Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 32 Summer 2011 Road Trip.

Last night sometime after I published yesterdays blog, I lost the wireless signal from the hotel to my laptop.  The weird thing is that Karen’s laptop didn’t lose the signal.  I was unable to re-connect so I just gave up.  I was hoping that all would be well this morning when I turned on my laptop. 

Well it wasn’t, I still have no connection and Karen’s laptop does.  These hotel Wifi systems are baffling at times.  I began to suspect that perhaps my WiFi card had gone bad so I packed up my laptop and went across the road to McDonalds where they have free WiFi and I connected immediately.  So the problem isn’t my WiFi card.  Now what am I going to do?  This hotel does not have an ethernet port in the room so our wireless router that we purchased in Nashville to solve that hotels WiFi problems is of no use this time.

We ate breakfast at McDonalds and used their free WiFi while I uploaded yesterdays photos to Flickr and contemplated the situation.  Tethering my laptop to my new Android phone was a daunting task, I tried reading the instructions on how to do this, but there are too many configuration settings to adjust and I was afraid that something would go wrong.  I had heard of broadband sticks that plug into your USB port and essentially grab the same data signal that allows the smart phones to access the internet, but I didn’t know much more than that, and I was even less sure that as a Canadian, would I be able to even purchase one.  More often than not you need to sign a contract and provide proof of a US address and banking info etc. 

So we drove to the local Cricket Wireless store where I asked questions and then I found out that they have “no contract” broadband sticks.. similar to my “no contract” phone.  You pay for the month and at the end of the month if you do not renew, then the access is terminated until such time as you re-activate the device.

Excellent.. this is exactly what I need.  Well maybe “need” is a strong word, but I am not one to be without my internet access.  How would I write this blog, or upload photos or reply to emails, or play my Farm Town game…  I suppose I could go a day or two without my laptop, but then the withdrawal symptoms would start setting in.  Sure I could use my Android phone to fill the void of not having my laptop up and running, but that probably wouldn’t completely cure the withdrawal symptoms.

So my laptop is back up and running,  I am typing on my laptop, writing this blog, all thanks to my Cricket Broadband Stick.  I am sure that there will be other hotels in our future travels where I will be glad that I have this little gadget. 

Needless to say, with the running around to get my laptop connected to the internet again, we did not go into Washington DC today.   I suppose God saw the dilemma I was in and so he arranged for it to drizzle rain all day…  We would not have gone into Washington anyways, it would not have been any fun hopping on and off the bus and walking to the sights and it would have been terrible for taking photos.

Tomorrow is forecasted to be a better day so we will get into Washington after the rush hour is over.

Till then….

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