Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

There is always another way

I apologise for being a bit of a dumbass and forgetting that this year I within staggering distance of the library and computer centre, so I can at least still keep in touch with email and things. And because most of the new students don’t have logins on these computers yet it’s still relatively quiet :).

A few statistics after the first 24 hours or so:

  • Number of new friends made: around 10
  • Number of old friends that I’ve bumped in to: at least 30
  • Number of new students from York College that I recognise: 2
  • Number of new students who recognised me from the open days: 2
  • Number of lecturers from last year that I’ve bumped into: 1
  • Number of items I forgot to bring: 8 (including all 5 coats and three mobile phone covers)
  • Number of times I have regurgetated the contents of my stomach after drinking far too much last night: 2

The room I have this year was better than expected – the hall I’m in is almost exclusively for returning students, so naturally they’ve given us the only one that hasn’t been upgraded, and as such the kitchens and bathrooms are a little minging. But the rooms all have new carpets and new furniture, and there is more space in there than I originally imagined. I’m still waiting for my telephone and phone adaptor to be delivered, but I do have my own standard telephone number this time, although for some reason it’s an 0870 number (which is a reserved national rate number) instead of starting with 01274 23 like the other university numbers. The lack of an adaptor is the reason why I have no access in my room at present.
The annoying thing is that 2 of the halls now have 512/128k broadband installed, but as a returning student I wasn’t put in those halls 🙁 . Mind you, it is £80 for the year (on top of the minimum of £40 for connecting to the phone network), and this year you are banned from having networks in halls so even if I did get it, there’d be no way of sharing the cost of it between several of us. Which, when you consider the relatively low price of internet gateway routers, would be a much cheaper option. I think it’s partly down to health and safety, ie halls staff don’t want drunk students tripping over ethernet cables at 3am in the morning. Although, there was nothing said about wireless networks… >:-)
With reference to yesterday’s entry, I do have food, before you ask – basically the problem was is that the car my parents are currently driving (a silver Ford Focus Zetec) is smaller than the previous car (a red mark I Renault Megane Scenic). That earlier car had ample room for both my belongings and food; this new one does not. So after getting my keys and having lunch at the local Wetherspoons I went shopping with my parents. And they paid for everything, which was nice.
Still, in the meantime before I get my net access, I have a few things to be getting on with, namely upgrading CacheMan and FastCache – I have downloaded new versions but yet to install them. While the latter merely fixes a couple of bugs, I’m hoping that the former may further improve system performance.
I have no idea what I’m doing tonight, since I’m still very fragile. My headache is easing but I still don’t feel like I’m in any fit state to be going out.


  1. the reason you have an 0870 number is so that the university get a kickback of every call made to the phone. Considering the number of phones you have multiplied by the number of parents checking up on their kids and lovesick students chatting to each other of the phone, then thats a fair amount of money they will get back.

  2. Good idea. You make a good point – the telephone service is non-profit, and actually runs at a loss, so they’ve probably stuck that in to make more money.
    The £80 is all in one go. I’d get ADSL if I could but I doubt it’d be allowed. Still, 56k is better than nothing, I suppose, and with a few halls now not using it, hopefully I’ll have more chance of getting connected.