Work was particularly interesting today as an upgrade to the computer systems rendered them completely useless for the best part of six hours and fairly useless for the remainder of the shift. We were very fortunate that nothing too major occurred, tackling carnage blindfolded would have been a tad too interesting. In a way it shows just how dependant we have become on computers and how vital it is that the buggers work when you need them too.
It makes me wonder what kind of geniuses the controllers of old were. To run a railway with nothing more than telegraph codes, Bakelite telephones and labels stuck to wagons is almost beyond comprehension and yet a far more complex rail network operated. Perhaps it wasn’t particularly efficient and not very progressive but in some ways I feel some things may have been thrown away too soon. In an age where renewable energy is the in thing we also rely upon increasingly expensive diesel or increasingly fragile electric power but I wonder if steam power had been persevered with where it would be now? The source of fuel of the time may have been hard and dangerous to extract but with modern sources of combustion such as coconut husk, palm fibres, vegetable oils all being carbon neutral and the mechanics of steam power being fundamentally simple, a 21st century application of technology and materials must make it more viable than when the axe dropped in August 1968. No more overheads to not be overhead, no more environmentally damaging diesels and no more frozen points. Sounds daft, perhaps and indeed probably but when options for energy sources are as dodgy as fracking and nuclear technology and as expensive as extracting oil from sand or attacking the frozen wastes of the polar regions, it does start to make a little more sense.
Of course not all blasts from the past are a good idea and I am hoping the computers are playing nicely again tomorrow, we don’t usually have two good days on the trot.