All entries for Thursday 29 September 2005

September 29, 2005

Network/Library Staff Involvement

Follow-up to Network from The Rat's Nest (Post-Angst)

This day has a lot of random, non-diary writing! I'll be posting Day 6 later, but I write my entries throughout the day and don't post them until I go to bed.

There are rumours floating around that the problems with the network are to do with malicious viruses. If it's true then I hope the perpetrators get what-for. However, it's just a rumour.

Anyway, I got a nice comment from someone in IT I'd like to address. Apparently IT and DCS are not affiliated with the residential network and my rant was a bit uncalled for. This begs the question: why not?... Their services are reliable and well-maintained and have actually meant I can access my notes from their machines.

I also got a comment from a librarian who'd picked up my comments on using the library. It's become my favourite spot on campus, actually, especially the floor 2 laptop area where you can see students busying around with books and can see tree-leaves dancing with allegresse in the breeze… feels very University-like.

Speaking of which it's very nice that the staff here read blogs and comment, and I'd like to give a big thumbs up for that. Shows the little guys get listened to sometimes. (Grumble, grumble, 5'4 isn't that small…)

Anyway, best get back to the philosophy reading (Mackie). That stuff is brain-rot!


Follow-up to Colour Test? from The Rat's Nest (Post-Angst)


Whoo! A friend (Harlander) gave me that link. It described statements like the ones the test gives. Fascinating.


Colour Test?

Writing about web page

Another interruption to the diary service!

I did the test at the link marked as a related web page and got:

"Working to improve his image in the eyes of others so as to obtain their compliance and agreement with his needs and wishes."

I expect it puts things that could apply to anyone, though.


Please excuse the interruption of the diary service to bring you this rant.

It really frustrates me that a University that prides itself on its Computer Science and IT courses can't get fully-working networking up after Freshers have been here for 4 days.

The networking's down in the halls, the outgoing mail server isn't responding from anywhere, and the Internet gets randomly slow even in the library.

Sigh. I'm catching up on comments and emails now but as outgoing mail is down I can't respond. Don't fret, parents!

Day 5

Note: posted a day light from the library due to network being out in halls.

Midnight: I fired off a message to Warwick Resnet support about the slowness of the network. I couldn't even access the lecture notes I was meant to be reading it was so slow. The advertising for the accommodation clearly stated broadband Internet access, so if I don't get it they're breaching trading standards. (English law is nice that way!) I was polite and gave all details, as well as removed the external areal from my wireless card. It now transmits all of 5 feet, encrypted, in stealth to only my laptop. If they have to come around and at the same time complain about that, well, I'm bollocksed.

Just to give an example of how messed this network is, I have a seven second lag on text-only services, most webpages time out, and I get a 1,500ms ping to Google UK with dropped packets. It took my until 3 to get the PDFs of the Philosophy reading material off of the mail server, and by that time I wasn't able to understand it and went to bed.

Morning: I got woken up by some helpful CS students who wanted to see if I'd go with them to the optional Introduction to Economics model. I decided against it, mainly because economics are mathematical, full of abitrary facts, and pretty much a lie anyway. Also, combined with Philosophy and Statistics which I definitely like, it'd be way too much workload for the term.

I then voluntarily cleaned up my room! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, critters and space aliens, I David Mark William Byard Esquire G.C.S.E A.S/A.2 cleared my room and made it tidy! Mainly because I wanted to meet the cleaners in a more ameanable surroundings.

However, I found I had a package, and not one to foresake shinies just for the purpose of meeting a cleaner no matter how friendly they are, I skedaddled off to the post room after treating myself to home-made Plum Jam on toast. Which made me a bit homesick, again, bugger it. This like of my parents cannot be healthy. I should be complaining with all the other people about how restrictive their parents were and how glad they are for freedom. In fact, I had more freedom at home. The rules here are ludicrously tough, especially in the fact the rooms and kitchens must not be any anyway untidy more than two days in a row.

