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Apartments for Techies? 335

Posted by Cliff
from the as-long-as-it-has-bandwidth dept.
thedistance asks: "I'm wondering if anyone has heard of companies retro fitting any of the failed telecom hotels for apartment use? It sure would be nice to find an apartment complex that was designed just for the tech croud with a fiber/cat5 infrastructure throughout. It sure would make it a lot easier to setup highspeed internet access, video on demand, and wlans... not to mention an easy way to borrow the spare NIC from your neighbor... (we can just leave the sugar borrowing to the rest of the non-techie world)" If you know of an apartment complex offering high bandwidth, please post a comment, below. Aside from bandwidth, what other amenities would make an apartment complex ideal for the high tech worker in the 21st Century?
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Apartments for Techies?

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  • by NWT (540003)
    Such an apartment would be really nice indeed ... any offers?
    • ...from a scaled-down version of Bucky Fuller's Old Man River city [multimania.com] [pictures RH column bottom, Google [google.com] or Babelfish [altavista.com] will translate for you], probably sans the canopy. Heaps of bandwidth, regular supply trucks, an airstrip not too far away, copious silent pole-free solar power [unsw.edu.au] (but some wind gennies [awea.org] tucked away somewhere for the few low-sun days).

      Other sites you may consider include near Broome, with it's fabulous beaches, or Denmark, much colder and more crowded but with many lovely large trees, or perhaps somewhere along the scenic vehicle-destroying Gibb River Road [cycletours.com.au].

      (some Hamersely views included here [fdns.net], mostly from Transmission Hill (AKA Wireless Hill or Radio Hill depending on sobriety levels) at Paraburdoo, Western Australia, some Broome views in the earlier sessions).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Campus Housing.
  • by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <kcocknozzle AT hotmail DOT com> on Sunday December 23, 2001 @07:43PM (#2745551) Homepage
    A sorority full of tech-worshipping nymphomaniacs living next door...

    ...maybe not so realistic, but a good idea none the less.
  • by jbf (30261) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @07:43PM (#2745552)
    WaldenWeb [waldenweb.com] has a few apartment complexes in the Houston area; they run an OC-3 from an ISP to their NOC, and run OC-3 from their NOC to each of their apartments. My apartment has 3 RJ-45 drops (only one of which I can make active at a time, but that's what a hub is for). Rent is reasonable, Internet access runs about $50/month.
    • Wow.. I would have thought with all that bulk buying power your access would be a little cheaper. Guess not.
    • I live in a 16 year old appt. complex near Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The place is a dump, but at least I can get DSL. This isn't such a big deal except that I've hjad DSL there for over a year and recently found out that the management was concerned that they were losing potential leases because they couldn't offer high speed access.

      Aparently even though I got DSL through Verizon a year ago (I talked directly to their network engineering staff), the Verizon call center that handles DSL service subscription hasn't been informed of the hardware installation in the remote servicing my area.

      This seems not only to be a failing of Verizon, but also of my appartment management. Their failure to adequately research service offerings in the region has let to undoubtedly thousands of dollars in lost revenue. It'd be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

      The moral of the story is, don't trust appartment managers who say, 'sorry, no high speed access' or telephone call centers that say the same thing. Find out directly from the network engineers responsible, whenever possible. As for a Cat-5 infastructure... well, it isn't really nessecery now that wireless networking is of reasonably high quality.

      --CTH
  • Bad idea (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lothar+0 (444996) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @07:44PM (#2745555) Homepage
    Having an apartment complex like this would be a social disaster. There would be people who would never leave their apartments, spending hours and hours surfing the web, playing Everquest, and posting continuously in online news forums...

    Wait, never mind.
    • Re:Bad idea (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Such a lack of understanding here. You find that many techs don't get out much and talk to their neighbors or meet new people becasue it is very hard to hold a conversation with people who don't understand what your talking about. Not only just that it's embarasing to try and communicate with people when most of what you say is so far over their head you almost ned a translator.

      It's been my experience being around people of like minds helps to bring these types out of their "shells" and into more social situations. So this is far from a bad idea for the reasons you gave.

      The part that might not make it a huge success is that these types are not a large percentage of the populous. Nich markests with the monies it would take to setup something like this aren't worth going after in general.

      Now given the posters request I would think it would be economicly atractive to try something out like this in the given situation. But the likelyhood of it being a big hit is rather small. It would do pretty much as good as any other complex but the clientel would range through several technicly minded areas and might end you up in more trouble than it is worth.

      Just my two cents if you don't like it just leave it be and someone else will pick it up.
      • by Lispy (136512)
        there are these Studentappartements over here in Munich/Germany. It is sooo great, they are a bit out of the city and every room has their own Lan-Connection (I think the Uplink is a shared T1 as well). Whats more theres a cigarette machine in the lobby and a 24/7 Store in every building. In the basement there are different kinds of pubs, cafes and partyrooms, it is so great that i almost wish i would study something. People really live together in there, they learn, eat, hack, and party together...

