Saturday, October 20, 2007

On the Air

Well with some help from my brother and remote access I am on the air with the new wireless network. It works slick. I don't have to hide in the front room tethered to my desktop and router. I can now sit up here in the kitchen and get right under foot. In fact I am in the way right as I type this. Normally you would have to be a beagle to get in the way this well. Ha! My my what technology can do.

It wasn't that tough either once I was able to turn over the set up to my brother. Thanks to high speed connections on both ends he was able to get it up and running no problem. I wonder what people who don't have tech support in the families do? Thanks for your help Ted. Hello to Duncan the only nephew I didn't talk to today. Hello Kim who I did not talk to at all either.

Thanks again Ted for the clever network name which must remain private (publishing it would not be a good idea). The wife's reaction when she heard it was "Oh Cute". Coming from her that is high praise indeed. She says South Park is "Just stupid" which is the worst slur she can direct at anything. I think we did a good job because when I look for a network on this thing mine does not show up but there are a couple of others that come up with what I think are the manufacturer's defaults. So we are safe and secure. No need to try to hack my network when there are 2 more with open doors.

Broadcasting from the heart of Calgary and well underfoot...


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Computer in Every Pot

It would be nice to have a computer in every room of my house so I could use it where I want to be not where I have to be where the connections are. The desk top would stay put. But it has to it weighs enough to anchor the Titanic. Not very portable. But I have a laptop. Nice small light eminently portable. But It has to stay leashed to my router so unless I want to drag wires through the house I am stuck. Two computers on one desk (and no its not that desk yet) is silly.

Now I know there are wireless routers and hubs and I could set up a wireless network but I really don't know thing one about them. As Blanche DuBois said, "I have always relied on the kindness of strangers." especially for my serious techie stuff. Yeah I work in computers, and yeah I been doing it for more years than I care to remember but this new stuff is way past me.

Give me a database, I will normalize the sucker till hell won't have it. Program design modularity no problemo but I never was a hardware kinda guy. And all the new stuff is hardware. On the plus side they are making it so that Joe Sixpack can set up his own network in the basement so it can't be too hard. Heck if the pimply faced "You-want-fries-with-that" can do it so can I.

But what is the best way or the best gear to buy. Do I want or need the best of the best or will the best of the cheapest be a better option. I know I don't want the cheapest of the cheap because you do get what you pay for (to a point.) I know that the top dollar does not mean top product (case in point Microsoft there are better and cheaper tools out there). And maybe there is something to be said for being a lemming. If I get the most commonly used stuff maybe someone will know what is snafued if I run into problems.

I guess I will just have to call my brother the techie in Winnipeg and get the dope. You see he is a techie who plays with this stuff all day every day. For work and for fun. He has a job doing what he likes to do and he gets into it big time. He also does not have a big budget for his hobbies, three kids, a cat, a dog and a mortgage will do that to you. So he has a knack of getting the best bang for the buck. That is why his opinions are usually on the money.

He will also be able to help me set it up so that I am not the local hot-spot. We already have a few of those in the neighborhood. You can tell when there is some guy sitting outside a house on the street in his car with his lap top surfing the net. Saving big bucks hitting hot spots not having to pay for his Internet. Shrewd or what. Except that with gas at a buck something a litre its costing him just as much to pay to idle his car while he surfs as it would to get a connection at home. (Probably more since Mommy and Daddy might just pay for the connection to their basement.) I'm not selfish but I think if you want to surf it should be on your own dime. The net is like a utility but it is pay as you go. Also I would not be able to control what some geek would do over my connection so better to not have them on it.

Anyway, I think a wireless network in the house would be great. I use the Internet like a phone book now it would be nice not to be sent to Coventry every time I want to use it. It would also make it handy (just like the remote for the TV). So the plan for the weekend is to find out what I need for a wireless network. First stop Winnipeg I just hope it ain't snowing out there.

Now should this thingy be smoking like that and what were those sparks about?