Friday, March 26, 2010

Look, Ma! No wires!

I like to think that I'm fairly techno savvy. I am Smarty Pants, after all. Its sorta my job. But the one area I bow to another is in the computer realm of my home. That is DB's domain and I don't touch it. He's the one that upgrades memory, installs software patches and keeps our systems running ship shape. I could do it if I really wanted to, but I don't and he likes it, so there.

The one thing we just hadn't gotten going yet was wireless internet. Not that we weren't prepared. We bought a router with wireless capability back in 2006 when almost no one had it yet. I bought the wireless adapter card for my computer. We even had it up and running at one point in 2008. Problem was the service was spotty and kept disconnecting, so we disconnected it.

So we let it go. For like 2 more years. DB insisted that keeping my computer tower in the desk cabinet was limiting the connection. I insisted that our equipment was just old and that if we bought a new wireless router, we'd have a better connection. Much bickering ensues, no progress made. Then, last year, I got an iPhone and we switched over to AT&T service for our home phone and internet. They provided us with a new DSL modem. Stuff worked. It was fine. At home, this wireless network kept popping up on my iPhone to connect via WiFi. I figured it was the neighbors. Then, about a week ago, I threw a tiny hissy fit. Everyone had WiFi. Our idiot neighbor next door had it. Certainly WE could figure this out! I told him I didn't care what I had to buy, I wanted it working.

DB fiddled and cussed and adjusted and googled. And then, wonder of wonders, we had WiFi. Turns out we'd had it ever since we upgraded to AT&T - our new DSL modem had wireless built in and we never knew it. The network that kept popping up on my iPhone was MINE! All we had to do was adjust some of our computer settings, figure out what passcode to use and we were on. The computer, the laptop, my phone... even the Wii. DB is currently googling what kind of access port to buy so we can get our Blu Ray and DVRs online too. Anyone got a recommendation since I'm the last human on the planet to have this stuff setup?

So, I am proud to announce that DB and I have finally made it out of the stone age. The 100 foot ethernet cable no longer runs down my upstairs hallway to my office. My iPhone allows me to play Scrabble with Instigator more efficiently than ever. And maybe someday soon, I'll even be able to stream Netflix or watch shows OnDemand. Hot damn.

Where do you fall in the technological food chain? Have you fallen in love with OnDemand tv or playing on your gaming console with people across the country? Or are you still dependent on the free WiFi at the Books a Million?


Instigator said...

I seriously need to get my wireless fixed. Oh, it works just fine on my laptop and our desktop but Sweet Pea's laptop still won't connect. I did take it to a computer shop and they fixed it so it'll connect anywhere but home. Sigh. I know there's some problem with my router settings. I pulled up the information on the desktop, looked at it all like I knew what the heck I was doing and promptly closed the window. It was all Greek to me, although in my opinion it all looked fine. Somehow that didn't seem to help.


Problem Child said...

This is why I have a Darling Geek. (Well, it's not why I have him, but it's definitely a perk!)

I have no idea what you're talking about. All of that is voodoo to me. Hell, if my computer so much as burps, I leave the room until DG tells me it's safe to return.

So, yay!

Maven Linda said...

I have wifi. There's so much interference here that it won't reach across the house. Bought an Airport Express to extend it, but haven't had time to get it up and going yet -- mainly because I also have a Time Capsule to give it an extra boost, and also to do a full-system backup, and that takes all night, so . . . not yet.

I'm moderately up to date. I'm not interested in OnDemand TV, mainly because I don't watch much: Bones, Castle, Human Target, Lost. That's pretty much it. I have DVR, and that's good enough for me. I don't play games online. I like games, but I'd rather play alone. I've been known (on a regular basis) to not answer the phone, not check e-mail for a day, etc. I don't like the feeling of being constantly in-touch and in-reach.

Stephanie said...

Hmmm, I am a confirmed Luddite.
I am not even sure what some of the words you used mean.

I use a computer on a desk that connects to the wall. When it doesn't work then the Internet company sends a man to fix it for me. I pay $2.57 a month for this and consider it a deal!

I am very happy to have friends like SP who can help me with my techno needs.

Playground Monitor said...

When I moved, I had to put my desk on the wall opposite the phone jack, and at that time I had DSL service. So I had to run phone cord all the way around the room to connect it to the modem on top of my desk. Then my son told me if I'd get a router, I could set up a network and just set the modem on a table beside that phone jack (eventually my futon will be against that wall along with a small end table) and I wouldn't have phone cable everywhere.

Angel's husband, bless him, gave me their old router. PC's DG had said he would help me, but I kept putting off calling him. Then one day I decided to tackle it by myself as part of the self-empowerment part of my newly-single life. I downloaded the manual and software off the Cisco website and on attempt #3, I had a network! It's security-enabled and everything. I am so proud of myself.

I have a DVR too, but Knology's system is absolutely stone age compared to the DirecTv I had in my house. I could have DirecTv here but I'd have to mount the antenna to my patio rail like some huge flower pot and I don't want that. So I trudge along with Knology's system because they are the only cable provider here.

Jean said...

I am like the man who could cook and do laundry until he got married--only I can't run my techo life. It was so easy to just let him take over. He is a software engineer who also has an electrical engineering degree. I didn't intend to become completely dependent--and then one day I found out I couldn't even run the TV. Take a break for a couple of years and then it's all different. We have so many gewgaws and connections and remotes that even watching TV was worse than going to Wal-mart. It didn't matter much because I seldom turn it on during the day, but it mattered some. It seems it's not okay with him to just turn on the TV. That does not produce a sound that is acceptable to him. The sound has to run through the home theater system to be up to his high, hign listening standards. And that requires a whole different remote.

I pitched the biggest fit I've pitched in a decade. I threw some remotes--against a chair where they wouldn't break, but still. I said words I didn't know I knew and would not have been all right with my mama. I told him that there had been a time when I could not only watch TV but program a VCR--never mind that VCR's are gone, baby, gone.

He got right on the internet and ordered me up a pink remote so I could easily tell it from the others. He programed a button that turns on the TV and home theater system all at once. So now I can do it--it's just a little like living in assisted living.

But I proof the manuals he has to write and cook a decent dinner most nights. That's something.

That sure went on a long time. Apparently, I had some baggage. Thank, SP.

Liza said...

I had the Geek Squad at Best Buy set up my router and then I installed it at my house. No problems with it so far. Do wish I could figure out how to hook up my Wii to the wifi. I do use my On Demand and dvr through Comcast(Nashvile's cable company) and love it. You know unless for some reason Lost doesn't record on one of the most important episodes of the season...must watch on-line on Sunday.