The old black router and the new white router – from normal style back to nerd style

No time for much here today, although I have today done more than I usually do in the way of commenting. Much of the day was spent snoozing in bed while The Guru sorted out the outage, and then with me catching up on all the emails I had failed to respond to sooner.

But, I am at least able to record for posterity the evil behaviour of the black and black-hearted router, the one looking like the one in the picture on the left of these two, which waited until it learned I had lung cancer and then decided that then was the perfect time for it to conk out. Just after Christmas. During Lockdown:

On the right, the new white knight in shining white plastic armour, which, today, in the hands of The Guru, rescued me. Actual photo by me of the actual thing.

On a slightly more serious note, I am interested by the aesthetic direction of the move from the old router to the new one.

I usually expect the aesthetics of electronic gadgetry to go from, in the early days of a gadget, nerd-style looking-like-something-curvey-out-of-a-Star-Wars-battle-fleet, to normal rectangular black box, once the normals get involved in buying it directly, as a commodity that they actually sort of understand. I recall CD players in cheap arrays of not-very-hi-fi treading this path, from freakish to straight black boxes you could pile up easily with all the other related devices. Yet in this case, the direction went from normal to nerd. I wonder why.

And that thought is all I can manage to do here today.

Happy New Year to all my readers and to any others passing by, what with things here having become that little bit more interesting over the last few days.

3 thoughts on “The old black router and the new white router – from normal style back to nerd style”

  1. I think there is a general move in industrial design towards cases made of single (or fewer) pieces of molded plastic.

    That said, the sorts of routers that come at no extra cost from your ISP are still generally boring looking ones. I’d suggest that the people who buy third party routers – either because they don’t like the one that their ISP gave them or because they are fixing someone’s internet connection that doesn’t work – are mostly nerds. So they have design appealing to nerds rather than normal people.

    There’s a bigger reason, though, that doesn’t apply to you. There are such things as high performance routers, which use the latest technologies optimised in various ways in order to increase speed and reduce latency. The people who buy these are gamers. Rich ones will spend hundreds or thousands of pounds for tiny improvements in performance. These people usually have the aesthetic taste of 12 year old boys. Often they are 12 year old boys, although actual 12 year old boys have less money. You can therefore find some gloriously interesting looking routers if you try.

    The more advanced versions of WiFi also have quite complex antenna requirements, particularly when you try to tweak them for the highest popular performance, and that defines what they look like quite a lot, but there is also the fact that much of the target market likes to buy things that look like UFOs.

  2. Michael

    Love the links. Just the kind of thing I had in mind.

    Not the first time here, or the last I expect, the first comment from Michael J is a better and more informative read than the OP.

    Not that I apologise. Michael knows everything about everything, but that faces him with a dilemma. Which bit of everything shall he talk about? Well, a good start is to answer a question that someone has asked. That questioner at least will surely relish the answer. And if you like my sort of questions, perhaps you (oh Third Party) will also relish what MJ said.

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