Friday, November 20, 2009

The Laptop Test-Drive (Sorta)

I took the laptop with me today, as I have a few times recently, in hopes of finding a hotspot so I could test-drive the wireless link. My other laptop also has a wireless card, but I was never able to get it to connect to anything and it didn't really give me any direction in which to go, troubleshooting-wise.

This past Monday, I discovered far more wireless networks in the small town nearby than I'd expected - more than I think most anyone would expect, given the size and general temperament of the county - but only one allowed me to connect: Godfather's Pizza. Yes, the Godfather's Pizza in Parsons, TN is hot, but I didn't get the chance to actually sign-on because we were just passing through and couldn't stop.

Windows 7 shows a network icon in the bottom-right of the Taskbar. If no connection is present, there is a red X across the lower-right; if connections are present, it indicates this. You have to drop-down for it to list the networks available and choose one. Godfather's Pizza wanted me to configure my network before it would allow me connectivity. Because it said something about the router, I didn't do anything (didn't have time to, either, as I indicated above).

There are, as one might expect, many networks available in Nashville - even from the Interstate! Unfortunately, none were strong enough to allow me to connect or were private and requested a "security key" (password). It wasn't until I was at a public McDonald's that I was able to get the laptop online. However, McDonald's charges for wi-fi connectivity! I didn't expect that (though probably should have).

It's $2.95 for two-hours of connectivity. You can pay by credit card and there was an option for a prepaid card. The employees were completely ignorant as to the entire matter, so I only know what I read when I tried to connect. Had I paid by credit card, I would have gotten the connectivity right then and there for the specified time; whatever time I did not use would have been forfeit. I don't know about the prepaid method; I assume one could use smaller increments and the rest would carry-over, but I'm not certain.

The laptop handled things fine and Win7 is stable enough, I suppose, but I've yet to really dig into everything. I know this much: the new Wordpad is great!

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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