Thursday, 28 July 2011

Travelog 2011 part 2

or: "Hi, uhh, my ice is frozen."

After playing around with Malaysian wifi (and seeing a number of web sites that genuinely merit being in the .my TLD), we headed back into the plane for the next leg. In Melbourne, wifi costs money but there's plenty of power points around; in KL, there's free wifi (you do have to sign up and watch an ad, but then you get full access - the SSID is "Free Y5 @ DOME"; the "FREE_WIFI@KLIA" one works, but only gives port 80 - not even 443 - and is slow), but power points are hens teeth. Anyway, we finished up in good time and re-boarded, only to learn that sixteen pax were late to the gate. We end up pushing back at 12:30 Melbourne time, and taking off at 12:39. The plane is full now, or pretty close to it, so there's no moving around. Traal sits on my lap - perfectly safe, sleeping comfortably. Emirates cabin crew understand that people who carry laptops are intelligent enough to keep them safe... unlike the US domestic airlines we flew with a couple of years ago, who understood only the rules.

On these planes, I'm starting to live the life of a cat - all I do is eat, sleep, and blog. (What, you've never seen a cat's blog?) I try to overcome this by doing a spot of coding, but it's not easy to type in the available space between my seat and the one in front, so I abandon the notion and just listen to stuff on the in-flight info/comms/entertainment system. Until the screen stops responding to me. Meh. Part way into the flight, I grab the attention of one of the cabin crew to say... "Hi! Uhh, my ICE is frozen, can you reset it please?"

He notes my seat number and reboots my ICE a few minutes later (the next time he got down the back, I think), and I get to watch the loading messages. Nothing of particularly great interest, nothing that tells me much about the internals (except that it doesn't seem to be an in-seat PC, which is how I'd do it - each with an IP address that corresponds to the seat number, eg .17.2 for seat 17B), but fun to watch anyway. Fifteen minutes later, I'm going through the movies and it puts me in category "(null)", which seems to have some random trailers, and shortly thereafter, the ICE crashes again. I am not accustomed to computer hardware failing on me twice in quick succession like that; that's something that happens to other people! My recommendation: Do a RAM check on seat 17A's PC. Oh wait, they're not PCs. Oh well. Still, there must be a reason. Anyway, we have three laptops and two ICEs between us, so we're not short of stuff to watch.

We're now approaching Dubai, although we've been put on hold until an Air Traffic Customer Service Operator is available. Current wait times are 10-15 minutes. So we're sitting here listening to really expensive music courtesy of the Rolls Royces on the wings, only we get to enjoy a sort of slow rollercoaster ride at the same time. However, on the up side, we are ahead of schedule, so there'll be extra time to poke around Dubai Airport, hopefully finding wifi and power.

19:38 (Melbourne time): Plopped down in Dubai, on wifi and power. Yay. Connecting flight's already been called, but we have a smidgen of time before we have to get down there. Hopefully enough to check emails and stuff; definitely enough to add another trophy IP to my collection.

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