Archive for October, 2006

FON

More on broadband, I was wondering have anyone tried FON service? It’s a great idea, still in its infancy.

If you don’t know what is FON, to describe it in minimal words, it’s a wifi community to enable bandwidth sharing. You can share your bandwidth via FON routers, a pretty good 802.11g wifi router that you can buy from FON shop for €5. These routers must be registered with FON in order to work, once setup it works like any other router, and when you’re away you can log on to any FON network for free using your FON login.

I like this idea, hopefully it will get more attention and user base.

Broadband

One of the things that i’m currently looking at, is Broadband options in Dublin. First thing, (apparently) there’s only one telephone line provider i.e., EirCom, so if you dont have a telephone line then you’re fecked. All the (so-called) high speed broadbands are via telephone lines. I’ve seen some cable net options but its total mess, first the cable wireless routers are not that easy to find, then its only for cable internet which is not very fast anyway.

Secondly, the pure wireless solutions require a dish/antenna to be installed for the LOS (Line of Sight); Anyone using Clearwire, Irish Broadband, etc. Any thoughts? I heard the reception is not that good and the speed is so so.

The last thing, is the bandwidth and usage quota, most providers applies the cap on the service, which sucks. I, in the past, had cap-less provider, though i got a few very kind notices asking me if i want to switch to another package. (but why??)

Any thoughts on broadband providers? The best, the worst?

Weird

Ever wondered about “those weird sculptures” that appear randomly around city center. I remember, when the first time i noticed one at the end of Grafton street, i thought *wtf*! is it a dog? a rat? a bunny? a girl? a what? … A bit weird but cool.

So, the artist, behind the mystery installations, is Sophie Ryder, from England. Check out her profile, interesting.

Kinara

On the topic of food, and (some) people’s love for curry and asian cuisine, I’ve tried few south-asian restaurants and to be honest, there are not a lot of authentic places. Mostly just offering random curries and “chicken tikka masala”s that are no where near the way its supposed to be.

I came across this place called Kinara, a Pakistani restaurant, located on Clontarf Road (opposite Bull Island / wooden bridge). The place is bit far, outside main city center, not too pricy, good selection of dishes, and well the overall experience left a good aftertaste (of food and service). Totally worth it. Next to the real deal. Try Gosht Karahi and/or Beef Jalfresi and a Lassi for desert. *ñam ñam*

on colds and their cures

Being sick in a new city is never a barrel of fun. Does fun come in barrels? I think it probably should. I know it comes in kegs.

In short, I have a cold. And I’m about as pleased about that as anyone would be. I wandered into the chemist and picked up some Nurefen and Lemsip, which apparently contain ibuprofen and paracetemol (acetomiaphen) respectively. Not that I ever really understood what that meant even when I was in America. While I’m not sure if you can or should mix them, I did, and I’m really a big fan of Nurefen. Man, it worked quick. While it still sucks to have a cold, especially since the weather has made a turn for the colder (good thing I picked up a proper jacket today) I’m not going to let it get me down as I’m going to Galway this weekend. Time to get out of the city for awhile, as much as I like it.

gruel, 67 dame street, d2

I checked out Gruel on Dame Street yesterday. I’ve been meaning to do so for awhile, as every guidebook I come across and loads of word-of-mouth has had nothing but good things to say about it. The warm, inviting atmosphere was a perfect refuge from the rainy, blustery day outside, and my companion and I ordered a pot of tea and chatted as the wonderful staff buzzed quietly around us. There weren’t that many people seat, but that was more likely due to the 11 AM hour than anything else–not quite breakfast and definitely not lunch, it’s more the elevenses hour, which has its own compelling qualities.

The nice thing about Gruel is that, in addition to artfully messy posters decorating and clashing every inch of space and the welcome feeling diners get from the moment they enter, the chef has put together a menu of roughly fifteen entrees that have been created to perfection. While a wide selection can be nice too, there’s something comforting about knowing that whatever you order from the menu is tried and tested enough to be kept on the menu. We decided to get something savoury and something sweet and split the two. While everything looked good, we got the waffle (which turned out to be a pancake) with fresh cream and berries, and the tomato, goat cheese, and rocket frittata with silver dollar potatoes. To say it was good would be an understatement–the fritatta was perfectly cooked, delicate but still creamy, with the sharp accent of the rocket a perfect accompaniment to the smooth goat cheese.

The pancake-waffle-whatever it was good had just the right consistency, thin but huge, almost falling off the place. I think the berries were probably frozen and then rewarmed, but the cream was definitely fresh-made, and the thought of syrup didn’t even cross my mind when I spread the whole concoction over the pancake. After the fritatta, it was like a perfect mid-day desert, sweet but not too sweet. We finished our tea but were reluctant to leave; the restaurant was warm and comfortable, and it’s easy to understand why these guys are open all hours of the day and night–someone will always be in there, taking in one of the kitchen’s wonderful roast sandwiches or their admirable pizza slices. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a favorite weekend spot for me, as it’s very reasonably priced and just around the corner.

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