Burglar Alarm Installers Beware!

Odyssey-1E-template

My house burglar alarm packed in after thirty years’ service. I chose to fit the replacement myself, including a Texecom Odyssey 1E external sounder.

It comes in a box printed with a mounting template. Very handy! Unfortunately if you do as I did and drill holes according to this, you will end up cursing your decision not to simply offer up the backplate and mark the hole positions with a screwdriver or something.

That is because one of the holes marked on the template is over 25 mm out! It’s the odd one below and to the left of the cable entry hole. You can get away with just a screw at each corner (the top middle hole is just an installation aid really. If you put a screw in the wall here, you can hang the backplate on it whilst you mark out the other hole locations, negating the need for the template).

So what’s the odd-one-out for? That secures the tamper switch to the wall. Without it, a determined burglar could theoretically prise the unit off the wall without removing the cover. With it, the tamper switch would remain attached to the wall, and the switch lever touching the cover would no longer be held down, triggering an alarm.

Admittedly in a domestic setting, this screw is overkill. But I thought, for the sake of a screw and a minute’s drilling, I might as well put it in. I now have one too many holes in my wall. Annoying.

An Irony button

irony button

This button is from a pair of trousers I bought from C&A. And no, that doesn’t mean that they are 17 years old, despite the fact that C&A disappeared from UK high streets in 2001.

The clothing chain, which I remember my grandmothers routinely referring to as “C&A Modes,” is still going strong on the Continent.

Unfortunately, their buttons are’t very strong.

Dream on

 

Nytol Soccer Toppers

Amazon have plenty of ways to get you to buy more stuff. One technique is letting you know what other customers also purchase with the item you are considering.

This occasionally throws up oddities like the strange pairing shown here.

RIP Mr Bernicoff

So, Leon Bernicoff has died. Sad news about the Gogglebox star whose guileless personality made him a viewers’ favourite.

I knew him only as Mr Bernicoff when he taught me history. So far as we were concerned, teachers had no first names, homes, or families of their own. As if they existed only during school hours and, like a holographic image from a sci-fi movie, disappeared into the ether at the flick of a switch every afternoon.

Except for a rare few like Mr Bernicoff. His wife June also taught at our school, which felt strange as it kind of broke through the fourth wall. But also you knew where you were with him. He had an openness of character and showed a passion for his vocation.

And though I very rarely need to recall the fact, it’s thanks to Mr Bernicoff I know that Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz introduced movable-type printing to Europe.

Thank you, sir.

Apocalypse now

I bought a desk diary today. “That’s a 2018 diary, luvvie!” the cashier warned.

Did she imagine I would get home and slap my forehead in horror as I realised my mistake? Did she picture me returning to Customer Services, receipt in hand to explain that I had of course meant to buy a 2017 diary? In October 2017?

No. After all, she works in a shop that has been pushing tinsel and fairy lights since the beginning of September.

I can only conclude that to her, it’s not too early – it’s just that there’s no point.

Really …?

An articulated lorry passed me on the main road yesterday. It was an ordinary, anonymous curtain-sided trailer – ordinary except it carried signs on each side which said

Warning do not walk close to this vehicle at any time.

I think I’ll put one of those on my car.

What do you do?

One of the first questions commonly asked when meeting someone new. Usually asked before we enquire about hobbies and interests (although that might be more interesting for both parties).

Insurance companies also require this information, and I came across an amusing dropdown list whilst browsing for car insurance today. A bit like the over-detailed list of pre-nominal titles I wrote about some time ago. To the extent that it accurately reflects the vast range of jobs in 21st century Britain, it is a snapshot which might be of great value to historians in years to come. Continue reading

Apache OpenOffice Calc ‘Find’ behaviour

LIke many people I use OpenOffice 3.4.1 for word processing and spreadsheets. It closely resembles the Leading Brand office software suite, yet is completely free!

Using Calc today, I noticed an unexpected behaviour in its Find and Replace feature. I wanted to search for the value ‘55.80’ which I knew was contained somewhere in my spreadsheet. However, it could not find it.

The reason for this is that although the cell apprears to contain ‘55.80’, when you highlight the cell the input line near the top of the screen shows ‘55.8’. Even if you enter ‘55.80’ in the cell, Calc drops the trailing zero.

Is this normal?