Laptops on a Train

I’m on the way home now on Caltrain—facing North, as always—and I clicked the button to turn on Internet Sharing through my new Verizon toy. I don’t really know if anyone is using the connection because there aren’t any manager tools built in. Oh well, what’s the worst that could happen?

I remember the days when I would walk into a coffee place with my PowerBook 1400cs and sheepishly open it while sitting in the corner to avoid being too much of a nerd. Now there are notebook computers everywhere, and one guy sitting a few booths back in this car has some huge setup that puts his laptop screen up at eye level. It’s a monstrosity. I know it’s ergonomically correct, but seriously, he’s taking up the whole table and there are too few stops on this be-oranged car because there’s a Giants game tonight in the City. Damnable beer-drunks, way too loud.

Bigger still, I’ve written twice in one day! This after writing no better than once a week for a while now. Yes, things are calming down some—and you Aperture users who have run Software Update today know why, but it’s just nice to have the online world at the ready.

I’d still be at the office, actually, if it weren’t for a rather unwelcome interaction between pain meds and migraine prevention meds. It’s like I’m rolling, except for it’s not fun.

I have a feeling I’m done for for the night when I get home. Siiiigh. Friday.

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Wakes on the Train

So yesterday a new gadget arrived, which marked several firsts for me:

  • I finally had some use for the extra cardslot on the side of a notebook computer (in the case of my MacBook Pro, it’s an ExpressCard slot (think of it as a much faster, much slimmer, much more user-friendly version of a PC/PCMCIA card slot)
  • I’m freakin’ surfin’ the web on Caltrain!

Here are a couple of pictures of it. One shows how small the card really is, and the other shows what it looks like plugged into a MacBook Pro (however, there’s a little flippy-antenna that is down in the image.



I did a speed test on it from home last night. Not too shabby:

Picture 2

On the ride down (I’m still on Caltrain, 17 minutes into a 42-minute trip—my god, we’re at Hillsdale already!) and I expectedly lost the connection when going through a tunnel, but unlike a typical Airport (802.11a/b/g to you PC folks), it didn’t timeout before exiting the tunnel, which means the connection was only interrupted, not lost. [spins propeller beanie]

Complaints? Less time away from the internet. Oh, and it flashes a green LED once a second when connected (it’s red when it loses signal). I still won’t ever understand how PC folks deal with all the flashing telemetry on a typical laptop computer. Why do I need to know the disk is accessing data? If I really need to know, there’s a handy utility to check on it. Oh, and it fucks with the clean lines of a MacBook Pro. There’s a little black green-light-flashing carbuncle with a like-colored acrochordon glommed onto the side of an otherwise elegant and shiny MacBook Pro.

Picture 5 Still, it’s worth it to be able to look up techie questions on Cocoabuilder or VPN into work, or mount the Mac mini at home onto my Desktop.

But the coolest thing of all? Mac OS X lets you easily share your own internet connection with others. And since this MacBook Pro now has Gigabit ethernet, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth and EVDO communications [spins propeller beanie], all I have to do is click a checkbox and give the Airport network a name and in Free Love mode, anyone else who is working on a laptop (including you PC folks!) within the vicinity of my Airport signal can use my verizon wireless connection to check your email or surf the web—but if you abuse the signal by downloading larger porn movies during your morning commute, I’ll shut you down. I’m too busy downloading my own. (kidding Mom!) (kinda).

Picture 3

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