Archive for the technology Category

Musings of Khlari has moved

Posted in technology on July 23, 2007 by Khlari

AD here writing on Khlari’s WordPress hosted blog:

Don’t panic – All the posts have not been deleted, they have all been moved over to Khlari’s brand new site over at so please update your bookmarks and head over there to catch up with your favourite gothic author’s musings


Techno-Bimbo Babe About to Join the Twenty-First Century (watch this space….)

Posted in 40th birthday, birthday, blogging, creative / writing, gothic, me and my world, morecambe, pagan, technology on July 4, 2007 by Khlari

Oooh this is dead exciting for an old luddite like me! If only I knew how it worked properly. As part of my 40th birthday present, the very lovely AmethystDragon has bought me my own domain name! So now I can do all the twiddly bits, put in widgets (when I find out what they actually are), and have flashy things in my sidebars…….When I find the book entitled ‘Putting Twiddly Bits in for Twerps’ that is……

(Think mine would have to be blogging for bimbos…)

I am very excited…..(yes, I know everyone else has had one for years and years and years….) but I only actually OWNED my first PC in mid-2004.

At school I totally ignored the BBC Basics that trundled in as I was in the middle of my A levels… university I was proud to boast that in 3 years I never once used the computer indexing system..(it was quicker to find the Dewey code and go look…). I bluffed my way through all my student temp jobs with a ‘oh, yes, course I can…(not). Through Wordperfect, and Wordstar, and little eyesight ruining things with green screens….

I never got into games, my brother went through the Spectrum and Commodore, but that just went right over my head…..I don’t think that you can really count the Amstrad 9512 I owned c 1992 in that. (Actually, looking at this ad makes me realise how damn expensive the thing was though… cost me £550 .00 in 1992… present PC cost me less than that……). I thought it was really clever at the time…….

(I thought I was so cool with this….)

In between that I just had to learn on other people’s PCs when they were feeling nice, or at work when I could. So it was quite a long and slow learning curve….I had a patch learning graphics and DTP on a prehistoric MAC or two (which confused me even further…)

(And off to the banlieue ouest……)

I discovered the net, and taught myself MS Word in French, in 1997, when I worked in an English book and toy shop in the Paris suburbs. My boss decided that it would be good for us to have an online ordering service, and publicity for free on the internet, and not have to pay for graphical layout on adverts, and to be able to produce everything in-house……. So he bought a PC, set up a 56k modem….and was too tight to do anything else. I had to teach myself the rest. (oh- actually I was the one who got the modem working…)

(Here, you have to be a millionaire to afford a sandwich…)

Luckily for me I came across some brilliant people online who gave their time and effort with no personal gain. Thanks Tulip and Steen for that one! Tulip and I still talk to each other 10 years later…we’ve never met. She’s in Ohio. Would you believe he then complained that I had spent too much time on line learning how to do it………in the good old pay per minute times. I thought that I didn’t do too badly for a techno-bimbo…..

(Posh suburban middle of nowhere…I used to live here once upon a time…not in the station, but literally opposite…..)

Then followed a long period when I was dependent on the devices of internet cafes and public libraries all over France- my husband (at the time) thought that the only reason anybody ever went on the internet was ‘pour draguer’ (to pick people up). Living in the ‘banlieue ouest’ (the posh suburbs to the west of Paris), everyone was presumed to have their own PC, along with their million pound villa. Hence I had to fight people off in the library to do all my CAPES research online…and sending emails was forbidden (if they caught you….). It was the only time at that point that I ever got to speak or write English….and talk to my old friends without a constant barrage of questions or requests for simultaneous translation…. I didn’t even have a job where I got to use a PC, I was teaching all over Paris.

When I moved to Sables d’Olonne it was even worse. That truly IS the middle of nowhere, most messgaes went by pony-trap, literally. The town’s only net cafe had one computer…… It truly was the ‘end of the line’ in all senses of the world. In the winter, there were only about 3 trains a day…..Hell, the French still think that the Minitel is at the cutting edge of technology…….. This little netcafe next to the station saved my sanity in the last dark days of my marriage…made me realise that there was a world out there…..

(The middle of nowhere….and the tracks that lead back to civilisation)

It wasn’t until I came back to England, and finally got my own place that I could have MY computer. Ha ha ….at last. Finally no-one watching me, and no-one booting me off after half an hour! Yay! Spicy came in at this point in fact, without him I would have been in tears over the cardboard box I fear……I had a shiny lovely new PC and a lovely shiny new superfast cable broadband to boot…..and all was well until HWBCN came on the scene and suddenly my PC went kaput….. strangely enough, so I had to use his, monitored one. Mind you, the internet was responsible for me meeting said HWCBN (now that was a bad move)….though it also meant that I met AmethystDragon and Co, as well as putting me back in touch with Spicy, so not all bad! This was later compounded by the shower-gel he poured into my PC on the day of the clothes slashorama episode…..

(The end of the line literally, I hope!)

