Friday, October 2, 2009

F2: Pumpkin Pirate

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about my ordeal with a pumpkin and my Internet connection. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).


Author's Note: Please forgive my geek-speak. If you don't understand— just enjoy the story.

Every fall we go out to a local farm and pick up pumpkins. Many times my wife picks out some small ones and places them in our picture window in our living room. A few years back our lives must have gotten busy because we forgot to remove the pumpkins from the window after Halloween.

One November day my wife told me that she could not get a connection to the Internet again. Typically this means that the computer lost connection with the wireless base-station and just needs to be restarted. After restarting the computer, I still noticed that there was no wireless connection. My next plan was to restart the base-station to reset the connection.

I went downstairs to the living room to restart the wireless base-station and noticed that the pumpkin on the window sill decided to drip onto the wireless base-station. I experienced a similar situation with our oven when I sprayed window cleaner onto the control panel and lost the digital reading. Only after it dried out did the digital reading return. So… I decided I would take the wireless base-station into a computer shop and have them clean it out in hopes that it would be working again. Meanwhile, I moved the computer downstairs so that I could plug directly into our Internet connection while I waited.

Sixty dollars later I found out that they could not get it to work even after cleaning it out. I was forced to buy a new wireless base-station. Fortunately, I was considering getting a new base-station with 802.11g connection speed instead of the 802.11b that the old base-station had.

Eighty dollars later I had my new 802.11g wireless base-station and was ready to configure it. I tried running the installer program that came with the base-station only to have the installer tell me that the installer cannot run without MacOS 10.3 or greater. Oh, great… now I have to install a new OS just to get the base-station to be configured. Luckily I was planning on doing this anyway, so I had 10.3 at the ready. Unfortunately, I did not have enough hard drive space to install the OS. Fortunately I had a 250GB hard drive at the ready, but wanted to install the OS on an external drive first, then copy my settings over from the old drive, then pop out the old hard drive and put in the new one.

I had an old 80GB drive which died, so I took that drive out and placed the 250GB drive in that case. I was able to partition the drive, but I noticed that the case could not address the entire 250GB of the drive and only addressed 120GB instead. At first I did not think that this was a problem, until I kept getting errors mounting the drive upon start-up. I realized I needed to get a smaller drive since I was sure that the computer only could address drives up to 120GB as well. I quickly went back to my old OS and disconnected the new drive from the computer wile I waited for a new hard drive to arrive.

Seventy five dollars later I had a 110GB drive which finally I could place in the drive case and partition without worrying about addressing issues. I was able to copy my settings to the new drive and swap out the internal drive with the external one in the case.

On a final note— I was still having difficulties connecting with the wireless base-station even though the computer was only six feet away. I wound up connecting the computer directly to the base-station with a cable which solved that problem, but whenever it happened with my laptop from work, I had to figure out why it was failing like it did. Just within the past three months I discovered that I could change the channel on the base-station. After switching channels, I no longer have my wireless drop out anymore.

And to think that a simple pumpkin played havoc on my computing experience!


Next weeks topic is Birthdays.
Next Friday is my birthday and perhaps I just want some presents. I have not seen any contributors in a while— so be sure to whoop it up and promote this meme so others can enjoy the feast (it would make a great birthday gift).
Perhaps you have a favorite birthday cake, or even like to go out to eat someplace special for your birthday.
Perhaps you have held those birthday parties for the kids at Chucky Cheese and have quite a story to tell.
So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.


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