Flashing...Blue...Lights...Must...Have...

october 8, 2006

DSL Modem and Netgear WPN824I don't know why, but I'm attracted to flashing blue lights...and I must have them. Last week, I replace the home Airport Extreme Base Station with a $20 Netgear WGR614v5. That meant that I could no longer Tetris DS online (damn you Nintendo for not incorporating WPA into the DS). Today, after having a nice dim sum lunch with my parents, sister and brother-in-law; Eileen and I visited Fry's...Well, Eileen came along for my visit to Fry's. There, I found that they were selling refurbished Netgear WPN824s for $49.99! That's down from $108.99. I have nothing against refurbished products when they are nicely discounted. I convinced Eileen that I should use the cheaper WGR614v5 for gaming (which it was intended) and we could use the WPN824 for our regular house wireless router. So, we picked it up. The one that we picked up seems to be a v1 of the product which does not include a hardwired on/off switch for the blue LEDs. The v2 version does have this switch. As for the v1? The blue LEDs cannot be turned off, but since the thing is in the office and not a bedroom, who would want to put out those cool blue LEDs?? Seven antennas has to be better than one, right? And the WPN824 has WPA2 support which my Powerbook and Linux notebook can take advantage of. And...well...there are those bright blue LEDs. Neat. I can sit and watch them forever -- in case you are wondering, each of the blue LEDs represents one of the seven antennas. The LED lights up when that antenna is being used. The WPN824 uses the different antennas to deal with interference and such. And if you're really wondering, the blue LEDs were used only for debugging purposes when the WPN824 was developed. But, apparently when marketting folks saw them, they had them put under a frosted dome -- you know, cause people like me are attracted to blinking blue LEDs.