Fiber, Fever & a New Class

2007 Jan 29

Last weekend, I got sick. I think it was some sort of 'flu'. I had two days of low fever: I only went above 100F (37.8C) once. However, I was quite weak until this weekend. Since I don't usually get sick, the whole thing was quite surprising.

Since last year, our internet had become randomly unreliable. Verizon, our phone provider, has installed a fiber optic service to houses in our neighborhood. This type of futuristic service has been talked about in the industry for years. It has the potential for much higher performance, but it can be expensive for the service provider to install.

I finally got scheduled for the installation, and that got done this last week. Most people have copper-wire-based phone service to their house. After the fiber is installed, the phone service is switched to fiber connectivity and they disconnect the copper from the house. A nifty feature of this new service is that lightning surges can't travel on our phone line any more. However since our house electricity supplies power to the fiber optic terminal equipment, if the power to our house goes out, our phone will stop working after a while too.

The good news is that our internet connection is faster now. My-oh-my! it is faster! This weekend, at one point we had two independent video conferences going, plus I was using Google Earth and everything worked smoothly!


I am in another class at UWB. This one is a survey class about Computer Vision. Of course, computers don't see at all. But they can process images and then make decisions on the results.

Humans effortlessly do things with their vision systems that are hard to duplicate on computers - things like recognizing 3D objects and locating them in 3D space. Most computer vision stuff is much more modest.


I will only have one more class after this one. Since the end is so near in sight, I decided to keep taking classes. I will have to be careful to keep my energy up, but it will feel good to be done!