The other day, in my role as a member of university IT staff, I visited a hall of residence to install some wireless networking equipment. It’s out of term-time so the hall was unoccupied, and Chris and I had the building to ourselves. It was quite eerie -a building normally full of people and noise standing silent. In one room, there stood rows of pillows and bedding, individually bagged and ready to be placed in the bedrooms in time for the new academic year in September.
In another room, there was a long table full of desk lamps, also awaiting deployment to their future owners. It reminded me of a forlorn group of outcasts who didn’t make the cut for the Pixar advert.
There were other rooms with objects neatly laid out that I didn’t photograph – for example a room with a dozen sets of cleaners’ buckets, cloths and chemicals, and piles upon piles of mattresses and tables in the great hall.
One or two of the rooms on the higher floors had balconies, from which I captured these pictures of the Clifton area of Bristol.
Our business at this property was to install wireless access points and associated cabling. The wiring cabinets for the building are in the roofspace. I hadn’t been up there before and was delighted to find that the roofspace is segmented into compartments divided by heavy, iron fire doors, each about three feet tall, and with narrow crawling boards to navigate across the fragile floor.
In the East Wing, the wiring cabinet was in the first compartment so there was no need to venture far into the swelteringly hot loft. However, in the West Wing the cabinet was in the ninth compartment. Fortunately, somebody thoughtful had installed some proper walkways with handrails. Nonetheless, it was still hot up there, and the low doors and low beams meant walking in a continuous stoop, stopping every few paces to wrench open the tightly sealed iron doors.
My reward? Lacing up a wiring cabinet. White cables supply the wired network sockets in the students’ bedrooms while yellow cables supply the wireless access points that cover the entire building. All in all, a job well done and a welcome break from my usual job of wrangling with Linux systems at my desk 🙂