Settling down at SOM – I

The last one and a half months since the orientation programme for the new entrants to the PG courses in IIT Bombay have been very eventful and really hectic. In fact, the first term is almost over and the end term examinations are scheduled to begin within a week (the management course divides each semester into two terms of around 7 weeks each). I guess it is about time I posted my experiences during this period.

Hostel – from one room to another

The hostels were allotted on the day of the orientation itself. However, the increase in student intake for the IITs seems to be straining the infrastructure quite hard as we got rooms on a shared basis, i.e., single rooms with double occupancy. Then again, construction is underway for a new hostel (scheduled for completion in 2010, so won’t be of much use to us) and there are talks of expanding some of the existing hostels.

One of the interesting aspects of our hostel accommodation is that our entire batch was accommodated in the same hostel, thanks to our HOD and seniors, which is indeed a bonus considering the fact that we have numerous groups activities. In the initial room that I was allotted, I had a local resident for a roommate, and things were going fine till the roof started leaking after 4 consecutive days of rainfall. I subsequently moved to another room in the same wing, and now both my former roommate and I have individual rooms :-). So, I guess roof leaks are not that bad after all.

The first room that I got also had its share of peculiarities other than the roof leak. The former resident had decided to generously leave behind his philosophies in life on the various surfaces that he could find. Here’s a sample:

Hostel Room

In fact, the new room I got also had some philosophy on the walls, but fortunately in pencil. So, I put my eraser to good use.

LAN connections

With double occupancy of single rooms comes the problem of LAN connectivity, as there is only one port per room. However, one of the advantages of being a management student is that you’ll be using a laptop rather than a desktop. This is where network bridges and wireless ad hoc networks come in handy. To get two or more laptops connected to the LAN through a singe hub, just do the following on the machine connected to the LAN:

  1. Create a network bridge using the LAN and wireless connections
  2. Provide the TCP settings (IP, gateway, DNS servers etc) for the LAN in the network bridge if required
  3. Create an ad hoc wireless network, and connect to this. This step is very easy in Windows Vista, but a bit tricky under XP (steps provided in this article). Also note that some of the security and encryption settings provided for the ad hoc network may not be supported on older OSes, so you might need to opt for an open network

Once this network is setup, the TCP settings (same as the LAN settings) need to be configured in the other machines before connecting to the network. Once connected, the LAN should be accessible.

I made a small screencast too (for Windows Vista)

(You can also check it out directly on viddler)

Incidentally, I got myself a Lenovo Ideapad Y510 on my first weekend in the hostel (can’t live for long without a computer I guess). Not only did it get me connected to the internet after almost a week without connectivity, but also provided my first encounter with Vista. And I must say that I like Vista over XP, especially the search.

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