        Then again, I live in a small backyard building in munich and we got DSL a few months ago and wiring the old House was a blast and our small Lan is really a lot of fun ever since. Even better, a coworker of mine just wired his own house he was building. He also included a dedicated Serverroom...cost him a bit though ;-)

        Have a fun xmas everyone...
    • by fm6 (162816) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @09:57PM (#2745922) Homepage Journal
      There's this landlord with several residential properties in the SF peninsula. Mostly rents to students. Wish I could remember his name, but he only makes the news when he has the occasional hassle with the zoning authorities.

      Anyway, he has an unusual approach to running his business. He doesn't rent out whole apartments or houses. Instead, you rent a bedroom and you agree to help take care of any common areas. The whole business evolved out of the hippie commune the landlord himself lived in back in ancient times.

      Anyway, one of the perks of renting from this guy is free DSL service. Which turns out to be his main way of keeping his tenants in line. Fall behind on the vacumming, or allow the kitchen to get too toxic, and the DSL goes away until things improve. Now that is social engineering!

  • "Aside from bandwidth, what other amenities would make an apartment complex ideal for the high tech worker in the 21st Century"

    A beer keg storage room ? a Pizza Hut outlet downstairs ?

    • The greatest job in the world, and one for which there's definately a need: an admin, to run everything. You could hold a vote amongst all the tenants to elect one, and part of his compensation would be an apartment there. It'd be like being the super, only with computers.
  • that'd be perfect for LAN parties :-D
  • Ok thats cool, but their would be loads of restrictions and all that crap. i mean for christ sake, most UK university admins get jumpy when you downnload mp3s theses days......
  • by Vairon (17314) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @07:47PM (#2745570)
    A friend of mine who just moved to Virginia, is planning on doing just that. He going to purchase an apartment complex (his family has lots of money) and outfit it to be geek friendly. He's planning on running gigabit ethernet to every apt for apt-to-apt networking and use highspeed ADSL with several static IPs (one for each apt) for outbound internet access. Then start playing with video-on-demand and other cool technologies on his apt complex as a testbed for others. Once he gets it right he'll start outfitting other apartment complexes for other realtors. Of course he'll be using Linux and FreeBSD for just about everything from the router to the "apt game servers" and video on demand servers.
    • Would you mind passing along his email address? I want in...
    • He's planning on running gigabit ethernet to every apt for apt-to-apt networking and use highspeed ADSL with several static IPs (one for each apt) for outbound internet access. [...] Of course he'll be using Linux and FreeBSD for just about everything from the router to the "apt game servers" and video on demand servers.

      It sounds like either your friend doesn't have a good handle on the technologies involved with this, or there was some miscommunication between the two of you.

      It sounded good up until "use Linux and FreeBSD for the router".

      You need something better than a PC to route many apartments' worth of gigabit ethernet to each other. A PC doesn't have the internal bandwidth for more than one gigabit connection. If you're using an off-the-shelf gigabit ethernet hub or router, it'll be running its own embedded OS from the vendor (if it's complex enough to run anything at all). If you're using a souped-up non-PC workstation as the router... you're spending far more than you have to for a simple router.

      In a similar vein, you'll have an interesting time getting enough static IPs for a medium-sized apartment building without a fight. Maybe when IP6 finally takes over.

      This sounds like a really cool project, and your friend deserves praise for trying to pull it off, but he'd better take a close look at the tools he's planning to use for it, and make sure that he's using the right tools for the right parts of it.
      • Switch when you can, route when you must.

        He's unlikely to get more than 10Mbps in, and a Pentium 90 running FreeBSD can route and NAT to saturate a 10Mbps link. All he needs is to switch each apartment with 100Mbps switchs with 1Gbps uplink, switch the 100Mbps switches with a 1Gbps switch, and plug the router into that switch complex to route traffic out over the ADSL line. Another advantage of using a FreeBSD/Linux box at that level is that you can firewall... in fact, you could firewall for the clueless users and punch holes in the firewall for those who want it...
  • by tunah (530328) <sam@nOSPAM.krayup.com> on Sunday December 23, 2001 @07:47PM (#2745573) Homepage
    Aside from bandwidth, what other amenities would make an apartment complex ideal for the high tech worker in the 21st Century?

    E-paper, e-paper, e-paper and e-paper! On the walls! On the ceiling!

    Imagine reading /. on the ceiling while falling asleep, instead of at work! Now *that's* productivity!

  • I'm sure there are countless amongst us who would gladly pay through the teeth for lots and lots of dedicated bandwith. If you have a building where every tenant is going to use it, you can really cut your costs, not to mention that these buildings already have the infrastructure in place, so it's only a matter of flipping the switch. So what would the per-user bandwith costs come out to if you were just plugging an entire building into, say, a T-3, based on how much bandwith you would want to dedicate to each apartment.
    Also, how difficult would it be to set up QOS for each apartment, so that one guy couldn't hog it all and piss everyone else off? This is much more important for home users than for businesses.
  • Gavle, Sweden (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Gävle Sweden got a pretty nice infrastructure.

