Read The Freaking Manual

All this while whenever either my mom’s PC or dad’s PC wanted to print, I’d have to connect their respective network cable into my network card. The printer was connected to my PC anyway, and the 56Kbps modem was also shared with my mom or dad at either time. To save myself the trouble of rolling out the table with the printer (hence loosening the parallel cable) to change RJ45 plugs, I decided to invest in a hub/switch.

Last Saturday I went down with my colleague to the central computer shopping center, Low Yat Plaza. I got myself a cheap (RM105) Lantech 5-port 10/100 Fast Ethernet switch. I later met up with Dinesh and Shaz and well, promptly forgot one glaring thing – cables.

Previously I had two crossover cables that were needed to connect two computers directly. However, connecting to a hub or switch or anything but a computer would need a straight cable! It only hit me at 9 pm as I was having dinner with them.

When I got home I asked my dad what the distance was; he gave it in feet. I was confused. I asked if 20 meters made sense going up one floor and wrapping around the staircase, and he said okay.

Nevermind then, I figured, and I went there again. I discovered this shop chockful of wires, enticed by the various colors. I asked about the shortest cabling (2 meters) and whether crossover cables could be used with switches. They said no, unless the switch was “auto-sensing” or had “auto MDI/auto MDIX”. They asked what brand I had, and I replied Lantech. They said it didn’t have those features, and neither did DLink, a relatively reputable network hardware company.

I then headed over to this big cable-networking looking shop and got myself in-front-of-your-own-eyes crimped 2 meter, 2 meter and 20 meter straight cables. It was cheaper there anyway.

With my bag loaded, I met Dide and another Xfresher, Nazri/technophile, for lunch. I have to thank Dide for the free Quarter-pounder with cheese McValue meal. 🙂 I didn’t see the difference between this and a double cheeseburger though…

Dide and I hopped over to KLCC to collect some long-awaited pictures from KJ/subyo on CD-ROM. We then all went our separate ways. (I have no idea why I am doing this commentary…)

I reached home and my dad asked how long was the cable I bought for his computer. 20 meters, I said, to which he estimated he’d only needed 30 feet. I told him that I wasn’t born when the Imperial measurement system went out in Malaysia! He converted it to 10 meters and he was right! There’s a thick coil near one end of the cable now… 🙁

I later read the thin manual and found the keywords – “autosensing” and “auto MDI/auto MDIX”! It elaborated further saying I could use a crossover cable! This meant that I only needed to buy one cable, whether crossover or straight!

Argh! Next time I’ll read the freaking manual!

I now know that even technically-proficient-sounding salespeople do not know everything.

Oh, and my home network? It’s working fine! Well at least if I get a new switch or router the cables will definitely work! 😛

0 thoughts on “Read The Freaking Manual

  1. dJcs Post author

    Dude! I’ve got quite a length left from a spool of Cat 5e. Could’ve made you one for just a quarter pounder burger, man! 😛


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