Martin Orr's Blog

Room Ballot

Posted by Martin Orr on Tuesday, 21 February 2006 at 13:50

The room ballot, when we choose our rooms for next year, will take place on 6th March. The way this works is: the second years have already made their choices and the college has allocated rooms for prospective first years, so we get what's left. We are assigned a random order, then choose rooms in that order. Next year the same list is used in reverse order, although people who get firsts are moved to the top. I am 44th out of 199 which is reasonably good.

no comments Tags accommodation, trinity

IP everywhere?

Posted by Martin Orr on Friday, 17 February 2006 at 13:50

IP stands for the Internet Protocol, the system by which data on the Internet finds its destination. Every computer or other device connected to the Internet is given an IP address, a series of numbers which identify where the computer is. Whenever a message (called a packet) is sent from one computer to another, it is given to the IP system along with the address it has to be sent to, then passed from one router to another until it arrives. An important point is that IP doesn't care what is in the packet - that is determined by other systems, and it could be a part of an email, a Web page, a downloaded file or an action in an online game.

The Internet is not by any means the only system that needs to pass data between many different devices: for example the telephone network is a far older and almost completely separate system; on a much smaller scale, the different alarms in a building security system need to talk to each other. This is where the versatility of IP which I mentioned above comes into play: by using the existing IP network, people setting up a new communication system avoid needing their own cables and having to design a routing mechanism. You may have heard of VOIP (Voice-over-IP) which sends telephone calls through IP packets across the Internet. And one surprising place where IP is taking over is in controlling the heating systems in large buildings.

This isn't really what I sat down and intended to write, but hopefully it is helpful in explaining what IP is, and why you may hear people get excited about it.

-- Martin

no comments Tags internet, phone, techexplain


Posted by Martin Orr on Sunday, 05 February 2006 at 12:55

Well this week I had (as I think I mentioned previously) a busy Wednesday afternoon, with three supervisions, and a busy few days before that doing the work for them. David, one of the chaplains, asked me to do the prayers of intercession in the College Chapel for Candlemas on Thursday. (Candlemas is the festival of the presentation of Christ in the Temple, and involved more candles.) That meant both writing the prayers and reading them. We had a brief lesson on how to write them last Sunday. I was very nervous but it went well.

Last Sunday I went to the United Reform Church (what the Presbyterian Church in England merged to become). It was fairly similar to a progressive Presbyterian service at home; one interesting thing they did was to compose a "psalm" during the service by different people in the congregation suggesting a line of praise. There was also a fire drill following the benediction; I'm told that neither of these things happen every week.

This morning I went to a Lutheran Church. This surprised me because the liturgy were almost identical to a Catholic Mass, starting with Kyrie, Gloria, etc, and some people crossed themselves at each mention of the Trinity. However it was a very Protestant sermon, focussed tightly on the text and enthusiastically preached, and of course all the Catholic theology of the Eucharist was dropped. Also they replaced "holy catholic church" with "holy Christian church" in the creed.

-- Martin

no comments Tags cambridge, chapel, emmanuel, lutheran, trinity