This would be fine. And it IS fine. Except that for no apparent reason the ethernet cable that connects the laptop to the modem is unreliable. I am constantly (like right NOW, for example), losing my connection and having to jiggle or otherwise reset the cable. In virtually every case there is absolutely no physical reason for the disconnect.
The minimalist in me likes the fact that I can just LOOK at the modem (it's right there, not in some far away room) and see whether all the lights are on. At least I know what to do about it. But the crabby old lady in me wishes they would just all STAY on.
Would a replacement cable help, o gurus who might be reading this....?
Update: After posting this I decided to root around and see if I had another cable. I did. And it seems fine now. Sometimes life is simple.
Update 2: Rarely is life simple. The second cable is also showing signs of flakiness. Which makes me wonder whether the problem is in the computer - maybe something wrong with the place where the cable connects? I dread having to go back to Sid, but it might be necessary.