Mom’s Upgrade, Phase 1

It’s spring! Spring! Yay! KNow what that means?
No, not baseball, not walks in the woods, not hayfever.
It means it’s time to get my mom back on the ‘net.

This has turned into a yearly ritual since my mom started snowbirding down to Florida to visit with her friend Cindy every winter. In the fall, we bow thrice toward Verizon to tell them to shut down the connections, and in the spring we bring everything back up.
2 years ago, we switched from 28.8 dialup (no, really) over to DSL from Verizon. Rapture! Bandwidth baybee, and no beep beep boop beep badeep boop … sccrrrllllrrrrrcrunnnchhhh sounds whenever Mom wants to check out a new book or a movie review.
Course, DSL requires some more brains on the computer side, and Mom’s Macintosh Beige G3 (a whopping 233mghz, with 96 meg of RAM) is starting to look a little long in the tooth.
On top of that, I must say, not being able to play with jboat while visiting is frustrating, and using Mom’s mac was painful (what drug-crazed lunatic decided to put the little nipples on the home keys… NOT ON THE HOME KEYS?! On her mac, they’re on the ‘k’ and ‘d’ key, as opposed to the ‘f’ and ‘j’ keys, where GOD INTENDED THEM TO BE. Thou shalt not relocate the nipples!)
Anyway, getting this poor machine reconfigured each year was getting painful. I was dreading doing the setup each time it came around on the calendar. It’s slow, it’s creaky (mmm, 4gig hard drive!) and all the effort in the mac world is being put into OSX stuff nowadays, which is fine n dandy by me.
I picked up a Purple 400mghz iMac about 3 months ago, vowing to replace mom’s G3, for $150. Not too shabby, but it needs some upgrading. $100 for 512meg of RAM, $40 for a new hard drive, some copies of OSX Panther and the machine is starting to get respectable.
But, it isn’t ready yet. And mom’s home. What to do?
Aha! I also was getting annoyed at driving the DSL modem off the Beige G3 with Remote Access, And gosh darnit, I wanted wireless access.
Linksys to the rescue! A mere $60 at Circuit City, (and $20 rebate on top of that!), some quicky cabling, and voila! We have wireless, we have DSL, we have a G3 that starts up without requiring a connect, and I can type on the laptop from the living room.
Gotta admit, Verizon was great on the phone, even though I didn’t use One Of Their Blessed Platforms (mac or windows – I was configuring from my Linux laptop). The Linksys BEFW11S4 router was very inexpensive. And setting up the mac was pretty simple.
Ain’t technology grand?


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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