Tuesday Apr 21, 2009

Tube across europe

Crossing London on the Tube, to get to Kable's "Open Source in the Public Sector" conference reminds me of the weekend in Barcelona, both the prices and experience were better in Spain, although I didn't travel on the Metro during a rush hour.

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Monday Apr 20, 2009

And a surprise on my arrival home

Travelling home today; the hotel had one internet terminal in the lounge so I have been out of contact during the weekend. We visited the sites and some of my pictures, including this one are uploaded into my barcelona set at flickr.

Sagrada Familia

I was in the air as the press releases about Oracle and Sun were circulating. I got a text message when I landed. Twitter had turned itself off while I was abroad and this is probably a good thing, but it was old fashioned SMS that let me know and now like you, I just have to wait and see what happens.

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Wednesday Apr 15, 2009

Nice People at Heathrow

So off to Barcelona for long weekend via the marvellous Heathrow airport. I have never been so close to missing a plane...

I have actually, I have had people on the jump seat pulled off on a journey to Spain before now, but I must thank all those people who helped us through our journey across the airport.

Saturday Mar 14, 2009

If you're travelling to Bristol

The 'Hackathon' is at the University of Bristol, on Woodstock Rd., which charges for parking on Saturday, but is free on Sunday. We should have been cuter on that, and I got lost last night on the way in. Better research would have helped. I wonder if Google Earth would have helped, I doubt it'd have helped plan my car parking, but it might have helped me avoid getting lost.

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Friday Mar 13, 2009

Off to Bristol

Off to Bristol, for the University of Bristol OSUM 'Hackathon'. I am staying at the Hotel Mercure Brigstow in the city centre. The area seems lively with a large choice of restaurants and pubs, but I was tired so ate in the restaurant. The one in Grenoble which I stayed in last year was, unsurprisingly, better, but tonight's meal filled me up. None of the city centre hotels in my and Sun's price list have car parks, so NCP win out again.

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Sunday Feb 15, 2009

Trusting the customer in the hospitality trade

Or where to get cheap food and drink. The Guardian last week seemed quite keen to publicise some bars and restaurants that offer you the opportunity to pay what you think they're worth, in London and Berlin.

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Tuesday Nov 25, 2008

Impressions of the Citie International

Among the things to do better should Sun come to ICT again, is that the hotel should be booked in advance. Its a real pain being so far from my hotel room; I can't return to my room for either power or privacy. The commute is a time consuming pain; I am staying in Vienne which is about 30 minutes away, although the journey takes much longer. The journey in both directions was made harder by a strike on the trains, it was just like old time in England being picketed by the CGT. I hope it's easier today.

The Lyon convention centre is enormous and very good. If we could justify a Sun global training event in Europe, it'd be excellent, I wonder if they rent parts of it?

International Conference Centre, Lyon

Even at this conference, they 'ushhered' people to sit below the main walkways when using the main auditorium for break out sessions. Having said it'd be excellent, are there enough hotel rooms in Lyon, as I said I booked late and AMEX couldn't get me in (to Lyon), but it could always be AMEX's fault. The number of breakout rooms might be a constraint and the wireless was poor in a number of rooms and unlike Palau de Congressos de Catlunya in Barcelona, there is no power available in the conference rooms and halls. They claimed 4500 delegates at ICT 2008.

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Monday Nov 24, 2008

Vienne

I am in staying in Vienne to attend the EU's ICT 2008 conference, to be held in Lyon which is a biennial conference of Europe's top IT researchers in commerce and academia, convened by the Commission of the European Union.

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Wednesday Nov 05, 2008

Tuesday on the night of Obama's election

Last night was very quiet, I went to Kapps in Mountain View. I had left the office where a number of people were, oddly, watching the BBC web site report via a wall screen display. I had also enabled the facebook and multi-protocol chat applications on the ipod and discussed the elections with my son at home in the UK. This was pretty good as I had to stop using my laptop. The media seem to declare states as won very early, with the BBC and Guardian being earlier and more certian than the US sites. Also the polls also shut early in my british view, the west coast polling stations shut at 8:00 p.m.

McCain conceded at 20:15, I wasn't expecting it so early; in British elections, the polls don't close 'till 22:00 and the counts don't start untill the counting stations are open, which is usually at 23:00. The first results come through at just after midnight and the results aren't ususally clear 'till the early hours. I rember going to bed at 4:00 am on 1st May 1997, knowing it was good, and that Mellor and Portillo were looking for work, but the final results weren't known 'till later in the morning.

The CNN site was awesome and I used it to follow the results during the earlly evening, and I have followed the elections via realpolitics.com, the BBC page had a great feature to show the states in proportion to their electoral college votes. It looks something like this, which is much more accurate and powerfully descriptive than a geographic map.

The political map from the BBC

In 1997, I had a page torn from the Guardian and ticked off results on the paper's 'Must Win' list. A pencil and paper, but nomadic solution, to go with the UK's pencil and paper voting system.

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Sunday Nov 02, 2008

Back in the USA, part II

I shall be in the USA for the election, which could be fun, but certainly interesting.

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Back in the USA

Back to California for training and meetings. Sadly my Virgin ticket is so cheap that I would have to pay (money) to upgrade before I can use my miles to upgrade my seat. I should know by now, that loyalty schemes are designed to maximise the vendor's interest, but it now seems as I am in a position that I am now a member of another airline scheme where I can't spend the miles.

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Monday Oct 20, 2008

Holland

Back to Amsterdam again for meetings

Monday Sep 15, 2008

Back to Brussels

I am back to Bruxelles for NESSI steering committee tomorrow. I had dinner at the Bar à Tapas. Not particularly Belgian, but good all the same.

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Thursday Aug 28, 2008

More in Budapest

I walked down the hill from the castle heights, towards the Magrit Hid. There's a number of small alleys with steps as its quite steep. The views from the heights are quite dramatic as central Budapest is quite low and the old, i.e. very old, 'buildings of power' dominate the skyline. You can see the Parliament building(?) in the background here.

Coming down from the Castle

They are not as good as "Simon Phipp's pictures.

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Monday Aug 25, 2008

Budapest

Just arrived in Budapest. I am hear to attend a training event. This is for Sun's EMEA, Governement, Education and Healthcare team. My work on NESSI has opened my eyes to the tremendous innovation occuring in parts of these sectors, so I am really looking forward to it.

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