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January 18th, 2007

First Light Milestone

It's been a multi-year, multi-million-dollar project, and the last few weeks of it have dragged on with one minor little piss-ant problem after another, but today we finally got our state-wide dark fiber network running. We have a fiber ring that stretches from the Chicago campus, through some "interesting" locations in Chicago where we can pick up research network and Internet connectivity, down to the Urbana campus, over to the Springfield campus, and back up to Chicago. We're still working on the design for the "real" layer-3 deployment, which will be a pair of interlocking 10 Gb/s rings on two wavelengths; the initial "demonstration" deployment is a "keep it simple" 10 Gb/s Ethernet star topology centered on the MREN facility at 710 N. Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, on wavelengths reaching linearly to the three campuses.

We got some pieces of this up the other day, but due to some mistakes the technicians had to go back to Chicago today to finish things. But the map is all green, including those switch boxes. I'm sure that now the directors will start insisting that we, like, start USING this for something, but I don't want to get too settled into this initial demonstration.

There still shows a fault in one of the two Urbana nodes; one of the optical amplifiers is whining about something that it shouldn't be, so the conclusion is that it's a bad part and the vendor will replace it. But hey, green map pretty!




I can't remember when I was last this sick. On Sunday, I had a very rapid-onset sore throat which by Monday morning was so bad it was actually triggering my gag reflex... VERY unpleasant. The fever started around noon Monday and after climbing a degree an hour for three hours, scared me enough to go to the "convenient care" clinic of my HMO. The strep test was negative, so they're pretty sure I have the flu. I don't think I've gotten the actual influenza virus de l'année before, at least not since I was a kid. I have no idea where I got it; it may just be "going around."

But it's kicking my ass. The 102 degree fever subsided to about 100.5 when subjected to acetaminophen, but wouldn't go any lower than that for three days (it seems to have subsided back to something around 99 now). I had no energy at all, had blurry vision, and actually fell over at one point. I've been trying to spend most of my time in bed, but that seems to be just boring me to tears and screwing up my sleep schedule.

There was no question at all of going to work this week. If I feel better Friday and my fever is gone, I will go in as there is a dark fiber network meeting. But I've actually been able to be somewhat productive in my more cogent moments (i.e. when I'm not under lots of soporific drugs) since I can answer email and write instead of having to deal with more mundane work crap.

Ajay's been difficult and mopey because he's gotten only one walk in four days. The poor thing doesn't understand, of course.

This cough is amazing. It comes in fits, after each of which I am literally exhausted and panting. I think the cough will be the symptom that lingers longest, though, which I'm also not happy about.


Man. Next year, I'm getting the shot.




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