End User fun stuff

It was 25 years ago last week

Had my Silver Wedding Anniversary Bash over the Bank Holiday weekend. A great time was had by all. Lots of people turned up to find out how Anne has managed to put up with me for all that time.

It’s made me think of what technology was available in 1988. Mobile phones existed. They were analogue and for the most part had to be plumbed in to the car battery to work. I had one when I was working as a Field Applications Engineer. I recall turning up outside Anne’s house in London and calling her from the car. It was an uber impressive thing to be able to do in those days (from my red Cavalier SRi).

When we got married her Uncle Harry did the wedding video. We watched it again for the first time in 25 years last week. Had to convert it from VHS to mp4 which we did after an appeal on twitter resulted in @ClivePetty bringing the kit around to the house the weekend before. Thanks Clive. There was no such thing as editing a video in those days, at least not by a layman. It came out raw and unexpurgated.

None of the guests would have had a mobile phone, an email address or an internet connection. Internet? Wossat? All the invitations would have been sent out in the post and the venue for the bash selected after physically driving around all the options to find out which dates were available.

The map telling people how to get from the Church to the Hotel was printed out on sheets of A4 with handwritten instructions. No Sat Nav.

The wedding photos are kept in an Album in the cupboard. We don’t have the negatives. Probably many of the guests have never seen them.  I’m not sure we have seen any other photos from our wedding. Sharing was too difficult. The inventor of Facebook might have been born, but only just.

We had typists at work and I once remember faxing a large US Government Contract proposal to our New York office and having to refax individual pages once they had been amended. It took too long to fax the whole contract again.

Moore’s Law was first described in 1965. By 1988 whilst people would be able to use it to forecast things like the memory size on a computer it isn’t something that would have been in the minds of most. Even businesses would have very few PCs around. Certainly the average household wouldn’t have had one. They were too expensive and there wasn’t much you could do with them.

I’m going to stop here. I’m not sure all this “showing my age” business fits with my life philosophy – and after all I’m only a kid.

Having seen all the developments in tech in the interim 25 years it’s quite exciting to think about what might be coming along over the next quarter of a century. Read all about it on 🙂

broadband Business

Reliable broadband…Just How Important is It? – #godigital2013

Importance of reliable broadband – video interview

Pinched this off YouTube – it’s a quickfire interview I did at the onlincolnshire #godigital2013 conference

I’m talking about how mission critical reliable broadband is these days and how you plan for problems.

You know it makes sense…

PS In the vid I’m wearing my new sports jacket – Harris Tweed. As the winter continues it vicious bite it makes a lorra lorra sense

End User phones

BlackBerry Z10 smartphone comparison with Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone

trefor with blackberry10We have a BlackBerry 10 and have put it through some rudimentary comparisons with the Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4s1. The iPhone5 may perform differently but I don’t think it hugely matters as the comparisons are not particularly scientific.


  • iPhone4s 38seconds
  • BlackBerry10 79 seconds
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 26 seconds

Galaxy S3 wins hands down but reality is that most people keep their phones on 24×7 and the BlackBerry has to perform a handshake with the BlackBerry Enterprise server so it is no wonder it takes longer. This test is therefore probably not hugely relevant but seeing as we had done it I’m not going to waste the info.

At this point the iPhone4s left the room and we continued testing:

Web browsing

BlackBerry10 ZThe BlackBerry10  is supposed to major on speed of web access and this would appear to be the case. We tested the BB10 versus the SGS3 on two websites. Initially we chose a random site – speciality fasteners and screws – you know it makes sense. Both devices loaded this site in around 6 seconds though there is a lot of room for error in the measurement with this method – clicking on start buttons on timers and also trying to ensure that both of us did it simultaneously on two devices.

We moved on to which gave us a reading as to the speed of our web access – at least for html5. For good measure we also threw in Google chrome running on my laptop.

  • BlackBerry10 485
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 390
  • Chrome on Windows7 448

Higher is better here so at first glance, and with only a small set of comparison points BB10 is, as it claims to be, a fast device for accessing tinterweb.

Couple of videos for your delight and delectation. Firstly Timico Engineer Dean Asher talking about his first impressions of the BB10 which are very good.

The second vid is Dean showing off BlackBerry Flow which does seem to have some very nifty features in allowing you to switch between applications.

All in all the BlackBerry10 is likely to be a device that corporate IT managers can give to their staff that won’t make them complain about its functionality. To a large extent it is going to be all about the timely availability of apps. Time will tell whether the BB10 turns around RIM’s fortunes but it looks like it could give them a sporting chance.

1 I couldn’t find an iPhone5 around the office and not being an Apple fan I don’t care if someone comes along whinging saying that the iPhone5 is much better than the iPhone4s. iPhone5 sales are disappointing the markets anyway and it’s no wonder I couldn’t find anyone with one 😉

Engineer internet peering

Trefor Davies elected to board of LONAP

@tref on a VoIP conference callYesterday I attended the Annual General Meeting and 15th birthday bash of LONAP – the London Access Point. LONAP is a not for profit Internet eXchange and is used by Timico along with LINX (London Internet Exchange) for peering with other networks.

In a world where uptime and resiliency of networks are important LONAP and LINX are complementary and together provide Timico and its customers with fast access to a large number of networks and content.

