My hope is that you’ll be happy that I’ll be back to blogging

The pain of being without a broadband connection is over. Broadband fixed yesterday with a new hub, which is almost three times faster that the previous one.

I won’t retell the failures of BT here, just to say that waiting eleven days for the failed BT equipment to be fixed is wholly unacceptable.

I’l got so much to write about I’m unsure where to begin. Yesterday evening, for example, I walked in an are of Camberley with my wife who joined the party from Surrey Heath Tree Wardens who walked in Bagshot Woods to see bluebells in bloom.

Bagshot Woods is completely new to me. Always good to experience new things. Here are a couple of pics – one of the party looking into the beginnings of the Windle Brook, and the other of bluebells.

No home broadband means almost no blogging

Luckily we’ve a busy week, so the absence of a connection to broadband at home it not causing me the expected withdrawal symptoms.

However, it’s darned annoying when I can’t tell you about Grinling Gibbons, my visit to Folly Bog in Lightwater, or this morning’s visit to Farnborough Airport, and a new car this week.

BT engineer expected later this week. Life is now hunting for comfortable wifi hot spots.

UPDATE: Horror of horrors  – engineer now not due till Monday. With over 6,000 post on this blog, there might be something you’ve missed. you could try, Bob Newhart monologues for amusement, or click on any of the categories.

The Camberley Eye blog provides the answer

Yesterday I visited Camberley Library to pick up a reserved book, Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope should you want to know.

On the way back to the car, in the Council free for 30 minutes parking spaces, I looked up to Camberley Park and saw a different view.  Lots of trees have been removed and a clear view of the Obelisk is now available.

Curious me decided that I’d got enough time to walk up to the Obelisk. The path to it was blocked by a barrier saying, path closed. No other information as to why. Back home, I checked the Council website. No help whatsoever. I wondered where else I might find out why. That’s when I looked at The Camberley Eye blog, It told me that there’s a programme of tree removal, and that the path is thus closed. It didn’t say how long for, but, hey, that’s a small criticism of David Chesneau’s wonderfully informative blog about the going’s on in Camberley, and the failings of the local council. Here are my photos of the Obelisk.

A big day, No.2 of 3

Today, March 29th, is the 10th anniversary of this blog. 2007 seems a long time ago now. I’d no idea that I’d still be writing articles on this blog – all 5,763 of them, which have received 834,558 views in total.

Today, a reader called at home about a short article I wrote in May 2014 about the Blackhill Water Tower in Bagshot. That my puny efforts are of interest is a reminder that I ought to stick at it, though finding new ideas for articles challenges me daily. Sometimes, I feel I must recycle the subject of a previous article, an article I’m intending to write tommorrow is on the exact same topic as my articles in March 2007.

Thank you for visiting the blog, a big thank you to those who spend their valuable time contributing comments. It’s always a joy to meet a reader – doesn’t happen often, but when it does it gives me a little boost of energy.

So thank you readers, one and all, wherever you are, your visit is appreciated.

Talk on IT security reminds us to stay safe online

Yesterday evening we attended a networking evening of the Lightwater Business Association at Randalls Coffee Bar in the village square. Me to listen to Terry Galvin of Indigo IT, and my wife to promote the Windlesham Country Market, of which she’s a member.

While Terry mentioned some horrors, such as ransomware, it was the basics of IT/phone security that he implored the audience to be rigourous on –

  • backing up data
  • installing anti-virus software and being vigilant in downloading the latest security updates
  • using malware and adware detectors
  • and finally having a strong password

I’ll focus here on password advice, and how you can keep your passwords strong and secure. Below are recommendations from Big Brother Watch, and a more technical discussion by Microsoft. It’s worth checking the strength of your passwords. Something like London%53%Bridge? is a strong password. Check it’s strength with the Kaspersky password checker, which is bit of fun.

Every town and city needs one of these

Indulge me please. It’s the still the New Year, and my mind is full of aspirations for this blog.

I’d like this blog to approach the professionalism of IanVisits. That’s the ‘these’ I’m referring to. Ian Mansfield describes the aims of his website as,

An events calendar in which he says he tries “to list the heritage open days, walking tours and mostly, the astonishing array of free (or cheap) lectures that the societies and universities of London provide.”

“I tend to write about London’s heritage, transport, architecture, and offbeat geeky events that are taking place. The more obscure the better.”

I particularly like his blog posts about transport and quirky events. Here are two examples,

Yes, yes, I know Ian is based in London and therefore has a rich source of material. What I like is his layout. In my humble blog, while there’s something new most days, it’s a diary format. In Ian’s format items of interest aren’t lost.

I’ve work to do this year to progress my blog towards Ian’s style. Click on image to link to IanVisits.

ianvisits-website

Superfast optical fibre broadband gets nearer

I’m sure you know that Lightwater is one of 10 areas chosen by by Virgin Media for optical fibre broadband connection to the home.

On my walks to through our village I see the Virgin Media works, and have talked to people in Lightwater Meadow, which seems to be the most advanced street for connection. I know we too will be getting connected. But when I’d like to know?

Here’s a photo of the connection box outside a house, and I’m sure I’ve spotted what I think is the new Virgin Media distribution box.

Thank you for visiting in record numbers

The popular Guido Fawkes blog refers to publishing statistics about his blog as ‘stat porn’. I’ve said previously that I believe that blogs and websites have a duty to be transparent, and publish their readership statistics just like newspapers and magazines have to.

So, in the spirit of openness, here are the details on unique visitor numbers, the top ten most read articles in 2016, and the top ten countries for visitors [click on images to expand].

Year 2016 2015 2014
Toal unique visitors 56,075 51,111 43,746
Total views 139,377 143,927 116,381
Views per visitor 2.49 2.82 2.68

The top commenter on this blog is Speedicus Triplicatum, closely followed by Lightwater retiree. Thank yo all who’ve commented this year.

I so want a 200Mbps broadband internet connection

Some Lightwater residents, and readers here have told me about the Virgin Media works in the village to bring ultrafast broadband fibre optic connections to our homes. I’m jolly pleased to have helped promote that lovely Lightwater becoming an early recipient of this Virgin Media service.

Good news, installation of the equipment is happening apace, as I saw on a walk back home from the village. Groan, it’s residents in Lightwater Meadow, Keswick Drive, and Colville Gardens who’ll be first to get the service. I know a few residents in those roads, and feel sure they’ll lord over me their broadband speeds they’ll likely benefit from.

Here’s what I photographed on my walk home.