The one part of the Virginia Tech math department I have a love-hate relationship with. (The rest of it I just hate.) During summer 1997, VT Math took over a vacated Roses department store building adjoining the University Mall, about 3 blocks from the edge of campus (but a mile from any of the dorms). They then proceeded to fill it with Macintoshes, first high-end Power Macintoshes, then iMacs and now G4s. In a corner of the building, there are a couple of "classrooms" walled off by high-walled cubicle-style partitions, but the rest of the building holds approximately 600 computers (give or take a hundred).

Some people have to go here to take on-line quizzes, under the Math Department's assumption that this is a secure environment against cheating. (No way in hell.) They detest it. Some others just have to go here for project group work. They hate it too. Once you finish with a class requiring regular visits, you never want to return.

But some night, when you're alone in your old apartment waiting to switch, your computer is back in the 804 area code awaiting the second trip, and your old roommates have cut off the phone line so you can't even call an old friend, you'll find yourself back there again. Because no matter what day or time it is, 24/7/365, as long as you're a Virginia Tech student, there's always a computer and a T1 waiting for you there.

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