Ed Driscoll


“ANY SUFFICIENTLY ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY”: Sorry for the lack of posting these past few days. Writing for “dead tree” publications just went into overdrive, with numerous articles simultaneously requiring telephone interviews for background material. And our home remodeling efforts, which I’ve discussed before in this blog, are finally starting to come to fruition. Our contractors have a week or two to go, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. (And as my wife said, “fortunately, we’re close enough to the light that we’re sure it’s not an oncoming train!”)

The contractors have roughed out the telephone and computer network cabling in our home. My wife is eager to get back into her office, so I spent a few hours late yesterday afternoon and evening cutting an opening for a wall plate, and installing a single gang plate that provides her with the following jacks, running off of three Cat-5 cables that I terminated and installed the jacks for:

Line #1 and line #2 of the telephone on one jack
Line #3 of the telephone on another
Fax on another
dial-up modem on another

And because we use a software-based proxy server for the cable modem, there are two LAN jacks in the outlet.

I’ve written several articles about installing wired and wireless home networks (I’ve put both in my home), but when I get a hard-wired LAN outlet installed and working, it never ceases to amaze me. Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law is “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I think my Third Law is “Any sufficiently advanced technology that I can install and make work is indistinguishable from magic”!

I felt so jazzed about getting this outlet in and working that I picked up a copy of Wired on the way back to the hotel where we’ve been spending nights (getting the plumbing turned on again–major bathroom renovations are also reaching fruition–is part of the light at the end of the tunnel). I don’t tend to read Wired every month these days; I only buy it if something leaps off the cover at me. (And their April issue is their tenth anniversary, which, coupled with my network wiring was enough to get me to pick it up.) It’s funny, I write three or four technology-oriented articles a month, but I tend to forget the Buck Rogers-like aspect of my life (not the least of which is this blog. People are actually reading my writing on their own computer monitors in their homes and offices. If you had told me that would be happening when I was first experimenting computers back at St. Mary’s when I was 12 or 13 years old, that would have been sheer Star Trek-like fantasy!

Sorry to go all Lileksian on y’all–but I did want to explain why there’s been less posting recently, despite the war to liberate Iraq. Fortunately, the rest of the Blogosphere has been doing more than share this week. And I’ll try to post more this coming week. (Except when I’m wiring up more LAN outlets.)