Laptops – Day 5

June 28, 2006

Part 1

Electric Dreams

An early start today, and I was up late playing Quake on my laptop. Gotta stop doing that, but using my notebook in the dark disturbs my roommate less than if I keep the light on to read or draw. Unfortunately using my laptop keeps me awake, compared to reading a book which sends me straight to sleep.

The blood samples are getting easier I think. At least it feels that way when I’m really tired. I hardly feel them. Also, the nurse this morning is the very chirpy and slightly good looking one. She has very Japanese features, especially those eyes that look like upside down crescent moons, like this ^_^. She’s very gentle with the needle. I remember her from the smoking trial when I fainted a few months ago, and apparently, according to the trial co-ordinator, she has recognized me as well. So she could easily pull me off this trial if she wanted, but she seems pretty cool about it. Its hard to tell with the language barrier though.

Part 2

Cracking the Wireless

I hardly remember writing the above. I was pretty tired. Actually today was the first day I was actually felt a bit bored. I think everybody was, the result being we socialised a little more than normal. I spent some time in the French guy’s room watching a movie, then he and the English guy came into mine to swap movies on our portable hard drives.

My roommate spent most of the day trying to crack the wireless networks we can pick up in our room, something he’s been doing since the first day we arrived. I showed him this program I have on my laptop that detects wireless networks, our room is filled with them, and explained that although these networks are protected, its possible to crack the encryption on them. I’ve never done it, but I told him about how its done in theory. He totally went for the idea, and has spent dozens of hours learning about packet sniffing, weak frames, SSID’s and WEP encryption, all this really technical stuff. Its quite impressive. He’s right into it. He wants to get a connection in our room instead of having to duck off to the balcony to surf the net. Especially since yesterday when we were prohibited from using this balcony, the only place you can connect to an unsecured network, because the clinic is running another smoking trial. The lab rats go there to smoke and the nurses don’t want us to breathe in their smoke or otherwise mingle with them or something. So with the passion of of a 5 year old on Chanukka my Hebrew friend has been up at the window at all hours of the night in his hospital issue pyjama shorts, holding his laptop out the window, trying to find better reception and desperately reading more and more about how to crack networks.

Actually the clinic feels a lot like a computer camp half the time; boys with their toys and all that. We spend a lot of time playing around with our laptops and comparing specs. Last time I was here there were 5 Mac users so we set up a server to play deathmatch Quake, a computer game where you run around madly trying to kill each other over and over. I remember dudes playing it even with their catheters in their wrists, right near their trigger finger. One dude even kept a game going while giving blood, crouching up high on a virtual tower and sniping at the other players with his free hand while the nurse crouched down with her head near the keyboard. Her movements were so practised and automatic she barely looked at the vials she was filling. Instead she watched the action onscreen, offering encouragement when her patient shot someone.

Unfortunately I’m the only Mac user on this trial, so no deathmatch. Also, I have a hard time copying files off my portable hard drive because none of the windoze laptops have Firewire. Its so unnnghh.

Hey my roommate just got all excited; he’s managed to connect to a hidden network. Its not the same as cracking a secured network he thinks, but he can surf a little from his bed so he’s happy for now.

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