I am particularly pleased proud honoured to announce that at yesterday’s AGM I was voted onto the board. It’s an exciting time to be around. The type of service provided by LONAP, for those of you unfamiliar with the IX genre, is fundamental to how the internet operates. You may also have noticed that the use of the internet is growing rapidly. To be on the board at this time is to be in an environment where lots of change is happening all the time.  In a world that is moving so quickly it is important to stay at the leading edge and working with LONAP will help Timico to stay at the front of the pack.

The photo was taken by outgoing Chairman Seb Lahtinen – I’m at the LONAP social after the AGM and actually on a VoIP conference call. The restaurant, Belgo, had excellent O2 WiFi coverage and I spent an hour on the mobile VoIP client with a flawless “signal”. I’m not going to tell you what I was doing with the cuddly toy though seeing as it is Friday there is a Timico megamug for anyone who can tell me who gave it to me.

End User media

@BBCRadioLincs tech predictions for 2013 – @mrwilliam talks with Trefor Davies

Trefor DaviesFor the those of you who didn’t surface until after lunchtime on New Year’s day here are some links to my chat with William Wright on BBC Radio Lincolnshire yesterday.

In the first we talk about NGA/superfast broadband and 4G.

The second is about the snoopers charter and what’s happening in mobiles in 2013.

They are both around 15 minutes long but I’m told well worth listening to the whole lot 🙂

broadband Business

#FTTC video outtakes #broadband #fibre

Broadband video case study – the outtakes

Just browsing through some bits of video left on the cutting room floor after we finished the FTTC case study. Thought a couple or three might be of interest.

The first one was taken with a GoPro camera positioned inside the cabinet filming the door opening and the Openreach engineer coming in to do some work. In this one you can see one of the cameramen filming the cab from the outside.

Bit like the David Attenborough nature stuff where at the end of the programme they show you how they did the filming. Nothing particularly dramatic such as a close encounter with a shark or a yeti. We were however filming outside a school and a very concerned headmaster did come out so see what was going on. He went away though I sensed that he would have been happier if he had shooed us away.

The second film is a short one taken from the outside with the open cabinet so that you can see the workings. No GoPro camera inside this time – obv we had to do multiple takes to get all the different angles in.

The third is one I took of the BT crowd in my conservatory. Of course you only see me in the case study but in actual fact there was a huge support team including the outside catering van, make up artists, continuity, clapperboy, director, producer, personal masseuse etc – you get the drift. I couldn’t fit them all in the conservatory so you get four.

Some of them will be at my Xmas bash so if you are coming to that you will be able to chat with them in person. Not often you get the chance to meet the people behind the movie eh?

Some of you have asked for a video showing the process of the installation. I didn’t get any of that off the production team but I will ask. Bear with…


Vint Cerf photocall #nominetpf

I am an unashamed fan of Vint Cerf, inventor of the internet and Chief Internet EvangelistVint Cerf with Trefor Davies at the Nominet Internet Policy Forum of Google.  Imagine my surprise when he came up to me at the Nominet Internet Policy Forum and asked if I minded being photographed with him!

Of course I was more than happy to oblige though the photographer was so excited he couldn’t stop shaking.:)

I am of course only joking. There are some times in life when you have to abandon any shyness, walk up to a man and ask him if you can have your photo taken with him. Vint must be used to this and we had a nice chat about SIP – Henry Sinnreich and Alan Jonston are friends of mine and used to work for Vint at MCI – look ’em up.

That’s all.

Business events

The glamour and glitz of the ISP world

line up of Timico staff on stage for the Newark Business AwardsThis post is up just so that you can see the lineup on stage as we collected our Newark Business Awards Business of the Year prize (holiday in Necker Island, Upper Class flights, Rolls Royce etc – the plaque is just for display in reception back at the office). It may be clearly seen that good looks are one of the qualifications for working at Timico1.

To my right are Saira Khan of “The Apprentice” fame and Joanna Parlby of the Newark Advertiser. From Timico are Scott Wroe, Suzie Hodges, Nadine Edmondson, Katie Nicholas, Sandra Hine, Andrew Fox, Dawn Spear and Jo Barker.

Just for reference Suzie is the one with the Brazilian headdress. She has a collection which is watered daily. We have very progressive advanced refined tastes in fashion at Timico.

1 no clever comments please – just appreciation 🙂

broadband Business

Pigeon vs broadband trailer on the BBC

Audio of a trailer intereview I did with the BBC last night talking about the rerun of the South African broadband versus pigeon race but in the UK this Thursday.

Update 17.20 15th Sept

There is a fair bit of media interest in this event with live radio interviews for BC Humberside and BBC Lincolnshire for tomorrow’s breakfast shows, mid morning and drivetime on BBC Lincolnshire as well as extensive  TV coverage on Look North. The BBC main news website is also covering the event.

Look out for the  rory&tref  hashtag on twitter during the day.  Rory and Tref are the two pigeons that will be carrying the microSD cards (Rory Stewart is the MP for Penrith).  Check out the Cumbrian Rural Broadband event he is organising here.

On a side note we will know the exact time of arrival of the pigeons back in the loft because they will be RF ID tagged. I am expecting a convincing  avian victory.

Business competitions

cheezy grins all round at the Timico cheesecake competition

My cake making competitions have become very popular.  The strange thing is that I get people I’ve never met before coming up to me saying that the posts I write about these competitions are amongst their favourites. Well one person did last week at the LINX meeting anyway. 

I’m not sure what that says about my other posts but in answer to this huge demand I am happy to report the winner  of the August competition – this time for the best cheesecake – is Paula Davies (no relation afaik).