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The exercise of choosing

technology products and services is not dissimilar to the experience of being a "kid in a candy store". You are excited by the possibilities, you have your money in hand, and you think you know what y...


March 1, 2001  


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technology products and services is not dissimilar to the experience of being a “kid in a candy store”. You are excited by the possibilities, you have your money in hand, and you think you know what you want. Yet when you actually come face to face with the infinite possibilities, you freeze. For how can you possibly choose among the seemingly limitless prospects?

Of course as high-tech professionals, our choices are more complex than merely deciding between toffee or chocolate. And as time goes by, and technology increases in sophistication, these choices become just that much more difficult. Should you choose copper or fiber? What about wireless technologies? Which solutions will meet both present and future needs? Who should you trust?

These types of difficult decisions started emerging from all directions as I compiled this issue of Cabling Systems. While sorting through the articles, I started to notice a subtle, yet unintentional, “theme” surfacing: most of the pieces made reference to the tough choices facing today’s structured cabling professionals.

Perhaps the most apparent example of this is in our cover story, Cabling Innovations (p. 17), an article that takes an in-depth look at what’s new (or emerging) in the cabling industry and the decisions we are all faced with. Has fiber to the desktop finally arrived? Are improvements in copper cabling technology making it a mainstay? How will you ever choose?

This theme continues in Opening the Doors of the Possibility Factory (p. 22). The article deals with this idea of choice, by examining today’s sophisticated networking needs and technologies, and discussing the decisions that will provide us all with the network of tomorrow.

The idea of making difficult decisions continues in our “Focus” pieces — everything from how to choose a connector tool kit (p. 37), to some tough choices that building owners must now take heed of (p. 31). Even our columnists seemed to have this idea of “choice” on their minds. This month’s pieces talk at length about how to deal with (and make informed decisions on) the myriad of technology options available. In his column, Weighing the Options (p. 54), Zdravko Crne of Mulvey & Banani discusses how to wade through the innumerable technology choices one must make during infrastructure planning. And in Decisions, Decisions (p. 52), Paul Kish of Nordx/CDT talks about the mounting options faced by end users as the performance of optical fiber cabling evolves.

It is no secret that as technology becomes more sophisticated, as bandwidth improves, as competition increases and diversifies, our choices increase. And while we are incredibly fortunate to have so many options, it can often become overwhelming.

Hopefully, this issue will go a little way toward answering some of the technology questions that may be on your mind, and even further toward making those tough choices just a little less taxing.


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