looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

See Cable Run

Yesterday being Sunday I decided to do one of my pending house chores and run some more CAT5e cable through the walls. Yup, I know it's hard to imagine how our house could need more network cable, but long-time readers may remember that when we designed our network in discussion with the contractor people, we deliberately omitted the living room from the list of rooms to get network outlets.

The reasoning went something like: We're going to be watching TV and eating dinner in the living room, so who needs the Internet?

Well, since then, there's been some developments. We've heard about: Tivo boxes record video signals on hard drives that get their TV schedule info through the 'net; Hi-fi audio players that will sit in your audio rack and play MP3 files from computers on your local network; xboxes that will play film and game DVDs and download addition information over the 'net - including the possibility of multi-player games...

Not that any of these devices are in our near future, as far as we know, but things happen fast these days and we wanted to be ready. Hindsight is usually pretty clear. Besides, it *would* be nice sometimes to sit on the couch in the living room and work on a laptop. The couches are comfy.

Anyway, after some measuring of the distances involved, and taking an inventory of all the left-over bits and pieces in my spare part boxes, I drove off to Home Depot and bought 500ft of CAT5 cable, a bunch of RJ-45 connectors and a crimping tool, and some wall-mounted faceplates with pluggable sockets.

I could go into more details here but I won't. Consider then available on request.

I think I had to make a total of 5 trips into the ceiling cavity to run cables. This might possibly have been reduced to 4 had I known in advance that I would have to drill a new hole in a horizontal stud in order to feed the cable down one wall.

Anyway, now we have a new LAN port behind the couch, as well as one behind the TV in the media bay. Digital convergence can now arrive - we are ready!