Doing the impossible at Heathrow

I’ve done a stupid thing. I have booked a flight from T5 to Edinburgh, that’s not the problem though. The problem is it leaves 65 minutes after my first flight arrives into T1 !!

So,,,, T1 to T5 in 65 minutes on airside… Is it doable? The minimum “legal connection” is 90 minutes according to BAA.com

I took bets from friends I was travelling with on the incoming flight , 75% were betting I won’t make it.  Below is the story of madness and mayhem.

I arrived into T1 on BMI (Hand luggage only) from an international flight, so I am classified as non-sterile, meaning I have to clear security again on arrival.

One more hurdle was that I needed to be at security 35 minutes before departure (T5 rules!)

I then Realised that I forgot to take into account the 35 minutes barrier, this meant I no longer had 65 minutes, I now have 30 minutes to get from T1 to T5 barrier check.

Here it goes

T1 -> Run -> Flight connections -> Bus -> run -> flight connections -> 35 minutes cut off check at T5 -> Passport control -> 35 minutes cut off check -> security -> T5 Departure!

The plane arrived at gate 55 in T1, the worst possible starting point, the furthest away gate in the terminal from flight connections!

Plane lands

T minus 35 minutes

Door opens. Countdown started.

T minus 30 minutes

Run towards flight connections, with 2 bags and a spare wheel around my waist it’s not so easy.

T minus 23 minutes

Arrive at T1 passport control, it’s not what I need, valuable time wasted asking someone who did not know, I need to get to T5

T minus 21 minutes

At the bus stop, waiting for the bus to T5.

T minus 18 minutes

Bus arrives, driver says he plans to wait for 5 more minutes. !!!!!!

The bus leaves after the drivers looks inside the terminal and seeing no-one was there (It’s a BA strike day)!

T minus 5 minutes

Bus arrives at T5, run upstairs towards flight connections.

T minus 2 minutes

Arrive at first 35 minutes cut-off check.Clear!

Arrive at passport control. Clear!

T minus zero minutes

Arrive at second 35 minutes cut-off check. Clear!

The sprint is over, I can take my time walking to the escalators that will take me to security……

5 minutes later I was in T5 departures.

I have made it.

I arrived as the plane was boarding, 10 minutes later I was on board.

Moral of the story:

If it says 90 minutes, it will need 90 minutes.

I only made it because I was lucky that everything was working in my favour, The bus left 5 minutes early. BA being on strike meant the number of passengers was very low and there were no queues at the cut-off checkpoints, passport controls or security and I had my boarding pass printed which meant I did not need to check in at Heathrow.

If you’re thinking about doing it, don’t!

🙂

Using the internet in Zambia

So here I am in Lusaka, trying to get my daily fix of the interweb.

The easiest way to get access on limited basis is to buy a local mobile phone sim card, from the many many places that sell them around the city. I opted for a Zain SIM card (www.zm.zain.com) but you have a choice of 2 other networks MTN and Zamtel.

The cost of the sim card is 5,000 kwacha (approx £0.70 or $1 USD). Add to that around 10,000 Kwacha for startup credit to get you going.

The costs for a pay-as-you-go setup is a fixed 1,600 ZMK per meg which can add up very quickly, but using a phone on android you can control the usage much better than using it on the computer. I was switching the mobile internet on every 2-3 hours to get the emails and check on bits and pieces. I end up spending around 10,000 ZMK per day on average usage.

The network syncs to Edge but I am told they have 3G too but I suspect the sim I have is limited as it’s cheap and probably isn’t designed for 3G.

The APN settings are:

Internet Settings
Account Name = Zain Internet
Home Page: http://www.google.com
IP Address = none (leave blank)
Port = none (leave blank)
Username = none (leave blank)
Password = none (leave blank)
Access Point Name (APN) = internet

For further information you can always check Zain’s own website

Getting to Zambia

My sister is getting married in Lusaka in Zambia. Below is a quick list of airlines and how you can get to Zambia from Europe and the Middle East.

FLIGHTS

Flying to Lusaka Airport (IATA Airport code: LUN)

Direct flights from Europe:

British Airways from London Heathrow (LHR). Every Wednesday, Friday, Sunday.

A comprehensive list is on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lusaka_International_Airport#Airlines_and_destinations

Indirect flights:

Your options are generally connecting in Johannesburg, as most of the flights from Lusaka end up in Johannesburg.

Flights to Johannesburg are very frequent, with most airlines operating daily.

Airfrance: Paris

British Airways: London
Cathay Pacific: Hong Kong
Delta Air Lines: Atlanta
EgyptAir: Cairo
Emirates: Dubai
Etihad Airways: Abu Dhabi
Iberia: Madrid
KLM: Amsterdam
Lufthansa: Frankfurt
Qatar Airways: Doha
Saudi Arabian Airlines: Jeddah
South African Airways: Accra, Blantyre, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Frankfurt, Harare, Hong Kong, Kinshasa, Lagos, Lilongwe, Livingstone, London-Heathrow, Luanda, Lubumbashi, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Mumbai, Munich, New York-JFK, Perth, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Victoria Falls, Washington-Dulles, Windhoek
Swiss International Air Lines: Zürich
TAP Portugal: Lisbon, Maputo
Turkish Airlines: Istanbul-Atatürk
Virgin Atlantic: London-Heathrow

Then you can connect to one of the many daily flights from Johanessburg on South African Airlines, Zambezi Airways, or Air Namibia.

Kayak.com, expedia.com/co.uk and opodo.com are good places to buy the tickets from.

VISA

This website will tell you if you need a visa or not, and the cost of the visa.

http://www.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/zims/VISA_FEES.aspx

Things to do in Zambia

Zambia is famous for Victoria falls, one of the largest falls of the world.

Safaris are great way of experiencing the wildlife in Africa.

and Plenty more, but I haven’t finished my research yet 🙂

Hope this helps, if you have anything to add or questions, please do give me a shout.

Using SRT subtitle files on Popcorn hour

I was having little trouble getting .SRT file working on Pop corn hour A-110. After some googling, I came across this page: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1060708

To enable SRT files support you need the following steps.

1. Make sure the SRT filename and the video name match (Except for the extensions obviously)

2. Make sure they are in the same directory

3. (OPTIONAL STEP) On your popcorn hour go to Setup menu, under subtitles change the language to English (Or any language, but not NONE), this will make sure the subtitles always run when you load a movie in your selected language.

4. Using your remote during playback you can enable the subtitles using the subtitles button.

Pretty simple, isn’t it?

Clearing Exim mail queue from all emails

Here is a little command, if you have loads of emails stuck in exim queue and you want to delete ALL the emails, here is a little command to do that


mailq |awk '{print "exim -Mrm " $3}'|sh

Be careful when using it, like I said, it will delete all emails waiting to be delivered by exim viagra bestellen rezeptfrei.

I used it to clear a queue from loads of spam and viruses after a machine got infected and sent 160k emails in 2hours 🙁

True courage

What is the meaning of courage?

Is it to fight a bull in a bullfight?

Is it to drive a formula 1 car?

Is it to fly a fighter in combat?

Is it to practice free falling parachuting?

Is it bungee jumping, wild water rafting?

Is it to gamble your salary on a coin toss?

Is it to insult the doorman in a bar?

Is it to insult your boss?

Is it to go on a defective ferris wheel?

Is it to swim with sharks without a cage?

That is nothing.


THIS is true courage!

courage