Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Monday 26/1/2004What I didn't say last Friday was that on finishing the diary, I was heading off to Scotland by train. Not just any train neither, but the GNER Wi-Fi Special: a satellite-connected marvel that trundles on a regular basis between London and Scotland.

Monday 26/1/2004

What I didn't say last Friday was that on finishing the diary, I was heading off to Scotland by train. Not just any train neither, but the GNER Wi-Fi Special: a satellite-connected marvel that trundles on a regular basis between London and Scotland. As do I. Please, Mr PR Man, can I test your wireless service? I can? Whoopee!

The journey up is a roaring success. You'll have to wait for the full write-up for the technical ins and outs, but the connection holds up much better than I had feared. The four and a half hour journey slips by in a caffeinated haze: if nothing else, the Internet is a fearsomely effective way to lose time.

As an experiment, I hook up a Web cam to the laptop and point it out of the window, relaying the images to the office. This proves almost infinitely entrancing, especially after someone hooks up a video projector back at base. IM after IM flow in, requesting that I point the camera at this or that, offering guesses as to how far I've got, and -- most popular of all -- asking that I spy on fellow passengers.

Of course, I have to comply. Whether it was the two suits sitting opposite who were ostentatiously planning to sell far too much consultancy to a Government agency ("That's a million quid right there, just for the feasibility! Yeah!") or the couple of matronly women who set up a card school and sank bottles of champagne between Newcastle and Edinburgh, the chaps back at base couldn't get enough of this cin