Engineer engineering internet

the leaving of #UKNOF23 TfL bus number 205 to Paddington

Never let it be said that this blog fails to deliver. This time I present for your delectation a journey on the TfL number 205 bus which left Old Street for Paddington yesterday afternoon.

I had been at UKNOF23 at the Google Campus near Old Street and was headed for a rendezvous at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel with Paul Schwartz. Paul is an interesting bloke. He is CEO of Danish router manufacturer Icotera and member of the board of the Fibre to the Home Council (Europe).

Now some of you might wonder what on earth I am doing showing a video of a bus ride. This video is actually of a single hop between two stops: Old Street and Moorfields Eye Hospital on the City Road (of “in and out of the Eagle” fame). It represents a short window on the life of London and will potentially, when considered in conjunction with millions of other snapshots, contribute to the historical record of our great capital city.

The bus enthusiasts among you will also complain that a single stop is not enough. Give me more, more – I hear the clamour. Well there were two factors that prevented me from filming more. Firstly most people will not even watch the 52 seconds of this single hop. Then there was the fact  that my battery was running low and I needed to conserve it in anticipation of the need to call Paul because I had no idea what he looked like.

So there you have it. Those wondering why I left UKNOF23 during the afternoon coffee break now know and those who simply like to ride at the front of the top deck of double decker busses (which could well be the vast majority of the UK population) should also be happy.

And so to the video…

PS these videos are becoming increasingly popular. The one of “How to make steak tartare” has hit 60 views on YouTube! Life is good:)

Business olympics

London 2012 Olympic Countdown – some key dates from a network operator perspective

London 2012 Clearway 2012 Olympic routesWe are all back and, I assume suitably refreshed from our Easter break – that’s Spring break for readers in the USA. We can now start the official countdown to what is likely to be the most intensive summer of activities that we have seen in the UK, at least as far as I can remember and I’m old.  If you haven’t already noticed from previous posts I am very very excited about the Olympics and from now until the games intend to write as many posts as I can manage on the subject.

To set the scene it is worth talking about key dates for the diary. This summer is not just all about the Olympics. There is a lot more going on.

End User olympics

If You Haven’t Got an Olympics Ticket I’d Think Twice about Going Anywhere Near London in August #LOCOG

TfL interactive tool showing that London is going to be choked for much of the OlympicsCould the London2012 Olympics be the new Y2K? I suspect not. Y2K came and went and we all looked back and wondered what all the fuss was about.

I have just had an email from Transport for London telling me that for large chunks of the day I can expect to have to wait longer than 30 minutes to board some tube trains. I regularly come in to Kings Cross in the morning and the underground is sometimes so busy on a normal commuting day that they shut off access to the platforms because there are already too many people down there.

If TfL is talking over 30 minutes wait the queues just to get through the door will be enormous. extract from TfL advice showing huge anticipated congestion at Kings X station This is bad enough if you have tickets for an event and need to get there but is also a bit of a shame if you don’t and were just hoping to hang around the city soaking up the atmosphere. It might not prove to me as much fun as you had anticipated.

TfL has clearly gone to a lot of effort modelling the passenger traffic scenarios over the period of the games. Check out their interactive tube map here. It’s a bit like the BBC’s own predictions for iPlayer traffic. The annoying bit is that the BBC, along with all ISPs in the UK I’m sure, will have additional capacity in place to cope with the increased traffic levels.

It looks to me as if TfL has just come up with this interactive map and told everyone they would be better off walking. I suppose that is planning of some sort! If you ask a London Cab driver what their plans are for the games many will tell you they are going to see how it goes for a day or two but think they will probably end up taking the time off and going on holiday which will compound the problem.

If employers in London haven’t yet put contingencies in place to facilitate homeworking for all their staff over this period then now is clearly the time to get their act together1.

PS London is also often “full” on a regular weekday. ie there are no available hotel rooms. I’d take a tent if I were you.

1 Timico specialises in supporting homeworkers and  provides thousands of broadband connections for businesses for this very purpose  – mail me at [email protected] if you want to know more.