Saturday, April 07, 2012

Laptops, WiFi & Family

This weekend, Roxanne and I headed home to North Carolina to visit family and to return her parents’ van, which she had borrowed to bring more of our stuff out of storage down to the ATL. I had Friday off for the Easter holiday, so it seemed like the opportune time to do so. In fact, I’m actually writing this on a Saturday evening instead of Sunday morning, and from my future in-laws’ dining room table instead of my home office. As much as I love living in the Metro-Atlanta area, it is good to occasionally get to come home to visit. We went over to my Gramma’s house Friday to have lunch with her, Mom, and my niece, and even found time to stop by and talk to my sister while she was at work. Of course, no visit home would be complete without me having to become the family tech support guy *grin*.

This trip’s tech support adventure, though, was pretty fun. Friday morning I headed over to the local BestBuy with Roxanne’s Dad to help pick out a new laptop for Roxanne’s Mom. Shopping for computer stuff is always fun, especially when it’s someone else’s money. After looking around a bit, I finally came to the conclusion that it really didn’t matter that much as far as hard drive size, how much RAM, et cetera. The most important thing was to pick one with a large screen so Mom could actually see the damn thing. So, we ended up picking out a Toshiba with a 17” screen. The fact that it also has an Intel i5 quad core processor and 6GB or RAM, was secondary (but still makes me jealous). Since I don’t live here anymore, I even mad Dad go ahead and get the one year of Geek Squad technical support, just in case.

Step two of tech support weekend was in getting the WiFi on the router to, once again, be password protected. When I left for Atlanta, and took my computer with me, the security for the router somehow got borked - I’m guessing, due to the fact that my computer had the Linksys software loaded on it, so was the master computer for the home network. The odd thing about it is, the name of the router reverted to the default name of “linksys” but somehow kept the password I had set for admin access, while deleting the WiFi password. Normally, I would have just connected to it via a web browser by going to and changed all the settings that way, but it wouldn’t let me connect. So, I had to go to Linksys’ website, download the ISO for the router’s software (we somehow lost the CD that came with it), burn that to a CD and install it on what is now the main working PC in the house. From there I was able to secure the WiFi with a passkey.

So, Mom has a new laptop so she can go anywhere in the house to get on Facebook (including the back patio if she wants) and the WiFi is secured so the neighbors can’t jack Mom & Dad’s internet. Mission accomplished.

And now, maybe, we can go through the stuff we still have in storage here and decide if we need/want to haul any of it back to Atlanta, or just wait until next trip.

~ JC
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