    100MBit switched net in most of the apartmentbuildings and Gigabit backbone.

    The city wide NAT is highpreformance and really nice.

    The Uplink to the net is 2x 135MBit which is enough for most needs. The NAT-community offers serveral FTP:s that contains what you need (and don't need). A fresh Linux ISO in 10 min is nice enough for me :-)

    When I lived there I used to watch movies from my friends harddrive without problems :-)
  • Anything that is as techie friendly as you describe isn't going to be setup for individual billing. There wouldn't be any separate meters for utilities, so how would you know what to pay for gas/water/electricity? I sure wouldn't want to pay for the juice to power my neighbor's huge racks of drive arrays.

    Also, anything that was a former hotel or business complex would be zoned commercial, thus not allowed for apartment rent/lease, right?

    - JoeShmoe

    .
    • i think that if something is zoned one thing, it's inclusive of any lower "zones"..so if in a city you're zoned as a business, you can have a residence there instead, but not the other way around.

      i think..

      or it could be the bacon talking..
  • I can't resist to once more point out that we are accessing the Internet per 100 Mbps full duplex fibre link to our home.

    I have a very detailed description on this [acc.umu.se] page on how we installed a very high-tech network in our entire block.

    The page have been slashdotted once before, so the visitor counter have passed 52 000!

    Best regards, Tomas


  • Aside from bandwidth, what other amenities would make an apartment complex ideal for the high tech worker in the 21st Century?

    More bandwidth!

  • Washer/Dryer on each floor with sandbox security on each appliance so your neighbor's kid cant throw dye in your wash. Until that, you can count me out. ;)
  • I've always wanted to get an OC192... of Jolt! lets pass an electric current through that nectar and still be able to tap the pipe for the precious stuff ;P
  • EM shielding (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    My video gets the shakes when the neighbor's AC fan is turned-on on the other side of the wall.
    • Yeah, I know. My radio starts buzzin' when somebody calls my neighbours cellphone. Probably his mum, because she calls really often, and she must be deaf, because he talks really loud. The perfect room would have to be EM shielded, sound proofed, backlit and 30M water resistant.
    • At least your desk doesn't shake when your neighbors decide to shag...
  • by Tsar (536185) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @08:02PM (#2745637) Homepage Journal
    Don't be ashamed; that happens to a lot of folks, especially geeks who've been getting free broadband through their educational institution for four (six, ten..) years, and are somewhat scared of a world where they've heard that some folk still use dialup.

    Your idea has merit, though... if it were me, I'd model it as a 'halfway house' for recent grads who aren't quite 'equipped' to make it 'out there' just yet. It would be somewhat similar to a YMCA, except without the fitness opportunities. You could call it the 'Y' Adapter, and you'd probably fill up all your cells in no time.

    Amenities could include communal laundries, in-house cafeteria, and a 30-terabyte KaZaa! mirror in the basement. You could offer regular field trips to local social establishments and real apartment communities, as well as social counseling and maybe dance classes.

    Oh, and after you've been there a month, you lose network connectivity between 4 and 6 AM. After two months, no connection between 2 and 6 AM. You lose one more hour per month until after 6 months, you can't get on the 'net after dark. This would offer an excellent incentive for finding your own place, negotiating your own broadband connection, and starting a real life on your own.
  • I'm not sure why, but many apartment complexes near college campuses have high speed internet connections in each apartment. It's worth a look. Besides checking local apartment listings, see if a university nearby has a guide to apartments nearby. Virginia Tech [vt.edu], for instance, has a database that includes things like internet connection, LAN, etc.
  • In Philadelphia, PA, in West Philly at 43rd and Locust, there's the Fairfax. The best part of it is that they have the building networked for high speed connectivity, for $30/month (when I was there, around a year and a half ago). They didn't have any technical info on what kind of connection it was for me or anything, but I would get speeds of around 120k/sec fairly regularly. Other than the internet connection, though, the apartment was a real piece of crap... my sink and toilet would regularly create small black fountains in them, someone tried crawling in my window one night to rob the place while I was sleeping there, and the maintenance man was kind of a jerk.

    If you're willing to put up with the bullshit though, you can get an efficiency place there pretty cheaply ($550/month) and have a pretty good connection without having to live in dorms. When I was there, cable modem and DSL weren't available widely yet, so it was about the best access you could expect and for a pretty affordable price.

