Thursday, November 30, 2006


On the train to Dublin at the moment and a woman who has been loudly talking on her phone all the way has suddenly shut up.

Why ?

Because she wants to go to portlaoise and this train doesn't stop there though she says that it should. The checker told he she would have to pay for the portion up to Dublin and back down because she boarded the train and was told to change at Thurles.

She claims she shouldn't have to pay because its not her fault the train doesn't stop and she's doing her bit for the environment.

So there. She has decided to not pay and to argue her case in her cultured tones in Heuston.

The upside for üs is that she has shutup and we no longer have to listen to her work calls.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Voip providers in Ireland

Up to a few days ago I used smart076 for my voip. I had a Linksys ATA into which I had plugged a second dect phone and it was grand and cheap. I then bought a Siemens C450ip which is a dect basestation which can connect to the PSTN and a VOIP provider. This meant that one handset could do both types of calls. I noticed however that it showed up a lot of "SIP registration failed" messages which I had initially put down to hardware problems - maybe a dodgy ethernet port or a dodgy phone or whatever. I took the opportunity to visit the smart076 forum and see if there were any issues and the silence there was deadly - many queries but no answers. I looked at my calls list and November was blank even though we had been making calls. So for me it was bye bye Smart. Obviously they are going down the tubes. So I moved to Blueface - new 076 number but then no-one calls us on that. More polished web interface and similar rates. Hopefully this provider will last longer !

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tech Ed IT Forum 2006

Tech Ed IT Forum 2006
Originally uploaded by despod.

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas
Originally uploaded by despod.
Market off Las Ramblas

Blogger Beta

I've moved to Blogger Beta and it seems that one advantage is that the posting from flickr is working again - woohoo. I'll throw up some pics from Barcelona.

Advertising in IT

Advertising in IT
Originally uploaded by despod.
This was in TechED last week.

eReg: Register of Electors Online Enquiries

This Register of Electors seems to be a farce alright. My details have been incorrect for years and during the summer I filled in the form and returned it to the Corpo. Judge my surprise when I couldn't find myself on the register. I rang the Corpo who confirmed that I was still spelt incorrectly and they promised to chnage it. Still no change a few weeks later.

Interestingly my refuse charges bill has my name spelt ok.

eReg: Register of Electors Online Enquiries

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Carols by Candlelight with the Irish Sopranos.

Carols by Candlelight

Our local national school Ballintemple NS is holding a fundraiser on December 14th in the SMA Church on the Blackrock Road featuring the Irish Sopranos. Seating by 7.30pm sharp. Tickets are euro30 and if you want one or two or three contact me !

It is all in a good cause so please consider going or even sponsoring the event eg donating candles

Click here for info about the Irish Sopranos

Friday, November 17, 2006

My new GPS unit: Acer's e310 touchscreen GPS and audio player

My new GPS unit bought in MediaMarkt in the Diagonal Mar Shopping Centre Barcelona - lovely unti so now my Navman ICN510 will be up for sale !

Airport security

Airport security is a strange beast.

My pants setoff the àlarm in Barcelona but not in Heathrow. My boots went through Cork, Heathrow and Barcelona but not Berlin. My GPS was scanned twice in London but not Barcelona.

Waiting for flight to Cork and its a dreary Heathrow !

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Flickr Pics

Flickr and Blogger are playing up again so my Barcelona pics aren't being uploaded to this blog. Pics are available right here

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Newsflash from TechEd

Vista is going to be like .OS X Tiger and have fast-user switching , preview tabs and spotlight-type searching.

Its funny watching this being demoed as if its a whole new departure in IT !


Monday, November 13, 2006


In Gatwick North Terminal waiting for flight to Barcelona.

It is very quiet here much quieter than I've ever seen a London airport. Nice noodles upstairs with a view towards the runway.

Flight over was with Ryanair and we had a Jimi Hendrix look alike on board. Seats were cramped though. Jimi won the onboard raffle for a free flight (no tins of USA biscuits though)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Stasi spy chief Markus Wolf dies

Interesting timing - there is currently a debate going on in Germany regarding the Stasi files. It seems that the law covering how the files were used and vetting expires this month and some parties want the files to be sealed. BBC NEWS | Europe | Stasi spy chief Markus Wolf dies

Monday, November 06, 2006

Into the West.

We came back from Berlin on Saturday morning and the journey was a bit of a mixed bag. Schonefeld Airport is cramped - it makes Cork look big. The station doesn't have baggage trollies until you get to the exit. Seating is in very short supply. However the security staff were polite and efficient. The flight home was fine - surprisingly its cheaper to buy a fry on the plane (Aer Lingus) than in dear old Cork Airport. After arriving in Cork we were told that the buggy wouldn't be given out at the bottom of the steps (as was usually the case) but would come out on the baggage belt. So off we went and after a while our bag came out but no sign of the buggy. Hmm. we wondered where it was and so did another family waiting for theirs. After a while a fellow passenger came over and suggested we look at Belt 4 as she had some other luggage come out there. Lo and behold the buggy was there. However Cork airport in their wisdom put up very few signs about this and the ones they have are headed "OVERSIZE" and mention buggies in smaller print down the list. Maybe I'm odd but I'd consider oversized to mean such items as pianos, printing presses, roofboxes, tailors dummy but not a bloody buggy. Leaving the arrivals (after that great 180 degree turn) we found that there was still only 1 pay machine working. It seems that Cork Airport still hadn't fixed the machine that was out-of-order on Tuesday morning. We were in the long term and I noticed that the shuttle bus goes from outside the multi-storey carpark - no harm in making the punters walk eh ? I won't go on about the reinforcement bars (rebars) hammered into the ground just beyond the kerb in the carpark - the guy beside me had inadvertently backed into them... By the way Berlin was excellent !

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Reichstag

Quick. Note for anyone thinking of visiting the dome - being a baby in their buggy with you. The queues weer massive so we decided not to join then but an employee noticed us and asked is did we want to visit as there was a fast track for families with small children.

So off we went and 5 minutes later we were up top. See Flickr for some pics. Its an excellent panoramic view.

Coming down we joined the queue for the lift and another employee came along and told üs to go to the top as we were a family with small kids.

All in all a nice change to get some priority !

Berlin view

Berlin view
Originally uploaded by despod.

Potsdamer Platz snow

Potsdamer Platz snow
Originally uploaded by despod.