The Null Device


I can't seem to go past a Fopp shop here without emerging with a raft of books. Yesterday I found myself in the Edinburgh branch and found that there was a new Christopher Brookmyre novel, The Sacred Art of Stealing, so I picked it up.

(Yes, I know it's theoretically a crime thriller, and thrillers are meant to be mindless pulp, sort of like Mills & Boon for blokes, but Brookmyre is a cut above the usual Tom Clancy macho-man rubbish, not to mention a keen satirist. Anyone who has failed rock-stars becoming international terrorists, and goes on to books about Dadaist bank robbery is IMHO worth a look.)


I'm in Edinburgh right now; I'm posting this from a (somewhat expensive though centrally located) Internet café at Waverley Station, and won't be able to post photos until I'm back in London at least (within a week, most probably). There's a Human League song playing on the radio, which is somewhat unusual perhaps.

Edinburgh is a very impressive-looking place; more so than London, I'd say. It's built on the slopes of hills (around a castle of historic significance), and thus you have interesting things such as streets on different levels, entire streets going under other streets, buildings with two ground floors and lanes which are winding stone staircases. Which, as you can imagine, looks quite doovy.

A word of advice for visitors to Edinburgh: if you're keen on photography (or just nice views), go to Calton Hill. (Why doesn't every city have high hills with impressive neoclassical monuments in the centre?) If you're afraid of heights, ignore the preceding advice.

(Another word of advice: don't bother with those British Telecom Internet-enabled payphones. They're a nice idea, but the implementation leaves a lot to be desired. For one, the vandal-proof, payphone-style keyboards are impossible to type on at all comfortably, and the keys tend to behave somewhat erratically unless whacked with great determination. (And also the custom browsing software they use lacks certain amenities, such as, say, HTTP authentication. Haven't these people heard of Mozilla?))

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