I can’t say much about the horrendous scenes in Ukraine that hasn’t been said more eloquently by others. I am not qualified to comment on world affairs, so unlike pretty much everyone else on Twitter, I will refrain and point you to the BBC, who are doing an excellent job of reporting from the scene.
The pictures on the news, showing terrified children caught up in this conflict, affected me particularly strongly, and I was glad to find a UNICEF appeal to help them. If, like me, you feel completely helpless in the face of the news, that is one small thing you can do.
Nearly six years after my previous visit, it was time to reacquaint myself with Gran Canaria. When my friend Andrew used his impressive travel booking skills to obtain cheap flights and a bargain self-catering apartment, I was only too happy to accompany him, and escape rainy Brexit UK for a few days.
And then, as the departure date approached, I felt a little twinge of fear. Omicron COVID was still very much a thing. Gran Canaria was at Alert Level 4 (the highest level in Spain). I did not want our holiday be spoiled by the faff and inconvenience of COVID restrictions, necessary as they may be. Matters weren’t helped when the Spain Travel Health website kept giving cryptic errors as I tried to upload my vaccination certificate.
Even as I packed my T-shirts and shorts the night before, I had to ask the question: was going at this time a good idea?
As it turns out… the answer was absolutely Sí (I speak Spanish now).
Continue reading “Man goes to Gran Can for five-day span after travel ban. The plan? Get tan, ride catamaran”
At the beginning of January, a story went around the news websites about a recreation of Ceefax. Nathan Dane, a broadcasting enthusiast and hero, has painstakingly recreated the erstwhile information service, using code that scrapes content from the BBC website and translates it into authentic, up-to-date teletext pages.
For the uninitiated, Ceefax was a teletext service, consisting of pages of information broadcast in the hidden parts of the TV signal on BBC1 and BBC2. A decoder in the TV set could convert this data into text and chunky graphics, selected by entering a three-digit page number on your TV remote.
If you want to view Ceefax redux, a web teletext viewer will render the pages in all their 7-colour, 40×25 text resolution glory. For the truly dedicated, it’s possible to connect a Raspberry Pi to your TV and generate a teletext signal, allowing you to view the service as God intended.
Continue reading “Fax the way (aha, aha) I like it”