Settling in.

Things are still pretty confusing here in Blacksburg. I’m pretty well settled in at my apartment, but I don’t have some basics sorted out. For example, I still have to park in the metered lot behind my building, not having acquired a long-term parking spot just yet. At $0.25/hour, with a 2-hour meter limit, it’s quite a hassle. I’m one back in the queue for a space in the next lot over, but at $40/month, I’m not so sure that I can’t find a better deal a bit farther afield.

Still, I am without Internet connection. Last night, I headed over to my sister’s apartment, which is just down the street, and borrowed her laptop and connection for about an hour. I did so only after a frustrating hour wandering around campus, poking my head into room after room on floor after floor in building after building throughout the Virginia Tech campus. I’m under the impression that VPI is a highly technical college, with computers and trappings of computerdom galore. And this may be, but the whole place seems to be an absolute wasteland of computer resources. Jill (the aforementioned sister) tells me that this is the week between the end of summer semester and the beginning of fall semester, so things are likely closed down more than usual. I’ve signed up for a wireless account, which gets me access to the network on a few dozen spots around campus. But there’s already a spanner in those particular works.

My iBook has stopped working. This lovely little computer, purchased back in March, has all but given up the ghost on the screen end of things. The slightest pressure on the back of the keyboard — where the ribbon cable internally snakes up to the screen — causes the screen to freeze, marred by stripes, and then go black. Apple has arranged for me to send it back to them for repair, at no cost to me, but I likely won’t have the computer back until Friday or Saturday. In the meantime, I have found that the computer lab in Torgerson Hall — which is situated on a third-story bridge over the main boulevard that serves as VPI’s entrance — will suffice during normal business hours, allowing me blessed access to an Apple Cube, a 17″ flat screen and Mac OS X, thus Safari and SSH.

I’ve got a big long list of things to do, and lots of fall-semester texts to plow through, so I should keep myself fairly busy between now and the beginning of class on the 25th. I feel far from a student. In fact, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m going to get caught (for what, I can’t say) and briskly escorted off of campus. I imagine that I’ll get over that before too long.

My mother took this fly picture of me on my staircase when we were moving in last Saturday. More pictures of the apartment to come.


Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »