Friday, 29 July 2011

Would you like a wiring plan, or a plate of spaghetti?

Just picking up on a detail. Maybe being unnecessarily picky.

I'd planned the telephone to be plugged in upstairs near the north west corner of the house. There is a telegraph pole on the north side of our land, about four metres from the north west corner of the house. They have things called wireless phones, so there is no need to have telephone wires running around the house any more. The internet connection will also come in on the telephone wire, but I have a wireless port, so once it's in the house, the computers can go anywhere.

For any older readers, I should probably clarify that "wireless" refers to internet technology that does not need to be connected by physical wire, and is not a posh word for a radio.

So, it seemed like a no-brainer to bring a wire from the telegraph pole to the north west corner, then bring it into the house with a metre or so of cable, so that the phone and internet gubbins can be connected.

When I saw the plans, which only came after the electricians started working and under duress, I spotted a telephone wire meandering around the house. The wire comes into the house at the north east corner, then goes out again on the east wall, puncturing the walls and vapour barrier twice. Then meanders all the way across the house to the west wall, where we want it.

The reason for the second puncture is that the phone line needs to go through a protection box, in case there is lightning or something. Rather than being up on the wall next to where the telephone line comes in, this protection box is right next to the electricity metres, so it will be easy to fix it if anything goes wrong, "thinking ahead". Clearly a ladder would be out of the question, presumably since the hypothetical workman in this hypothetical situation may be scared of heights.

And the reason why the telephone line can't come in at the north west corner and must instead go in at the north east is that it won't look very good. In view of the ten-metre high telegraph pole next to the house, with scores of wires coming out of it, I don't think anyone will even notice the wire going to the house, except perhaps in the architect's photos. Maybe I should offer to teach him how to use Photoshop so he can edit it out

At the meeting with the electrician a couple of days ago I said that it was OK and left it to their plans, but since then it's been really bugging me, and I'm strongly minded to put my foot down and insist that they put it all back to the North West corner, "thinking ahead".


This may be a good opportunity to tell Anthony's joke about a conversation between a Japanese, English and Irish  IT expert.

First, the Englishman is talking about an archaelogical dig in Britain that revealed copper having been used thousands of years ago. "And that goes to show", he boasts, "that the prehistoric British were using LAN networks."

"That's nothing," says the Japanese guy. "We had an archaelogical dig in Japan too. And you know what they found?"

The other two shake their heads.

"Silicon," the Japanese guy replies. "And that goes to show that prehistoric Japanese people had optic fibre networks.

"That's nothing," says the Irishman. "We had a dig too, and you know what they found?"

The Englishman and the Japanese shake their heads.

"They found absolutely nothing," says the Irishman with a proud smile. "And that goes to show that the prehistoric Irish had wireless internet."