Sunday, March 27, 2005

I have now made most of the important file transfers to my new laptop, though I have not yet been able to clean up Clu and send him back to Argotnaut. Guess I have to do it soon, since she’s heading off to Germany!

I am still trying to name the new computer. He is extremely sleek and fast, and never hangs up on operations. After reading Scientific American* together in bed the other night (as one does), I favored “Qubit” (for “quantum bit”) or “Kelvin”, (I am also considering “Bayes” after the stats guy). Meanwhile, TheLimey preferred “Yttrium” or even “Niobium”. I asserted that those are clearly girl-element names. (If I’m going to be gendering my computer, I may as well do it right.) I further suggested that those whose own computers remain unnamed ought to correct this oversight before trying to horn in on mine.

I had no idea how many unsecured wireless networks are out there until I got this machine. Wow! They’re everywhere now. In fact, I have no idea whose network this is upon which I’m posting this; I just kept getting messages at home that I was connected to some “very low signal” network or other, and I even got a few automatic virus-protection updates out of the blue, until I just gave in and began playing with my darn email on it.

I have struggled with this network-hitchhiking (netchhiking?) issue in terms of ethics. Is it like walking into someone’s left-open apartment and using their computer to get online? TheLimey disagrees with this interpretation, likening it instead to turning on my TV and finding that I am receiving free cable channels out of nowhere. (He’s probably just trying to make me feel less guilty.) Well, it’s only intermittently that I receive it anyway, and it’s not like I’ll be dow_nl_oading mp_egs or gray-market nekkid pitchers, or cracking into anything.

*Funny editorial this month.


liz said...

Wait--just realized how soon the trip actually is...there may not be time to finish cleaning and sending Clu!

argotnaut said...

Oh, I'm not going to have time to mess with that before I go. Just send it whenever you get A Round Tuit and someone here will stick it in my closet.

Now, on to more pressing matters: you bought a NEW COMPUTER and didn't post the specs?!?!? Not even a make and model?!?!?!?

I don't usually name my computers, but since I have two now (with very distinctive personalities), I have The PowerBook (which is a PowerBook, of course) and Lil' Brudder (Fujitsu P-1032. It's a Homestar Runner reference).

Andrew said...

There is no reason to feel guilty about "netch-hiking." As far as I know, the cost for internet access with broadband is the same no matter how much you use it, so it's not like you're adding to someone's bill. Plus, if the network administrator was really concerned about signal borrowers (parasiters?), they'd encrypt network access.

By the way, my laptop is named "Gigantor," because of its 17" screen and 9 lb. mass.

argotnaut said...

Oh, but wait -- are you still going to need the wifi card? If not, I wouldn't mind having that before I go. (How's that for an indirect request?)

My wifi is spotty, and I don't know if it's this cheap-ass card I have. Plus, it doesn't work with Linux.

liz said...

Oh, I can send _that_ right away. This new one has internal wi-fi, for good or ill.

liz said...

It's a Dell Inspiron 600M Notebook.

For some reason I really like the action of the keyboard. Very ... pouncy.

It's exactly the same weight as Clu, but feels subjectively heavier for some reason, though we weighed them both on a kitchen scale to be sure. The only size difference is it's about 1/4" thicker.

And I got $600 off at the last minute!

Mark said...

There are two wifi networks in range from my my house. Only one of them isn't fussy about who connects though.

I've set up mine to only give access to certain machines. I agree with Andrew... It's easy enough to set up your router to only allow certain addresses onto the network if you don't want people hogging your bandwidth.

Just make sure that you don't have any folders shared on your machine that you don't want to give just anyone access to when connecting.

liz said...

No, I don't think there's anything shared at all.

And even if there was, I don't have client info, financial info, or romantic letters in here.

(Not yet, anyway!)