Specialty Hardware

Volume 6, Issue 96; 09 Oct 2003

A bungled connection gave me the opportunity to fiddle with a bit of specialty hardware.

I bungled a connection. In my travel from Oxford to London Paddington to London Liverpool Street, I managed to arrive a moment too late for the 19:00 to Norwich. That had the carry-on effect that I arrived in Norwich too late to catch my planned connection to Acle.

I’d run the laptop batteries to zero, read all the papers I brought, and run out of cash, so I was happy to find a toy to play with during the 45 minute wait for the next train. (Note, this is a 45 minute wait at well past 9:00pm for a train between a small station and a spec of a platform in Acle. In my native land, I can get to or from Amherst exactly once a day. Sigh.)

The toy in question was a nifty public phone/internet kiosk. Amusingly, the phone thought it was 3.8 miles from the British Museum but that meant it had lots of descriptions of museums and activities in London for me to peruse. All free for the benefit of advertisers.

I thought the keyboard was particularly intersting.

Specialty Keyboard
Specialty Keyboard

I don’t think I would have thought of making a single key for “www.” You can tell this is a phone in the UK by the relative size of “.co.uk” vs. “.com”. And only one mouse button.

My train came on time and whisked me toward much anticipated bedlam. Draging a large suitcase, a laptop, and a camera bag through three trains and two subways takes it out of you. But I am emphatically not complaining.