Unevenly distributed

Joe Gregorio

Number of devices in my house with an IP address:

  1. My work laptop
  2. My old Dell latop
  3. Lynne's computer
  4. Christopher's computer
  5. Kid's downstairs computer
  6. Kid's upstairs computer
  7. Backup server
  8. DSL Modem/Router
  9. Downstairs Wi-Fi Access Point
  10. Upstairs Wi-Fi Access Point
  11. IP Phone
  12. Wii
  13. Slingbox
  14. Cellphone
  15. Cellphone
  16. Nintendo DS
  17. PSP

I still have to hook up the TiVos.

How many in your house?

To see where I am going with this, try counting the number of electric motors in your house. Unless you're Phil Torrone, you'll be wrong, and not just off by one or two, probably off by half or more.

Lets see. IP addresses: My personal Mac laptop, my work Windows laptop, my wife's Mac laptop, my wife's Windows laptop, my wife's Windows desktop, the Linux printserver, the NAS box, the Vonage box, Cable modem, upstairs Wi-Fi router/AP, downstairs Wi-Fi AP. That's 11. Soon to be joined by an Asterisk server and something Tivo-esque. Electric motors: The fridge, the convection oven, the microwave (fan and turntable), blender, food processor, garbage disposal, 2 central AC units, vacuum cleaner. (I won't include the CD player, DVD player, all the computer hard disks, and CD/DVD players, and the unused fans.) So that's 9. Did you expect fewer motors?

Posted by Pete on 2007-03-16


  1. My MacBook
  2. My MacBook Pro
  3. My iMac
  4. My DSL-modem
  5. My router
  6. My upstairs repeater
  7. My downstairs repeater
  8. My Wii
  9. My XBOX 360
  10. My IBM pc
  11. My server
  12. My IP-phone
  13. My job cellphone
  14. My personal cellphone
  15. My fridge

That's fifteen.

Posted by Henrik on 2007-03-16

"How many in your house?"

laptop, laptop, laptop, server, server, NAS, printserver, psp, psp, ps2, router, firewall, AP. 13.

dvd, vcr, vcr, vcr, cd player, cd player, laptop, laptop, laptop, server, server, psp, psp, ps2, camera, camera, dvdrw, fridge, washer, dryer, dishwasher vac, microwave, blender, food processor, coffee grinder, maybe 30 toys, boilerthermo, drill, drill, screwdriver. Not including the car. Lots. If I had to guess instead of enumerate, I'd say 80-100.

Posted by Bill de hOra on 2007-03-16


Are you serious about the fridge?

Posted by Joe on 2007-03-16


The last CD player I took apart had six electric motors in it. Also, every computer on your list has one motor per harddrive, one or two per CD-ROM, and one per fan. I'd say a real count was closer to Bill's guess of 80-100.

Now think about the fact that there are plenty of devices without electric motors that would do well to have internet connectivity, such as a thermostat, smoke detector, CO detector, or a light switch.

My point: We're 130 years out from the first commercially viable electric motor and we're still finding places to put them. We're barely at the beginning of networking our houses. What does broadband and home networking look like with 100+ networked devices?

Posted by Joe on 2007-03-16

I intentionally left out the motors in the computers and disc players, because I didn't know where you were going with this and figured you didn't want these counted (and who new a CD player had 6 of 'em). But then, looking at Bill's list, it looks like I woefully undercounted anyway - I even forgot the washer and dryer, not to mention half-a-dozen kitchen gadgets, tools, cameras, and so on.

I really thought you were going the other way; putting motors alongside buggy whips.

Posted by Pete on 2007-03-16

Are you serious about the fridge?

Yep. :-)

Posted by Henrik on 2007-03-16

Don't forget that your cable settop box has an IP address. I'm not so sure about your DirectTV boxes.

Posted by damon on 2007-03-19


I've got the all-in-one DirecTv/Tivo units, so those are covered by my list.

Posted by Joe on 2007-03-19


Cool! I'd be fascinated to hear how that gets used on a daily basis.

Posted by Joe on 2007-03-19

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