Dr Mike J Smith
DEMs, castle coffee and dodgy wifi
I've recently returned from a trip to the Geography Department at the University of Durham where I gave two research seminars on some of my close-range remote sensing and DEM visualisation work. There is a group that is particularly interested in DEM visulisation for landform mapping and I was helping them getting going on this. Durham is a very interesting place to visit, with quaint cobbled streets, a cathedral and a castle. The castle is actually part of the university, which is nominally split in to colleges in a manner similar to Oxbridge. If you are lucky enough to be part of Castle College then you can get lodgings in the castle and, as a member of staff, go to the Senior Common Room for coffee. All rather reminiscent of days gone by (and the coffee is OK).
Which brings me to the final part of my trilogy, the dodgy wifi on the GNER train. I guess I should be impressed that GNER actually have this installed and I should say that it does work. At £3 for 30 minutes it's not desparately expensive, although I gather from later this year it will actually be free. Anyway, getting connected is easy, but the service is slow. Downloading a 30Kb email takes upto 10 seconds, which is painfull! You don't want to be downloading 5Mb email attachments. The service also had the habit of dropping out, particularly in stations; I'm not sure exactly how the service is run, but to be honest it's borderline as to whether it's commercially chargeable.