Quit Stealing the Phone Cords!

by James Duncan Davidson

Today, I find myself in yet another hotel. This time its the Wyndham in New Orleans and I'm here to spread the word about Open Source style collaborative development. "Thank goodness, there's high speed internet access here," I thought to myself as I sat my bags down. I proceeded to pull out my trusty TiBook and hook myself up to the net.

Zip. Nada. No Net. Dammit.

I've faced this situation before. You do not want to try to get the front desk of a hotel to perform tech support. Especially after midnight. All you'll do is end up waiting till the next day when you check out and never get connected.

So, I dove under the desk to see what might be the problem. "Lets see...yup. there's power. Okay.. Where's the incoming data line? Whoops. There's only one line into the magic black box and its power. That means there's no data going in or out." On closer inspection, I find that there are normal phone line jacks labeled "wall" and "phone" and nothing is connecting them. I look at the phone on the desk. The only telephone line around is going from the wall straight to the phone.

So, I did what every hotel guest is supposed not to do and unplugged the phone and ran its line straight into the magic black box. And da-dum! Network! Mail is flowing, and everything is good again.

So, who stole the darn extra phone cord from my room and made lord knows how many people think that the service was kaput? Whoever you are, stop stealing the phone cords!