    Oh, and, uh, don't use me for a reference, I ended up getting kicked out because of a rather schizophrenic pets policy that I don't really want to get into explaining. Just don't move there if you have pets, regardless of them saying it's okay. It isn't. They'll tell you in person it's okay, and let you in, but if they ever decide they don't like you, since it's technically against the lease they'll use it against you.
  • Well, they'll need to do *something* with all the laid-off techies, since they won't be working anything other than McJobs...any economic stimulus package that might have helped has been trashed by Daschle and his Nazi cohorts. Here in Colorado, the Denver Post ran a story about former techies driving TRUCKS, for Pete's sake. *WHY* do we need H1-B's, again? Not that they were every really needed even in the late-90's....

    I notice Daschle doesn't have anything to worry about, since he makes 175K - I think congressmens' paychecks should be tied to the economy - we all have to tighten our belts, why don't they? Nah, they'll play politics to dick over EVERYONE, and then they run off to their nice vacation with their great big, taxpayer-paid paychecks, not to mention other perks that fall outside of a salary.

    Anyway, it'd beat living out of your car or the local Y. There were already horror stories like that last spring, why we are still importing workers (H1-B's) and doing no tax cuts is a real mystery. Hopefully, all you voters remember to speak out about this crap...H1-B's should be on a ballot for the PEOPLE to vote for in a state-by-state basis, not some representatives to decide to do what never would be chosen by the people. I mean, who would vote to have more foreigners (and I'm not talking about immigrants here, I'm talking about the new class of indentured servants that the H1-B creates) taking jobs that hardly exist in the first place, and who the hell would NOT vote for lower taxes!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My apartment building [northpiertower.com] is hooked up to a T1 line, and offers 10baseT access in each apartment at $45 at month.

    Rents are expensive though - around $1500 for a one bedroom.

  • I lived in an apartment complex in Phoenix, AZ that had apartments wired with 100Mb ethernet. They charged everyone that used it $30 a month for 1 IP and another $10 for every IP after that. It was a really good deal and they didn't restrict bandwidth amounts. The only rule was you couldn't run servers, at least not on ports 21 or 80. All in all it was a really good idea and I only had downtime for about 10 minutes in over a year.
  • Actually, There is a hot trend in college dorm, and campus living with 100mbit cat V throughout, They are just now starting to do apartments. I would look to see more of this coming forward as colleges become more and more wired. If you dont mind living near a college (where the target tenants are students) Im sure you could find a place like this.

    -enigmabomb-
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Harbor Steps [harborproperties.com] in Seattle has to be one of the best wired apartment complexes in the country. This is also one of Blockbuster's test sites for video on demand over IP. I'm pretty sure each apartment comes with cat 5 with 100baseT to a switched network on multiple OC-3's. Not to mention the fact that they are next to the Pike Street Market and over looks Eliot Bay.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Network connectivity is nice, but the basics need work: Power protection & monitoring, environmental management, etc. You need to include a UPS with backup power generation, air conditioning, & facilities for monitoring.

    Build a computer room so that tenants can have so many RU's of space in a cool clean powered room with security. A relay closure interface so that your gear can handle blackouts cleanly. Stick your servers there and X/VNC/whatever from your apartment.
  • by CaptainSuperBoy (17170) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @08:16PM (#2745692) Homepage Journal
    In the past week or two, we've had questions about

    a. Building a house for networking from the ground up (if cat6 isn't enough for your damn HOUSE then you have problems)

    b. Putting a server room in your house (hint: walk-in closet. If you have enough hardware to cause heat problems, you are beyond help.)

    c. Living in a fucking HOTEL, because there's a network drop in your room?

    Gimme a break! Think about living in a hotel for a second. It's ONE ROOM, first of all. No kitchen. No living room. No den, no dining room, and I'm pretty sure there's NO FUCKING SERVER ROOM. Do you want to live in a hotel room?

    So what does that date think when you ask her to come over to your place for dinner, and bring her to a hotel? Are you gonna break out the foreman grill and cook up some burgers for her? Just cut straight to the streaming porn, over that 'LEET "data port" conveniently located in your PHONE. Folks there are reasons that most people don't live in hotels.
    • You DO realize, there's a difference in all 3.

      One is looking for a hotel/isp. A hotel may not necessarily BE an ISP. He's looking for a combination package. Not necessarily a studio like you badly imply.

      Wiring your house is a VERY different project. Discussion involved the type of wiring to buy, which is VERY different than finding an internet appt building. Your house doesn't necessarily mean you'll be an ISP.

      Building a server room is a bit of a task. All the user was looking for is cheap rack equpitment.

      If you can't deal with the ask slashdot's, how about turning them off, eh?
    • I stayed at the Albert at Bay [absuites.com] hotel in Ottawa a few years ago. The rooms were nicer than many apartments I've seen. Yes, it had a real kitchen too. Obviously designed with business travellers in mind. All rooms above the 11th floor were wired for high speed internet access (just plug in and go via DHCP). Pretty good rates too, especially if you've come from the US and you're carrying "hard currency" ;)

      I guess you haven't been staying the right hotels. Super Motel 8 is not a good example.
    • What is this kitchen that you speak of? I would assume at some point you could expect a virtual junk food buffet as a perk and on site nurses to resuscitate your bloated stretchamrked ridden body with bionic implants that would pry look like little chrome hubcaps sitcking out of a weathered leather sofa. That'll bring in the babes.
    • So what does that date think when you ask her to come over to your place for dinner, and bring her to a hotel? Are you gonna break out the foreman grill and cook up some burgers for her?

