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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Our Wireless

After putting it off for a long time, the other day I finally bought a 150-ft network patch cable, so that I could run it on the ground from the Linksys router in my wife's computer room to the Linksys access point that I recently installed in my workshop,  which is higher on the slope than is the house, with the intention of enabling the old (relatively old) 1G Mhz computer that I have ganged with another computer with a newer motherboard, to go online, and also to see if I could extend the range of our WildBlue wireless enough to reach our neighbors across the road, a distance of about 600 feet as the wasp flies, who have agreed to go in halves with us on the cost if I could make it work.

Wildblue sells different strengths of wireless, at different costs, and right now we're paying 50 dollars a month for the satellite feed, using the little "pieplate" dish that's attached to the southern side of my workplace, about 10 feet high.   So if the neighbors could share with us, we could afford stronger wireless at a lower cost.

This dish thing is the best we can do for wireless in this technologically deprived part of this deeply rural county.  There aren't enough people here for something more, plus the numerous mountains that run helter-skelter all over the place make it necessary to put up a lot of towers that just aren't here just yet.   It's the same story with cellphones, and my wife barely uses the one she has, and I don't have one.   But then I rarely talk on the phone anyway, and I stay out of the way of most emergencies out on the road by rarely going anywhere, so that's no kind of a hardship for me personally, though it seems to me that the rest of humanity is slowly evolving with cellphones permanently grafted into their earlobes. 

At first that old computer still wouldn't go online (it's linked to the wireless by one of those Trendnet U.S.B. dongles that have the advantage of being interchangeable between computers simply by being plugged and unplugged).   But after some finagling with the Trendnet wireless utility, to my great joy I finally got it working, and all five parts of the little green indicator on the taskbar glowed, and the computer said that I was getting excellent reception.

So now I'm waiting till L. across the road brings her laptop home from her job, so that this can be tested.  Right now I'm optimistic.


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