Internet, housemates, canals and revision

Plugged back in!

W00t! Our block’s Internet connection is back.

It disappeared last Friday, usefully the ISP only work Mon-Fri 9-5 so they didn’t know about it until Monday at 10am when I told them (I expected our site management to have reported it because of all the complaints, but they didn’t).

They came to look at it, turned the switch on for our block and it promptly turned itself off again a minute later, turned it on again, turned itself off. They did this 7 times, I know this because I was sat tailing my message logs like some kind of Internet-deprived maniac. They decided that the RCD was faulty because it kept tripping so they tried their own RCD which worked fine. It stayed connected for about 20 minutes, I thought it was fixed, then they disconnected it all and went home having decided it was site maintenance’s responsibility and they could fix it the next day.

By this point I was starting to get Internet withdrawl symptoms. You’d think that losing my Internet connection would be the best thing that could happen to me during revision time, but unfortunately all our lecture notes are stored on WebCT, I desperately needed to transfer some money between bank accounts and I couldn’t get to my online exam timetable. I was getting grouchy.

I stomped around our block following all the trunking on the walls figuring out where the network cabling was routed. I figured out where the switch must be (inside a locked wooden box) and was seriously considering breaking into the box, plugging my Linksys router into an adjacent power outlet, spoofing the MAC address and patching in a temporary connection to our entire flat. Luckily I had to meet samwwwblack and some people at the Guild (see later) and he talked me out of it 😛

Today they managed to send someone over by 1pm and promptly removed the RCD switch, replaced it with a plain old on/off switch and everything suddenly started working again. Providing it doesn’t short out and catch fire we should be fine!

A question about voltage and current

On a related note, the transformer for my Linksys router has suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason, so now I have to either go through a returns procedure to get it replaced under warranty or buy a new one.

Question: I have a transformer for my Creative speakers which outputs 12V/~4.2A DC, the Linksys transformer is 12V/1000mA DC. Would it be unwise to plug the higher current transformer into my Linksys router (bearing in mind it is switched on 24/7)? Will it just draw the amount of current it needs or could it do it harm? I know I know, I’m in an Electrical Engineering department and I should definitely know this, but I know it will work, I’m just not sure if it’s a good idea.


Yesterday samwwwblack and I met two guys called Phil and Pat who are looking for somewhere to live next year. It’s looking a lot like we’re going to rent a place together (the house me and Sam have our eye on) but it’s very daunting having only met them yesterday. samwwwblack agreed to take the box room in return for paying less rent, I hope he didn’t just say that because he’d been drinking beer 😛

The landlord wants a £100 deposit between us by next Monday to secure the house and then he wants a months rent up front, is that reasonable? He’s said that he’ll fix the cracked front window (which I’ll get in writing) and give us reduced rent in July when he’s working on the place.

It looks like I may finally have somewhere to live next year!

Canal Walk

lauperr and I walked along the canal from the Vale all the way into central Birmingham and I found a really nice area of canals I didn’t realise was there (they do say Birmingham has more canals than Venice). I think I’m going to take my family for a walk along there and then up to see the big wheel to try and show them that there are very nice parts of Birmingham 🙂


Five exams left ranging from Cognitive Psychology to Assembler programming and microprocessor design, first one tomorrow, last one on June 1st.

I’ve taken to drawing girly mind maps 🙂

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