      Date? Huh?
    • Living in a fucking HOTEL, because there's a network drop in your room?

      Umm, "telco hotel" is what you call a facility that's like a colo (or Internet Data Center, if you're Exodus) but used for telephone switching rather than web hosting. The question was, could you live in one of these when the company that paid muchos dineros to fit it out went bankrupt?

      The answer is probably not, at least not without a lot of work, probably more than is economical. These are big open spaces designed to be efficiently air conditioned, the "rooms" are cages so air can flow for that reason, the floors are raised for cabling, there's no plumbing. If might be cool to get all or maybe half of one for a "loft space", but you couldn't really break one up into apartments without getting rid of all the stuff that made it useful as a telco hotel in the first place.
  • in New Yorks east village. If you don't mind paying several million dollars for a condo you can have access to the buildings OC3. Great location too, if your willing to shell out the ridiculous amount of money for manhattan real estate.
  • Roadrunner makes a respectable internet connection for my apartment (i got lucky in living in an unsaturated area) but the one thing thats lacking is good power lines. I have only one circuit for my living room / computer room, and i cant turn the tv on without a brownout (so nicely declared by my 2 UPSs beeping at me). What i want is 40A circuits, or more than one circuit per room, to keep all my equipment well fed.
  • My neighbour lives in a high-tech house already. Oh, it's not that fancy being built 50 years ago with its original kitchy furnitures. From outside, it looks like it's falling apart as no one has been maintaining it. Last month, his toilets broke and I found out that they are not flushing anymore last time I visited him. Recently, his kitchen has been invaded by cockroaches because the dishwasher needs to be fixed. His lawn has grass about 5 feet high. Newspapers and junk mail are building up a barricade outside since he doesn't even bother fetching them anymore. Sometimes I bring him some food, but the rest of thet time he gets pizza delivered. However, the one thing he is proud about is that he's got a top notch DSL connection that I am sure bits everyone else online experience in the street. He is able to play online games as no one else can really do around here. Nothing else seems to matter to him. He looks so happy facing his screen all the time.

    PPA. the girl next door
  • I recently graduated from the Uni. of KY and am now moving to Irvine, CA (beach, desert, mountains, tech companies, girls in bikini's, etc.). apartmentguide.com has an option you can set to help search for apartments that have highspeed internet (which is something I had to have.) Of course whether its any count, who knows. The service I will be getting is Cox@home, soon to be Cox@cox.
  • A place like that could be the home of the world's greatest LAN party. Especially if it had a convention center on it... :-)
  • Why don't you just rent a 5 bedroom house with your friends, set up a cable modem or DSL connection, and then wire up the house? That's what I did to our 5 bedroom house that we're renting. We have a fast cable modem hookup for $75/month, so it costs $15/person per month. Every room is wired with a high speed category-5 cable, connected to a fast ethernet (100 MBps) switch, and in addition, we have wireless network access too, so you can bring your laptop outside into the garden or the the roof, surf the net and drink your morning coffee.
    • What do you do when one of you starts lagging/dropping other people of the net while (s)he grabs an ISO or something? I know rate limiting is possible with FreeBSD (and linux too?)... For only a couple users that would probably work. I'm trying to figure out if that is the right approach here. Lagging out the counter-strike players gets old (actually what gets old is waiting until they aren't playing to apt-get and cvsup).
  • Tower 801 in Seattle (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 23, 2001 @08:37PM (#2745750)
    http://www.tower801.com

    Features at Tower @ 801
    View balconies outside every livingroom and bedroom
    Outdoor deck with pool
    24 hour fitness room with separate saunas
    Club room with DVD home theater system and large laundry room
    Cafe Lado open from 5:30 am to 11:00 pm
    Laundry facilities
    High speed Internet access
    Digital cable
    Secured underground parking
    Storage facilities
    Small pets allowed (larger pets upon approval)

    Concierge Services
    Onsite dry-cleaning pick up and drop off
    Package acceptance/delivery
    Fax/copy service
    Concert and Broadway ticket packages
    Restaurant packages
    Dog walking

    I believe they also have a video library you can check stuff out of. AND, if you're got good enough line-of-sight, you can easily snipe major bandwidth from all the wide-open 802.11 networks downtown! Mwuahahah!
  • Try this. Go to Pittsburgh and go in to a Wean Hall cluster or one of the men's dorms at CMU any time during the Christmas holiday seasons and then tell me what you think about this idea.

    Those places can have the foulest BO stench you can imagine.

