Wilkommen, Bienvenu, Welcome... Sziasztok!

Welcome to The Lotus Position, an intermittent collection of extempore navel gazings, ponderings, whinges, whines, pontifications and diatribes.

Everything is based on a Sample of One: these are my views, my experiences... caveat lector... read the Disclaimer

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter
Ponder, Scribble, Ponder (Photo Erdotahi Aron)

Guest Nutter/Kindred Soul: Bill Bailey


Wednesday, 31 December 2008


You may be paranoid, but are you paranoid enough?

A tough question, but in the context if IT (that's Information Technology for a change) the answer is usually Probably Not.

Today, because I was let in early and the Netgear router that provides wifi here at Castro Bisztro has been flaky for several days I decided to restore the settings - call it a public service with a hint of self-interest.

I saved the current configuration yesterday, saved another copy today, and read the instructions carefully. I disconnected everything (as instructed) and - just in case - saved the web-pages of the configuration screens in case I had to restore the Factory Defaults and rebuild the configuration.

So... I attempted to restore yesterday's config file. No dice. Odd. Tried today's backup. Ditto: zip, nada, zilch. Took a peek at the files: there's stuff in there that doesn't look as though it should be... they're corrupt all right.

OK then, restore Factory Defaults and rebuild... I reset the system, and one by one loaded the saved web pages to read the data and manually reapply the settings... only to find that there is a bug somewhere that resulted in not being able to view the MAC address that the router presents to the Cable modem.

Oh dear. I've just fucked Castro's entire internet connection.

Fortunately, it turned out that data had been saved, but wasn't where something (Firefox or the Netgear web page) thought it should be and I did find the MAC address, so the interweb sprang back to life.

But what didn't I do? I didn't check that I could read the saved config web pages before I relied on them. If I'd done that I could have written things down and saved myself time and panic.

Remember: Be More Paranoid. Let's see if I remember that when I try to install the replacement DOM module for my Thecus N5200Pro tonight...

By the way, that advice applies to everyone... except those who already know the Government/The Masons/The Aliens are already after them - they should relax: The GovMasAliens know where you are - even I know where you are - if They/I wanted to get you I/They could, so if We haven't, We probably don't want to.

Yet. Don't upset me.

Mind Bending Stuff

Monday, 29 December 2008


I was won over watching Crout's KazooKeylele - Ukulele - The final countdown (hmmm... there's creativity for you) on YouTube, so I followed up... and watched Dorkbot Alba's Waldflöte vs Kazookeylele - dueling banjo's only to spot that Roundest Objects in the World Created was a "related" video. The latter is about incredibly precise spheres of silicon intended as possible replacements for the standard metric kilogram.

And the relationship is?

Friday, 5 December 2008

One Large Cognac

is (14:11 local time) being enjoyed in celebration of another milestone... I have now written just over a quarter of a million words (250,025 to be precise). Working on the penultimate chapter, 40 pages from the end of the 423 page draft I printed out so long ago I can't remember when exactly, which printout was then marked up over the course of quite a long time and, at the beginning of September 2007 started to work my way through.

Back then, there were only 150,000 words... and that seemed a lot!

Seems it has taken me fourteen months to revise, interpolate and develop 90%, so - being unjustifiably precise about the whole thing - it should only take another two and half months to conclude the major revision... then only the final polish to do?

We shall see!

IT - the book - is getting there...

Tense Stuff

Monday, 1 December 2008

What a fool!

Having heard that FQXi (The Foundational Questions Institute) was running a prize essay competition on the subject of "Time", and having previously mused on the issues I perceived with wormhole time machines (see here) I thought the competition would provide an opportunity to think the problem through properly...

So I did, and late yesterday submitted "Time. On. Essay. An."

And then I felt a bloody fool as I looked at the author list: top of the commented pile was an essay by Carlo Rovelli no less. I don't think I would have bothered if I had thought that essayists of such stature would pitch in (it's nice to think one might at least have chance).

Oh well, if you don't fail you're not stretching yourself, I thought. It's not the winning, it's the taking part, etc. etc. So I had a good laugh at myself and (sort of) forgot about.

But then I was checking the site to see when it actually appeared and out of curiosity started going through the other submissions (in chronological order). Now, whilst it has to be said that my submission is somewhat lacklustre, and showing clear signs of late editing (in pruning it to 5,000 words the meat in the sandwich became a bit thin) it is at least mediocre, middling, median...

Rovelli may be waaay up above me, but take a look at some of the others.

Average (but respectable) Stuff