It’s been a crazy busy week, so not much random to report this time around.
One piece of good news arrived for me this morning – a replacement (new) Audio-Technica ANC9’s for my RMA. I’ve tested it, and it’s working as expected, so after three long months, I have reached satisfaction with my RMA. While it could have been handled much better, at least I am not completely out of luck. If other people encounter such problems, they should persist and not give up on their rights.
Granville Station Upgrades
Work continues on the station upgrades around the network. The image above was taken Thursday, 3rd July and they have expanded the work area slightly. In turn, the barriered walkway towards the temporary bus stops has become narrower, but the area inside the fence still looks rather similar. It’s probably mostly their temporary offices, while renovations at the station take place.
The most visible station improvement is the replacement of the nosing on the steps with new, non-slip variety.
DTRS Network to bring ETCS
It looks like the deployment of the Digital Train Radio System (GSM-R) must be getting close to fully functional, as one of my colleagues forwarded me this tender, where the government is seeking people to install ETCS train protection system on 53 H-set trains.
UNSW Uniwide Upgrade
This move caught me by surprise, as I was aware that they were trialling and deploying wireless AC capable APs in certain select areas, I didn’t anticipate their wide deployment and proactive replacement of the 3600’s which still have many years of good service ahead of them. This is a very costly move, with each Cisco Aironet 3700 worth about $1,100.
One morning, Mirkom came to H22 Valentine Annexe to replace all our APs.
The pre-configured access points came in boxes, and were a simple one-for-one swap-over with the existing APs and a quick re-labelling. I did ask what happens with the old APs, and they surmised they are likely to be refurbished, which makes sense as they’re still very capable units.
Two stacks of 3 APs were delivered (one stack not pictured) for a total of AU$6,600 worth of AP. The front is noticeably different from the previous series of APs being physically deeper and of sculpted/ridged appearance. You know you’re near an AC AP if you see these!
Each AP has a power jack (unused, since we use PoE), gigabit ethernet (with PoE) and a configuration console port (eh, they still bother with these?).
Definitely an exciting period, especially for those with wireless AC cards – the performance will be much better than before, however, it still doesn’t solve the vast majority of low-cost devices featuring only single-band (and sometimes, single stream) wireless N.
Appropriate Use of Technology
Travelling around on public transport, it’s fairly common to get annoyed by fellow commuters who choose to use their technology in ways that annoy fellow commuters. Whether that be using their cell phones and engaging in loud conversation or playing music through speakers, I’ve gotten used to that as being the every-day.
What is new, however, is the increase of the number of elderly people who are getting technologically savvy. They’re commonly thought of as “technophobes”, but I’ve met several around this area who don’t shy away from using their iPhones in public.
Unfortunately, it seems even the elderly are adopting inconsiderate habits – for example, this week, on a bus, I was frustrated as an elderly woman decided to hold a Facetime Video call over 3G in a weak coverage area, speaking in Cantonese.
For a full five minutes, she was staring into a murky picture, screaming “can you hear me?”, “I can hear you, can you hear me?”, “It’s very slow, can you hear me?”. This, all interspersed with broken voice from the other side, playing at full volume.
Another case was with some elderly people relatively enthusiastic about getting “free” voice messaging to others via online networks such as WhatsApp. They loudly replay messages they receive from their mates over and over, and they send messages once every 20-30 seconds, screaming it at their phones.
But it gets even worse – as some of them then soon discovered they could send video clips too, and they get caught up in the selfie loop. They film their message, then they play it back, grumble that they don’t look quite right and try again. Over and over … and over.
At least they haven’t tried to use Siri while walking around …
It seems that, despite the elderly people’s grievances about young people and their use of technology, even they don’t evade being inconsiderate at times. Maybe it’s time not only to teach people about what they can do with technology, but remind them how to most effectively and considerately use it.
Now that I have my noise cancelling headphones back, maybe I won’t be as annoyed as before … *returns to my bubble*.
It was a shorter random post this time around, as I said initially. Life is getting really busy again, so maybe there won’t be much of a chance for these kinds of posts for the next few weeks. Regardless, I’ll always be working hard, and hopefully you will see some of it online soon!