Category Archives: Broken photo links

s n a p s h o t s

[ 13:30 wednesday 8 november – jisonayili , northern ghana ]

new photos from italy , britain and ghana :

http://www.sse.org.uk/temp/2000-09-11
http://www.sse.org.uk/temp/2000-10-11

i reached the limit of my server space some time ago . indeed i shunted quite a lot of old material off the server onto my powerbook to make space , and lost the lot when it was nicked .

if i’m going to continue publishing photos i need more server space . each set is around 1mb in size . so this is a plea for anyone willing to donate 50-100mb to host http://www.charlesarmstrong.net for the next twelve months .

in the meantime i’m using a temporary folder on the sse server . hope that’s ok james !

: cH

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v i a g g i o

16:10 sunday 13 august – eurostar , milano to napoli

a month to fill in …

my intention had been to return to britain for just a week , principally to gather with warren langley , craig and henry to discuss the next steps for trampoline and to start organising the sse learning web project with james smith . james had phoned me in milan a few days earlier to let me know that the school’s bid for core funding to cover its development for the next three years had been successful so we could start putting some of our plans into action . this is enormously exciting for me but it also brings new responsibilities . circus must evolve into a more formal structure than has been necessary hitherto .

when my work in london was done i decided not to return to milano immediately , but to head down to mum and dad’s house in gloucestershire and bite the bullet of scanning my slides from last year in the islands . ten days later i had 1050 of them digitised , cropped , resized and catalogued . this represents about half of the slides i took . the experience was a kind of purgatory , both for me and for mum who had to put up with my steadily declining temper . i really hope i never have to do anything like this again .

but the satisfaction of having the archive here on my powerbook is considerable . the process has also given me a clear sense of the raw material i have to work with , should i attempt any kind of publication or exhibition . it was , of course , a strongly nostalgic experience retracing my footsteps through the period , moment by moment . as i reached the final week i felt again the heaviness of each frame , remembering my sense that i was looking at things for the last time , paying my final tributes to places and objects i loved . my heart was in my throat once again .

during those ten days my relationship with sandhurst , my parents’ village , changed somehow . i explored the bank of the river severn on my bike , discovered favourite places to which i returned day after day . likewise the local hill with its views to the malverns on one side and the cotswolds on the other . experiences i overlooked when i lived there as a child . we take so much for granted . it has taken me this long to appreciate the beauty of the area and particularly of the garden mum and dad have created over the last dozen years . for a few days this became my office and i could not have wished for a more idyllic environment in which to pursue my unwelcome labours .

finally it was done and i was free to return to italy . i flew from stansted to brescia with ryan air . bizarrely the ticket cost even less than my previous charter horror but the service ran like clockwork and after an hour’s train journey i was back in fofo’s appartment on via solferino . to my delight my arrival coincided with a brief visit on business by my friend christian , so we had time for a fleeting coffee before he returned to london .

and in milano i have remained , buried in my work for the sse and the scillonia digital workshop . my only escape has been a day with a friend on the shores of lago di como … until today .

fofo and his family have been holidaying on the tiny island of stromboli , just north of sicilia , since my return to milano . finally , a few days ago , my resistance to his urging that i should join them collapsed . for one thing milano has almost completely shut down . over the last week swathes of shops have put up sheets in their windows and announced their closure until september . now that my favourite grocer , fruiterer , fishmonger and bakery have joined the stampede , life is scarcely worth living . on another note , this is a good opportunity to spend a week of retreat preparing the development plan and specifications for the sse learning web . and , of course , i am only too happy to be travelling to a small island once again .

so here i am , just leaving firenze , almost halfway through the six and a half journey to napoli . i had no difficulty deciding to travel by train rather than flying . this is a wonderful introduction to the changing landscapes and architectures of italy . what a trip !

from napoli i will board a ship for the six hour voyage to stromboli , where i shall arrive at five tomorrow morning just as it is getting light . what a way to arrive !

typically i am relying to a daft extent on fortune . i have no accommodation booked on stromboli and this is the peek week of the year , so i am likely to find myself sleeping beneath a tree . also i have no booking for the ferry . and i will have a mere thirty minutes between this train’s scheduled arrival and the ferry’s departure . not really a comfortable margin . who knows how it will all work out .

my absorption in various projects has resulted in a greater backlog of personal correspondence than i have ever accumulated before . it weighs heavy on me . when i return to milano i shall dedicate an hour each day to its reduction . if anyone were to draw the conclusion that their missives were unvalued they would be sorely mistaken . i regret my carelessness .

oh , there’s another batch of photos at
http://www.charlesarmstrong.net/snapshots/2000-07-01 . another experimental interface , i’m afraid … this time you only have to * point * at the thumbnails to download the large image ! i’ve already thought of some improvements for the next cluster … when i get round to it .

