80-Bus News


November–December 1983, Volume 2, Issue 6

Page 49 of 67


By David Hunt

Animal Antics

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 next issue and goes on and on… and on… [Ed. – … and on …]

Page 49 of 67