I’ve Got A BIG One … And Switch?! What Switch?

Size is relative, I know. But in my eyes, mine is a big one, a huge one. And I am happy with what I have got … until I had lunch with RC today and learned that his beats mine by 2 inches! Arrgghh! As I dug deeper, I also learned that mine has a much better response time than his. Now, take that! Ha ha ha … I know … men, the competitive type.

KF the muscleman (not to confuse with KF the consultant) is someone you should avoid when you want to buy something. Because he will certainly tempt you to buy that something and a lot more. However, KF is also that someone you should see when you want to buy that something. Because he does know everything under the sun. And so I did seek for his opinions. I have been toying with the idea of buying a new color display unit for my computer (a.k.a. LCD monitor), for years. It has become the mother of all delayed gratification (I will tell you what is the “grandmother” in a bit).

Three years ago, I spent S$1,000 for a Samsung 17″ LCD monitor with a response time of 8ms. Since then technology has advanced in three different dimensions. The response time has lowered, the monitor size has grown bigger, and some take onto the form of a wide-screen format. Price, on the other hand, has come down progressively. I visited COMEX (very nice IT show this year in terms of space and babes) and came back with a Samsung 22″ wide-screen glossy LCD monitor (2ms response time) at a price of S$550. That is like half the price of my old monitor. The analogy is … today you spend S$50,000 to buy a Honda Jazz and three years later, a brand new Honda Accord equivalent that did not exist today would only cost you S$25,000. Madness right? That is technology for you.

I love my brand new Samsung so much that I am going to give it a name … Alice it is then. She is beautiful, expensively beautiful … and is larger than my 12 years old 21″ TV. Now, that is the grandmother of all delayed gratification. Plasma or LCD TV? KF the muscleman will tell you how frustrated he is with my indecisiveness. Move on with technology, he often says to me.

On a similar yet different topic, tell me, since when we are what we study? Not trying to console myself but look around you. A literature degree graduate doesn’t write books for a living. A mathematician doesn’t solve the mathematical puzzles of the century after he steps out of the university. A sociologist ends up doing anything but working in the field of the development of society and social behavior. And a computer engineer and scientist like me … not necessarily that technology savvy like many of you may expect of me.

Sick of having to share 4 network cables with more than 4 people in the meeting room day after day (yes, short of office space), I asked for a budget to acquire a network hub. One that is capable to support our ever expanding team size. Ask and you shall receive. Ask and you will be “arrowed” to do it. Duh! And so I made a trip to an IT mall. I marched into one of my favorite stores and had a brief conversation with this less-than-helpful shop assistance.

He: What are you looking for?
Me: I want to buy a wired router for my office (knowing that wireless router will probably breach the security code of the organisation I work for).
He: We don’t carry wired router anymore.
Me: You don’t?!
He: We don’t. That was long time ago.
Me: (facing turning red) … so what do you suggest?
He: You may want to get a switch.
Me: A switch?
He: (leading me to a sea of switches) … yes, a switch.
Me: What is a switch?
He: (looked at me and lost in words) … a switch is an intelligent hub …
Me: An intelligent hub?! (what is a dumb hub then?!) I just need a … a … a thing (hands waving in the air) so that all of us can connect to the network!

Gasp! What does a man have to do in order to get his hub?!

Anyway, I asked the people around me and everyone has his own definition on what a router and a switch is. Not to bore you all with details. After some serious investigation, I bought a switch that fortunately works for our situation. Phew … like my friend GS often said: learn something new everyday!

10 replies on “I’ve Got A BIG One … And Switch?! What Switch?”

Another factor that consumers typically look at is the lasting duration… you know, how long can it last in its optimum state.

Mine is a humble 15-inch, with a response time many times that of yours. I count my blessings that my wife, who is the most frequent user, is not kicking up a fuss. I’ve not heard her complain when she’s working on my 15-inch buddy. But I shall not be complacent. Maybe I should visit the next Comex to boost up the size and shorten the response time a bit. 🙂

Oh, you made the right choice of buying a switch. A router would have done the job too in your scenario, but with more unnecessary complexity and at a higher price.

You are so right, Sing Chyun! Not only does size and response time matter, it is how long our buddies last too! Good point, good point. While yours last for so long, in today’s world, 15″ is a bit too small. You may seriously consider a boost. Size is relative, you know!

As for the switch or router, I wasn’t sure if my organisation allows a router to be plugged into the network (need an ip address ya?) and wasn’t sure if the switch can take care of the Internet traffic. In the end I just replace the original device that happens to be a switch!

oh, congratulations bro! This should be something on your shopping list for long~! But…….. Do remember NOT to accompany your ‘Alice’ every day for tooooooo long… =) (I guess Cyn will nod her head when she reads this… hehe…) 😛

Apparently, Cynthia stares at ‘Alice” much longer than I do … lol. Ya, at times we play online PC games together 🙂

Why on earth would you name your monitor Alice? It doesn’t look too feminine to me… Is it the shortened version of “LCD”? So her name is Alice D?

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