16. Command and concur

31.1.05 |

The boss slips into my quarter cubical of personal space and says beamingly, “Wireless networking! That’s the way to go!” Acting like the good drone I am (well, at work, see it’s an act) I swivel my chair to face him and tilt my head a little to the left, perfect drone body language for “What?”

“See, I saw it on this Tech program on my satellite TV! It’s wonderful; you can hook up your computer to the internet without wires. Amazing stuff, imagine this, working any place in the office, and still being connected to the LAN and internet. It’s going to double our productivity!”

Now I tilt my head to the right, prefect IT body language for “What the heck?”
He still doesn’t get it, and plows right on. “Once we get ourselves the gizmo to go wireless, we can pull the internet waves from the very AIR!” At this point he’s frothing slightly at the mouth.

I raise my hand, catch his attention and say “We get internet access from the air?” “Well”, he stumbles on, “I think we do. The TV program wasn’t too clear on that.”
Thinking fast, I ask, “So what do we need to get in order to get wireless then? Maybe a 802.11 G router and a couple of access points thrown in for good measure? Some wireless NIC cards for the office desktops and maybe a few PCMCIA ones for out laptops without WiFi? I’m guessing it should be around $5000, $7000 if we spend it wisely.”

*choke* “$7k if we spend it wisely? But you said it was about $5000!”

“Yes, about $5000 if you run out and grab the first bit of hardware you find on the store shelves and the older kit the sales people will shove at you priced at a premium. Then later, it could be another $3000 when you find out that not of the hardware come from the same company, causing problems with the network; in your zeal to grab them at the store. Lastly, and this is if you’re lucky, its going to be another $1000 in data repair when you forget to lock down the WiFi access with WEP or anything else, and the kids in the office block beside us get into our LAN and mess things up. So, all in all, that’s about $9000 in total. Not that bad a blunder… err I mean investment don’t you think?”

At this point the boss starts to sweat and slowly curses that TV show he’s watched, wondering why he didn’t just switch to SpongeJoe or whatever that cartoon is called like he usually does at home.

“Ok, then maybe we’ll go with your initial guess of $5000, how do we do that then?”

Now I perk up and lean over, looking to my left and right as I do so. I beckon for the boss to move closer, and lower my voice, “We get the latest wireless router we can, like 802.11G, but we cut back on the expensive NIC cards! See that way; we have a big bandwidth router right? It doesn’t matter if the NIC cards have a smaller bandwidth with standards like A or B, because the amount of data and bandwidth coming off the router is big already!”

“Oh my god! Its genius! We’ll save a BUNCH!” says the boss, saliva dripping from the corners of his mouth. “I’m not sure if ‘Bunch’ is the technical term I would have used, but yes, that’s the whole idea. But we’d need to get one 802.11G PCMCIA card though, for my laptop. It’s the only way we can maintain the router setup and firewall, its stupid I know, but hey, that’s the way it works,” I slip in. “Only one? OK I guess that’s not a problem” says the boss, waving the issue off.

2 weeks later and I’m downloading a 200MB patch for my Americas’ Army game over my 802.11 G standard WiFi at the max speed, as I hear the others in the office grumble at the average performance they are getting with their WiFi cards.

Hrmm… looks like some more ‘upgrading’ is in order!


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you're putting your company's hard earned cash to good use!