Sunday, July 31, 2005


Wi-Fi? Wi not?

With this message, I enter the world of wireless connection to the Internet. Yeah, I know, some of you are saying "Big deal, what took you so long?", but there are plenty more who are still learning the basics of computering. Heck, Mom and Dad Winker will have to read this in a printout from one of my siblings as they don't do the Internet.

The advantage, of course, is that I will be able to sit in a cafe or motel room no matter where I am and have a connection to the Internet... as long as there is a wireless receiver nearby. No more telephone connection, no more trying to find the right telephone numbers, no more long distance fees, no more $2.00/minute charges on my motel bills.

It is not completely wireless, however, as I must have some place to plug in the power supply. The battery on my aging Dell 166 died a long time ago and I'm too cheap to buy a new one... if one can even be had for a machine this old. Finding electricity may be a bit more difficult, especially since I will have to use a German to U.S. power converter.

To give you technophobes an idea of how this works, I am sitting at Gordy's Warming House, a coffee and ice cream shop in Cloquet, MN, about 10 miles south of home. (Just had a Turtle Sundae and may order a cup of coffee to-go once I wrap this up.) A window pops up on the screen to let me know there is a receiver nearby and it is communicating with my computer. A few keystrokes, and I am connected to the Internet. It is not as fast as I had hoped, slightly slower than the telephone dial-up at home (which is re-e-eally slow), but it works!

I'm excited! This is so Jetsons!

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