Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hi-bandwidth fibre diet: the beginning

A mysterious new box has appeared on my wall. What could it mean?

Ah, an OpenNet installation. What this means is that the home is now optical fibre enabled and the promise of seriously high bandwidth data traffic beckons. This means 'faster Internet' for those of you who don't speak Geek.

Installation was a breeze. The contractors arrived on-the-dot of our prearranged appointment. After a quick scan of our layout, they sussed out the shortest and least intrusive route for the cabling -- along the floor skirting and started laying down the line. In just over half-an-hour the house was hardwired into the new national infrastructure. Those were the Chinese guys. Then the Indian guy came in with the most complicated set of electronic gadgetry I've ever seen: an orange box and a crimper.

Before I proceed, there's something I discovered about optical fibre cable. It's not a single length of wiring, but a bundle of actual fibres (each less than the width of a human hair) twisted together that makes up the cable. The Indian guy was integrating the loose ends to the terminal box and these ends were barely visible to the human eye. Between his tools, his hands and his voice-activated signal test kit (actually a cellphone on speaker mode) it appeared like his gestures, manipulations and utterances were weaving a tapestry of magic right there in my living room.

Full installation done in an hour. Cost: No charge (due to installation during promotional period) and no extra cabling required beyond the first 15m.

Right. What's the fuss all about? For the moment, not much. It's just the initial stages of getting ready for a technology we haven't got the capability to fully maximize yet. It's just the foundation for our dreams of a geek's paradise in 2015:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Future workforce

The kids have made it abundantly clear that the "future" I am supposed to be preparing them for is not the workforce of the future but to force them to work towards their Promotional Exams. Point taken.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The weak must go

It's been a while since I handled CT-ship solo. So when I fielded complaints over this kid or the other's poor aptitude for this or that other subject at my desk this afternoon, concluding in a request for me to discuss the dropping of subjects with the students in question, my response wasn't particularly wholehearted.

The subject I teach is compulsory for all students. I don't have the luxury of rejecting kids from my class if they display poor aptitude, or even attitude. Regardless of performance in class or their state of preparedness, when the time comes they will all sit for the final exam anyway. So pardon me for not enthusiastically assisting you in culling your flock to your satisfaction.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Separated at birth?

Is it just me, or does ex-Grey Warden, Anders, a generally nice guy healer turned mage-resistance terrorist abomination who commits a jaw-dropping atrocity at the end of Dragon Age 2 bear an eerie resemblance to...
Anders Breivik, self-styled terrorist who committed an equally mind-blowing atrocity in Norway over the weekend?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The foreign legion

Say what you want about the "foreign" legion that took down Malaysia 5-3 last night. While some of us lament our dependence on imported players, I'm looking at our home-grown variety of youngsters and wondering how many of their parents would let them pursue careers as professional athletes. It's great to have a world-class soccer team, locally born and bred, clawing our way up the World Cup rankings... as long as it doesn't involve my boy-boy. He has to stay out of the sun and study to be a lawyer.

Edit 01:
Wait! I stand corrected! Well done local kids (at least they look local in the photo) for winning Tchoukball World Youth gold! Did your parents know you went to Austria?