Today, I finally went wireless. Yes, this is being written on a laptop, located well over four feet from the antenna. Whoa Nellie, that’s some cutting edge stuff! I got the router at Circuit City. I told the salesman what I needed, and he showed me two boxes. Once was the standard unit ($50), one was some kind of supercharged one ($119).
Him: How many square feet is your house?
Him: How big is it, how many feet?
Me: Um, a few thousand.
Him: OK, you need this one then [the deluxe one]
Me: Ahrm [while I puzzle this out in my head]. Ahrumm… [I ponder some math, while pretending to examine the features, which is ridiculous since I obviously don’t know anything about routers.] So, what’s the range on this one [pointing to the standard one]
Him: It covers a smaller area.
Me: Yeah, so what’s the radius?
Him: Well, it’s not shaped like that, it’s broadcasting like this [he draws a big circle in the air]
Me: I know what circles are. So, what’s the radius of the broadcast?
Him: About 1500 feet across, so it’s not enough for your house, you need the other one, it’s 3,000.
Me: [On solid ground now] I don’t think I do, I’ll take this one [the basic]
For those who aren’t following along, the salesman had done two tricky things. One is silly, the square footage of a house doesn’t really tell you how big the square feet it actually covers is. You need to know how many floors it has. The other is the real doozy, mixing up linear and square feet.
Consider a circle with diameter of 1,500 ft (The salesman also mixed up diameter and radius). That’s almost a quarter mile across. It’s safe to say my house is not that big. If you do the math (Area=pi*radius-squared), it covers 1.75 million square feet. I think it’s safe to say anyone who shows up at Circuit City to buy a wireless router does not have a house that big. I doubt the CEO of Circuit City has a house that big. Bunch of crooks.