Nerding around the home wi-fi hotspots
So we get broadband in the house - finally. And then we get wi-fi. Great!
But does anyone do what I do?
Nerd the hot spots. Important for me because there are so many inspiring areas in the house with great views to sit and work. Wi-fi and a good vista for inspiration are fundamental to my work. Or that’s what I like to tell myself…
So i have found that when you live on the side of a mountain and in a micro-climate, for some odd reason the wi-fi extends way beyond its normal range when you are leaving the house and walking down the winding road in the valley.
Yet it doesn’t work in some areas of the house (which is normal)…but then it does. And then it is doesn’t.
And heres an odd thing - when it is humid, the wi-fi is stronger area by area than when the air is dry.
As an engineer I know that is different to what one would expect….the opposite should be true in fact…but the proof is in the pudding. On a humid day - I went down the hill listening to the BBC on my PDA with one wi-fi signal bar…
On a dry day, left house - wi-fi signal gone within centimeters of leaving the gate.
So, it’s obvious. My micro-climate is bending and distorting the space time continuum.
Then I thought why is wi-fi so fundamental and so important to our working environment? And why have we in such a short space of time grown accustomed to this technology? We now devote relatively large amounts of life, time and monies to making sure it works…and freak out when it doesn’t and then, when you don’t have the right cable to connect your computer to that network in the wall - you freak out even more.
The reality is that work can still be done. Drawing, designing and writing does not need a web connection. Even writing a web site does not need a web connection until it is almost live.
Nevertheless, one uses the excuse not to do anything at all, and thus spends the time fixing the wi-fi connection, making coffee, playing with the new puppy, making banana cake and generally doing anything but something creative that is called work - and all because the wi-fi is down…
Then I thought about two parachute pioneers separated by precisely 100 years.
In 1912, Franz Reichelt made his own parachute, then convinced a lot people that it worked - and then jumped off the top of the Eiffel Tower. He fell to his death. This was captured on film and photo. He didn’t have wireless - if he did he would have understood that the police had halted the experiment because of the weather conditions.
In 2012, Felix Baumgartner jumped from a capsule 39 km in the air, broke the sound barrier and landed safely via parachute on terra firma. This was captured on film and photo. He did have wireless. Lots and lots of it. And it initially allowed him to change the date of his jump because of the weather conditions.
It is easy to think that wireless communication or lack of it was important in both cases. But absolutely not. The most important thing in both cases was the work involved in making the parachute.
Regardless of the communication, Franz would have jumped anyway, because he was so confident of success - he hadn’t actually tested his design.
Therefore, he would have been as successful as Felix if he had spent more time on his parachute design and testing, and less on the marketing of his stunt - thousands of Parisians ended up seeing his horrific death in real time.
Conversely Felix would have been a completely ex-Felix - if he had spent less time on his safety parachute design and testing, and more of his time with his wealthy sponsors…
So it is a work thing. One hero did the work, one didn’t.
And wireless technology had nothing to do with it. That makes me happy.
Then I thought, maybe I should get out more.
And do some work.