Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Swipe on, Swipe off

I finally got myself a OV travel card. A coworker picked up an anonymous smart card while he was passing through the train station and gave it to me. Of course it had no money, and the charge machines don't take Maestro, so I had to ask him nicely to charge it up for me too.The travel card itself is pretty cool. It uses Near Field Communication, which is  wireless protocol which only works within 20 centimetres. So you charge the card up with money, and then tap it against a plate when you're getting on the bus. It even works inside your wallet. A lot like the newer Dublin Bus tickets, though these are plastic credit card style. The big difference in how it operates is when you reach the end of the trip, you gotta swipe it again. 

Here in Holland, €4 is the standard cost of a bus journey. So when you swipe onto a bus, it charges you €4. If you swipe off when you reach your destination however, it'll refund you an amount based on how many stages you travelled through. Yesterday I say a girl jump back onto a bus after getting off to swipe her card, after she's forgotten to. I thought it was weird at the time, but now it makes sense.

The buses seem to know where they are, they all have a monitor listing the current and next stops. Some stops have Luas style timetables, telling you when the next bus will arrive, I've seen then increase the due time from 3 to 5 when a bus was delayed.

I went looking for a Laundry today. I've already found one of the two Google says are in town, though it's inconvenient opening hours have left me wanting an alternative. I followed the map pretty closely, as close as I could considering all the construction in the area, though I wasn't able to find the laundry. All I found were ducks, and an old business park. Mostly ducks though. The Google street view location itself is a crossroads. I get the feeling that the proprietor didn't bother accurately marking his business. I'm surprised it was ducks I found, Hoofddorp was full of geese.

I watched three virtual machines self destruct today. I'm still not sure what caused it, but I'll blame the database server, as it was the common factor. Only problem is, those machines need that Database Server. Tomorrow will be fun.

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