The past few days my dorm room's been exceedingly hot, through a combination of the campus forcibly switching everyone from a/c to heat, my affinity for transistor-based heating, and the weather in Atlanta. Earlier this week, I was able to cool the room very effectively by opening my window, but 70°F (21°C) weather just doesn't cool like 40°F (5°C) weather. This was not helped by my roommate and I's apparent inability to shut off the heat with the controls. Tonight we were thinking aloud about the problem, and decided to open up the air conditioner/heater and look for additional controls. We found a valve to stop the coolant (I use the term loosely) flow and accompanying heating. We also noticed the heat exchanger has no electronics or wires near it, so we cooled it down through liberal application of ice. One problem solved.
My headphones half-broke this morning. All of a sudden, the left side went dead, and its wire seemed a little loose. I took the left speaker off its swivel bracket, breaking that bracket in the process. With some effort, I got the speaker open. the red wire had disconnected itself. 'This should be an easy fix', I thought, and proceeded to fiddle with it and various-sized pieces of electrical tape over the next hour or so to varying degrees of success. I found something that worked relatively well. It wasn't exceptionally comfortable, but it let me listen to music in stereo for a few more hours. Eventually the other wire's solder couldn't take the stress and it broke free, at which point I gave up on getting that to work again. So now I'm left with the right channel only when I use my headphones (such as when my roommate's trying to sleep). But my dad's coming up for a business trip this week, so I should be able to get a new pair then.
Thanks to the above headphone incidents, I now understand why the fan-induced insanity spouted about by owners of high-speed Delta fans and Vantec Tornados can occur. I have 3 computers within reach of me: a full tower, a minitower, and a laptop. Between them, there are 20 fans ranging from 40mm to 92mm, and 12 hard drives (10 7200rpm, 1 5400rpm, and 1 4200rpm). I also have a Honeywell Enviracaire 17450 (one of the 'quiet' models) about 6 feet away, set on high. Usually, these are blocked out by my music, but with the loss of usability of one channel of my headphones, it's no longer tuned out. When I'm a bit farther from my computers, I find their hum reassuring. It's akin to when Trip said on Enterprise something to the effect of "I just don't sleep right if I don't hear the hum of the plasma injectors".
I picked up Red Mars a week or two ago at the student bookstore at the same time as A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I started reading Red Mars on friday when I did my laundry. So far, it's interesting, but I don't have the same drive to read it that I did with Cryptonomicon. Even though I'm nearly 1/5 through Red Mars, I doubt I'll finish it as quickly as I did Cryptonomicon. So far, it's interesting and funny, it just hasn't sucked me in as far.
I need to meet with an advisor from the ECE department tomorrow. I have a hold from them on my registration because I got a U in English 1101 at midterms. It's because of crap like this that I hate bureaucracies and most things related to them. I also have until 4:30pm EST tuesday to register for classes for next semester. I'm not even really sure what I need to take. Note to self: get organized.
Funny I should mention that. My mom's been telling me to all my life. Usually I interpreted it as 'clean the 3 feet of crap off your desk' or something similar. But now I'm beginning to realize the significance of the other interpretations, although I'm still not exactly fanatical about getting organized. Outside of files on my computer, that is.