Captain, incoming message…

Mac talking to satellite phone

Apologies for that rather cryptic last entry, but it represents quite a breakthrough for me as it was sent from my laptop via a satellite phone. I’ve finally cobbled together all the hardware and software I need and can now send and receive email and update my blog from anywhere in the world. Oooh, the wonders of modern technology! Note that in the picture on the left I’ve put a beer bottle next to the phone to show just how big it is.

In case you want to try this at home, here’s what you need:

1) Apple PowerBook (or iBook if you’re feeling cheap) running OS X
2) Motorola 9500 (or 9505) Iridium phone with data adapter
3) Keyspan USB to Serial adapter (or similar, but make sure it comes with drivers for Mac OS X – the Belkin one doesn’t)
4) Serial extension lead to connect USB adapter to Motorola data adaptor (I got one from Radio Shack)
5) Motorola data script for Mac dialup – click here for details
6) The patience of a saint

Once you’ve installed the USB to serial adapter driver software and the Motorola data script, plug everything in and switch on the phone. Follow the instructions in the link above for the data script to setup your dialup connection, and try to connect. It worked for me first time, so if you’ve done everything right you should be in business. It’s not quick, nor is it cheap, but it works, and that gives me a lovely warm glow inside. Or is that the beer?

This was my main achievement of the weekend, unless you count going to the usual seedy clubs without getting blind drunk for a change. Actually I got a bit squiffy on Friday night as I thought I’d try a different venue, The Copa, but it turned out to be empty with the only saving grace being Long Island Iced Teas at a very reasonable $2. I’ve no idea what’s in these but there seem to be at least 4 different spirits, and it’s by far the cheapest way of getting hammered. Three of these still didn’t get the Copa going for me, so I popped next door to my usual haunt of the Coliseum to find it full of the familiar and satisfying combination of sweaty half-naked men and house music. Aaaah, lovely!

Oh, and I did pop down to the boat briefly today but got bored so went home to watch a Star Trek film instead. “There’s Klingons on the starboard bow – scrape em off, Jim!”

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