Cern Large Hadron Collider ready to go (but I’m not quite)

Now I know they have lots and lots of planet sized brains working on it, but after 20 years and 5 billion dollars will it spark up without side-effects?

On a tiny human scale, having taken about 18 months to resolve my first broadband problem, I was disheartened to begin another phase of degrading performance debugging.

I discovered the poor performance was not the wireless connectivity as I’d first thought. I ran some tests, which showed that the ADSL downstream rate (about 2mbps) was actually performing at about 1/8th of that speed. So here’s what happened next…

  • Go to room with phone connection (other side of the house).
  • Find the emergency USB modem.
  • Spend even more time locating the driver disk.
  • Install it on Vista notebook (I know, I should have known better).
  • Extract XP notebook from docking station perched on window sill under large printer and assorted heavy items.
  • Boot the XP notebook (takes an eternity).
  • Screen display occupies only about 20% of the LCD display panel (I just squint rather than sort it).
  • Insert CD into drive (discover the drive no longer works).
  • With great difficulty remove DVD drive from docking station (the one under the printer).
  • Remove RH battery from notebook to use DVD instead (further discover DVD only goes in LH slot).
  • Put battery back in RH and remove LH battery (machine then dies).
  • Swap batteries and reboot (second eternity).
  • Start to read from DVD drive (other battery dies).
  • Root around in the attic for notebook power supply.
  • Reboot (third eternity).
  • Install driver from DVD (wait for installshield…).
  • Spot the message: ‘The installshield kernel.exe could not be installed’.
  • Reboot (leave the room for a while).
  • Install driver, this time successfully (test is good at a ping response of 40-50ms).
  • Plug Vista notebook directly into the router (test is good at a ping response of 70-70ms).

So the culprit appears to be the very long cable which goes out of the new to the old office ….

  • Call BT and wait in a queue …
  • Get a quote to move external telephone line socket 20 metres (£166).
  • Fetch the drill (needs recharging).
  • Recover the ladders from back paddock under 2 feet of undergrowth and struggle to hoist it in place.
  • Drill two holes, one in each windowframe.
  • Promise to finish the job properly with cable clips and sealant (so leave the ladder in place).
  • Plug everything back in and yippee (150ms ping times).

(After a bad night’s sleep due to severe back pain from crawling under desks, lifting heavy ladders etc,I decided to leave the finishing off).

Today, we had a violent storm (just 24 hours before the CERN LHC boots up so that can’t be the cause). Out of my window I saw the yellow network cable doing a vigorous two meter pendulum, just before the ladder moved close to its tipping point.

I braved the storm and the ladder is now on the ground. Lord knows when I’ll get round to picking it up and fixing the cable in place.

This entry was posted in Hardware, Rants, Software and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *