Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In Barrow Fighting with the Network

I haven't posted for the last couple of weeks not because I was stuck somewhere in the Seattle airport but there just isn't much going on. I picked up a virus in Salt Lake City and I'm finally starting to feel "normal". This week I'm in Barrow setting up new network gear in a old building. This evening, I finished the hard part this and tomorrow I get to run around the NARL campus setting up some more wireless stuff. Nothing real exciting. The wind has been blowing and there is a lot of snow drifting across the road. Maybe I'll have time to get some pictures...

Very little exercising as walking around outside is discouraged due to occasional polar bear sightings. I haven't seen any on the NARL campus but one of the cooks at the college mentioned there have been almost a dozen seen around the campus. NARL was originally built back in the 40's as the Naval Arctic Research Lab and was finally closed in the late 80's. The run-down buildings are now occupied by a variety of organizations including the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium (BASC), Ilisagvik College, a handful of businesses and some residential units. If nothing else, it is an interesting place to visit and is located about 1/3 of the way between the village of Barrow and the Point Barrow, the most northern land in Alaska. Between here and the North Pole is just sea ice.

Thursday Evening - One of the best things about having to go to Barrow is Osaka. Easily one of the best Japanese restaurants in Alaska. No kidding, better than all in Fairbanks and Anchorage. Decent selection of sushi and sashimi but the prices are, understandably, kind of high. No luck getting pictures today as the blowing snow was obscuring just about everything. Visibility was about ½ mile and the light was really flat. In fact, it was a little difficult seeing where the edges of the road were. Still trying to debug some wireless gremlins. This is on a 5.x GhZ point to multipoint network servicing an area about ½ mile radius from one of the main buildings. Multipath is a real problem here due to all of the metal roofs and metal siding on the buildings. Many of the buildings are quonset huts made of corrugated sheet metal from the 1940s. Fastening an antenna mast to them is more than a little challenging due to their shape.

Friday Evening - The weather is even worse today and now it is even a question whether the blizzard will be over by the time I'm supposed to be heading home (Saturday evening). This is a shot from the steps of NARL building 360 and the "NARL hotel" is the structures on each side. It's kind of hard to capture the blowing, drifting snow and the 35 mph wind in a still photo. One of these days I'll learn how to post video. This evening, I even passed up an opportunity to get some sushi and ended up having dinner at the college cafeteria. The conditions really were that bad. The road behind the building had drifts over a foot deep crossing the road. The last thing I need is to get stuck in a blizzard. I guess the weather back home in Fairbanks is creating treacherous driving conditions due to the warmth. Warm. moist air and very cold road surfaces means lots of glare ice.


  1. Richard:

    You are such a computer GURU. I purchased a Wireless Printer nearly 2 years ago. I could NEVER get the thing to work wirelessly with Windows XP SP3. It was missing the dreaded serscan.sys file. Do a google and you will come up with a million hits of others who could not solve this problem. I don't know why HP didn't just include this file with the software. My computer had the OS on a hidden partition somewhere, I did not have a disk to insert for the program to find it.
    FINALLY, I purchase my new laptop during Christmas with Windows 7. I got the idea to try again. I went to the site and downloaded the new SOftware for W7 OS, 320 mgs and installed it. Now my printer finally works. It's new but 2 years old. I printed my first photos on it and the ink is still good. Cartridges are full.
    I wished you were here 2 years ago to solve this problem.

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  2. Hang in there. Eventually the whole world will be sunny. In the meantime, I love the new excuse I found here.

    Sorry, Honey. I can't go jogging today. Polar bears, you know!