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Friday, 19 March 2021

A downright network meltdown


By Shorba Harkhu

For those of us working remotely, we are all too familiar with the term “network issues”. You will know that networks work some of the time or not at all. Since lockdown last year the university assigned network has been consistent in that it has worked most of the times. If at times it did not work, I would switch over to my home network. This year both the networks have taken a turn for the worse, and I would often have to frantically switch networks during a Zoom meeting or training. The final straw was when I was co-presenting a library instruction session with one of my colleagues, and was kicked out of the session several times. Trying to get back into a Zoom session can be extremely nerve wracking. You have to control your emotions as well as maintain your train of thought.

I had to find a quick solution to this network problem as I was also going to present two sessions back to back by myself. My better half suggested that I connect the Ethernet cable from the laptop to our WiFi router. In other words we would connect directly to Ethernet and not WiFi. But because the router is so close to the bed and the Ethernet cable (that I have) so short, the laptop had to be precariously perched at the edge of the bed. Luckily I found a small stool (which I had “borrowed” from my dad) that I could sit on. It worked like a charm, as there were no issues with the network for two consecutive days. We thought our network problems had been sorted but at the most inopportune moment the home network suddenly became unavailable. Panic sets in. The home network cannot be relied upon again even with the Ethernet cable attached.

I decided that I would go to campus to present the two sessions. But first I had to find out how to remove the Ethernet cable from the laptop port to which it had stubbornly attached itself. With help from YouTube and some brute force I was able to remove the cable without breaking the clip. Being back at the office felt good. I missed the library, and my comfortable chair. Did I mention that there were no network glitches and the two sessions were a breeze?

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