My new manager decided that my practice of taking the laptop to my 'real' office and downloading email only once a week or so just wasn't going to do, and unlike my previous manager, and the folks I deal with on a regular basis from my company, she isn't willing to work with alternate email addresses. I explained to her that getting my email from home on my thoroughly crummy telephone connection just wasn't an option, nor was I willing (or even had the time) to go by my office every night just to get email. So she told me I could request a token card to hook the laptop to my DSL connection that I already have. Hey! Now this is an alternative I didn't know was available to me. This does, of course, hinge on my actually getting that request approved, and judging by the way things are going with my request (some tech support person decided, in his infinite wisdom, that what I really was requesting was to have DSL installed. I'm not quite sure how he deduced that out of my note that said "I need a token card so I can hook my laptop to my DSL"), but eventually it will happen. I am being optimistic.
In order to do this, however, I would have to either set up another phone outlet for DSL - something I could do by myself now that I know it's nothing more than taking off the cover for the phone jack, figuring out which color wires go where, and then attaching said wires to the appropriate places, but I really didn't want to go through that hassle. The only other alternative was to constantly be unplugging the cable from the back of my PC in order to plug it into the laptop, and I figured that was going to get really old, really fast.
Richard and I had already discussed setting up our own internal network when we move into the (as still not-begun house). But with this new wrinkle, and the fact that this would mean he could hook his laptop into my DSL when he comes over as well, spurred us to doing the hub thing sooner rather than later.
It wasn't quite so easy as one might think. The first time we headed out to Fry's, we got a switch. It was what the guy there told us to get - hey, we didn't know any better - and after poking at it, glaring at it, and finally breaking down and calling tech support on it, all to no avail, we realized we didn't have the right thing.
We have it now. This little sucker is not only a hub, it also acts as its own little internal server and firewall. Okay, so maybe we went a wee bit overboard, but hey, we're talking two nerds in an electronics store, faced with aisles and aisles of gizmos and gadgets guaranteed to make us drool. If we could register for wedding gifts at Fry's, we would. I figure the fact that we managed to escape with only a handful of cables and a DHCP hub for DSL was pretty lucky.
So now it's here, all blinking lights and sprouting a rainbow assortment of cables. Of course, once we get the file server and the web server online, we may have to break down and get a larger hub. But that can wait. For now.