Yesterday, Time Warner hooked up my wife's new computer up to the internet. We already had high speed on my computer — a G4 PowerMac — so it was just a matter of wirelessly networking my modem to hers.
After setting up her computer, I didn't bother test-driving her internet connection. I mean, as far as I knew, she had no connection, yet. Turns out, once cable guy gets here, he discovers that she's already hot-wired and ready to go. Her computer has Airport, a built-in device that seeks out wireless networks, and provides access. Appears, our home has extraneous networks beaming throughout the house. Cable guy tells me that we could have siphoned off of any of those networks for free, and saved ourself an $80 setup, plus the additional $15 per month. I'll gladly pay, I don't want to compromise our online security, but I learn something techno every day.
Along with my wife's new computer, came a free .mac account. Knowing she wouldn't be interested (she's not very techno), I signed myself up. I had passed on Apple's offer a few years ago, when I first bought my computer, thinking it was just a worthless money grab. But, turns out, .mac is a very worthwhile service, free for the first year, but I'll glady pay when my year expires. Among other things, it allows me to make files on my computer's hardrive public to the world. Scary? Not really. I get to choose which things are public, and one would need my account password to gain access.
And, it already came in handy, and saved me money. My licensing agent sent an email requesting some designs that I had created, but she could not find. I was at work, had no access to the files, but since they were in my .mac publc folder, she was able to log in, and retrieve the files immediately. Another example: I finished the 'My Peepz' calendar a couple weeks ago, but never sent the art to the publishers. It's not due till May, so I figured no hurry. They called yesterday asking that I send whatever art I have immediately. Since the art was in my public folder, they were able to get the art right away — much too big to email — and I saved the cost of shipping. Very cool.
I miss my iPod Nano. Sure, my new iPod has much more storage space. Sure, I could watch reruns of Grey's Anatomy', should I so desire. But, compared to my iPod Nano, now my wife's Nano, it's a big honkin' thing, heavier than my old-time Walkman, or Discman. I can't imagine jogging with this brick in my pocket. I'll try it out this weekend.