European Trains

April 8th, 2009 by Potato

First off, this is the 600th post here at BbtP. For a long while there were roughly two comments for every post (typically, someone commenting and myself replying), but lately the comments have dropped off… at this rate posts will outnumber comments around post #700.

I’d like to start off with a public service announcement: back up your data. I just backed up my most important stuff: my digital pictures, spreadsheets, blog posts, etc., to my external hard drive as part of my quarterly backup task (which was supposed to have been in March closer to the equinox, but I procrastinated). I’m now tempted to secure the external hard drive somehow, perhaps create a drywall compartment in the wall and make it a fixture of the house so that if someone breaks in and steals my computer, they’ll leave the drive alone. Another option might be to get a network drive and keep it somewhere else in the house inconspicuous. Of course, with a 60 GB hard drive the Xbox also looks like a good place to hide a backup. For the paranoid readers (and come on, with this site that must be nearly half of you) TrueCrypt is a good way of keeping your files secure on those DVD or external hard drive backups.

As the spring weather rolls in (and with today’s snow, back out) I start to think about the upcoming european trip I’ll be taking. The incessant reminder emails to register for the conference I’m attending may have also influenced this train of thought. I’ve already booked my plane tickets, after seeing the price jump a few times, but hadn’t looked at the train situation at all yet. I just sort of assumed that everyone always talks about how great the european train system is, so it must be no problem to hop from place to place by train while we’re there. Indeed, there are some bright spots, such as France’s TGV, but now that I’m looking into it, the whole experience sounds rather miserable. This is of course because we’ll be starting out in Switzerland, which is not flat. Check out this image of the rail line I snagged from Google maps:

Is that thing a railway or a rollercoaster?

Is that a railway or a roller-coaster?!

One thing’s for sure, Sid Meier’s Railroads! would never let me build that line. So looking up the train times now (something I should have done before agreeing that we’d visit Venice after the conference) I find that we’d spend the better part of 3 of our 10 non-conference days in Europe just lollygagging around on trains.


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