The Hydra Files Data Bytes Back

As you may have noticed, some of the pages in this issue have been given a bit of an overhaul. It was a big task. New fonts, lots of nice pictures and more. Hopefully, the entire mag will look this way next issue. Now that would be an even bigger task. Persuading people to give their typed stuff to be messed around with, by other people. Eliminating those horrible last minute spelling corrections, etc.

Perhaps a bigger task would be one that we at Hydra tried to complete, was attempting to hook the can machines in the Dinning Room, and near the library, up to the Internet.

Why should we wish the canteen refreshment service to be accessible to all the computers around the globe, you may well ask? Well, Cambridge University have hooked up a coffee machine. Using your computer you can call up the coffee machine, and it will tell you how much coffee it has left in its little coffee pot.

We at Hydra, want the same thing here, so that those canteen (sorry, Refectory! I forgot! It's very posh isn't it? Puts the place up market. Canteen sounds dead common and naff after all!) people can access the can machines by computer instantly, and know how many cans of 7Up Lite are left, so that the machine may never run out, and you will not be deprived of your favourite soft drink.

Of course, it was suggested to us, while attempting to hook a modem to the can machine, that it may be easier to just open the machine and count the cans, which made our attempts rather pointless, and maybe rather sad.

But not as sad as a company in the US who have hooked up a Christmas tree to the Internet. Dial it up, and it will tell you what it is doing, like "Wearing tacky plastic bauble". Now, obviously, this is something that we all need to know, and just what the information superhighway was set up, all those years ago, to do.

In October 1995 Edition

Background Information

This edition of Hydra had a yellow paged supplement done entirely (and badly) in a desktop publishing package with little useful content and for even less reason which might explain the first paragraph.

The second - well I'd just heard about the online coffee machine at Cambridge University. And just imagine if Twitter had been around when that Christmas tree was put online...

The article was written by 'Data', the Hydra computer


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