High Tech Toy, Low Tech Sales Staff

November 08, 2005

One of the projects I want to complete this fall is setting up my old Windows XP and Linux boxes in the spare bedroom. There are some development tools I’d like to play with that (currently) only run on Windows, and I’d like to setup file server and perhaps a postfix server on the Linux machine. Since I’m in an apartment drilling holes in the wall to run CAT-5 cord is probably not a good idea.

What I wanted to do originally was to acquire another 802.11b wireless bridge from LinkSys and couple it to my old wired router. I had done this in Illinois and it worked fabulously. The bridge-router-as-hub combo allowed me to hook these two machines up to the LAN from the far end of the house. Easy. Only you can’t buy a 802.11b wireless bridge anymore. I know I’ve looked at all the major tech resellers in town, and more than a few of the minor ones. Sure, eBay has them, but eBay is a hassle anymore and I want the device now not in a week to ten days.

Over the weekend I bought a LinkSys 802.11g wireless router thinking I could use as a bridge. I asked the, ahem, technical salespeople in the computer department if it could be used that way. Their immediate answer was yes. Why do I place my faith in the answers of minimum wage earning high school kids? Will I never learn?

My initial attempts to configure the new router to accept the original router as it’s upstream device failed. Time to do some google searching. If all else fails I can return this box and spend a bit more money and buy an 802.11 “gaming adapter,” which is what LinkSys now calls the only bridge anyone carries and sells.

That or get out my handy dandy drill…

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.