A Quick Trip to Davis


UC Davis hosted the IT Security Symposium this year. Having never been before, I’m not sure if this is a recurring thing, but nonetheless, off I went. Three other people from SIO were also going, and we met two people from ACS and one from Housing & Dining while we were there. So, that comes out to 7 people from UCSD, and four of those were from SIO. Represent! (Over 80% of attendees were from Davis. It was a little lopsided.)

It was really interesting to be on a different UC campus and actually use their facilities and see how things are done differently. I practically grew up at UCI, since my dad worked there from before I was born until after I left for college. I can’t count the number of times I reorganized their supply cabinet. (I wonder now how useful that was vs. how busy it kept me. Hm.)

Hey, did you know Davis is TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY FLAT? What happened to the hills in this part of California? Did they forget about them? I’ve never lived anywhere where hills were not a constant and pervasive part of life. You can’t ride a bike anywhere without going up a hill. Not so in Davis. People ride bikes everywhere because there are no hills! It’s like magic! There are bikes allll over the campus and, consequently, bike repair stations.

I’d read about these, but had never seen one before. Pretty clever. We saw this one on our AM walk into campus. I stayed with my good friend, Anna, who lives and works in Davis. It’s a 20 or 30 min walk onto campus, which was much more pleasant than my normal 20-30 minute drive to work. If I tried to walk to work, I estimate it would take me about 5 hours. That may be a tad far.

We got to eat in the Tercero Dining Commons, which seemed pretty nice and new. One notable difference was that you don’t pay for what you eat. At UCSD, you get a salad, and you pay for a salad. Davis makes you pay upon entry, and then you can eat WHATEVER YOU WANT, AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. How are all the students not 300lbs? (I have no experience at UCI’s dining facilities, other than the Cornerstone Café, so I can’t compare that.) The food was perfectly decent dining hallcommons food.

The sessions for the conference were held in several different buildings around campus, although I only visited two of them, Olson and Surge III. Surge had a really nice lecture hall with one of those SUPER FANCY document projector cameras. The guy from Google used it to put his phone on it!!! And then demonstrate things. That was genius. Why do we not have one of these??

BUT, the bathroom had cranky paper towel dispensers! And by cranky I mean and not

Dude, UCSD has spoiled me with their widespread adoption of the “wave your hand in front of it” paper towel dispensers. Crank? What is this? I have to TOUCH it? I just washed my hands!

Speaking of being spoiled by UCSD, I was completely blown away by the sad wireless coverage provided at Davis. Most (some) of the buildings had a moderate amount of wireless (but not covering the whole building) but as soon as you stepped outside, BAM, all gone. I am so used to just wandering around SIO/UCSD and being irradiatedwithin range of wireless at all times. Everywhere.

Dudes, there is a wireless antenna on the end of the pier that broadcasts out TWO MILES out to the ocean. How do I know this? I went down this ladder
clinging for my life
and got in a boatdinghy and went out on the ocean with a gps and a laptop and measured the wireless strength.

Where was I? Oh right. So, there was no wireless outside the buildings at Davis. I was sitting outside Surge, under a lovely, leafy tree, enjoying the warm weather (it is currently 58°F and overcast in San Diego)
I was not 20 feet from the building (behind me) and the wireless was so weak that I had to break out the MiFi. THE HORRORS.

Anyways, this may have resulted in my sending a thank-you to UCSD’s wireless team for the great wireless on campus.

Oh, yeah, that conference? That was pretty good, too.


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