Monday, October 24, 2005

Great weekend.

Absolutely gorgeous weather, a scenic and challenging golf course, and a good friend along to enjoy it with us. What more could you want?

Yeah, three hours each way is a long drive to spend two nights out of town. In fact, it felt like we’d gone across the country since the weather turned cooler on Saturday, and then cooler yet on Sunday with a stiff north wind. As we were driving back home Sunday afternoon we all agreed that we’d like to have been able to spend just one more night before heading back.

Our campground DID have wireless internet access at our campsite. So why didn’t I put something on the blog this weekend? Just lazy, I guess. (Nobody got a hole-in-one, either. All three of us got at least one hole-in-eleven. But I didn’t think that was worthy of a special blog post. Hey, I TOLD you it was a challenging course!)

We took the opportunity (wifi) to corrupt Ruth by introducing her to Sudoku puzzles. I won’t say she’s hooked, but she’s intrigued enough that she wants to play some more on her home computer when she has time.

Today dawned with a temperature of 50 and light drizzle. As per usual in this part of Texas, you turn off your air conditioner and turn on the heater. It’s one or the other.

Can you believe that the holidays are almost upon us? At work today the planning is gearing up for our company Christmas party. It’s only four more weeks until Thanksgiving week. First thing you know it’ll be 2006.

Meanwhile Hurricane Wilma is pounding Florida. I hope Christina (Tampa area) has electricity tonight and tomorrow.

OH! Speaking of wifi, one of my faithful readers reminded me that I had promised you a funny story regarding unsecured wifi. Here ‘tis:

A friend of mine I’ll call Joe has a laptop with a wifi card. He recently ordered DSL service for his home because he was tired of slow speed dial-up. Just AFTER he ordered the new service, a neighbor apparently installed a wireless router on HIS broadband source (cable or DSL), and Joe could get and use the neighbor’s signal.

I advised him NOT to cancel his DSL order. His neighbor might secure his router at any time, or disconnect it, or move away. Besides, Joe had already committed to some one-time setup charges for his DSL, and they were non-refundable.

The day came when his new DSL modem and instructions arrived. He worked his way through the instructions and plugged in the cable between the DSL modem and his network port on the laptop. Success! He now had his own (wired) broadband connection.

The next day he called me to tell me that now, in addition to his wired DSL connection, his laptop was receiving not one, but TWO unsecured wifi signals, both with “excellent” strength.

I told him that he could move all over his house with the laptop and have his internet anywhere, but he still couldn’t count on either of those signals being there all the time. He asked me to get him his own wireless router and install and secure it for him, so he could have a dependable portable internet experience without broadcasting his network signal to the world.

I got the best deal I could on a wireless router for him, and went by one day to install and secure it.

He proudly showed me his DSL modem and connection. I looked at it, and wondered. I asked him if he had any instructions for it. There were none.

I went to his laptop and searched for available networks. Windows reported that there were three available; one wired and two wireless. I disconnected the power to his modem and refreshed the network list. Now there was only one wireless source.

Satisfied, I called him over to his modem. I pointed to a four-inch long black appendage sticking up from the back of it and asked if he knew what it was.

He said, “No. But it looks like an antenna on a cordless phone.”

I asked, “What do you think an antenna on this modem might be for?”

He looked puzzled. “I don’t know. Something about picking up the DSL phone signal?”

I said logically, “No, that comes in through the phone wires to your house.”

He thought for a moment, and the light dawned. “You mean I already have wireless? The modem came with it?”

I nodded, and resisted the urge to snicker.

I got my money back on the router. Now when I see him I ask him innocently how his wireless internet experience is going. By way of answer he usually salutes me smartly with his right middle finger.

Then we both laugh.


Nankin said...

John, obviously I missed something. What are Soduko puzzles?

Anonymous said...

It is great to get out of town once in a while and even greater when you have a good time.

Our weather is much like yours at the moment - one minute sweltering, the next icy cold.

Have a super duper week.

Lucy Stern said...

I think, here in Texas, we are finally going to get some cool weather. The sky was crystal blue today and it felt awesome to go outside and let the breeze blow through my hair. My husband has already turned the heater on for tonight. It is supposed to get down in the forties tonight. Ahhhh....Yessss.

Karyn Lyndon said...

Welcome back. Sounds like a great trip.

kenju said...

I know about as much as that guy when it comes to computers and technology!

Monica said...

I'm thinking about getting a wireless laptop...are those really that good? It seems like it would be a logical choice for me but I haven't decided yet.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, it sounds like you had a good time, before you got to play Installer.