Monday, October 27, 2008

Fiber Optics

The Internet connection has always been a problem in our household. For one, it's about two or three times more expensive than the more common Internet services, and isn't that much faster in comparison. Then, there's also the fact that I'm the only one with a reasonable idea as to how it all works, so I have to suffer through the inconvenience of calls from my siblings at the most inopportune of times. The biggest issue, however, has always been the fact that we only have one connection for three young internet addicts, which results in quite a few conflicts every night.

As of last Friday, that third problem should be a thing of the past.

I don't remember why I'd put off getting a router for the longest time. Maybe I couldn't find something of good value. Maybe I didn't think that we had enough additional units to support it. Maybe I was afraid that it would suddenly come alive one night and try to chew on my artificial hairpiece. Whatever the case, I was pretty sick of having to wait four hours in order to write a blog post, so I took the plunge.

I got a nice recommendation from our favorite speakethed geekette, to whom I now owe dinner in exchange for a good router price. It took a fair bit of walking just to find the darn thing, and about half an hour's rooting through the usual mess of wires before I could get it up and running, but it almost immediately smoothed out our Net requirements. My mother has gotten rather curious as to how we could all suddenly work on our respective computers at the same time.

That said, it will probably be a while before our late-night habits will settle down. I've gotten a little too used to writing blog posts at two in the morning, whereas my sister already spends the wee hours of the morning editing her papers. I'm expecting that the situation will improve, though, especially with the new router in the mix.

The last benefit that I plan to pull from the new device, however, mostly applies to me. My exposure to work over the previous weekend pointed out that I might have to allow for such arrangements in the future; the presence of a wireless router means that I don't have to go through all the hassle of connecting and disconnecting LAN cables just to negotiate with my ISP. In short, I can work from home more easily now. Why I would possibly want to do that is still up in the air, but at least the opportunity is now sitting right at my desk.

All this leaves one lingering concern, I think: With such easy access to the Internet and everything that comes with it, should I now expect ourselves to mutate into reclusive zombies, refusing to do anything but surf the online waves every night?

Time will tell, I suppose.

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