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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

My Internet Works Now

I have only been able to use the net in a serious way when I was at
one of the many cafes in Vancouver that offer free wireless.

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,

May 17, 2007

Copyright © 2007 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

I've written here before about the trouble I have with the Internet at home. At first there were two unsecured networks, both named linksys. One would sort of work when I connected to it, the other never did. I could tell which one I'd connected to by the IP address of the nameservers.

My landlady let me rename and secure her net, but it still worked very poorly. I could only connect by holding my MacBook Pro up to the ceiling. Once connected, I could sit down - but only on my bed. It didn't work anywhere else in my apartment.

However, there is another apartment in the first floor of our house, and I eventually found that the wireless worked fine from anywhere in it.

I figured the problem was the placement of the access point, but I dreaded asking my landlady to let me move it. She's not very technically inclined, and I feared it would be a challenge to convince her to let me monkey with it again.

But then a couple weeks ago she asked if I'd like to upgrade our service. I said yes, and said I'd pay the extra charge. I figured a higher-speed connection would enable my downloads to complete during the few-minute intervals when I could connect.

As I'm sure you will understand, I have only been able to use the net in a serious way when I was at one of the many cafes in Vancouver that offer free wireless. I even installed Debian under Parallels from one.

A few days ago my landlady told me that our ISP sent her a new access point, and said she would install it herself. I asked her to let me install it so I could secure it, and get her laptop configured with the password.

She didn't see the point of that, so I said it would be so our neighbors wouldn't hijack our connection. "But they have their own Internet," she said. "Not always," I replied. I didn't tell her what I'd read in the paper once, that pedophiles sit in parked cars to download child pornography using unsecured networks.

But I didn't get around to installing it. My piano teacher is having a recital on June 2nd, at which she wants me to play Bach's Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier. I'd be really stoked to do so, but I have only just started learning it. So all of my free time lately has been taken up with piano practice.

Today I found that the network I had secured had disappeared. There was still a network called "linksys", that I figured was our new access point, but I couldn't connect to it either.

But then my landlady knocked on my door and told me that she'd asked our ISP's tech support to walk her through renaming and securing our new access point, and she gave me a slip of paper with the new network name and password on it.

Trembling with anticipation, I put my laptop on my desk - I hardly ever could connect to the old network from my desk you see - and there in my AirPort menu was the new network. I selected it and was prompted for my password. I entered it and had it saved in my keychain.

And it connected right up. I tested by checking GMail; it often had trouble loading over the old network. But it came right up.

I'm so stoked!

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