Saturday, December 29, 2007

XO wi-fi connection grief

I took my cute little XO laptop to the local public library last weekend. The open wi-fi hotspot showed up, I was able to connect, but was unable to browse the Internet. Took it to work to test out the open wi-fi hotspot, also could connect fine but was unable to browse the Internet. Did some research (forums are a fantastic way to share tips) and found what was probably the issue. The XO browser by default uses IPv6. Most routers are still set to only IPv4. It was a simple fix to change it.

Hauled the XO back to work. Again, connected fine but couldn't connect to the Internet. Online again I found some Linux commands to test the network. The XO was connecting to the wireless router but couldn't get beyond it. I then tested the connection with a Windows laptop which had successfully connected with that hotspot in the past. It too couldn't connect. I asked the staff to call the support folks. The support guy called me to ask some questions and said he'd come out in a few hours to swap out the EV-DO card (the wireless is via the Spring cellular network) Figuring there was nothing to lose, I asked the public desk staff if they would mind if I tried rebooting the wireless router. I lifted it up to see if there was an on/off switch and noticed a little button on the side which said Mount/Dismount wireless card. I pressed it figuring it would pop out the card. Instead a little blue light further down the side came on. It was labeled wireless card. Someone must have accidentally hit the button. I tried to connect and get to the Internet with my XO and this time it worked.

This morning I went back to my local public library confident that I'd be able to connect to their wi-fi hotspot. I connected again but couldn't get beyond the router. I asked the reference library if he knew if anyone was able to successfully use the wi-fi. He pulled out a little gadget that showed their two routers were active but couldn't help me beyond that. I'm still unsure if the problem is at their end or with my XO. There are just too many variables.

I went to my local Border's bookstore to try out the free T-Mobile broadband access. That worked like a charm, though the connection was really slow.

Since T-Mobile hotspots exist in most Border's bookstores and Starbuck's coffee outlets we'll probably be taking the XO with us on vacations to keep in touch. I just wish I had more consistent results with open wi-fi hotspots.

Friday, December 21, 2007

My XO laptop has arrived

Without fanfare and ahead of schedule, my XO laptop arrived at my door. It came in a small unassuming box.

I'm hoping I see other people in the mesh network, wondering if they just sort of appear on my screen if their XO is on and in my vicinity.

Too much to do right now to devote much time to play. More later. I'll be taking it to work with me one day soon to test out our new wireless Internet access.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I can't help it, I take things literally

There it was, the front page headline of the local daily newspaper "Yolo County youths can work off their library fines -- literally."

What a wonderful idea I thought. Put the deadbeats to work shelving books. But that's not the plan. A new forgiveness program will allow youths to pay off their overdue fines by reading.

I have no problem at all with the program. Anything to get people to read is to be highly commended. Maybe the reporters for the newspaper should do more reading, like a grammar book to learn the proper use of "literally." Come on reporters, you work in a college town for goodness sakes. Just don't use the word since most of the time you use it incorrectly.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Finally enlightened

A little over two years ago S.O.'s place of work was bought out by a company in Minnesota. For the past two years in December we've come home to find a Honey-Baked ham sitting on our doorstop. I don't eat ham and I don't like the smell so don't like my dear guy to eat it when I'm around. I thoughtfully took a couple of vacations with my sister leaving him at home with notes to eat the ham. They are still in the freezer.

The California campus has a very diverse employee base. Some one must have finally complained to the parent company that Muslims, Jews, and vegetarians would not find a ham sitting on their doorstop to be a gift because this year they sent out an email:

As in previous years we would like to spread a little cheer to our employees by
providing you with part of your holiday feast. Holiday hams from Honey
Baked will be delivered to each employees home unless you prefer a turkey or
fruit basket instead.
Those who wish to receive a turkey or fruit basket instead please communicate this preference to HR by days end.
Only those who do not wish to receive a ham need to respond to this e-mail.
Thank you

They give them only one day to respond, but at least they gave them the option. I'm hoping S.O. asks for a turkey.