    I'll tell you something else. There comes a time in a man's life when his space and the people who chooses to share company with start to matter in different ways. A better idea, I think, or at least a safer idea would be to encourage geeks to all buy houses in the same community and set up a wireless network or something. I still can think of better things to do with my time but atleast you'll have your own building and space.

  • Most of the 'high tech' hotels did not go out of business, they just lost their high-speed internet access, or dropped it because it was not adding to their bottom line in a time of hard business conditions. (Remember: hotels existed for years without high-speed internet and will continue to exist without it in the future.)

    Bottom line as it regards your question: Those hotels are still hotels with RJ45 (or whatever) connections in their rooms that don't go anywhere particularly useful.
  • I own a company that is doing just this in the Salt Lake City area. I have done a couple cat5 installs, and some wireless lan installs, (not quite a neat as cat5 cause its slower, but some of these buildings just don't take cat5 (being 60+ years old, plaster walls instead of wallboard). If any of you live in Salt Lake and want your Apt done up, tell your landlord to give me a call, paveraware inc. is the company name.
  • As a student at McMaster (Canada) there's a tonne of houses around the University that are 'swiss cheesed' with wires running here and their through walls, taped to walls (God bless duct tape) baseboards or anything else you can think of.

    To break away from university life - but who would want to - you are going to have to move into a new complex. Who can afford a new home though, not this poor student?

    The cheapest and most efficent way I'm sure is to get a dedicated line, T3 perhaps and share the bandwidth with other neighbours in the area (5, 10 people should bring the bill down). Check contracts for that though, some providers don't like you networking too many computers because you turn into an ISP. Don't get your connection though them if that's the case.

    Competition is great.
    Cheers.
  • Jersey City, NJ (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Along the Jersey City waterfront, in a development called Newport, the 5 newest high-rise apartment buildings are wired for ethernet. The network connects to the 'net by at least one T3. I regularly see 300KB/s. It costs 49.95/mo for one static IP.
  • cambridgeside (Score:2, Informative)

    by AssFace (118098)
    there is cambridgeside near kendall square in cambridge - they are pretty damn expensive (last I looked was a year or two ago and they were $1600 for a 1 bedroom) and they have like 8 billion phone lines per apt, lots of outlets, and a T1 in every room...

    I'm plenty happy in my place with cable modem - but I only have one outlet and the place is old so the power sucks...
    I'm out in Somerville (slummerville)
  • Philly (Score:4, Informative)

    by swingkid (3585) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @08:57PM (#2745800)
    I live @ in Philly at an apartment building called The Left Bank. Right now, i get synchronous 640k wireless ethernet w/ 802.11b (11mpbs to the access points, of course), for $50 / mo. The building was originally going to wire all the apartments w/ ethernet, but they switched when the realized a wireless infrastructure would be much cheaper. One thing that bugs me no end is that they don't use WEP at all, although they restrict access to the network to known MAC addresses. Anyway, i'm pretty happy w/ it. I wish the downstream were a bit faster, but i challenge you to find an ISP that has 640k upstream for so cheap.
  • Apartments with high-speed are nice, but you need a consierge or something. The really high tech apartments around here in seattle have a guy you can call for stuff. Food, Movies, Car wash...

    Everyone at work used Kozmo till they went out of business. Was a shame, they sure had alot of business...

    Of course the apartments that come with a consierge are 3x the price of a normal apartment. Doable if your 3 guys all working at startups. (-;
  • by ajp (192328) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @09:39PM (#2745884)
    Here on the Eastside of Seattle there are scads of wired apartments. Ironically, there's also a surplus of technology businesses. But you probably are only interested in an apartment near to (insert backwater Walmart town here). Gee, sorry I couldn't help.

    BTW, I'm looking for a great pizza place. Anywhere in America's fine with me. TIA.
  • Cool Amenities? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shadowd (4155)
    My friends and I have tossed this idea around for awhile now, our group of friends is closer to each other than some of us are to our families. Obviously privacy is needed, but we enjoy each others company enough that living in the same building/complex would be great from a shared resources point of view. I'm curious if anyone out there can expand on what amenities would be beneficial?
    • High Speed Internet (1.5 - 10Mb+)
    • Building Area Network (100Base Switched)
    • Server Room (Racks, UPS, Cooling)
    • Exercise room and equipment
    • Common Room (Big HDTV, THX Sound system, etc.)
    • Game Room (Pool table, Fussball, etc.)
    • Outdoor Party Area (Pool, Bar-B-Que, etc)
    • ???
    Any sgguestions?
  • I live in one (Score:4, Insightful)

    by .@. (21735) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @10:00PM (#2745933) Homepage
    I live in one (The Enclave, San Jose -- http://www.theenclave.com). CAT5 drops to every room, RJ45 in every wallplate. Two 3Com CoreBuilders and a Cisco 7500 as the gateway to an AT&T fiber drop from their backbone. Only problem is, it's expensive ($2000-$2500/mo. for a 1000 sq. ft. 2-bedroom), and the net feed is currently through ATTBI, even though there aren't any cable modems in use here.
  • A couple years ago a complex off the Lawrence Expressway and 101 in Sunnyvale, CA (San Jose area) was supposed to have T1 access in each apartment. Last thing I heard there was T1, but the main feed was insufficient as many tenants decided to put up servers and maxed it out. An upgrade was supposed to be forthcoming, but I haven't checkin on it lately. Complex name was Tuscan or Tuscany something. ~2400/mo, IIRC
  • Soundproofing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by frlord (128277) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @10:12PM (#2745954) Homepage
    Late night quake sessions? That new Squarepusher 12" dying to be played at 4 AM? Cut the midrange, drop the bass?

