Monday, March 27, 2006

A Real Laptop

First, a warm and humble thank you for all that responded to my Humboldt County Laptop post of March 5(?). Hearing what a hassle it was for me to lug my desktop computer down to the Bay Area earlier this month, one of you offered me your laptop, since you were going to upgrade.

Then, I get word that a number of you, led by Leonidas and Hank (the only two names I know specifically) and I understand some of the folks at North Coast Journal, among others, pitched in and bought the wifey and me a new Dell laptop so we could use that to keep in touch and take care of business with during our soon to be frequent trips to the Bay Area. What a bunch of folks! I am humbled but happy.

This last weekend was supposed to be the first trial run of the new laptop as the wife was being released from the hospital after spending a little over three weeks at UCSF getting a bone marrow transplant.

My niece, Janna, saved my ass by finding a rental down there for me and her and other family members had it pretty well set up and ready to go. Connie will be living there for at least two months as she has to go to the UCSF oncology clinic twice a week until they deem her in good enough condition to come back to Eureka.

I go down there, not just to visit, but to take all kinds of stuff they needed for the apartment: Blankets, cooking utensils, clothes and such. That was a trip that would have taken me and the old Humboldt County Laptop to task.

It was raining like crazy on Saturday and I had the whole passenger side of the cab and the areas behind the seat packed. No way I could have fit the old E-machines in there. The laptop fit in easily.

The bed of the truck was fairly full, as well, with everything from a Kitchen Aid mixer to blankets and an air filter wrapped in plastic garbage bags. I'm amazed everything survived the journey with only a toaster oven getting a few drops of water on it.

Anyway, to make a long story short, once I got to the apartment and unloaded everything, the first thing I find out is they don't have regular phone service hooked up yet. Bummer, says I, since if I couldn't do wireless I could always fall back on dial up with a working phone line.

So, I try the wireless network the niece said the landlord had available for tenants. Janna said she hadn't been able to get it to work with her Mac. I was under the impression that the laptop should pick up the signal automatically.

Nothing. So I go through the connection wizard thing that supposedly sets it up for you, never having done a wireless connection before. After three or four tries I still got the "No Network Found" message.

Hmmm. I wasn't sure if it was something I wasn't doing or maybe, since the landlord was gone on vacation, maybe she powered down her flat and, along with powering down, the wireless transmitter was turned off.

I gave up and later, lacking much to do, tried connecting again. No luck. Still unsure what might be wrong but since Janna and I both couldn't connect, I was leaning toward there not being a wireless signal present. I gave up. Bummer; I can't check my e-mail or make my first laptop blog post. Oh well.

The next day I came back to Eureka, making it in a record time for me of under five hours. Sunday is obviously the best time to drive that route. I e-mailed Leondas and Hank and ask them if they knew anything about hooking up to wireless. Leonidas refers me to someone who does.

Before I get a response from one in the know, I spoke to the wife on the phone to let her know I made it home. She tells me that Janna connected to the wireless network at the apartment. Not in the apartment, though. She took her laptop out to her car, just outside the front door. Apparently there was something blocking the signal to the downstairs.

Hmmm...maybe we should of tried it from more than just the study and the living room? I don't know but I never thought of trying it outside. I'll try that next time.

Anyway, thanks to all of you again. Your support makes this transplant journey much more bearable.


At 9:50 AM, Blogger Hank Sims said...

We had to do it, Fred. The wait between posts was simply unbearable. Just so's you know, here's the donor's list, to be immortalized in the cyberspace version of a brass plaque:


Little-"L" libertarians
Captain Future
Captain Buhne
Bob the Humblogger
Jeff Kelley
Bob Morse
Hank Sims

At 11:00 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

The signals are very weak and often do not penetrate thick walls. Next to windows is usually better. Also available is a boosting device (I'm told) that amplifies the signal. We're sure that your abilities will prevail.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Aw, shucks, Hank. What a bunch of guys. Should of known who it might have been.

Thanks, Leo. I sent the tip down to Janna so hopefully she'll see if it helps.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Aw, shucks, Hank. What a bunch of guys. Should of known who it might have been.

Thanks, Leo. I sent the tip down to Janna so hopefully she'll see if it helps.

At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Susie Nolen & Jim said...

Please tell Connie that i've been praying for her. And to have a fast painfree recovery. Give her my Love From Susie & Jim Nolen

At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

daily prayers for you and yours, fred.


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