Home Networking Paradigm Shift

Figured I’d change the tone a bit for this blog.  Instead of heavy emphasis on product testing (which is time consuming and sometimes expensive), I’ll start commenting on things technical that strike my fancy or when I see interesting developments that I just can’t keep quiet about.

The Old Days – Way in the Past

In the old days, I had the computer network in our house centered in the study.

We had our big desktop system (the DELL), an HP printer, a VERY old HUB (yes….a hub), and my trusty old Toshiba laptop (yes…it is still my main laptop since 2006!).

I ran cat 5 tp from the garage into the study for my DSL connection, and later on, I decided my trusty Toshiba laptop could be used in the Family Room, or outside, so I installed a Linksys wireless router….in the study, of course.

VUDU Days – Start of the Paradigm Shift – Not So Far in the Past

A couple of years ago (search this blog for VUDU for the complete story) I found a 5 WaterTower technology that allowed us to watch high quality movies via the Internet.  Only problem:  I needed to run a cat 5 (I could have done wireless, but, hey…) wire from the Study to the Family Room near the TV and the VUDU.

Now I had Internet access next to the HDTV (we bought this HDTV in Feb 2005…see one of my first blog entries).

The shift has begun.

Wireless Era – Recent Past

The old Linksys wireless router now was responsible for supporting a wider range of wireless devices.  Over a couple of years, we acquired 2 IPod Touches, and one more laptop computer which was used 100% of the time wireless.

The old Linksys was still in the study, but, now the computing devices were mostly mobile (the DELL and printer the hub and the DSL were still in the study).

Comcast Internet – Paradigm Shift Well Under Way – Current

Not happy with our DSL provider (how dare they think I’m a complete idiot when I called for technical assistance…) I moved to Comcast Internet (which I have at our coworking location and am very happy with).

But that move posed a dilemma.  I only have one cat 5 wire running from the study to the Family Room.  Where do I set up the cable “modem” (remember these are not really modems….), how do I connect the DELL, Printer, and Linksys?

Solution:  First of all….I was forced to place the cable modem near the TV.  The old Linksys was getting flaky, so I bought a new E1000 Linksys (I still like Linksys even though they are now part of the Cisco collective) wireless router, and a new 5 port switch (to replace the ancient hub in the study).

Now the DELL and Printer are connected to the new switch.  The switch is connected via the original cat 5 to the Family Room to the new E1000 wireless router.

VUDU is wired to the E1000 (a very short cat 5 cable), and the new Cable modem is connected via wire to the E1000.   The iPod’s and laptops are wireless via the E1000.  If I ever decided to connect the Blu-Ray to the Internet, the E1000 has room, and the needed cable will be short.

Conclusion / Future

The shift of our house computer networking needs from the Study to the Family Room is nearly complete.  I suspect a wireless printer will be next, and the new computer replacement for the DELL will be a laptop.  The study will then be free of computing devices, but, I will keep the new Printer there just for old times.

The new center of our world is now the Family Room….by the big HDTV (we now have a “small” HDTV in the Living Room.

Pretty soon my prediction of many many years ago will come true.  Kristen will be at college (she starts at University of Pacific in the Fall, not the University of Kansas in my article) and will call me, via videoconferencing, on my HDTV.


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