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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I'm Not That Nerdy After All

Seriously. I'm as surprised as you are. But it's been proven.

But first, a little background...this Christmas was a veritable technological windfall for me. Just like that Target commercial hinted, I was visited by Electronic Santa Claus. My mother gave me an e-reader, my brother Joe gave me a Garmin Nuvi 255 WT (GPS), my brother Tony gave me a Canon PowerShot S95 digital camera and my father gave me a Toshiba laptop computer. I was not expecting any of these items for Christmas, especially not from either of my brothers.

Needless to say, since I now have the laptop computer and the e-reader, it's about time I got wireless internet access at home. So, with that in mind, I looked up some wireless routers on-line and settled on one that looked like it should work. I even looked up the actual model of my current modem (Siemens Speedstream 4100) to try to figure out what might be compatible with it. I figured I might have an issue when the most recent information I could find was from 2005 (especially considering that I didn't even receive the modem from SBC until 2006). Any information I could find was in techno-geek-speak and made no sense at all to me. So, I checked out the self-help section of my internet provider, AT&T/SBC/Yahoo/Whatever they are calling themselves this week. The modem type I have is not even listed in their options given for upgrading to wireless, yet I got it from them, mind you.

I checked out some more things on line and then went to Staples to pick up a basic, simple and easy to install wireless router. I asked the tech on duty to clarify one of the items listed on the box under system requirements, and he said he didn't know what it meant either and had never seen it or heard of it, and had never run into any installation problems. (The requirement was Broadband Ethernet Internet connection with RJ45 - I still don't know what this means...but I have more of an idea...I know I have broadband ethernet, but what the heck is RJ45? Is that like R2D2 or C3PO?) I verified with tech-boy that I could bring the product back even if opened (he said within 14 days as long as I have the receipt) and then took the plunge.

Fast forward to home. I take the router out of the box and it looks simple enough. Plug into wall socket, plug into ethernet port on modem, insert CD start-up disk and go. I found a spot to place the router, shuffled cords around in order to fit in the elongated wall plug, and then took the ethernet cable to the modem. Wait... there should be another ethernet port here... Oh crap! Is that what the RJ45 is? (I still don't know, really!) That's right, my modem is so old and archaic that it only has two ports total. One for the the phone line, one for the ethernet cable to the main computer.

Looks like I'm headed back to Staples tomorrow. And it had better be easy.



Kailyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kailyn said...

RJ45 is the ethernet jack. It looks like a phone plug but instead of having 6 pins, it has eight and is thus wider.

Typically you connect your internet source to your router and then using a RJ45 (ethernet cable), connect the router to the computer if it's wired. Actually even if you plan to use your computer wirelessly, you should do your initial connection through a wired connection.

Send me an email at if you need help with this.