In the beginning we had to run the cable...
When I started working with PC LANs in the mid-1980s you had to run your own cabling. There were no cabling standards and the electricians and phone guys had no idea how to do it right. I remember one phone installer tell me that "a pair is a pair" after I pointed out to him the proper termination of pairs for Ethernet over UTP. To make matters worse, every vendor had their own preferred cabling system. IBM called theirs the IBM Cabling System. It wasn't until SynOptics demonstrated that you could run Ethernet over UTP cable in 1988(?) that things began to change for the better. By the early 1990s structured voice and data wiring systems based on EIA/TIA specifications began to take hold and everything converged on using UTP cable. With the arrival of 100Mb and 1000Mb Ethernet cable installation and testing required both knowledge and the proper tools to test and certify. I hung up my 110 punch-down tool in the mid-1990s. It only comes out on an emergency basis. If I have a project that requires wireless, fiber-optic or high-performance (CAT5e/CAT6) cabling, I call one my colleagues who do this for a living. Can't say that I miss it either.
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