: cH

b l i g h t y

23:27 easter sunday – sandhurst , gloucestershire

i arrived back in britain last tuesday . malaysia was amazing , different
from anything i anticipated .

finally some photos :

http://www.charlesarmstrong.net/2000-03-08
http://www.charlesarmstrong.net/2000-03-27
http://www.charlesarmstrong.net/2000-04-14

as i awoke this morning i watched a mosquito walking slowly backwards on my
ceiling for what seemed like ages . it struck me as strange .

happy easter everyone

: cH

c e n t r i f u g e

12:58 friday 24 march – mundarrah street , clovelly , sydney

onelist.com , the service i’ve been using to host this mailing list , has been assimilated by its main competitor egroups.com . since there was already a list called wanderer on egroups i’ve been compelled to modify the name . so it’s goodbye wanderer and hallo worldwanderer . it’s grossly cheesy , but heck , i couldn’t think of anything better .

i’ve been here in sydney a month now . the days have alternated pretty equally between sun and cloud , for which i’m grateful as it’s made it much easier to maintain a balance between work and shameless lounging . it also means i’ve got a modest tan rather than terminal skin cancer .

last weekend i escaped up to the blue mountains for a couple of days with duncan , a fellow brit i met a couple of days earlier . it was great to be amongst the trees , the aromatic air , the never-silent hush .

one of the main objectives in coming to autralia was to advance another stage in my mobile working endeavours . it’s twenty months since my first step in this direction , when i spent july/august 1998 roving around the isles of scilly , cornwall , gloucestershire and cambridge whilst continuing to work on a website for decca records with a team in london . back then it was just me and my little psion , which restricted my interaction to email except when i was able to hijack someone else’s terminal . i remember being enraptured by the novelty of lying on a beach and being paid for it .

my next step was when i came out to australia in december 1998 . i borrowed a computer out here and carried on working with a couple of clients in london . but my input was still essentially text-based . i didn’t get a whole lot of work done , to be honest . but i learned a lot .

after that came the experiment of spending a whole year in the isles of scilly . this time i had my full battery of equipment with me and was able to participate in a much wider range of activities . i was principally doing work for the school for social entrepreneurs , including consultancy , web production and print production . whenever i left the islands i relied on my psion to maintain email contact .

then in january i got my powerbook , opening up the prospect of being able to continue working on a full range of tasks from anywhere in the world , so long as i can get occasional access to power and telecoms . this trip to australia is the first trial of that theory . after a month it’s working well . i’ve put together a brochure for the sse , which i can send to printers in cornwall via email . i’m much of the way through producing a new website for the sse . i’ve been continuing to play a development role with the scillonia digital workshop , and will be producing a website with its members . i’ve also taken the first steps towards setting up a software development venture , whose working title is trampoline , based on my research over the last eighteen months into dispersed collaboration , learning and decision-making .

in all of these activities i’ve been working with groups of people in different places . these interactions have been structured in ways which enable me to feel i’m involved in ongoing discussions , that part of me is there with the other participants . these are delicate psychological considerations . the potential for misunderstanding , paranoia and defensiveness is much higher in a dispersed collaboration than in a conventional one . the development and sustenance of trust is critical . so in a way these experiments have been about trust , exploring different interactive structures and strategies , seeing where trust flourishes and where it perishes , where i feel like an active participant and where i feel remote , where i feel stimulated to contribute creatively and where i feel inhibited .

trampoline is the result of everything i have learned . i have come to see clear patterns in what works and what doesn’t work . from these insights has emerged a concept for a way to organise communications which will enable organisations , especially information-based organisations , to increase their creative potential .    i am particularly eager that the non-profit sector should benefit from an infrastructure tool like this . charitable organisations are typically under-resourced , thinly-spread and dependent on a wide network of influence and support . they are also blessed with high levels of commitment and shared purpose . trampoline will enable such organisations to marshal their resources more effectively . i am hoping to establish the venture in such a way that non-profit organisations will have access to services on a free or non-profit basis .

these plans took a significant step forward a couple of weeks ago when warren langley , ex-president and ceo of the pacific exchange in san francisco , offered to help guide the project through first-stage financing . there’s an amazing story behind this . at the start of may last year i was on st agnes , packing my belongings into boxes , preparing to move out of tamarisk farm . it was a fresh spring day , plump thrushes hopping about and flooding the breeze with song . there was a knock at the door and i saw a fellow clutching a laptop . warren introduced himself and explained he was staying with tim and sue hicks down at troytown . he was having trouble picking up email and they’d suggested he drop in on me in case i could do anything .

i was completely useless of course , fiddling about for a bit before sheepishly suggesting he should call the support line . but it turned out that warren was interested in social entrepreneurship , particularly social invesment , and we spent the next hour or so in conversation . we’ve remained in touch since then .

as for what brought warren all the way to st agnes , his wife ann had visited many years before on an archeological project and had been returning ever since . fate is indeed a remarkable beast .

oh , i’ve finally organised some photos from my previous trip to australia . nearly two hundred of them in fact . start at
http://www.charlesarmstrong.net/oz98 .

: cH

s u n c h a s i n g

13:07 friday 3 march – mundarrah street , clovelly , sydney

lots has happened since my last transmission . the main thing , though , is that i’ve shifted myself out to sydney , where i’m staying with my friend ross near clovelly beach for a few weeks .

some pics of the journey here , and of my new surroundings at
http://www.charlesarmstrong.net/sunchasing .

i’m continuing to access email via my usual addresses . whilst i’m in australia my phone number is + 61 415 985794 .

: cH