So several hundred pounds later, It’s back with a vengeance, not that I ever get near the thing. It’s so good I now have to fight M_____ and Mr A for it……not to mention the total hassle I have had getting a viable broadband connection, as Morecambe seems to be at the end of everybody’s list…that ‘includes 70% of households’ should have the little codicil’ * except anywhere in Morecambe….’ AD and Spicy have helped decode the mess for me though (I would be totally useless were it not for my clever and technologically literate friends…) and now it is an all-singing all-dancing boy racer of a thing! They have put up with my idiot questions, my crying down the phone that ‘I can’t make it work…’

So, I digress. As per usual. Ohh this is very very exciting. I have a domain that is all mine!!!! I can do pretty, unusual, glorious twiddly things on it! yay! Thank you SOOOO much AmethystDragon! Just need to find out how it all works now…lol! Gosh, excited…..

Watch this space…..



Even More about the Mole Man and the Vandalism of my Home Borough….

Posted in technology on June 13, 2007 by Khlari

Thanks to Paul at the most wonderful Derelict London for the pics and updates on this….close to my heart, as this stands diagonally opposite my parents’ house, and dead opposite my uncle’s.

This was in The Times on the subject……

Mole Man faces £100,000 bill for undermining the neighbourhood

“LIKE the Victorian builders of the Underground, William Lyttle loves the soft London clay.

For the past 40 years the 75-year-old eccentric retired electrical engineer has been tunnelling under his derelict home on the Islington- Hackney border, upsetting the neighbours — not to mention their foundations — and spoiling the ambience of an otherwise desirable enclave barely a mile north of the City.

You would think that Mr Lyttle was trying to dig his way out of a wartime German prison camp like Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson in The Great Escape. But, as he revealed in a television documentary on great DIY disasters five years ago, it was only his idea of home extension.

Most people expand outwards or upwards; he went downwards, through the clay and into the underlying gravel and the water table.

Concerned for years at his troglodytic activites, Hackney council has finally won a court order to evict him temporarily from his now-roofless home so that it can carry out £100,000 of emergency repairs to make the property safe.

Council engineers told Thames Magistrates’ Court last week that Mr Lyttle’s tunnels could extend as much as 60ft (18m) beyond his basement, burrowing under the adjoining road and raising the possibility that a fully laden double- decker bus could, at a moment’s notice, be swallowed up by his subterranean workings.

The Times visited the site yesterday to find the house surrounded by a high steel fence. There was one loose panel through which, with effort, it would have been possible to get in. Mr Lyttle has not taken up the council’s offer of bed-and-breakfast accommodation and has, as it were, gone to ground.

In the television documentary Mr Lyttle, originally from Northern Ireland, proudly displayed his excavation technique using only a shovel, a homemade pulley and his feet. “This is how the pyramids were built — with blood, sweat and toil,” he told the camera.

Many of his tunnels were big enough to stand up in. “This is going to be the leisure centre,” he said, sweeping his hand round a large cavern. “And this in here will be the sauna.”

The development of Hackney’s first underground leisure centre appears to have been arrested at birth. Engineers, who recently made a preliminary inspection, took away more than 20 tonnes of excavated soil and assorted rubbish.

They found the foundations of the four-storey, twenty-room house shored up with makeshift scaffolding poles and pit props. They plan to fill the tunnels with cement to stabilise the house and the road. Mr Lyttle will be sent the bill.

Hackney council said it believed that Mr Lyttle had inherited the house, which in good condition today would be worth at least £1 million, from his parents about forty years ago. A fire in 1999 caused extensive damage, and Mr Lyttle repaired the roof by helping himself to corrugated iron sheets put up by the council as a barrier round the property.

Council officials claimed that, despite the gradual decay, they had been powerless to act as it was private property, but had now won a court order by proving that it had become a danger to the public.

Eric Bussey, 72, and his wife Hilda, 81, who live directly opposite, said that they had seen the property deteriorate over the 30 years they had lived there. “A great big hole appeared in the pavement one day, then cracks appeared in the road, which is a bus route,” Mrs Bussey said.

Mr Lyttle will be allowed home once the repairs have been completed. But there is no guarantee that the Mole Man of Hackney will not be on the burrow again.”

Hmmmm. My Dad has lived there for 66 years…..and Hilda and Eric don’t like anyone much! The Man is MAD! The latest I’ve heard is that he has actually been sectioned, as he kept breaking back in to the house. Hackney were apparently going to compulsorily purchase it…..

Do I trust them? Once upon a time, there was The Dalston Theatre, and a block of gorgeous georgian though derelict houses on Dalston Lane.

What there is now is a big hole, waiting for a megaplex which will degenerate as quickly as the rest of Hackney’s modern jerrybuilding. They can never renovate anything old and beautiful, they seem compelled to knock it down and build sink council estates on it….grrrrrrr rant!

This is what they intend to build instead.

If this was anywhere else, it would have become a community resource. But it’s in Hackney, so they knocked it down on the sly. In aid of what. The Olympics that no-one wants and which is robbing Hackney of any green space and character………

To read more about their hideous plans read:

What a week….

Posted in technology on March 12, 2007 by Khlari

For flu, flouncing (you know who you are), general panic about official bodies, the Student Loans Company after me again, a pending disciplinary at work, Hackney Council chasing me for a communal (with HWCBN) poll-tax bill…………….. can I please go back to bed and wake up a couple of weeks ago.

Apart from that, have been out for Woo’s birthday, where she showed her fantastic new blue and pink hair, (and ruined my attempts to co-ordinate hair and wrapping paper), and received many fluffinesses, and also with the MA crowd, where I discovered that I haven’t written the most, nor the least of my novel….the masterwork currently stands at 30 pages, the weekend was not propitious for novel writing to say the least.