EVEN MORE RAMBLINGS
By David Hunt
So Dr. Dark has had his moggie kipping in his computer; I can top that.
In the spring some three or four years ago, I was building my Nascom 2 into a
19″ rack, and making a decent job of it too. Proper laced wiring and all that.
Well this was very boring for the rest of the family, who were entertained by
the squirrels at the bottom of the garden collecting twigs and grass and
stuff. Now what no-one bothered to tell me, was that the squirrels were
running along the fence towards the house and disappearing in an upwards
direction. The little so and so’s were building a nice comfy nest in my
chimneys. Incedental intelligence bit: squirrel nests are called dreys.
Stuffed full of useless facts is this fellah!!
One morning, number two daughter runs in and says, “Daddy, daddy, there’s
a squirrel eating your computer!”. Well at 7 a.m., what am I to think? Jokes I
can take, but at that time of day I’m a little slow, and took the news very
seriously. Half way down the stairs, the incongruity of the statement started
to sink in. ‘Squirrels?? Oh well, as I’m half way down stairs I might as well
take a look see.’ Sure enough, in the living room, sitting on the 19″ rack is
a small squirrel, grey variety, chomping through the Nascom wiring harness.
Now normally I’m the tolerant sort, squirrels are nice furry things which
run around at the bottom of the garden doing me no harm and keeping the cat
amused. Live and let live… etc. But there’s this one doing the Egon Ronay
bit with my Nascom!!! Putting on my best impression of a Samuri, I entered the
room. I’m not sure whether it was my entrance or the fact that I usually sleep
in my birthday suit and had forgotten my dressing gown, which caused the
strange look squirrel gave me. Anyway, a small grey flurry shot straight up
the curtains and disappeared. At that moment it occurred to me that if
squirrels like various thicknesses of pvc covered wire for breakfast, I was
sadly unprotected against the teeth which could gnash their way through wires.
I beat a hasty retreat and got dressed whilst considering the problem.
At last, armed with a small blanket borrowed from a dolls pram, I was
ready to do battle. It wasn’t easy, they move fast do squirrels, but in the
end I caught it. If you’ve never caught a squirrel, I’ll warn you. They can
make the most unearthly screaming sound you’ve ever heard when caught, loud
enough to make you drop it. But this lad is made of sterner stuff, wrapping
the blanket firmly round the thing I dumped my squirming bundle at the bottom
of the garden to be reclaimed by its parents. That, fortunately, is the last
time any computer of mine has been attacked by anything other than me.
The missing DH bits.
Ardent fans of the
DH series on databases
(there is at least one fan, me)
will notice the absence of an episode in this issue. Well this is not because
I haven’t written it, but that all the bits I was going to cover have been
very nicely written for me by Clive Bowden in the last issue. His
bit about random access methods using MBASIC
just about sums up all I had to say on the
matter, and sol must offer my thanks. However, I did find it annoying, from
the point of view that I had already written half that bit for this issue and
I didn’t know that someone else had already done it. Never mind, I’ll see to
it that the boreing DH series starts again
and goes on and on… and on… [Ed. – … and on …]