Chasing Inspiration

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stepping Into the 21st Century

My husband and I finally entered the 21st century. At least when it comes to our internet connection. We've had cable for years and years - since I was teaching at my previous employer, in fact. Cable modems are great. The connection is fast and the price, at the time, was right! The down side was we could only have one computer online at a time.

Last summer we procured a router so we could have 2 Ethernet connections to the cable modem. With TV going digital we needed to do something so we could record TV and thanks to my husband's know how we were able to build a Media Center computer system (acts like a TV tuner and a DVR) AND have the desktop hooked up to the internet at the same time. Snazzy, but so late 20th century. Or so I'm told.

Fast forward to this month. We facilitate classes through our church. The classes run 13 weeks and then they are done. No more support. No more lessons. You're on your own unless you want to take the class again. For free, but it's still a huge time commitment. Or unless you want to spend money to belong to an online community for support.

Several graduates of the course approached us about getting together as a group so we could talk the baby steps and support each other through the continuing journey. A and I were all for that and had our first alumni meeting last Saturday. During that meeting, the Budget Crunching Party was born! Everyone wanted help with either developing a budget or refining one. Why not get everyone in the same room and go over it all together, right? So this Saturday we will again be opening up our home for our alums. Then we had a moment of panic. Some of the people in our group use the online budgeting software. Others use online banking to help them budget. How on earth were we going to turn two internet connections into enough internet for up to 6 people?

There is when we had our a ha! moment. Airport Extreme. We've been wanting wi-fi for ages and have been putting it off because, well, it's a nice to have not a need to have. Until now. And we had some Christmas money socked away waiting to be put to use on a present for the house. It took two seconds to decide to buy the house the wi-fi router. The wireless router cam home home on Sunday and last night we set it up. While it doesn't change the set up for our Media Center computer or the desktop (our main computer), or my 10 year old Apple Powerbook (doesn't have a wi-fi card) , it will allow us to use our work laptops in any room of the house. And will allow our alumni group members to bring their wi-fi enabled laptops or netbooks to our house and use them as we have our budget party!

I am giddy with delight! I can keep on top of email while watching TV which means I won't have a million email messages waiting to be cleared out on the weekends. I can take the computer outside and sit on the deck when it gets warm and surf away. We can network all the computers to the back up server and to each other making it easier to access information on any of the computers in the house. We are now THOSE PEOPLE who have many computers for different purposes and use them all! I LOVE IT!

So welcome us to the 21st century. I may still be using a cell phone that I can't text or web surf on, but we have wifi! Ah, life is good.



  1. Ah, yes, that's what I meant to say in email. We have the cable modem and then the router thingy. Ours konks out constantly which is annoying because it takes forever to reset, but it is awesome to have. Rob brings his laptop on the deck a lot.

  2. I'm not sure just what I have, but I have internet through my cable company. I got a router or spliiter or whatever from them and can do the net and watch TV at the same time without any problems. I think I'm not understanding just what you are talking about with your tech stuff though. But at least I know what class you are talking about! LOL