I’m about a month into the Netgear blogging efforts, and having a lot of fun with it. Unfortunately, they don’t have their blog serving RSS feeds yet (although loyal readers’ll notice the titles got updated to reflect content instead of dates – hey, we’ve gotta crawl before we run people!), hence my cross-posting over here. Anyhow, here’s an excerpt in which I quote.. me!
I might be wrong, but in my opinion one of the most technically confusing areas of consumer technology is trying to figure out how to buy a computer. For example, I constantly get asked “how much memory should my computer have?” Now the “correct” answer right now is “about a gig, maybe more if you plan to do some gaming or video editing” But what they are really asking is “how big a hard drive do I need?”
The next most confusing thing in personal tech, in my opinion, is helping make sense of the bits and bytes. So I’ll start with a couple of simple definitions (and these might not be absolutely perfectly technically accurate to an engineer, but are pretty reasonable to the rest of us):
Enthralled? I knew it. Read “How Fast is 1.21 Gigawatts Anyway?” at the Netgear blog, in which I answer such questions as…
- What’s a Bit? How about a Byte?
- Does an 802.11b router provide a fast enough connection to my DSL service?
- Is it true that Gigabit Ethernet is
a leading cause of tooth decay?fast? What actually happened in that Wicker Park movie, because the preview looked a little interesting, but it came and went really quick, and I never really grab it at Blockbuster because it just doesn’t seem that exciting, although I’ve heard good things.
- And more.
But… Just how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Good call in comparing DSL/Cable download speeds to wireless router speeds. Unless you’re streaming video (or frequently moving large files computer to computer) withIN the house, G should be sufficient.
My Linksys router died about two weeks ago and I picked up the entry-level 802.11g Netgear wireless router for under $20 at Circuit City. It’s been rock solid sending out several Slingbox feeds while I’ve been on the road.
My answer to questions like the above lately has been, “spend $1000 and you’ll be fine.”
Ed – that’s a pretty safe answer! I sometimes try to help a little deeper, but usually it comes down to “tell them you want a CPU at least XX, and no less than YY RAM, and don’t spend more than ZZ.” And it’s always in writing, of course… 😉
A belated happy birthday to you.
For WiFi, I have found that the big difference 802.11n makes over 802.11b and 802.11g is not speed, it’s coverage. In my own home, g could not reach throughout the entire house, but n does just fine. Now, this isn’t just an issue for mansions. In my case, the house is rather small, but the old-school construction methods used to build it back in 1929 included plaster over metal lattice. The metal wreaks havoc with wireless signals; n is the first wireless LAN standard to light up the whole house.