My package contained [a legitimate copy of] iWork '05 student edition for Macintosh! My first bought product ever, and it's the classiest office 'suite' (presentation and word processor) made. Only £25, too. Apple sure know how to make a decent product: there were two, chunky printed manuals explaining everything to do with each of the programs (Keynote for presentations and Pages for word-processing), two shortcut quick references, a license sheet and the program itself. Not only that, there was a detailed installation guide (double click 'install iWork') and proof-of-purchase coupons for if you lose the box. This is how software was meant to be, and almost makes me feel better for buying a closed source product.

Olga messaged me to say economics was horrendously boring and I felt a bit better about not giving it a chance. After I iWork it a little spin I arbitrarily decided to investigate the Computer Science department and see if I could meet my tutor. He wasn't in the office so I walked back and got a sandwich and returned. I caught him on the way out and asked him if it was a good idea to start the exercises in his programming document early, and he said that it was, so I headed downstairs, jacked into the network that actually works and started downloading the needed files.

I intricately constructed solutions to the very simple problems at the beginning, taking perverse pleasure in making a five line program into a 50 line monstrosity with so many checks and fallbacks that it could've been used by a monkey. Then I got bored and randomly asked the person next to me what they were doing. They explained they were making a Physics calculation engine for their final year project. We got talking, then a bunch of others came over, and we got into a hodge-podge of random technical conversation. The subjects:

  • Windows sucks (3 people).
  • Windows rules (2 people).
  • Mac rules (me).
  • CS 1st Year is really easy (5 people).
  • CS 1st Year looks tricky as I have to do Philosophy (me).
  • WTF??? (5 people).
  • Seriously, look at my time table (me).
  • Animé (4 people).
  • LAN gaming (1 person).
  • Potential membership benefits of the Computing Society (me).
  • How amusing it is the day after a deadline night where you walk into the computer room and see people asleep on the keyboards (5 people).
  • Need to go for a meeting (all except me and 1 person who I left with anyway).

Then everyone left and I got walked around by a very interesting chappy called Euan (I believe how that's spelled). As we were crossing from the central piazza to the Rootes area a teacher, oblivious to the others doing the same, jumped on us and yelled at us for walking on the grass. I apologised profusely and suggested a sign would be good as it wasn't obvious that the area was not for walking on. I got yelled at more for causing erosion and not caring and the fact a sign isn't needed. I apologised more, and he walked off in a huff. Jeeze, who rattled his cage?

We walked the entire campus in the rain as he showed me around, then I went back to my place and we chatted random tech. He said it was really good to meet a first year who actually knew anything about computing at all, as generally 1st years tend to be computing newbies. This surprised me, I thought Warwick was quite strict on having some previous knowledge before coming here. Anyway, we chatted until I had to go cook dinner.

I made a chilli, with help! I forgot the tomato puree and had to cook the mince separately (it cooked really quickly so I asked someone to confirm it was cooked, they said it was cooked so I left it for a minute longer to be sure). It was a mean chilli! Everyone around me vacated the area.

I retreated to my room, and the network was out again. I rung up central support to complain and they apologised and said the campus network had been brought to its knees by viruses, especially in my building (Arthur Vick). Sigh. Apparently it'll be fixed within a week, they're considering banning the computers that are infected from using the network. Yay for using Mac and Linux machines!

I came back to the room to find that people were playing the PS2 at last. They were having fun, and once they finished I showed some of the people present the wonderful delights of Beyond Good and Evil and ICO. They all loved BG&E, especially the arty intro, but ICO they said was just trippy and silly. Ah well!

Then one of them ran off to fetch a movie they'd made in their spare time. It was Postman Pat Uncut, about Postman Pat after he snaps and goes on a rampage of death and destruction. It was very good, delightfully amateurish. I wish I had the stamina to keep at something long enough to make something like it.

They all went off into town, leaving me behind as I can't stand loud noises as of late. I think I might have some serious wax in my ears. It's also hard to hear people sometimes and I'm getting ringing sounds in my ear again. I'll have to check that out tomorrow when I get the check-up with the nurse. I headed around to Olga's to while away a few hours.

I played The Longest Journey. Fascinating game but way, way too much abitrary dialogue. Olga kept on trying to offer me food and drink, I must've said I was OK around 6 times… she's very hospitable!

I phoned my parents to leave a message on their answerphone, as the network is completely down and likely to be tomorrow, so I couldn't post this post, and may not be able to phone them tomorrow using Skype.

September 2005

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