Me and My Mac (Computer)

Last week on Techno Thursday I mentioned my new air card and I was anticipating putting it into action over the weekend.    A month ago I would not even have had a clue what an air card is and actually the official name of this device is “Sierra Wireless AT&T USBConnect Shockwave LaptopConnect Device” – right.   I think I like the shortened version “air card” better and basically it allows you to connect to the internet without wires (wireless) while you are on the go.  

You simply plug the device into the USB port on your laptop.   Initially you do have to install a disk which is the software onto  your computer.  You follow the prompts just like installing any other software.   Then each time you fire up the computer a box will appear which is the Communication Manager Connection.

 … Time for the Test …  As we headed out on our 5 hour trip I flipped the switch and here I was sitting passenger seat in the car and on the internet …… I felt so “with it”!   During the trip I would connect and disconnect just to see how things were going – the real test would be when we arrived at our destination which is in a rather remote location….in the country, away from city life and cell towers.   The air card works much like a cell phone picking up the signal and using minutes as data is transferred.   We purchased the lesser plan with lesser MBs until we are sure it picks up in our location.   I kept a watchful eye on the Usage information trying to get a feel for this whole new mobile experience.

When we arrived at our destination, the Mac was placed in a prominent position near a window and I clicked her on.   Well … it worked, but seemed like a lifetime to actually get the information on the screen.   Remember your first dial-up?   Running to do 12 other tasks, waiting for connection and finally hearing that all to familiar voice boldly saying “You have mail”.  

                                             This was where I was.  

Trying not to let frustration take over and trying to reason to myself that I did have connection (so what if it took an hour to check email).

The next day we took a trip to town and I brought the laptop and as I sat in the parking lot of  the grocery store everything was running along at a rapid pace.   I even connected to McDonald’s free wireless service and didn’t have to use the air card.   Was I convinced yet?   What other options did I have?   Was the air card the answer?

When we returned home, I walked around the house searching for a better location to catch that signal and I found one!!   Right at the kitchen table …… so I sat all night long and tapped on the keyboard doing senseless surfing, but staying connected.

As we headed home after our little weekend trip, I thought to myself …

The real question is — Should I cross that line and bring the world of the internet into my remote country home or do I keep the calm and peaceful surroundings safe  …… and peaceful.


5 Responses

  1. I’ve been using my dongle (same as your aircard) at home for the past year as I don’t currently have a landline. I also opted for a minimum download useage and it has been more than sufficent to date.

    However, it can be really slow and the connection does tend to break a few times a day which drives me nuts! Overall, it has been great and it is wonderful to be able to use my laptop anywhere at any time. Having said all that, I plan to have a landline and broadband installed next week!

    As for keeping your retreat ‘internet free’, there is something very liberating about freeing oneself from our attachment to technology for a while. I left my mobile at home by mistake this morning and after the inital panic about what calls I might miss, I ended up having a lovely morning free of my obsession of checking my emails and text messages every 5 minutes.

    If you can bear the withdrawel symptoms, I would say keep your weekends ‘communications free’!

    Enjoy your peace.

  2. It’s a great question and an incredibly delicious temptation to crack the silent code of your country home with the endless whirl of the internet…
    I would say alternate when you take it with you or leave it at home, and see what a difference it would make.
    When I spent time in a remote part of France, my only access was the internet cafe in town and they were not cheap. I used it once a week for an hour or two and I do miss those salad days terribly… Oh and my trip was quite recent too. 🙂
    Looks like I’ll be doing the vampire schedule for blog visits/comments… My day times are getting hectic…. but I’m all in. 🙂

  3. Keep the country home quite. If you just need access to email you should be able to do that on your smart phone. Good luck with the rest of the postaday2011 challenge. Hope to check back on some of your other posts.

  4. Unplug, girl, unplug!! :o)

  5. Thank you for this informative post about air cards! Good info to have. I converted from a PC to a MAC aout a year ago and haven’t looked back since. Perhaps I’ll look into a card one of these days . . . nice meeting you through PostADay!! I look forward to more blog shares!!

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