First, I need to share the revelation that struck me just now and left completely baffled. For a while now I’ve been getting strange symptoms – the internet connection to my computer was going awfully slow, and more often than not ended in timeout, while my rommate’s was going all smooth (even if a little not-too-fast, but that was normal slowness resulting from 16Mb link being shared by entire campus, not the hellish thing I was experiencing). I started suspecting there’s something wrong with how my ethernet socket / IP assignment / whatever is configured, and all the symptoms seemed to confirm that – move to his socket, and all’s going great. Back to mine – welcome to the world of pain. So I got the admin come over and see, checking shortly after that the problem persists, but mysteriously everything started working normally. It looked like everytime I wanted to report that, and moved around to check, the matters would come back to normal. I started suspecting some kind of DHCP lease timeout (which would further strengthen my theory of faulty conf on the network’s side) and tried shutting down the machine for entire night to see if it’ll help – nope. I couldn’t understand for the life of me what’s happening. I discovered the cause accidentally when moving around with my disk I normally keep in USB case to roommate’s machine to read my ext2 partitions (the machine I’m using had some problems). Turns out it’s the disk – every time I connect it to USB port, the net connection dies. Remove the plug – everything back to normal.
Anyway, back to your normal scheduled programme. Been at “Orientation Day” yesterday, some useful info about Uni, some people met. Tired at the end of day, but we still got to the bar in the evening, to play some table football. There’s a pair of Czechs who beat the crap out of us regularly (although we still get to win sometimes). Grrrr.
PS. I still hold that net configuration over here sucks some arse, as all the SMTP outbound traffic is blocked. But that’s “normal” kind of misconf, and something to sort out with admins by the means of civilised dialogue, not heavy, 2x4 and spiked kind of dialogue.