Revision 1: September 2000
We bought the house at the end of August, 2000. Now that we had a significant amount of space, it was time to really sit down and think about what was possible for computers in the household. One thing I knew I wanted to do is wire the house thoroughly - ideally RJ45 jacks in every room. This meant that a patch panel for all those wires had to go somewhere. Typically household patch panels go into small boxes in the basement somewhere, but I had the idea that I'd like to rack mount everything - the patch panel, networking hardware, Internet connections, computers, the works.
I hired a cabling company to inspect the current wiring of the house - data, telephone and cable. What little there was was a mess - the house was 40 years old, and no one had done anything about the wiring. We couldn't figure out why the cable even worked! So it was time to redo it all.
New telephone wires were pulled (planning for as many as eight phone lines, three installed immediately), plus DSL, plus good quality cable into several spots in the house. It soon was apparent that putting RJ45 jacks in every room in the house was going to be very difficult, so only the easy (and critical ones were done) - the first six.