Cables Named After (and Chewed by) Cats
There is enough jargon in the world of technology to make most people’s heads spin. To make matters more complicated, there are also various versions of similar objects such as cables, each with slightly different names or numbers that indicate efficiency, power, storage, and/or speed.
But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at two types of cables with names that might remind one of their favorite feline companions: Siamese cables and Cat cables. No, these cables don’t actually have to do with cats of the animal variety, but perhaps their nomenclature can help one better remember their functions.
Siamese Video Cables:
While Siamese cats have little to do with the naming of siamese video cables, the term “Siamese Twins” gives us a big clue. The term originated from the famous conjoined twins from Thailand (then Siam), Chang and Eng Bunker, who traveled with P.T. Barnum’s circus in the early 19th century. Since then, conjoined twins are also known as Siamese twins, even though the latter colloquial term is technically incorrect.
Since Siamese now in part refers to one body separated or partially divided into two, one might correctly assume that Siamese video cables have a similar form. Indeed, these cables are two separate cables conjoined into one! They provide both power and video, making them easier and ager to install. Without Siamese video cables, both a separate video and power cable would need to be hooked up and possible tangled together, leaving a potentially dangerous and inefficient mess.
Siamese video cables come in many different lengths, such as 500 ft. and 1,000 ft., and are primarily used for security cameras. Now if you ever hear this term or come across this type of cable, remember how Siamese twins relate to it and it becomes easy to remember.
Like Siamese video cables, Cat cables really have nothing to do with cats. Rather, “Cat” is a short way of writing “Category,” and in this instance the category refers to the type of Ethernet cable. So in other words, Cat cables are just Ethernet cables, which are the thick, colorful cables that connect an Internet ready device to a local network.
There are three main types of Ethernet of Cat cable: Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6, each one more powerful than the last. Cat5 cables are the most basic type of Ethernet cable. They provide a secure and fast Internet connection (usually faster than WiFi) and can last up to ten years with proper care.
Cat5e cables are just like Cat5 cables except with a little more speed. The “e” stands for “enhanced,” so this makes perfect sense. Cat5e cables can reach speeds of 1Gb per second.
Lastly, Cat6 cables are the fastest and also most expensive. Some say they are more difficult to install than Cat5e and Cat5 cables, but then again most people who would need or use Cat6 cables are probably somewhat well versed in this type of installation, or would have someone knowledgable enough to do it for them.
The technology behind these types of cables might not be any easier to understand, but perhaps this primer on Siamese video cables and Cat cables has shed some light on what these cables can do, and why they’re named that way. At the very least, now you can impress your friends with some cool tech knowledge! And be sure to throw in a cat pun or two.