MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
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Saturday, April 16, 2005

Transmitting live from Woodbury University...

Using wireless bandwidth on a Mac has got to be the easiest way of using wireless bandwidth there is. I changed the "location" on my Mac from home to "out and about" and switched the AirPort on, and yes! I'm on.

I am also noticing that having AirPort on is not a huge drain on the battery. This is not the case with modern Macs with AirPort Extreme cards, which seem to radically increase their power drain. My friend Kara has a 12" Aluminum PowerBook, and I watched the battery drop to zilch after only a few minutes of use with a Starbucks/T-Mobile hot spot.

So nice that this is a truly open wireless system too. At LA Valley College, the student hotspots require a Windows Domain Login and only Ports 80 and 443 (http and https) were open. I'm on AIM here which is something I couldn't do at LAVC. I suppose this makes this a more dangerous system, and I'd probably be wise to enable the firewall while using the lappie here. However, a default install of MacOS X doesn't have a hell of a lot of services up, and nothing "interesting" like Apache or FTP or even SSH.

I am appreciating this iBook more and more. Yes, I've been pissing and moaning about the lack of RAM and HD space, but when the rubber hits the road it's pretty darn good as-is. Yes, I'm going to need to have it updated if I use it for my school lappie here at Woodbury. But even though the cost of getting this working right is way more than what it would cost just using the ThinkPad, running in Linux when connected to the school network and only running the Windows side of it when not connected; it will be worth it. The description of the precautions I would have to take when running the ThinkPad should clue you in as to why I feel this way. If I got this machine shaped up, I'd only have to boot into one OS to do work here and not have to reboot into another to use the network.

However, as I have bemoaned in the past, getting someone to crack open this laptop, install a new hard drive and replace the memory in the single slot with a bigger SO-DIMM is expensive as hell. This is the procedure for installing/replacing RAM, this is the procedure for replacing the Hard Drive. Read through them, plus download and read the various PDF guides they have on the site, and you will know why this model makes a grown techie cry.

Anyway, I gotta shut down before the battery flatlines. You can run this on battery for about an hour and it's getting close to that point. Ja nai!