Friday, February 14, 2020

Really Falling in Love With the New House

The guy that had the house built was a Boeing engineer.

The counters are made of Silestone, an artificial form of granite.  They melt quartz and add various colored rock fillers, and melt and cast it.  Our old house has it for the kitchen and bathroom counters.  It is gorgeous, and unlike Corian, you cannot damage it with a hot pan.  (Well, your crucible for melting steel might.)  This is a subtle color, unlike the green and black stuff we used, so at first we thought it was Corian.

Just about every room has an Ethernet connector.  So what, is not everything wireless now?  100 Mbps Ethernet is inferior in speed to the modern wireless standards.  But looking in the datacomm closet, the connector panel is CAT5e.  This works with gigabit Ethernet.  I have a gigabit router and I think some of my networked devices have gigabit Ethernet.  This means much faster backups.

Like my old house, all the doorknobs are levers, so you can open doors with the edge of your hand, when both hands are occupied.  Of course, our canine delinquents have figured this out.


  1. If you have an option, wired is almost always better. For one thing it is full duplex. Also, in the older protocols every packet was acknowledged. End-to-end throughput is seldom dominated by the speed of the fastest link. You have to do a complete circuit bottleneck analysis.

    That said a couple of years ago we moved back into our extensively remodeled house. The ISP’s router is in the back of the basement connected to a ten-port gigabit switch feeding ten Ethernet appearances around the house. Also the base station of an eero whole house WiFi system is attached to the router along with two land-line type telephone lines feeding one to my office and the other to my wife’s. These are the only way to go for WiFi. I can start watching a YouTube video on my iPad in my basement and climb the stairs to the second floor without missing a frame and with automatic handoffs like with a cellular network. WiFi repeaters are much more difficult to configure and don’t manage the handoffs well.

    The original Ethernet over UTP, Unshielded Twisted Pair, experiments were carried out by an engineer working for a friend of mine in some spare lab space I had in Holmdel, NJ, Bell Labs. They had three or four stands that looked like large coat and hat racks. These were built by the model shop with no metal whatsoever. The technology is much more complex than just shoving bits along a pair of wires. The waveform is carefully shaped to allow the other two pairs to carry an ISDN like 2B+D signal allowing all your voice and data needs to be carried by a single cable. This was by order of our Vice President. That’s why the Cat-x cables have four pairs. I said ISDN like above because we had it first and the international boys had to make it just enough different so our silicon wouldn’t work with it allowing them to catch up. Our system is still used in the System 85, development name Antelope, and the System 75, development name Gazelle, PBXs.

    Old data guys never die. They just drop packets now and then.

  2. We love the lever door handles, although I seem to be the perfect height that once in a while the lever slides through my belt loop and either brings me to a quick stop, or costs me a little time at the sewing machine.

  3. I have Caesarstone, which is pretty much the same thing as Silestone. Granite is also not so good because you have to seal it and reseal it every year or so and stuff like red wine, orange juice and coffee can stain it.

  4. John in Philly; that's why I replaced all the protruding drawer pulls with smooth ones, because I'm not as handy if they rip pleats instead of belt loops.