    Any good geek hovel must have good soundproofing. Even if you aren't the type to play loud music all the time, common everyday sounds can get annoying (particularly if people are keeping erratic schedules, as many of us like to do). Soundproofing is a must.
  • Somebody tried this in Sunnyvale a few years ago. Basic problem: if you thought getting network support from a cable company was bad, try getting it from a landlord. Eventually, the network was outsourced and billed separately, which helped some.

    I still can't see why anybody would want to run public servers out of their house. That's what hosting companies are for. Let somebody else fix the servers.

  • A great amenity would be the positioning of soda machines, stocked bi-weekly, at both ends of each floor. Caffeinated beverages preferred.
  • by beth_linker (210498) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @10:24PM (#2745976)
    Bandwidth's not the most important thing in a geek-friendly apartment by a long shot. In many American cities, you can get a cable modem connection for $40-$50 a month, which is plenty of bandwidth. Having the apartment wired with cat5 is a plus, but it's not hard to do yourself and wireless 802.11b also works pretty well.

    What you really need in a geek's apartment is lots of power. Well-placed outlets in every room are key, as is not having to worry about blowing a fuse if you have a whole bunch of equipment running at the same time. Pretty much anything else you can set up yourself if you need to, but if the wiring is lousy and the landlord's not interested in improving it then you're probably screwed.
  • It sure would be nice to find an apartment complex that was designed just for the tech croud with a fiber/cat5 infrastructure throughout.

    Just what the stereotypical tech needs - less socializing with real people and more with the same kind of poeple you see at work . . .

  • Cherry Hill, NJ (Score:2, Informative)

    by mattfusf (43660)
    In about a month, I'm moving to a "wired" apartment complex in Cherry Hill, NJ (about 15 minutes from Philly)

    The rent includes broadband Internet access. Each room in the apartment has a jack with a DSS, cable, and 3 or 4 RJ-45 jacks for network/phone. There is a patch panel in the front closet where everything ties in. See http://www.roselandmgt.com/ and look in the "Roselink" section for more info)
  • Ideal Apartment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by adamjone (412980) on Sunday December 23, 2001 @11:02PM (#2746049) Homepage
    Here are some of the items that I would look for in the ideal apartment setting (tech or not)

    Sound Dampening:
    There's nothing like the rumble of Quake at high volume, but don't inflict it on me in the wee hours of the a.m. I would want to protect my neighbor from my own noise as much as I would protect myself from his. Abundant sound dampening would be a big plus.

    Air Filtration:
    With all of the different lifestyles (smokers, non-bathers, obscure candle lovers) I want to make sure that I only get the scents that I invite into my apartment. I currently have neighbors who smoke like chimneys, and it has seeped into every fiber of my carpeting. Then they installed a bunch of air ionizers, so now my apartment smells like a mix between an ashtray and a public pool.

    Multiple Multi-Connector Outlets:
    You can never have enough power/cable/telephone outlets.

    No Exterior Stairs:
    Either give every apartment ground floor entry, or provide an elevator. The stairs should be an emergency exit only. I've had too many drunk neighbors stumble home late at night.

    Package Safe Deposit:
    I hate getting home to find a note that the office is holding my package. I have to plan my day around the office hours so I can get my shipment of penguin reds. Not good. Give me a large safe deposit that I can give the FedEx/UPS guys access to.

    Thick Window Coverings:
    Most apartments come with your typical set of slat blinds. These are great until you try to watch a movie on your big screen at 5 pm and find the glare obscuring your view. The ideal apartment would have blinds capable of completely shutting out outside light sources.

    Independent Hot Water Heater with Large Capacity:
    Let me adjust my hot water to the temperature that I like, and make sure that I never run out. Same goes for the HVAC system.

    And for the ideal techie apartment I would add

    Electronics Closet:
    An extra closet with a monster UPS/Line filter. Run all of the CAT-5, speaker, KVM, S-Video, etc. cables here. This is where I would keep all of my A/V equipment, big iron/Beowulf Rack, High Bandwidth uplink, and a router. This room would also need an independent temperature setting, as all of this equipment will be generating a lot of heat.

    Pre-Routed CAT-5:
    I don't want my apartment complex supplying my internet access, as I wouldn't put my faith in their capabilities. But if they would run CAT-5 throughout the apartment and leave the connections exposed next to the washer and dryer so I could hook up a router: fabulous.

