Headed out to the bank, where I made sure that the direct debit payments to Virgin were cut off - Bank person says "you really don't trust Virgin, do you?" - I gave her some of the reasons why not and she said "I had some of those problems with Sky." What a surprise!
From the bank in Queensway I headed across Kensington Gardens again, got the network switch I wanted, and checked out the price of a 10M cable at PC world and the adjacent Maplin store. Once I'd stopped laughing I proceeded with phase 2, the brisk crawl to Edgware Road. This took a little longer than I'd anticipated, since I was miss-remembering how big the Serpentine is, and wanted to walk along the South side and past it before heading North for Edgware Road. It was really nice, apart from a couple of swans that I think wanted to mug me but weren't prepared to venture far from the water. But by taking that route I forced myself to go a lot further east than I'd planned, and came out of the park at Hyde Park corner, realised my mistake, and went back into the park for another amble parallel to Park Lane, which eventually got me to Marble Arch and the top of Edgware Road.
By then I was getting pretty hungry - fortunately there's a Weatherspoons pub there, the Tyburn; for those unfamiliar with Britain, Weatherspoon pubs generally serve fairly good and reasonably cheap (by British standards) food, I got a rump steak, baked potato, and salad plus a pint of diet Pepsi for about £8.80 (forget the exact amount).
After than I had a quick look at Bell Street market; only one trader there by the time I got there, selling computer junk - nothing I needed today but he once sold me a Mac USB keyboard and mouse for a fiver so I always check - got some satsumas and tomatoes, and visited the pound shop for a pack of cable clips, some gaffer tape, and other odds and ends, then went to Henrys in Edgware Road for the 10M network cable, which was about half the price of Maplins, and about a third that of PC World.
I've probably mentioned this before, but it bears repeating; if you're in London and need cables, Henrys are always worth checking - they have two main specialities, cheep and cheerful kit for DJs e.g. audio leads, speaker cable, etc., and components for security systems such as video cameras. Their prices for audio and video cables are typically well under half of the big HiFi / electronics stores such as Richer Sounds, and while they don't sell much computer kit they apply the same principle to the stuff that they carry.
After that I went a little further north along Edgware Road, then followed the route of the Regents Canal towards Little Venice, eventually walking on the canal footpath for the last 3/4 mile or so until I was more or less opposite Royal Oak Station, then crossed the railway there and went home. Total walk about seven miles, five before lunch and two after - I just hope it's doing me some good!
Getting home I tried to sort out the network switch etc. and found I was still having trouble connecting to the internet if more than one network device was connected to the switch or the router. Just as I was starting to panic a bit a technical guy from Be called me to check that I was getting on OK with their broadband, listened to my tale of woe, and suggested that using the switch might be causing an address conflict; he suggested I try configuring the IP addresses of the computers manually, rather than leaving them to make the connection automatically, and that worked perfectly. It probably means that the cheapo switch I tried first would have worked too, but never mind - I think it only cost a fiver or so, and it's probably worth keeping as a backup. A little annoying, but at least everything is working (knock wood!)