• Change Management update

    This afternoon, there’s a meeting of all staff from the Flexible Learning Centre to discuss the plan for restructuring the unit. If there are no major stumbling blocks then the final plan will be published next week and the changes will start after that.

    If there’s been one positive thing to come out of this whole “managing change” process, I think it has brought us closer together as a team (specifically the Online Services and IT teams). We’ve been having more lunches, morning teas, and spontaneous chats about how we are going. As well as wanting to know colleague’s plans for the future, I sense there’s also a bit more caring going on - making sure people are ok (or as ok as you can be).

    Unfortunately for me, I’ve ended up missing most of this week being sick with a really nasty throat infection. It was good enough that the Doctor decided antibiotics might be helpful. One strange side-effect of being sick at home for a few days is I now have Justine Clarke’s “Watermelon” song running around in my head, due to watching too much ABC Kids TV programmes :-)

  • Broadband for your parents

    Dad finally took the plunge a few weeks ago and signed up with Adam Internet to get ADSL2+. They’ve had dialup for years, and I think Mum will really appreciate the extra speed as she does a lot of family history searches online. I would have recommended Internode (which is who I use), but Adam’s cheaper plans couldn’t be argued with.

    Provisioning only took a few days, and fortunately for them I had a spare Netgear DG834Gv2 modem that they could use. I’d bought it a few years ago to help out my brother-inlaw connect two machines in his house wirelessly (it was configured as an access point, as they had problems getting the individual wireless cards to talk to each other directly). When my brother-inlaw got broadband he got his own modem, so I got mine back.

    The new connection came up fine, but only at 3Mbit which was a lot slower than I was expecting (they’re only about 2.2km from the exchange). They also noticed their voice calls were a bit noisier.

    So Saturday I spend most of the day crawling around inside their ceiling installing a new Cat5 cable (from MIMP) to run from an Advanced Circuits 921E2+ central splitter (from MATS Systems - I bought a C10100E from them, but Mark says the 921E2+ is even better) out to the back room where the modem and computer are.

    The trickiest thing (apart from all the physical gymnastics of navigating 195cm/6’ 5” body a around the ceiling space) was pulling the cable down the gyprock wall cavity. After several failed attempts trying to drop a weighted string down, we realised there was enough slack in the existing phone cable that we could use that to pull a string back up the wall, then pull the Cat5 cable back down again.

    The good news is that their speed as jumped up to 8Mbit! I’ll have to check to see if they think the voice quality has improved at all.

    We noticed that the little junction box (official name “Network Termination Device”) mounted on the fascia is missing its cover (possibly broken when some maintenance was done to the electricity wire not so long ago). I suspect if Telstra repaired or replaced this, it could bump them up a bit higher still.

  • Weird Visual Studio 2008 error of the day

    Unexpected error encountered. It is recommended that you restart the application as soon as possible.

    Error: The parameter is incorrect.

    File: vsee\lib\shelutil\rdtutil.cpp

    Line number: 182

    A strange error, and it won’t let me close Visual Studio, so I’m going to have to kill it. No idea what triggered this.