Opinion

Downtime: No trout about it – silence is golden on the riverbank

No trout about it – silence is golden on the riverbank

Now that mobile ringtones have moved up a gear, informing the owner of an incoming call with a high-volume burst of recorded music that those close by might not relish with the same degree of enthusiasm, it is clear to Downtime that more “context-sensitive” ringtones are the way forward.

And in the world of fishing, where silence is golden, you can imagine that hearing someone’s phone pipe up with Crazy Frog time and again could have dire consequences for riverbank harmony.

Thankfully, help is at hand. Richard Hewitt, the owner of a mobile ringtone firm who also happens to be a keen fisherman, has released three ringtones that surely hold the answer – Brass Perfect, Fortuna and Zane Grey.

As luck would have it, these are not up-and-coming thrash-metal outfits, but the names of fishing reels – and the ringtones are nothing more than recordings of the clicks and whirrs of these pleasingly-crafted museum pieces.

“Hardy is unquestionably the most famous reel manufacturer in the world,” explains Hewitt. “We chose those three as our premium sounds because of the quality of their check mechanisms and their heritage.”

Hewitt’s not-insubstantial contribution to world peace goes beyond the riverbank. His other ringtones include snippets of birdsong or the sounds of rustling woodland noises. It sure beats hearing the opening bars of Hard Rock Hallelujah during the morning commute.

 

It’s a wrap as laptops are sent down for a cold spell

Now that we are faced with hand luggage restrictions on planes, Downtime was wondering how
to deal with laptops. After all,
with temperatures of minus 30 degrees or more, an aircraft’s baggage hold isn’t exactly the height of cosiness.

One IT department imparted this wisdom to people travelling at the height of the recent chaos: “If it is imperative to take a laptop, then please make sure it is wrapped up in a towel to protect it from the cold conditions in the aircraft’s hold.”

Not sure that a towel is going to make too much difference, but it probably beats sticking it in the microwave to defrost.

 

Linux enthusiasts deliver a thrilling history lesson

Hand-luggage limits or not, Downtime is already excitedly saving the pennies to book a flight to California as soon as possible.

The thing is, we have heard that the recent LinuxWorld Conference & Expo has laid its hands on a whole bunch of new Linux memorabilia to beef up the permanent collection at the Computer History Museum in California.

The US-wide search for Linux stuff has already unearthed some early photographs of key figures in the Linux and open source movement, early business plans for Linux and open source companies, and Linux-related videotapes.

With all this new stuff coming soon, the greatest museum in the world just got even better. Don’t miss out.

 

Is the Church cashing in on moneylenders?

Our revelation that Church of England vicars up and down the land are using software to keep their time doing the Lord’s work to a bare minimum may have left Downtime feeling suitably outraged on behalf of the nation’s parishioners, but that is nothing compared to the Church’s latest technology bombshell.

We hear it is planning to install cash machines in its churches. Downtime can’t help feeling that this seems to go against the grain of the story of Christ driving the moneylenders out of the temple, but clearly the Church knows best.

 

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This was first published in August 2006

 

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