Seasonal affective disorder

It’s 1984, and pilot fish’s software development unit is getting ready to move into brand-new quarters in a building that’s still under construction. Electricians are already installing the power and telephone wiring for all of the offices and cubicles, so it’s decided to have them install the Ethernet cabling as well.

It being the ’80s (which someone cleverly has dubbed “The LAN Before Time”), the workstations on every desk will have to be networked together using 10Base5 Ethernet — the original thick Ethernet. The backbone bus is made of thick, stiff, shielded coaxial cable. One cable will run the length of the office, a couple of hundred feet, with a few dozen transceivers about every 10 to 15 feet. The transceivers will be in sealed black boxes about the size of a VHS tape cassette (again, the ’80s!), with a type N screw-on coax connector on each end and a 15-pin D connector for the drop cable that will connect to a computer.

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