A Virtual Goldmine

That’s the way I feel about Chris’s missive in the Windows Fanatics newsletter yesterday. There are so many things to comment on that I’d break it into parts, if I didn’t think there’d already be something to say tomorrow. Here goes!

“as our movers did a horrible job at moving us”

I don’t hate to say this at all: “I told you so.”

Partridge’s Rules of Moving:

Pay for the best! This is one of those situations (like buying diamonds) where you get what you pay for. Use a nationally known company and look for a local branch that is owned AND run by that national company. Then don’t hesitate to complain loudly if the job isn’t going the way you want it to. Moving is one of those situations where you put your entire life in someone else’s hands. Don’t skimp! Then stand right behind the mover-monkeys and breathe down their necks the entire time. This may seem like the wrong thing to do, but you’d be surprised at how much better the job will be. So, either do it yourself or make darn sure that those you paid for it do it YOUR way.

Anyway, if Chris can find his computers and get them set up, things couldn’t have been THAT bad.

“Configuring the Linksys Wireless G Range Expander (WRE54G) has been nothing short of fruitless”

I’m going to assume that Chris means the physical layout and setup of the router. I own a Linksys wireless router and had zero problems with the physical setup and the software-powered configuration. I’m going to guess that his decision to place it in the basement, as opposed to the attic or top floor, was a bad move. Actually, I keep mine within a three-foot cable run of the cable modem and it’s been smooth sailing from day one.

“Shopping for home office furniture is probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do”

Well, perhaps we could say that it’s not a lot of fun. I’ve found that an effective way to handle it is to use online sources as a good starting place. It lets you find out more in the way of possible choices than you could in a month of physical running. Not that it lets you out of doing the running, but it can cut it down to something humanly possible.

First you do your online shopping. Try all kinds of sources for office furniture, [i]then[/i] start looking in places you didn’t think of the first time around. For example, you can go from places that might come easily, such as Ikea, to places that are a little less common, like Global, to specialty sources, like TopDeq. That doesn’t mean that you ignore the obvious (OfficeMax, etc.), but try to exercise your imagination a little. Then, when you have some possibilities in mind, GO TO THE STORE. Put the cost of gas aside and go look at the choices in person. Until they can literally suck you through the computer and stick you into a display of the items, you’re going to have to do it. It’s only at that point where you can discover something like that $2000 (plus tax!) office suite, that looks so great on paper or online, is actually made of veneered particleboard.

“I must learn how to crimp and cut my own Cat 5e cables”

I suppose it beats taking up knitting (which ties up hands that should be on the keyboard), but it’s never going to be fun. However, if you want to roll your own, Chris, take a look in a place you would never, EVER think of: your local Lowe’s home improvement center. In our local store you can find everything from rolls of cable to cable ends, to crimpers, to cable testers. They also have the same range for people working with 59-U cabling and phone wiring. It amazed me. They had at least a dozen types of cable end crimpers, alone.

“I wish I had properly labeled all the AC adapters I’ve ever owned!”

Amen. I’ve been doing that for some years. I, too, have a few left unlabeled from years long past, but when a new one comes along, it gets labeled immediately. My trusty Brother PT-1950 labeler is connected to my PC via a USB cable and shows up as a regular printer. It came with two actual label editors, so I’m never more than a few keystrokes away from a label. I really love the new fold-and-split backing, too. In case this sounds interesting to some of you, please be assured that you can unplug this labeler from the included power brick and the USB cable for portable use. It set me back a mere $70 or so at the local Staples. I owned a (much) older P-Touch labeler, but the new model does a lot more (like three lines of type on a label) at a reasonable price.

I’m hoping that Chris will survive this current move, but then he has plenty of experience, He should come through it with no worse than a bad headache and a few scrapes.