For the past couple of months, I have been running a network which was kind of stitched together in the most strange ways. This post reminds me of a buddy of mine with whom I sometimes get into discussions about networking vs. programming. While I have always thought of networking as interesting, it has always seem like infrastructure stuff for me: it is kind of like building a house and maintaining the structure in such a manner that it does not fall apart. Programming on the other hand is like painting the various rooms of the house and other aesthetic stuff like gardening and such. The point of the analogy is simple: networking, less ground shifting changes after installation while programming there are changes which can possibly be rapid. In explaining his liking for networking, I get to learn more about networking and hopefully join in the fun of designing and putting one in place.
The network I setup was composed of a D-Link Access point which is then connected to a desktop that functioned as a gateway. It worked except for the amount of heat that resulted from the need to keep the desktop on for the better part of the day. On top of that, there are just way too many wires around to make for a nice view. For some strange reason which I have not yet figured out, Windows Vista machine could not connect to the old network.
Running the desktop as a gateway was incurring a huge electricity bill so I have been planning to replace the AP with a router so that I can turn on the desktop only when I need to use it. Last week I bought a Linksys Home gateway whose configuration was straight forward as would be expected of a product to be used at home. The gateway combines the functions of a router, access point and ADSL modem. It is a small network but having the gateway has made things much simpler.