Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Ah, Technology

Here's the score as it stands right now.  I've got one cable modem, one router, two desktop computers (one of which is generally a file server but occasionally acts as an internet machine), and two laptops (one is Brandi's).  The router is wired, which has been a little inconvenient, but not terribly so.  All the machines are generally located in the same room, so the cable isn't strung all over the place.

That soon may be changing, though.  Brandi and I will soon be moving into a larger apartment, and it seems unlikely that all the computers will end up in the same room.  More to the point, it seems unlikely that they'll end up in the same room with a cable hookup, so networking at that point has the potential to become a problem.

With that in mind, I've been thinking a lot lately about purchasing some wireless networking gear and taking the plunge.  For the past few days I've been researching wireless options, and looking at different routers and network cards.  My original thought was to make the switch when we move, but I'm starting to lean more toward doing it sooner.  Maybe.

While there is currently some minor cord clutter in the living room, the main problem I could solve (hopefully) by switching to wireless now would be the problem with networking Brandi's laptop.  That computer has resisted every effort I've made so far to add it to my existing network.  The consensus is that the integrated network card is bad, but I've also tried using the external card I have for my laptop and I can't even get that to install correctly.  Given the presence of the other machines, this isn't a terribly big deal, but there are times when I would prefer it if Brandi could use her computer instead of mine.  We're working around this so far, but if I could get it networked, it would make me very happy.

Of course, having either laptop on a wireless connection would be nice, as we would be free to roam around the apartment.  I like to do some work out on the balcony from time to time, and I think it would be great if I could access my network and the internet from out there.

When it comes to making the switch now, I would be remiss if I didn't mention my own "early adopter" mindset.  When it comes to technology, I like to get it as soon as I can.  I'm something of an impulse buyer in that regard.  In other words, I don't really need a reason to get this stuff now.  I just want it.

I was all set to get this stuff today on my way home from work so I could set it all up this evening.  Then a couple of things happened.

First, I discovered some new products.  I was originally planning to get USB network cards for my desktop computers for easy installation.  I'm comfortable opening the cases and working in there, but I didn't want to do it if I didn't have to.  However, with the gear I was looking at today, a USB card isn't available.  The USB card I was looking at would still work, of course, but it wouldn't work to the system's full potential, and what's the use in that?  So that threw a little wrench into the works.  There's also the fact that this new equipment is a little more expensive, but the extra expense is negligible, so there's no real need to factor that into the equation.

Secondly, I got a call from my landlord, who said that our new apartment will be ready for move-in early next week.  Given that the move is only a few days away, it makes perfect sense to wait it out, right?

Being the way I am, I had to have a new justification ready just in case I decide to do it before we move, and here it is:  if I make the switch now, I can just plug it in and go when we move into the new place.  I won't have to do all this networking stuff in addition to moving furniture and all that.  It seems like a good idea to me.  I still haven't decided for sure that I'm making the stop on the way home today (and I have less than 45 minutes now to decide for sure), but I wouldn't be surprised either way.

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