The following post was supposed to be published on Feb 28, 2010. But due to my procrastination and the importance of this I am finally publishing it now after so much time has passed.
So, finally, the much awaited (and the answer to the most asked question to me: Abe, kab aa raha hai…?) - LAN is here at A Hostel, my hostel at NIT Calicut.
It all started with a challenge I accepted from Aakash to bring the LAN to A Hostel within month of starting of second sem.
Bad day! Got a full five minute of scolding for first time in college. :(— Kartik Singhal (@k4rtik) January 5, 2010
My state was: head down, shivering legs & rest imagine yourself.:(
@KartikSinghal and his pals are installing LAN in the hostel at the moment!— Pranav Ashok (@pranavashok) February 25, 2010
The first tweet refers to my being scolded by one of the wardens of A Hostel Dr. Sameer SM regarding the delay I caused in talking to him after meeting the Chief Warden and earlier the Faculty-in-charge of CNC. The second, of course, you can understand.
The time between these two events was tough but equally eventful.
After the scolding Sameer Sir agreed to take up the issue of setting up LAN at A hostel in the next Hostel Committee Meeting. Pandey is the mess in-charge so he got to attend the meeting on 14th of that month. From there he was keeping me updated by sending sms’s that read like - 3rd yrs are opposing us; they wil provide bt cut if they observe misuse; is tym 6pm to 12am ok? When I asked what for - Lan. Seniors agree nly fr tym limits. Afterwards I got to know through a talk to Sameer Sir and Amit (Pandey) that they were the only two supporting LAN for first years among the whole committee. This was the time when our for Interim Test I. Later, around Republic Day, the Chief Warden agreed but only for a meagre 2 hours of net connectivity from 10 PM to midnight. This was acceptable to us as, at least, we would be connected to the campus intranet for all time and the local LAN could still be used for any file sharing or gaming needs. I met Sumesh Sir and got the IP, Subnet and other details.
Me and Aakash began to put up notices on the hostel notice board informing the inmates about LAN. Then FOSSMeet happened during Feb 5-7. I was quite involved with FOSSMeet work - doing its website, pre-registration from first years, attending meetings, arranging volunteers, etc. This was also the first time I happened to give a presentation in the hostel common room along with seniors for orientation of FOSSMeet (I messed it up ;) but that’s another story). This was one among the reasons the LAN got delayed for almost a month.
Aakash and me made some approximate estimates of length of cable and number of switches required. Then we started collecting names and money, special mention goes to Payod for pushing us to do this and for his own hand in this task. It was only after Debutante that we were ready with some money and went out to buy the stuff from the city. Ramu and Aakash accomapanied me.
Next day, Feb 24, we started crimping the cables after measuring them using a custom plastic-rope scale (that was fun :) but real hard work).
It was a week before our Second Interim tests when we were laying out the cables in the hostel. Most of the credit goes to Aakash for being there and continuing with the estimation work alone when I fell ill just before we started laying. Then I joined him for the actual laying-the-cables mission. That was a serious body-aching, tiring, hard work. I was relieved to see other friends joining us to help in the installation of cables and switches. There were some who even didn’t take the connection but were willing to help.
Finally this was over. I feel grateful to these people for being there and supporting me - Aakash, Pandey, Vishu, Pankaj. And those who gave their helping hands during the installation - Payod, Vinit, Praveen, Brajesh, Sujith, Krishna, Jeremy, Arpit, Miraj and others (to whom I apologize for forgetting to mention their names).