In early 2007, my house had a cable modem and a wired router.  Then one computer got moved upstairs, a wireless router was needed, and the network began to grow.  Here is what we currently have on our network.

Device Purchase date Use
Wireless Router 2011 We previously had a LinkSys, but it began randomly refusing to allow devices to connect.  It was four years old, so we kicked it to the curb and replaced with a MediaLink router.  No problems with the MediaLink so far.
Mac Mini 2007 This is now owned by my business.  Not the quickest machine in the world any more, but very capable of running WordPress and productivity apps.  I generally avoid OS upgrades (preferring to save the cash toward a new computer purchase).  Thus the machine is running OS X 10.4.9.  Since this OS version is Tiger, the machine’s name is Hobbes.
Mac Mini 2011 Purchased to replace Hobbes as the family’s main computer.  This machine runs OS 10.7 (Lion) and is appropriately named Simba.  You probably think the custom names are a bit much … but it makes it really easy to identify computer when file sharing.
Windows Laptop 2011 This is my work laptop.  The wireless network makes it possible to get some work done from the comfort of the recliner.
iPhone 4GS 2011 This is my wife’s phone, so I don’t use it much.
Palm Pre 2 2011 I bought this cheap off eBay ($45?).  It’s inactivated, so I don’t use it as a phone.  I use it for surfing the web (WiFi only) and listening to podcasts and music.  The best thing about the Pre is the size.  I can put it my back and pull it out when I have a need to use it.  The Pre’s name is Montecore (this was the tiger involved in the incident with Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy).
Blu Ray Player 2012 We actually recouped the majority of the cost of the Panasonic player by selling the bundled 3d Blu Ray copy of Avatar.  That was a nice surprise.  We haven’t actually played many Blu Ray discs yet, but we’ve used it a fair amount for NetFlix.  It also runs some other apps, including Facebook (the experience is, shall we say, sub-optimal).  It can also interact with DLNA network.  Naturally, I had to do a proof of concept checkout to make sure this worked.
Roku 2012 We bought to Roku to bring NetFlix capability to the downstairs TV (a relic from the early days of this century).

That’s 7 devices sharing the network. In general, they play together fairly well. I haven’t noticed any issue with NetFlix due to the activity of the computer’s for example.

Naturally, those aren’t the only gadgets we have. Here’s a sampling of the others:

  • Kindle – This is a previous generation Kindle with a keyboard.  It doesn’t need to use the WiFi network because it has built-in 3G.
  • My cell phone(s) – I have a Samsung a777, but have actually been using my previous phone for a while now (because I broke the clip for the new phone and haven’t gotten a new one).  The phones can receive text messages, but that’s it.  Battery life, however, is through the roof (5-6 days).
  • GPS – We have two GPS navigators.  The older model doesn’t have free updates and need to be plugged into the car outlet almost constantly.  We’re replacing it with a new Garmin that has free lifetime updates … and hopefully a decent battery.
  • iPods – We bought two iPods years ago.  I used mine more frequently before I got the Palm Pre, but it’s been pretty much idle for the last several months.  The other iPod hasn’t had much use in a few years.  There’s nothing WRONG with them, per se … they just had their functionality included in other devices.  Our kids are 4 and 2 – maybe they’ll be using the iPods before long.
  • Digital cameras – We have three.  We have a new Kodak and two older Samsungs (purchased in 2002 and 2007).  It makes some sense to keep ONE backup, but there’s probably not a need for two backups.
  • Digital video camera – It was pretty cool when I bought it in 2003, but it has fallen way behind the technological curve.

 

What about you – what gadgets are attached to your network?
 

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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