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Modern times

December 15, 2012

We just got a super fast wireless internet installed. It is ten times faster at 20% of the monthly fee of the previous satellite-based system, and more beautiful too since we got rid of the hideous satellite dish. The new mast is installed behind the kitchen and won’t disturb the silhouette of our Lanna teak house.

This system allows any keen Chiang Mai gardener with a Dokmai Garden VIP card or Lifetime member card to easily access internet to read about some of our 1100 plant species while chit-chating with Ketsanee about traditional uses, or with Eric about biology. Consider Dokmai Garden as your three-dimensional and interactive book on monsoon gardening, agriculture and biodiversity.

Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden and Dokmai Garden are the only two botanic gardens in northern Thailand acknowledged by BGCI (Botanic Gardens Conservation International). When you know the plants, visits to food markets, panorama gardens and national parks will be much more interesting. The green wall will become a mosaic of dear friends. Ultimately, a widespread knowledge about the local plants and a widespread knowledge about the global environmental problems will help appreciating and preserving life on Earth. BGCI estimates that one third of Earth’s plants are threatened.

The new internet system will also facilitate the production of this free blog on monsoon gardening, since yesterday’s blogs were stunted by frustrating delays. Some faithful readers/Southeast Asian settlers from Sweden, USA, France and Germany have bought Dokmai Garden lifetime memberships to encourage the continuation of this blog, soon to celebrate 800 posts. We thank you very much for this vital support!

Satellite dish.Dec.15.2012.72Farewell to the old and ugly satellite dish…

Satellite replacement.72…and welcome modern times (the Wi-Net mast is still on the ground in this picture).

We have considered labeling all larger plants at Dokmai Garden with numbers, so that visitors with phones or iPads could access information about the plants simply via clicking the numbers via our website. However, we still believe an enthusiastic guide and/or a permanent metal sign will do the job better, because what would make a visitor overcoming the tropical heat to start clicking around to get information about an anonymous-looking plant? A glance at a sign or a comment by the guide would open the eyes far better.

rutaceaeAn example of a text from a Dokmai Garden sign, containing more information than just a name. The background picture is not seen in the real signs.

A short note about Tuesday’s upcoming bird excursion: we have attracted participants as far away as Hong-Kong. The cold nights are temporarily over, but with today’s first observation of the Dollarbird, the Dokmai Garden bird-list has reached 93 species of wild birds, making the goal, 100, within grasp. Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) are medium-sized and dark with white blotches near the wing tips. Their flight is elegant, almost butterfly-like, worthy of an insect-catching bird.

We need to know today if you intend to come on Tuesday. Monday is our day off when we usually stay away from computers.

Most welcome!

Eric Danell and Ketsanee Seehamongkol

9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2012 2:23 PM

    “Modern Times” ? what a disappointment as I was hoping a video clip from Charlie Chaplin who not only wrote & starred in the movie but also wrote the lovely subversive song “Smile”.
    I would like to attend on Tuesday if somebody is passing by Nimmanhaemin Rd and can stop and pick me up at the Siam Commercial Bank at the corner of Soi 5 at 6 a.m. please.

    • December 15, 2012 5:54 PM

      I am happy somebody noticed my selection of title, i.e. new technique often backfires. Having said that, this is the first time I have internet access also in the laboratory, a building situated 50 meters from my breakfast table.


      • February 25, 2013 11:34 AM

        …and here comes an evaluation which indeed confirms the blog title: during an early February storm the bamboo bent the internet mast and disconnected us from internet. TOT promised to repair within 24 hours. That never happened. After being disconnected from internet and totally ignored by the governmental TOT company, we straightened the mast ourselves, assuming TOT would eventually show up and move the mast to a safer place. That never happened, and A FEW WEEKS LATER a new storm bent the mast. We spent a full day straightening, moving and securing the mast ourselves. TOT has still not shown up, so their 24 hours guarantee seems to be a 24 days guarantee, but in fact we have waited even longer than that now. A TOT server broke down recently, and disconnected the internet for everyone in THAILAND!

        Modern Times, alas.

  2. zakjack permalink
    December 15, 2012 8:19 PM

    Definitely a sign of the times in Hang Dong and soon to be ‘everywhere’it seems. But it sure is nice to have a smooth connection when publishing online and particularly when you are looking to fill in any blanks as you walk around the garden.

  3. December 15, 2012 9:35 PM

    very nice..
    whats wifi code?

  4. September 9, 2013 7:13 PM

    What speed and how far from the TOT mast can you be ?

    • September 10, 2013 8:23 AM

      Hi Chris!

      The distance also seems to depend on the device. The iPAD has the shortest distance, the SONY laptop the intermediate and my Mac Powerbook can be 50 meters away.

      Cheers, Eric

      • September 10, 2013 9:01 AM

        Hi Eric !
        Good to see you back on line – I have truly missed your blog.
        As for the Wi-Net, I was referring to the distance from TOT mast to your antenna; and at what speed you get, aka ~2-10 MB/sec.
        Here in the Jungle I can get 1 (one) kb at most, pictures and movies etc. is impossible.
        Cheers, Chris

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