Since I’d awoken at 5am and spent almost an entire day in transit, I was so exhausted upon my arrival in Budapest that I opted to spend the remainder of my first afternoon indoors – despite the fabulous springtime weather. Although I’ve been having great fun with my friendly and diverse hosteling roommates, I must admit that it was a bit of a relief to at long last have a room all to myself; where I can leave my wallet on the shelf and not worry about it, loaf around in my boxers without embarrassing anyone, or kick up my feet and do some handstand pushups without feeling like a moron.
And of course, catch up on computer stuff.
Or so I’d hoped.
Unfortunately, when I woke up the following morning I found that the internet had mysteriously died, and ended up spending nearly the entire day scouring campus for a solution. The problem was that other than my dorm itself, most of the “open” networks on campus turned out to be restricted for students only, requiring an ID number to register your MAC address and use.
Thus, my solution was as follows: first I strolled across the river into Pest to use the connection at the nearest fastfood restaurant (for those of you who don’t know, Budapest is actually two cities – Buda and Pest – divided by the Danube river). There I downloaded WireShark and SMAC, two programs which would allow me to sniff and then spoof the hardware address of a valid student’s system (yes, their security really is that bad).
While there I also took the opportunity to hang out in the sun by the river and scrape the orange nailpolish off my toes – since it’d been too chilly for flipflops ever since Queen’s Day, I hadn’t any reason to bother until now.
However, when I returned to my room I found that the bartender at the dorm’s pub – from which my room’s WiFi originates – just happened to be at the front desk; he rebooted the router and things started working again, so my library-wifi-hacking-scheme turned out to be unnecessary 🙂
Since then the Internet has died several times over, but I’ve finally figured out how to keep it working reliably. Apparently the pub’s router is defective, causing the net to slow increasingly over a 24-hour period; this can be fixed instantly by resetting it. Although the router itself is tucked away in an overhead utility area, the plug runs right down to a normal wall socket in the pub. By popping out of my room, yanking the power, and plugging it in once before I go to bed I can be sure that it’ll work the following morning – until 2pm when the pub reopens and I can reset it once more. It is a bit of a hassle doing this two or three times a day, but since it’s right across the hall it only takes a couple seconds.
From here on I spent the bulk of the next few days in the room working, with a few brief strolls outside for groceries and to clear my head. Although the dorm is nicely located, just a few strides from the river in one direction and a major city square in another, I vowed to abstain from further tourism at least until I’d caught up on blogging, photo-sorting, and programming for US Radar.
The rainy forecast for the next week will surely help keep me on that track too – now that I’ve finally got those Internet Issues resolved.