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For The Love of Wiring

Coming up in the networking world, wiring was one of the things that I skipped over. I went right into trying to fix layer 2 and above and didn’t really look down into the physical layer unless I had to. After some time in the VAR world I realized that good cabling practices meant reliable network design. If you didn’t have that you were building a foundation on a sinking layer that would never really support what you wanted to do.

Thankfully, there are people out there that love to talk about cabling. They understand the nuances of doing a structured cable setup. They eventually helped me along the way in my own journey. These folks are just like Jeff McLaughlin. He works for Cisco and has an excellent blog where he talks about the love he has for the wires in the walls. Whether it’s networking cable or punching down 66-blocks to turn up a phone system Jeff has seen it all. And this post encapsulates a lot of the things he’s learned over the years. For example:

When I worked for the San Francisco Chronicle, we actually had an in-house wiring tech.  Her name was Mona Lesa.  She couldn’t care less if I did my own wiring, as long as I adhered to her standards.  One day I had a frame relay T1 installed in our Sacramento bureau office, and once again, Pac Bell forgot to connect it to the suite.  The bureau was located in the Old Senator Office Building across from the state capitol.  I got the security guard to let me in to the MDF in the bowels of this historic building.  I figured out that one of the interconnects was in the office of a lobbying firm, and the receptionist dutifully let me in to do the wiring.  With my butt set I could clip into any of their phone lines and listen to their conversations without them knowing.  I didn’t but I was amazed that I could go anywhere to do cross-connects.

Read more of this great ode to the copper underlay at Jeff’s blog here:

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at

1 Comment

  • Thanks for the kind words, Tom! Look forward to seeing you in person again some day when things go back to normal. All the best.

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