Skip to main content

Time to Spare

Curses this morning as I discovered I couldn’t get into White Waltham airfield for a meeting with Microsoft.

The journey had started without any problems and as I passed Biggin Hill, I asked London Information for the latest Heathrow weather, which was reasonable.

Fifteen minutes later on reaching Ockham and having received a Special VFR clearance from Heathrow Director on the descent via Woodley into White Waltham, the weather decided to throw a surprise, with a menacing and thick fog-like cloud rolling in from the West, leaving me quite unable to continue on to land. Worse still, there were very few options in terms of other places to go with an instrument approach facility, other than Farnborough, so now getting low on fuel, I had to divert into Biggin Hill and pay the penalty of a whacking great landing fee for the privilege.

Many airfields waive their landing fees when an aircraft has to divert and this strikes me as eminently sensible. Not Biggin though. You see, when the fuel gauge is starting to hover in the red and you think “It’s only 12 minutes to Rochester”, there’s a temptation to save a little money and press on and that’s never a good idea from a safety perspective.

So Biggin Hill had its landing fee and a full tank of petrol out of me, before I pushed on towards home. An expensive outing which proves the adage: “Time to spare, go by air.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…

The Big Steal

I’m not here to predict the future;” quipped the novelist, Ray Bradbury. “I’m here to prevent it.” And the future looks much like one where giant corporations who hold the most data, the fastest servers, and the greatest processing power will drive all economic growth into the second half of the century.

We live in an unprecedented time. This in the sense that nobody knows what the world will look like in twenty years; one where making confident forecasts in the face of new technologies becomes a real challenge. Before this decade is over, business leaders will face regular and complex decisions about protecting their critical information and systems as more of the existing solutions they have relied upon are exposed as inadequate.

The few real certainties we have available surround the uninterrupted march of Moore’s Law - the notion that the number of transistors in the top-of-the-line processors doubles approximately every two years - and the unpredictability of human nature. Exper…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…