Saturday, 8 September 2007


It's awkward, being off grid sometimes. I've just got a new laptop (to replace the one nicked at Faslane, same day as the welly went over the fence) and it does not have what is perversely called a 'car adapter', which I need to plug into our 12 volt DC system powered by the wind power generator and solar panel. It's ironic that to be fossil fuel free you need a 'car' adapter. The workaround is an inverter, which jacks up to 240 volts AC, and then the computer cable's smartbox shoves it back down to 12 volts DC, which is all very pointless but while I hunt the internet for an adapter it will make do. Unfortunately, I already have a stack of electrical devices (the printer and scanner) which need the inverter too, so it's a bit like musical chairs - I can only print when the computer is fully charged and so on. Plus the inverter makes the phone buzz so mystified callers hear me saying things like 'sorry, I can't hear you, I'll have to turn the unplug the printer'.

To make things just a bit more complex the laptop is not compatible with the old broadband connection, which meant that I spent much of the week disconnected from the internet. No bad thing perhaps. The solution has been to set up a wireless network. This puts even more pressure on the poor old inverter, but there is something delightful in having all singing all dancing wireless broadband - I am typing this surrounded by the scent of heather, and it is winging its way to you thanks to sunshine and a light westerly wind.

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