    Pre-Routed A/V wire:
    Run speaker wire throughout the apartment. Run S-Video/Optical/and component outs throughout each room as well. Make sure the outlets are on multiple walls on each room so I have a choice of where to put my equipment, but also provide covers so the unused ones aren't exposed.

    Remote Control Extenders:
    Since all of my A/V equipment is in the closet, I'll need some RF/IR repeaters to get my remotes signal in there.
  • Sorry, it's been tried. I live in a complex that was built brand-new with built-in broadband connections to every unit (for an extra cost turned on, of course) but the company that provided it (and the service for a number of other similar complexes) went kablooey in the Spring of 2000 [nwsource.com] in the dot-com crash.

    No I didn't get any warning from ReFlex Communications, although there were 3 days between when they filed and when they shut off the service.

    Too bad, it was pretty sweet and a very good deal.
  • Our business [qualityhousing.com] in Madison, Wi does exacly that! we offer short term corporate housing with resort style services, including free broadband in every apartment, as well as internet appliances, computer room, etc.
  • One of the more obvious ones is the hideous green painted ex IBM building near the Harbour Bridge exit (city end). It has full cat 5 wiring and (if you want it) centralised Net - BUT as all city apartments you had better have a lot of cash around to be able to afford it ..
  • Have you ever been inside a "telco hotel"? They would need a lot of work to be human friendly. In the process, most of the infrastructure be in peril.
    • Agreed - that's not really the right kind of property to convert to apartments - they're designed with lots of electricity and telcom cable feeds, but not made with lots of entrances, and they've got WAY more network bandwidth than anybody needs at home. What you really want (if you like living in a big city), is to be in an apartment building near the telco hotel, so you can get some cheap network access from some non-telco customer willing to put radio or infrared on the roof. Newer apartment buildings can be wired; older ones can be wireless (and the new 802.11a 55+Mbps wireless are enough faster if 10Mbps isn't enough.)
  • by neurovish (315867)
    Most areas around large colleges have apartment complexes with such wiring...so far the ones I've seen though really aren't worth living in. The apartments themselves are overpriced, generally crappy, and you're very likely to end up with 3-4 rather noisy and inconsiderate neighbors. The "broadband" access they offer is usually a T1 or 3 for the complex...or in some cases complexes. The one I lived at had our bandwidth capped at 150 k/s (up and down) and during the day and peak hours our rates would drop to sub dialup rates (2 k/s and less)...
  • There are a variety of apartments, townhouses and free-standing homes in the Dulles Tech Corridor.

    Caution: in Reston, stick with the north side of the tollroad, in Herndon the south side seems to be wired better.

    You have your pick, from do-it-yourselfer hack apartments like mine at The Summit of Reston: washer and dryer in apt with outlet that is suitable for SGI Crimson, cable modem service, DSL available through everybody except AOL (no loss there), decent insulation and sound dampening between apartments, etc. There are also apartments with extensive internal networks, huge bandwidth, etc.

    Part of the "charm" is there are very few old buildings around here, most of the construction has been leading into and during the .bomb era and anchored by more stable techs, like TRW, NEXTEL, and Oracle.
  • "Aside from bandwidth, what other amenities would make an apartment complex ideal for the high tech worker in the 21st Century"

    Two Words: Beer and Women ;-)

    Merry X-Mas
  • Newer apartments are often wired so that the building management can offer telecom services, and there are companies in the business of operating telecom services for Multiple Tenant Unit (MTU) apartments and businesses. For residential use, one model that's becoming common, and is easy to retrofit into almost anything post-70s, is to use cable modem technology to the building's head end, and instead of the cable TV company's cable-modem partner offering service, the building does it instead, usually with some obnoxious pricing and underpowered service (e.g. a T1 feeding the building with a few hundred tenants, and downloads capped to ~400kbps). In business MTU environments, sometimes the building management makes a deal with a telco, sometimes with a CLEC, but in any case they may drop fiber to the building and sell various amounts of services to the companies there. For those of us in the ISP/telco business, they're a really interesting customer segment - individual MTUs are bigger than retail but smaller than wholesale, and some large building management companies register themselves as CLECs to take advantage of regulatory situations and make more money on the telecom services.

    At somewhat the opposite ends of the spectrum, friends of mine who lived in an apartment building Palo Alto a decade or so ago wired it for Ethernet (Thinwire, aka 10base2, aka Cheapernet.) They had a startup company with offices in one apartment and several of them living in various apartments in the building, so telecommuting was even more convenient. I think they had a T1 feeding the business at the beginning, and after the business moved out to a Real Apartment they shared some kind of fractional T connection among the interested tenants.


    The first network wired house I looked at when househunting achieved its status in about the most minimal form possible - there were two adjacent rooms with 10base2 jacks on the wall connected by about 6 inches of cable :-)

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