The Anonymous Widower

Left In A Siding: The Rail Link That Could Make Heathrow Greener

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Guardian.

The article makes a powerful case forvthe building of the Heathrow Southern Railway.

It is a must read.

I can never understand, why the government hasn’t backed this scheme.

  • It creates a four trains per hour service between Heathrow and Waterloo via Staines and Clapham Junction
  • It creates an extension of Heathrow Express to Basingstoke, Guildford and Woking.
  • The extended Hethrow Express creates a much needed commuter route into Paddington.
  • Few properties would be affected by the new railway.

But above all, it will be built with private money.

 

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Struggling With GMail

Many years ago before GMail existed, I started using Chrome and opened a Google account, so that I could run Google Alerts on subjects in which I’m interested.

I’ve had my e-mail for getting on for thirty years and I can’t see any reason to change it.

On my mobile phone, I have created a new Google and GMail  account, so that, when I travel I have access to e-mail, as well aw text.

Everything works fine on the phone, but how do I log in to my GMail on my laptop.

I’m always asked to create a new GMail address, when I try. But I already have one.

How do I sort this mess out?

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Computing | , , | 2 Comments

A Tale Of Two Trains

This morning, I rode between Essex Toad and Moorgate stations in a very graffitied Class 313 trains. Apparently, there are only a few of the new Class 717 trains in service.

It also appears that there are only two new Class 710 trains running on the Gospel Oak To Barking Line.

Surely, now software and signalling issues have been sorted on these trains, a few more should have entered service.

Or is it problems of mileage accumulation or a lack of trained drivers?

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 4 Comments

My Latest Thoughts On The Boeing 737 MAX

I had this message read out on BBC’s Wake Up To Money this morning.

I have been involved in the programming of several first-of-their-kind computer systems dating back to 1969. They are always late ad usually need a couple of goes to get it right! Boeing didn’t do enough testing.

Although, I’ve been mainly involved in programming user systems and I’ve never controlled anything  by a computer program, I have worked with a lot of people who have. One team, I worked alongside, programmed the world’s first computer to fully control a large chemical plant.

But even, when I was writing something as big and complicated as Artemis, you had to take into account, that not everybody using the system, thought the way you did.

Those that fly aircraft differ in one area, that has nothing to do with sex, racial type or religion. Their experience of flying aircraft varies from a couple of thousand hours upwards.

It is no surprise to me, that some of the great aircraft stories of safe landings in difficult circumstances have been done by very experiences pilots, often with years of flying less reliable military aircraft.

They have used their experience to get themselves and their passengers out of trouble

It should be noted that the pilots of both the Indonesian and the Ethiopian planes, had several thousands hours of experience.

  • On the whole, human beings are generally risk averse and pilots are no different to the rest of us.
  • We also don’t like surprises.

How many times have you installed a new copy of a popular software system to find that it is radically different and it takes you several weeks to get used to it?

When I was writing Artemis, I made sure, that, I didn’t create any surprises for customers all over the world. The software was also tested to destruction.

Getting a calculation wrong in Artemis, would be unlikely to have had fatal consequences.

Conclusion

Have Boeing with their MCAS computer software fix to cure the inadequacies of an obsolete air frame, made two big mistakes?

  • They have created an airliner, that goes against pilot experience?
  • They didn’t do enough testing.

I will not fly in any 737 until the day I die!

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , | 2 Comments