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Live, from Waltham, Massachusetts, it's a dull series of vendor demonstrations!

In my secret identity, I'm a systems administrator (a fact that causes my technically inclined friends to snicker uncontrollably) for a school in New England. On occasion, this means my boss (who I shall call Secret Manager-1, or just "M," for short) and I have to go and listen to people without charisma drone on in front of powerpoint presentations their secretaries worked up, and try really hard to pretend they're not saying what the previous vendor said. Right at the moment, a very tired man is telling us that there is an exciting new technology called "wireless," that people can use to get connectivity without wires! Honestly!

For the record, the fact that while he says that, I'm able to write this missive to you... and the fact that everyone else in the room, literally, is doing the same (well, they're not writing to you, but they're surfing the web) should tell the presenter that the word is out, but he's got to go through the motions because he has nothing else to talk about. I also get to hear IT managers and systems administrators ask the most absurdly esoteric questions in the world (we just heard -- I swear to Christ -- someone in the audience ask "what frequency range will 802.11n use?" The answer, if there's any possibility you care even slightly, is 2.4 Ghz, and there is no humanly possible reason why he'd possibly need to know that yet. That's just slightly like asking if the new hydrogen cell cars are going to have an alloy wheel option. There is an answer, but why would possibly care at this stage of the game.

There is an off chance that there'll be something interesting sometime during the day. And it's business travel, which is always fun in its own way, and M is fun to do these things with because she's just as cynical as I am, and when we finish here I'm going to go have drinks with an acquaintance which is always cool, so that's pretty nice. I'm not likely to get much writing done, but it's not wholly impossible. We are sitting in the back row, which is where the wired geeks are hanging out (we have cell phones, pagers and e-mail pings going off every thirty seconds or so, M and I apparently being the only two who know how to mute our powerbooks.

I'm not sure she'll appreciate me surfing webcomics sites, so we'll see how quickly snarks happen today. I might be able to get some writing don--

The wireless guy just told us not to install access points inside of metal encasements or behind metal pipes. This is the perdition I am sitting in for the next five hours. Pray for me. Pray for Bobo.


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The extra-fun thing about installing an access point inside a metal object is that it'll still be able to transmit, just not receive. So I suppose an exceptionally careless check would show it working. :)

The 2.4 GhZ question is actually somewhat interesting if they use cordless phones, because if they do, 2.4 GhZ phones will interrupt the signal.

Depending on where they want to deploy (Say, in the dorms) this could lead to the technology being totally useless due to interference. I mean, woe betide anyone who tries to run wireless equipment in a dorm room...

Snow -- it's interesting, yeah... when we're beginning to actually look at technology. We're years out from someone actually producing access points that use the 802.11n standard. And more years from anyone producing PCMCIA cards that would be able to access it.

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