Réseau (Saturday, 2012 March 10)

March 10, 2012

Club Informatique and I have been starting work on constructing our local-area network (réseau local) with the materials we got from the préstataire a month or two ago. First, I "hired"/invited a technician from Aladji Informatique to come give a talk about how to sertir (we’d say "crimp") an Ethernet cable. That was Wednesday.


It’s nice to not be at the front of the class for once.


This is one of the 4e classrooms that we commandeered for the lesson.


Domche, Cat 5 cable, Wolverine sideburns.


My hair is growing out.


This is Josiane. She’s the daughter of Madame-Ann-the-orange-lady and she’s basically adorbs. She speaks really quietly and quickly and she avoids eye contact and she’s at this stage where every time she touches the computer at all, it’s wide-eyed magical. "Try it," I’ll say, and then she will and she’ll get this look of awestruck wonder. The other day she asked how long I was going to stay here in this country and finding that it was "only" five months, she got really sad, maybe even cried a little bit. I couldn’t tell if it was honest distress at not being able to learn informatique from me — "but there’ll be other volunteers," I said, and she replied, "but they won’t be you" — or something of a girlish crush. "I can’t stay," I told her. "I’m an only child, and every day that I’m here, my parents suffer without me" — my go-to reason for why I’m not staying any longer. In a rash decision I told her that when she gets her Bac she can come visit me in the States, figuring that if it is a girlish crush it’ll give her something to fixate on long enough to get over it. I regretted it pretty much immediately but yesterday she slipped a note into my bag that says "Grand merci as you have made me go to class. What you said to me the other day was true because you told me that you’re the only child to your mother. Me too I’ve thought a lot." So who knows.

We set up a couple cables yesterday — some of them seem to work but they made about a dozen that seem faulty in one way or another and need to be triaged. I demonstrated that the network was working using the nc command to set up a rudimentary telnet server, but with luck tomorrow I can set up some real filesharing software and a web server or something. Also, I’d really love to set up a few networked games — since ZSNES is already on the computers, that would be cool, and something cute like Teeworlds would be wonderful. I’d school them, of course, but I’d be humble about it.

This is the most successful project I’ve had as a volunteer, and it’s really gratifying (as opposed to the other year and a half of pure slog). It’s a little depressing, though, that it took me this long to get to a point where something like this could actually happen. More as it develops..

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