Off-topic, On-TARDIS

I spent 4 days and change last weekend pretty much out of technological contact with the world.

By this I don’t mean that I limited myself to a single ADSL connection and a dual core laptop. I actually spent most of the weekend limited to Tweetdeck and Foursquare on my cell phone, and I only had connectivity about half of that time.

I was off in the bowels of the LAX Airport Marriott hotel for Gallifrey One, the longest running Doctor Who convention in North America. This 22nd annual event was my third, and before it ended I was signed up for next year already.

I’ve spent much of the past year introducing my companion to Doctor Who and Torchwood, and she came along with me. She was pretty okay with the lack of connectivity.

You’re Out Of Touch…

But I’m a bit baffled that you could have convention facilities that don’t have cell reception or wireless connectivity. Admittedly putting 2200 people into a single floor with laptops and phones and such can be a daunting challenge, but I’m pretty sure we were not the first convention to fill up the Marriott’s lower level.

I did not get around to trying my Clear 4G USB adapter–I have not yet activated it, but if you have an adapter, you can try out your connectivity by downloading their driver software over the 4G connection–but I heard that things were as suboptimal for AT&T and T-Mobile as they were for my Verizon DROID X.

But that’s my grumbling about connectivity. Those of you who watched my twitter feed at @gallifreyan may have seen a reasonable amount of traffic. So I got something.

Doctor Who?

If you haven’t come across Doctor Who lately, well, there’s no excuse. It’s the longest running science fiction tv series in history, coming up on 50 years of existence and 33 seasons of programmes. (It’s British, so I felt the need to spell that word that way.)

Netflix has the new generation (2005-2010) as delivered by Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat, as well as much of the classic series. Amazon’s new Amazon Prime feature, instant video streaming, features loads of the series as well. You can also buy the downloads on iTunes, or pick up spinny glass versions anywhere DVDs are sold.

The sixth series, featuring the return of Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, is coming sometime in the next two months. No firm dates yet, unfortunately, but the new series should be coming in late March to late April.

I’ve been a fan since 1983 or so, so I have a bit of a lead on most of my readers. But you can get a fair start at the beginning of “Series 1” with Christopher Eccleston, “Series 2” with David Tennant, or “Series 5” with Matt Smith. Your experience will be enriched the further back you go, but these are all sane starting points, and you won’t miss out on too much by not having watched the black and white episodes.

And I’ll be braving my first visit to a Doctor Who fan group this weekend; the San Jose organization “Legion of Rassilon” has been bringing fans together since the very early 80s and I’m looking forward to my late start in the in-person fan community.

Anyway, I should have something more technical for my readers in the near future. Stay tuned, and have a jelly baby for me.

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