Monday, July 7, 2008

I...Can Live...With That.

Connor came to me recently and said he was sick and tired of being thrown off his internet game. He then went on to explain (in graphic detail for one so young) how he’d reach a certain level, then he’d be “PQ-ing” (refer to your 11 year-old-boy prayer-manuals, section 48, part B) when he’d lose his tenuous connection. Evidently, this is a travesty of justice and is completely intolerable…(I believe his exact words were “That router is a piece of CRAP, Mom!”…regardless, I felt his pain.)

The irony was that I myself, was being thrown off the internet at least once a day…and sometimes twice on Sundays. Interesting that we’d never thought to mention this fact to each other….but alas, such is the limited communicative skills between sons and their sometimes (often) clueless moms.

And so, it was with much fanfare that Connor and I hit the mall in search of a new wireless router. I must tell you that I cannot fathom why the old one would just stop working…I mean…it’s a little electronic device…never gets moved around…collects a decent amount of dust, but…what, exactly, is breaking down on this thing? I have my own theory on this (you DID want to hear it, right?): I believe the manufacturer plants a little-bitty-time-bomb in their units….sets them up to last, say…2 years…and then they’re pre-programmed to start malfunctioning. Don’t ask me how they do this…but I’m sure it’s all a conspiracy….how else are they gonna be able to afford that summer house in the Hamptons?

So, we hit Best Buy (yes, I waved to Nick of Geek Squad fame) looking for a new router. I figured “how hard can it be?” I’ll answer that question: Harder than you’d think. Evidently, they’ve made some vast improvements on routers in the last few years since my last foray into the Wacky World of Wireless Websurfing. We were inundated with 2 full aisles of routers…some wireless, some “wired”, some “G”, some “super G”, some “N”. There was Linksys, Netgear, Vonage and D-Link. There were speeds from 2x-10x, with coverage from 4x up to 15x (whatever that means...is "x" now being used as a form of measurement, like "ft" or "in".?...and if so, why didn't I see this memo?)…all for anywhere from what you’d pay for the average mediocre dinner for two (with no cocktails…but, why would anyone do that?), up to the equivalent to 2 tickets for a Broadway show. (This is how I gauge how much things cost that I don’t wanna have to buy…it’s always the equivalent to what I’d like to do with the money.)

I was completely and totally lost. Luckily, “Jeff” came to our rescue. Jeff explained the difference between the “G” routers and the “Super-G” routers versus the newfangled “N” routers…and what was compatible with what (or whom). He then went on to compare the merits of speed and coverage versus earlier models and I do believe he threw in some stuff just to impress…I heard words like “data transfer speed” and “superior data authentication” being brandished about. It all sounded very impressive…and also very confusing. I said “That’s just great! But look…I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel here…I just want to stay connected and have all the computers in the house just get along with each other…is that too much to ask?”

Jeff just shrugged, the unreadable look on his face immediately replaced by one of boredom as he pulls a box off the shelf and says “try this one.” Then he walks away….his unspoken, yet implied “whatever” hanging in the air between us.


I'm glad that Jeff can enthusiastically spew the merits of one electronic gizmo over another...and I'm truly sorry that I can't appreciate the mind-numbing details with more interest than...say, having my oil changed...but maybe that's the difference between being a 22-year-old computer-geek and....well, ME.

I can live with that.

I found this video whilst googling my way through this post…thought you might appreciate it. I’ve no idea who this guy is, but it’s a reminder to all of us that ya never know when you’re being watched…and honestly...sometimes, I think it’s better to just not care. (He obviously doesn't.)

jh said...

My first thought is that your wire is probably loose or something like that. I hope it's doing alright by you.

Anonymous said...

I don't know enough myself, to be able to shop for a router. You're way ahead of me!

That guy sure looks like he's having a great time!

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