Archives » November 30th, 2006

November 30, 2006

New Carpet

We’re getting new carpet put in at my office. Which is most definitely a good thing. Just look at the picture above to see what we’re all walking on now: ratty, low-pile industrial fabric, glued to the cement slab without so much as a layer of padding underneath. Nasty stuff. The new stuff actually has padding, which is a plus by itself, and looks more like an office out of the 21st century than out of the 80s.

The problem is that installing new carpet is chaotic. You have to remove every piece of furniture from the room. Every desk, every chair, every filing cabinet, every bookshelf. Luckily the carpet installers are doing most of the heavy lifting, but it’s still up to us to put all of our belongings into boxes or drawers so it can all be moved from room to room.

And then there are the computers. There are a total of 13 offices getting new carpet (just two floors of one of the buildings – a partial carpet job), and in those 13 offices are 17 computers. Including the main server, which runs our e-mail, our web site, and all our company data. That’s over a third of the computers in the company, and they all had to be moved today so the carpet guys could grab the desks. So I’ve spent my morning moving towers, monitors, keyboards, mice, speakers, and the dozens of wires necessary to keep the whole operation running. Not to mention cleaning out my own office and getting everything into boxes. And finding a place to hook up the main server where there isn’t any carpet work being done, so the whole company doesn’t shut down.

So it’s been quite a day so far. One thing I’m thankful for is that the guys haven’t made their way to my office yet. They seem to be saving me ’til last (one of the blessings that goes along with being in the basement), and I’m keeping my computer hooked up until the last possible second. The world may be crumbling around me, but I’m clutching onto the one thing that can keep me sane.

This is nothing, though. Teardown is easy. After the carpets are done and the desks are back in place, guess who has to go around and hook those 17 computers back up? And you know that hooking a computer up is a lot more difficult that unplugging it. It looks like my weekend is going to be full of crawling under desks and running wires. It’s enough to make me wonder what ever happened to the promise of wireless devices. Yes we have wireless Ethernet, but it runs at a fraction of the Gigabit speeds you get when you plug in. And there are wireless mice and keyboards, but you’ve got to mortgage the business in order to put one on every desk. And a second mortgage for the batteries. Wireless monitors? Pipe dream. Wireless USB? Maybe in another 10 years. Wireless power? Go dig up Tesla.

So short of putting a laptop on every desk, these wires are going to be with us for a long time to come. And I’m the one who’s going to have to put everything back together after the carpet installers leave, and try to bring the chaos back into order. Oh, joy.