I’m enjoying one of my infrequent laptop days, that is, days during which it actually makes sense for me to tote such a device around. I type these words from the Konradsberg campus of the University of Stockholm. Konradsberg is a name that resonates in my city’s history, because it used to be one of the main mental hospitals, known colloquially as the “Castle of Madmen”. I haven’t been committed (yet). I’m here for the second day of the Wikipedia Academy 2009 conference, representing my employer, the Royal Academy of Letters.
In order to get on-line I had to solve a decidedly analog problem. The scrape cards the organisers hand out with login info for the wifi here are poorly made: the stuff you need to scrape off is tougher than the underlying plastic film on which the information is printed. So my first attempt ended with me scraping the print off. This reminds me of the techno-optimism of the 60s where archaeologists on Gotland produced extremely detailed photographic excavation reports but forgot to check if the glue they used was archive-safe. In the 90s those reports were all falling apart.
After lunch I’m taking a wifi-enabled fast train to Gothenburg to give an information security talk at the IT University there. Then back home to Stockholm. All with a lovely dinky netbook in my backpack, one whose Ubuntu installation is sadly dead but whose Windows installation still works. Better than nothing.