Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Got Wi-Fi?

We do—finally! For a couple of hours on Saturday, getting the thingabob working with the thingamajig was frustrating. My husband and I are still on speaking terms, but—even if we weren’t—we now could e-mail each other from the comfort of home (albeit in separate rooms).

Let me provide a bit of background here: I have a master’s in English, so I know the importance of research. I have a BFA in drama education, so I know the importance of planning and rehearsal. Consequently, I know that just jumping into a situation isn’t the way to go.

My husband’s degree is in electrical engineering. He believes that if you just jump into something and poke around—er, experiment—a bit, you stand a good chance of getting it right. (Once he restored power to a town in Venezuela by determining that their turbine malfunctioned because of a lizard.) Our house and yard are strung with various antennae for his ham radios, and he’s always experimenting with those. He likes to take various electronic things apart to see how they work. He likes to just jump in and see what happens.

You can see that there’s a conflict of philosophies in this household, can’t you?

When I bought the new iMac, I also bought a thingamajiggie called Time Capsule, which is both a hard drive back-up AND a wi-fi base station. The Time Machine software that came installed on the iMac would do automatic back-ups of every computer whatsits I’d ever put on the computer, but all the info had to be directed to a particular place. The white plastic Time Capsule was that place.
On the iMac’s first day in its new home, we transferred everything from the eMac via a firewire, connected the DSL (a cinch because the settings transferred), and then up-dated some software.

On the second day, I installed the new printer and some other new software. (After I studied the instructions, I meticulously checked off each step in the instructions just so I wouldn’t miss anything.) When the Apple site wouldn’t let me register online for the printer’s rebate, I called Apple. The nice person there credited my account and answered a bunch of other questions.

By the third day, I still hadn’t done anything with Time Capsule. I knew installation and set-up would be complicated. Besides, I spent a good part of the day at Lake Writers and lunch at a coffeehouse.

By the fourth day—Saturday—I was just starting to contemplate what would be involved in installing Time Capsule, but I wasn’t ready to commit to it yet. Saturday night, hubby appeared in the study and announced, “Let’s hook up the Time Capsule. I think I can figure it out.”

I quit the programs I was using and turned the iMac over to him. He plugged in its cord, disconnected the DSL from the iMac, and connected it to the Time Capsule. The iMac immediately lost its internet function.

However, planner that I am, I fired up the laptop and—TA-DA!— connected to the internet. Time Capsule worked! Something had to be wrong with the iMac’s settings. Hubby poked around for a while. The iMac kept giving him various error messages. A bit more poking revealed that Airport wasn’t turned on. We turned it on. Still more problems, etc.

Finally, I called Embarq tech support. Even though I expected to spend an hour waiting for help, a techie answered in moments. Now, faithful long-time blog readers, you will remember that I left Earthlink because the technicians in India—that I had to wait a long time for—were essentially clueless. Imagine my surprise when the Embarq techie had an Indian accent. However, he was in Louisiana, not India, and he knew what he was doing. I handed the phone to my husband, he had a nice chat with the guy, and soon the iMac was connecting to the Internet.

Then the Time Capsule, true to its 500-gig hard-drive backup side, started backing up 39 gigabites worth of info from the iMac. By Sunday morning, it was finished. Now it will automatically backup whatever new stuff I save on the iMac.

Our next project was to get an original Airport card for the old eMac. That way, we could both use internet at the same time (He doesn’t like the iBook’s small screen.) The problem: Apple hasn’t made original Airport cards for years, so we spent part of Sunday evening checking out online sellers of refurbished cards. Prices vary. Hubby even called a guy in Union Hall who is a Mac repair specialist (and who came highly recommended by the woman who cuts my hair). He didn’t have a card to sell us. I did a bit of Googling, found several places that looked promising, and wrote down their phone numbers.

Before I went out Monday morning, I left my debit card—the one I use for online purchases and which has very little money in its account—so hubby could order a card. He called a guy in California who had great prices. In fact, the guy gave him a really good deal on two cards. (“We’ll have a spare in case something happens to one!” was his reason.)

The Airport card should be here in a few days. Online instructions for installation look fairly simple. At any rate, it’ll give my husband a chance to poke around the eMac’s insides.
Notice to future houseguests (and you know who you are): Our guestroom now has wi-fi. Bring your laptop.



Anonymous claudia said...

I can see the deer in the headlights look from a certain lake writer now...same look I have!! Read the blog, but most of it was Greek to me.
The more knowledge you get with this stuff, the better for me, I will send a smoke signal yonder when I need techno help!

11:49 AM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

But—but—you're a PC person. Being a Mac person is much easier—usually.

Now that everything's working, it really is simpler.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Amy Tate said...

don't forget to set your security code on that thing! My neighbor was using mine for weeks before I found out! lol
You don't want anyone getting those credit card numbers.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

I have no idea about most of what you're talking about. I can't even figure out my cell phone.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

Yeah, this thing has a lot of things to set.

But it's limited to a 50-foot radius. Of course, that means I can't get wi-fi in the kitchen, dining room, or garage. And only half the deck. I walked around the house with the lap-top to check how far it goes. Not as far as I'd like. Looks like the dogs and horses won't be surfing the net after all.

I don't do credit cards, so no problem there. One debit card is used for the few online and phone purchases I make, and I keep very little money in that account. We never bank online.

I can see how wireless internet might be a problem in an apartment building, though.

10:06 PM  

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