Typical!

Just at the point where I have loads of ideas for blog entries, I go and lose my internet connection. Last night saw the death of my trusty D-Link router. No final fanfare, no friendly “goodbye packet”, just a silent disconnect and steadfast refusal to do any more data exchange. That’s rare for two reasons: (a) routers very rarely fail anyway; and (b) it failed during steady-state power-on status – these sort of things normally fail at power-up due to thermal shock.

After a fruitless trip to Novatech in Portsmouth (including an 8-mile detour down the M275 due to a missed exit), I decided to bite the bullet and go to PC World where I would spend way over the odds just for the convenience of walking into the store.

Except that I managed to pick up a decent Linksys (i.e. Cisco) router for just £40 – that’s twenty less than the same out-of-stock model in Novatech. So I’ve saved £20 on the router, but spent a tenner on diesel.

Configuration of the WAG54G2 router was easy and it looks unfortunately stylish, given that it’s going to be stuffed away on a high shelf for the rest of its life.

For an extra bonus point, I was expecting this to be expensive, but I don’t seem to be able to find it much cheaper on the web either. PC World: everything you stock is no longer overpriced; only some of it.

Now We Can Measure How Geeky Things Are

I’ve only just discovered the Google chart API. Now the acronym “API” has already sent 40% of my readers scattering for cover, with another 45% disappearing once I point out API stands for Application Programming Interface. Stick with me here, because it’s one of the fundamental keys to modern computers.

Actually don’t.

I started with the best of intentions, but then ended up trying to explain the concept of an API to non-programmers and it got a bit long. Maybe someday I’ll go back to revisit that, but until then you can see below how I’ve used the Google Chart API to produce a nice pretty chart. Enjoy.

Sample Google Chart API call