Engineer fun stuff

Electric smart car in Hamburg

Just had to post this photo because it is so cool. It’s an electric smart car charging up on the street in Hamburg. I’ve never seen one before and it was uber impressive (appropriate that uber a German adjective 🙂 ) so I snapped it with my trusty SGS3 so that I could show it to y’all. Quite dinky as well. Wouldn’t have one meself mind you as I’d struggle to get the golf clubs in but it clearly suits someone.

That’s all folks.

electric car

Engineer fun stuff

Now this is a NOC – Hamburg Model Railway

Hamburg Model Railway NOCMany of you will be familiar with the Timico NOC. It’s a 24x7x365 top class resource for our customers. There aren’t many around as good as ours. On Sunday I saw one that came close. It’s the control centre of the Hamburg Model Railway and pictured in the header here. Click on the pic for a full size panorama.

It’s not 24x7x365. The place shuts at 8pm. It’s hugely impressive though. The whole place is. I first heard about it on a James May TV show and decided I just had to go and see it.  I went on my own without the kids. They wouldn’t have enjoyed it:)

Reality is I’m in Hamburg with LONAP for the Euro-IX meeting. You will no doubt hear more of the meeting in forthcoming blog posts but for the moment I’m happy to dwell on the Model Railway of the Miniatur Wunderland as they call it round here.

Hamburg Model RailwayRecognising that this is a technology related blog I include a photo of the three racks that they use to run the network. Not particularly tidy cabling but nobody is complaining. Also I’m not going to go into any depth on facts about the railway. I didn’t pick up any info like that. When you go to see it you spend all your time gazing at the layouts. If facts are what you want just catch up on the James May show.

Really the point of this post is just to brag about the fact that I’ve been to see the Hamburg Model Railway. If you don’t think it’s something worth bragging about then you are clearly not on my wavelength.

Some vids below for your entertainment:

Apps End User mobile connectivity peering phones

Google Now wow

googlenowGoodness gracious me it’s the 12th of April already. We are nearly a third of the way through the year #wosthatallabout? Fortunately the worst bit is over, weatherwise, supposedly. Those that have survived the winter are clearing out their nests in anticipation of a new season of renewal and growth etc etc etc.

Today I have a bunch of conference calls and am working from my home office. Looking out onto my back garden the birds are gathering new nesting materials. Nice.

I just popped down to the station to pick up a bunch of train tickets bought in advance to get the best deal (coz I’m tight) and noticed something eerie on my phone. Google Now not only told me the weather at Lincoln train station but also at Schipol Airport and in Hamburg.

googlenowI can already hear the “so what”s and the “get to the point”s. The fact is I am traveling to Hamburg tomorrow via Amsterdam Schipol for the 22nd Euro IX Forum. It’s in my calendar. Google Now saw this and told me what it thought I wanted to know.

Well it is absolutely right. I did want to know the weather at my destination because I have been wondering what to wear. Those who know me will realise that this is somewhat unusual for me but we have been suffering from “brass monkeys” weather and how am I to know that it isn’t just the retribution of a merciless god on a heathen population. The same powerful being might have had a different attitude towards the Germans who have been very generously propping up the Euro for a substantial chunk of mainland Europe, as well as the occasional paradise isle. No point in me turning up in Germany in my thermals if shorts would be more suitable.

As it happens it looks like the weather is going to be the same in Hamburg as it is in Lincoln Station so the Germans must also have done something wrong. Hah!

So for me Google Now, right now is looking quite useful. I like the way that it tells me how long it would take me to drive home from wherever I am at any particular time in the same way that in the morning it tells me how long my drive to work is going to be. It also seems to vary its output based on traffic conditions.

It’s pretty cool. At this point in time I’m not worrying about the fact that it knows quite a bit about me though that is something I will have to keep an eye on. The fact that I can switch Google Now off doesn’t make much difference here because probably all that is doing is switching off the display mechanism and not the actual gathering of the data itself. I dunno.

Anyway I’ll keep you posted on my progress in Hamburg. Look out for a post on the world’s biggest model railway. Oh and there’s Euro-IX of course. A gathering of the world’s finest internet exchanges which I will be attending as a director of LONAP. I will report back.

Ciao baby.