Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Wires, wires, I'm surrounded by wires

Not much ventriloquism going on today. Tomorrow we drive to Ft. Mitchell. But just now I'm up to my audio receptors in wires.

Landon took over the family computer room to have a room of his own, which sent the computer gear into the family room. Except there is no convenient place for the cable modem and wireless router. Why not? Because the whole wireless network needs a lot of wires, its deceptive name notwithstanding. One of them is the cable itself, which comes into what is now Landon's room. It could stay there if the average 14-year old boy maintained a private room tidy enough to ensure the integrity of complex and delicate high-tech gear. Yeah, right. There are three young boys living here. Their rooms would qualify as toxic waste disposal sites.

A structural survey of the dwelling reveals that to avoid tearing out walls or crawling around in tight, dark, dusty, spidery places with a flashlight, drill and snake, the best place to put the two devices is in a storage closet under the stairwell and adjacent to the former computer room. The cable is threaded right through there. But the closet has no electrical outlet. Guess what? A wireless network needs more wires, two of them bearing AC power. One for the modem, another for the router. Then there's the wire that connects the wireless router to the cable modem.

I spent all morning running and rerouting wires to support a wireless network.

At least the cable modem's name is honest. It requires cables, aka, wires. The wireless router's name, however, implies you can do it all without wires. Not so. False advertising, I call it.

My solution for the AC problem was to wire a beheaded (beplugged, actually) extension cord to an existing outlet in Landon's room and run it out the junction box through a hole I punched in the closet wall. Got that? No? It doesn't matter. Not according to code, but it has potential.

So what's the advantage of a wireless LAN at home once everything is set up and in place? I can see only one. I can tote the laptop into the bathroom and surf the web from there. Best to turn off video conferencing, however.

Anyway, now the house is wired for wireless, which is really wirefull. Between the tangle of wires, the stress and strain, and the coffee, I'm wired, too. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow morning when I can relax while driving through Capital Beltway rush hour traffic as we depart for Ft. Mitchell.

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