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Dave Walker’s Blog Spanner March 18, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Frivolity, Technology.
Tags: , , , ,
Dave Walker's Blog Spanner

Dave Walker's Blog Spanner

Dave Walker has managed to get hold of one of the old blog spanners used by Google’s software engineers before they discovered the internet — quite an amazing find and it only cost him £1.49 on ebay.

I remember the one my grandfather had — used to attach it to his dustbin and whenever he lifted the lid (it was one of the old metal bins, not the big plastic wheelie-bin things they use today) his neighbours would gather round and go “ooh” and “ahh” over his garbage, then leave comments for the bin men (it was always men in those days). Great fun — the bin men would then pass the comments on around the neighbourhood and by the end of the weekly collection cycle they’d work out whose garbage had attracted the most comments and give out certificates that you could stick onto your bin.

Trouble with the original model was that it didn’t have the swivel head you can see in Dave’s, which meant the garbage would sometimes snag on it: could get quite messy and attracted all sorts of unmentionables.

Once they fitted the swivel heads, though, you could tighten things up more: the real garbage, the stuff people wanted to talk about, went straight in the bin whilst the boring stuff — well actually, nobody ever worked out what happened to that: it somehow got separated out and people could just get on with sharing their garbage properly. Eventually it all made its way to an incinerator or a landfill site, depending on where you lived, but then the internet was invented and someone came up with fibre-optic cable and it all finds its way there instead now, where quite a lot of it gets recycled via Google.

I’m not sure what Dave’s planning on doing with his spanner: I expect he’ll tell us before long; but I have a sneaking suspicion (and I’ve left him a comment to say so) that he’s going to try to use it to boost his technorati rankings. It won’t work, of course, because technorati have moved on from blog spanners, though I’m not sure what they’re using instead — probably some sort of algorithm that no one else can make sense of.

Apparently you can still use blog spanners on twitter, though, so if you manage to get hold of one, don’t bin it: share it. And whatever you do, don’t attach it to or use it to do anything with your bike. Some people on Dave’s blog are saying that’s what it’s for, which is absolute bunkum. You can trust me on this: I’m a blogger.


1. Dave Walker - March 18, 2009

Phil, Thank you for this analysis. You may or may not be right, but I can’t tell you until tomorrow when the answers come out and everyone swaps papers for the marking.

2. Anne - March 19, 2009

Is this what John Lennon was talking about when he referred to a Spaniard in the works? If so, I’d like to point out that “spanner” in English = “wrench” in English…

3. Rachel Bishop - March 19, 2009

Brilliant! Just brilliant!

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