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About

Hello and welcome to my blog. This is a short introduction to me.

My name is Danny Thompson and I Tweet and contribute to various forum under the handle Hands0n (that is Hands[zero]n).  Why Hands0n? Well, it pretty much describes me in a single word, I am one of those “hands on” guys who likes to work and play with all things technology. Also mechanical and electrical, carpentry, plumbing and a bit of construction too – although I am not too handy with the latter.

I have lived and worked through possibly one of the most exciting times in mankind’s history – that being the Technology Revolution. In some ways I think that those who lived through the Industrial Revolution will have felt a similar sense of excitement and awe at what was developing all around them. But those souls could not have even began to imagine what would have unfolded over the past forty years.

Starting out into work at 16 in 1970 I had not a clue what I was heading into. I joined the Post Office Overseas International Telegraph Service (POITS) and spent the first couple of years working with telegrams and being trained in the technology of the day. That was Remington three-bank mechanical typewriters and Creed teleprinter model 7.

That decade, 1970 to 1980, saw a rapid shift in technology away from electro-mechanical to electronic. The first small-scale computers were becoming affordable and being pressed into service to replace older devices. It was in 1976 that I came face to face with my first mini-computer that replaced an older electronic message switching system. This had many of the more modern things we see today such as disk drives, visual display units and tape drives but on a scale that few kids today would associate. The disk drive, for example, was the size of a domestic cooker and contained a removable 11-platter disk that stored a massive 22MB (yes, MegaBytes) of data. The minicomputer’s RAM was an equally huge 16KB (KiloBytes) and it hubbed communications from around the entire world.

The year 1985 saw the arrival of public serviecs from Cellnet (now O2) and Racal Vodafone. Instantly my passion for mobile communications was ignited. I had long wanted to be a radio ham but didn’t put in the effort to study and learn morse code. But the notion of being able to literally “walk and talk” held strong appeal for me.  At that time, handsets were about £1,400, car phones were a bit cheaper, calls were around 45p a minute then and text messages were 60p each.

Micro-electronics, solid state chip technology has been the major enabler of all that we see around us today. With each successive year the technology has become more complex, size has reduced and capability has broadened. Unfettered, the technology advances across the past years could have been significantly more than they have until recently.  But mobile tech has been constrained and held back by the mobile network operators. For example, Internet. For the longest of time since the Internet became mainstream the most difficult and costly means of connecting has been mobile. Still, to this day, the main mobile network operators make it costly to make any meaningfully significant use of the Internet on the move. There are exceptions. In time this will have to change, but many are still wedded to outmoded ideas and practices.

And so in this blog I intend to comment on the state of technology, the manufacturers, network operators and regulators who all conspire to deliver the exciting technological toys to us. In my comments I will attempt to remain at all times as impartial as I can. This will hopefully give you the most balanced view, even if you do not agree with, or like, what I have written. My allegiance is only to excellence. So those that fit the bill will receive the praise and the brickbats for what they do well, and what they do not do so well.

I welcome any feedback and comment, whether you agree with what I have said or not. It all goes into the melting pot of good comment and debate.

I hope you enjoy the blog.

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One Comment
  1. Admiring the persistence you put into your blog
    and detailed information you present. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material.
    Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS
    feeds to my Google account.

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