Adventures In Housing

Whoo, boy. I just got housed! I hope to share with you some of the joy of finding a house in Silicon Valley here. =)

The short of it is that, yay!, my new address is

950 Pershing Avenue
San Jose,
CA 95126

I’m pretty busy, though, so please don’t just call me randomly.

It all started out, strangely enough, with a slashdot thread. There was a slashdot post on Constructing A Geek House on September 20th. I posted a reply, joking “What now, Personals?” and wondering if anyone had a place that I could stay at for a few months to a year. Surprisingly, I got quite a few responses, some on slashdot and some over email. One was from one of Cisco’s security folks, Dan Kaminsky, who mentioned that he was planning to set up a Cisco house with other employees but that I was welcome to join in. After exploring a few other housing options, I decided that this was my best bet. Dan had found a Cisco intern by the name of Jason Abele and the three of us started looking for housing.

Now you’d think that three engineers with minimal living requirements and
decent salaries would be able to find a place to rent in a real jiffy, yes?
Well, not really. It took us around three weeks to finally find a place that
was near to Cisco, near to Caltrain, near to the airport, near enough to
the telephone company’s office to get high-speed DSL, had 3 bedrooms, and
was generally livable. Finally, we found one property managed by Cal-Western,
at 950 Pershing. We took it. Yay!

Figuring out net access was interesting (and it continues to pan out). As it turns out, we don’t really have cable modem access in our area, as RCN hasn’t really made it down here yet. DSL delays are now up to nearly 2 months, and we were desperate for some kind of fast netlink, so we had to find something else. Satellite access looked unwieldy and fixed wireless looked like it would take a few thousand bucks to set up and be unreliable. But much to our delight, we found out that Sprint was testing a new fixed wireless Internet deployment – $300 setup and $50/month for a 5 to 1.5 megabit downlink and 256kbps uplink. Not too shabby for something up and running in less than 5 business days! The engineer comes on Tuesday, so we should be nicely wired by Tuesday night.

We’re considering getting SDSL at some point (it seems that speakeasy is king in this world: 1.1/1.1 service for $200/month!) and maybe even Sprint ION (which gives you two phone lines with pimped-out options and a 8/1 megabit ADSL link for $120/mo), but this is largely dependant on how happy we are with the Sprint wireless broadband connection.

Interestingly enough, there’s actually a choice of power providers now in California! After some research, we’ll be getting our power from, which actually uses only renewable energy sources and costs less than the power from the standard power provider. Very cool.

Today (October 22) we raided Home Depot, Walgreens, and K-Mart for basic home furnishings. I’ve never been happier at a K-Mart: after quite a bit of shuffling around looking for home furnishings, I had been getting pretty depressed at how expensive it was to furnish a home. Then came K-Mart! Yay! I felt like I could suddenly afford things, like my spending power had been magnified by a factor of ten. It was a grand moment. =)

We’re still figuring out stuff like beds, though. Ack. New beds are expensive! ($1000 or so! ~$600 for a futon+frame!) We did get a massive (1000ft) spool of Cat5e Ethernet cable for the house, which we’ll probably lay in the next few days.

When we get broadband in here, one of the first things I’ll do is move the server here, which will mean that the website should get A) actually updated and B) will be faster.

Okay, it’s 4 in the morning, I’m sick, I’ve got hiccups, and the drugs I took to take care of the coughing aren’t working. Ack.

UPDATE – 23oct2000
We rented a fridge, washer, dryer, and a queen-size bed (for me!). Yay!


Author: dweekly

I like to start things. :)