

This is indeed the full version. I used "passed" to avoid spending several sentences explaining a fairly complex bit of civil service-NGO demerging.


Re: Wow! Go Shrewsbury!

It was a pleasure to visit, and I'm definitely going back when Flaxmill Maltings opens as offices and a museum. Thanks for adding your memories.


Re: Geek's guide

Cheers Korev, will enjoy something equivalent this evening.

Worcestershire's airborne electronics warfare wonderland


Re: Defford

That is an impressive bit of recycling. Didn't have space to include this as it's not tech-related, but another bit of Croome, the tapestry room from Croome Court, ended up reconstructed in the Metropolitan Museum in New York - https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/croo/hd_croo.htm.


Re: Drakelow ...

Accessibility for wheelchair users looks pretty good, details are here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croome#Facilities%20and%20access The RAF Defford museum is all on one level and just by the car-park and reception.

Tech can do a lot, Prime Minister, but it can't save the NHS


Re: Geography

Both Scotland and Wales run their national health services along similar lines, as does Northern Ireland, although it doesn't use the NHS name. All three have less complicated structures than England, less private-sector involvement and in some ways are more generous (free prescriptions for everyone). Wales has largely nationally-run IT, and managed pretty much to avoid the Wannacry ransomware. But the differences aren't massive, and all face the same funding issue.


Labour plans to increase the annual NHS England budget by £11bn a year. Given three health think tanks reckon it needs £30bn extra in five years' time to stand still given the healthcare inflation problem (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/127abc06-4a19-11e7-a7b8-5e01acd01516) the same funding shortfall largely applies.

Big tech's grip loosens on UK.gov IT spend


Re: Some familiar names...

Capita is certainly a big supplier to government, and I found £442m spent with the group across the five departments - although that's still less than Aspire at HMRC. The problem is as you say that Capita provides all sorts of services, and trying to work out what was IT and what wasn't would have been tricky. Also I noted that the Cabinet Office, which presumably can demand information rather than using FoI and open data, didn't have Capita on its list of IT suppliers (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/29/central_gov_splashed_63bn_on_it_with_42_per_cent_on_just_three_suppliers/).

Turing, Hauser, Sinclair – haunt computing's Cambridge A-team stamping ground


Corrections and clarifications

Thanks for your comments Aelfric, MOV r0,r0 and VinceH - we've corrected the park and ride charges and tweaked the section on Acorn and RISC.

Thanks Magnus Ramage for your comments on EDSAC and the Arup Building. I was using "on the same site" as meaning "on the New Museums Site" as well as trying to keep the tour reasonably simple by treating it as one location.

I loved Micro Men, but did realise when researching this article that it was best-treated as based on a series of true stories rather than the truth and nothing but.

Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery


The good news is that Goonhilly isn't gone, although BT tried. It's not open to the public at the moment unfortunately, but The Register got me in for an earlier Geek's Guide: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/25/geeks_guide_goonhilly/.

US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'


Re: Good for competition?

I'm writing an article about immigration and IT for The Register. Interested in hearing from those who make the case for preferring to educate locals rather than bringing in staff from overseas. If you can help, drop me a line - mail [AT] samathieson.com.

Tech biz bosses tell El Reg a Brexit will lead to a UK Techxit


Re: Reading the article

I'd be interested in talking to you for a Register article relating to your comment. If you're interested, email me via mail [AT] samathieson.com - thanks.


Re: Devaluation might be good?

I'd be interested in talking to you for a Register article relating to your comment. If you're interested, email me via mail [AT] samathieson.com - thanks.

Brits learning from the Continent? Authority, digi gov wheezes and the Autumn Statement


Re: Distrust - thanks for the comments

Thanks for the responses. Lars - the idea of class being a factor in mistrust is an interesting one - guessing you mean 'lions led by donkeys' where the majority have an assumption that the leadership class are incompetent and/or in it only for themselves?

On 'small country', I should probably have qualified that by saying 'small country of roughly equivalent wealth and development to the UK'. When I talk to civil servants working in the Welsh and Scottish NHSs (healthcare is fully devolved, ie run from Cardiff and Edinburgh not London), they say they find it easier to get things done than colleagues in England because they can more easily get everyone around the table, and much smaller budgets provide a strong reason for everyone to co-operate.

Bookworms' Weston mecca: The Oxford institution with a Swindon secret


Re: Very interesting.

Happy to say that the Bodleian Library declaration survives, just under the data protection notice on admissions form A: "I hereby undertake not to remove from the Library, or to mark, deface, or injure in any way, any volume, document or other object belonging to it or in its custody; not to bring into the Library, or kindle therein, any fire or flame, and not to smoke in the Library; and I promise to obey all rules of the Library."


My photos are all photos, and the Bodleian says the same is true of the ones it provided. It's true that the BSF and the new Weston look rather like computer simulations at the moment. Give it a few years.


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