Unwanted new network
I’ve had to use DSL to connect to the Internet (or what was the Internet, since China has been effectively cut off from the Internet since December 26th) in my dormitory. I was initially delayed in being able to sign up, since they claimed they would soon be installing a new network.
It would be nice to be able to simply go online with ethernet cable, but the campus network is usually even slower than DSL. Presumably the network administrators do not do any traffic shaping, so bittorrent traffic from pirated software/music/videos etc floods the network. Even if there are no speed advantages, there is probably a cost advantage to the University using its own network – it won’t need to maintain and pay for landline phones so that there are wires to use for DSL.
Of course, this week being finals week, they decided to come into the dorm with extremely noisy drills and other equipment to install this new network. Unlike schools in the west, there was no rest period to study before finals. Also, there was no change to the schedule. The final simply was the last class period for a given class. All the other class periods we still had class. Between having to continue to learn new information (rather than have time to extensively review the old) and headache-inducing construction work, some of my finals did not go that well.
Not all was bad though – my speaking and listening final went surprisingly well.