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View Full Version : At an expense, I modernized my electronic equipment today...



Tycho
06-02-2008, 01:22 AM
I went to the Verizon store today.

I got a broadband card for my laptop so I can take the computer with me to dialysis now that I'll have to drive there and sit there 3 days a week for 3 hours each time.

In theory, I might get some work done. At least, I hope to distract myself from the rest of my medical experience.

Dang! I forgot to get one of those beanbag desktops. I'll get it tomorrow before my appointment. But yeah, I don't want the hard bottom of the computer pressing down on me for 3 hours.

Anyway, I'll also be able to watch DVDs on my machine, but I'll have to see how long the battery will last. It's supposed to go 3 hours, but you know how that is. Running a DVD will drain it faster.

Anyway, I also bought a blue2th. That will be so much nicer to use my cell phone with, and it's California law for when driving by July.

I had to get a new phone because the sales dude said that my old LG phone was not compatible with the blue2th. I guess he was right because my new phone has a blue2th mode. I stuck with the LG flip-phone because it's like Captain Kirk's communicator - and it's what I'm used to. I didn't want a slide phone or one with the keypad always exposed. I have friends whom I'd just spoken to, call me right back, because they put their phones in their pocket and the exposed keypad got depressed.

Anyway, I had amounted $100 credit for a new phone with Verizon's good-customer-program anyway. I just hadn't used it in years, because I don't like to bother, otherwise. I'm not a tech-guy and I still barely ever text-message. It irritates me to type that way. So no Blackberry - ever - so far as I've planned anyway.

Anyway, my new phone has an MP3 player, too. I doubt I'll use it. But it just did cross my mind to put songs on there and play them through my blue2th if I'm driving and decide I don't like my CDs and there's nothing good on the radio. But I'm not going to try that for a while, I think.

I'm not sure whether I'm going to be appreciative of new technology or not. However, now I have this thread to come back to and I'll let you all know after I've been using this stuff a little while.

I think the hands-free part for HOME USE will actually be most appreciated. We'll see if I use the broadband at dialysis or whether carrying extra stuff with me like a laptop and beanbag desk will just annoy me and cause me to forgo that in the future.

plasticfetish
06-02-2008, 02:25 AM
Seeing as how you'll be using the hospital's broadband, you should bring the computer for sure, and spend your time downloading bootleg movies from shady Chinese Web sites.

Tycho
06-02-2008, 04:08 AM
As I understand it, it's my broadband wherever I go. I'm calling in like a cellular to Verizon.

If the hospital had a wireless service, it would be Wi-Fi as I understand it. This is not a hospital however, it is a private company's clinic and they do not have the latest in digital ammenities.

I think you need a Wi-Fi card that picks up Wi-Fi signals to access that if a place has it (Starbucks typically have Wi-Fi signals I believe). I think my entire apartment complex has them, or at least certain areas do.

While he was visiting here, I think JediTricks logged on to a Wi-Fi system - probably my apartment complex's, though he might've been hitching on to a neighbor's signal, too. I don't know if he ever figured that out.

If I'm mistaken, he got his own broadband service and dialed in.

You know what I forgot to ask about? Does long-distance affect your service prices? Suppose I return to Louisiana to work at the setting of my action-adventure for the movie, for example? How about just going to Los Angeles? Or Indiana for another Star Wars celebration?

SirSteve could probably answer that as well - I think he uses his own broadband line wherever he goes. But the San Diego Convention Center (where Comic Con is held) has Wi-Fi for sure.

I guess you want to use Wi-Fi when you have a limit to your minutes or MBs with your broadband service. I bought unlimited for $60 / month. I think the only way I'll go over my download limits is if I try to download a full-length movie. My YouTube forays shouldn't affect my bill in the least bit.

I guess we'll see. This should be educational - and hopefully not expensive.

plasticfetish
06-02-2008, 05:06 AM
Sounds like what you've got (and I'm no expert) is a card that lets you connect through Verizon's network. They're your internet provider, and where you can find their service, you can connect to the internet.

Long distance shouldn't be an issue, seeing as how you're paying for "unlimited" access to their network. Not a bad price either. I pay around $50 a month for my home broadband (Comcast), though I do share that with a few other computers in my house. If it was just me, I'd probably go for a deal like yours.

"Wi-Fi" is just a wireless signal... like you'd find at Starbuck's, my house, or any other place that lets you connect to the internet via their wireless network. It's nothing complicated, and you can probably choose to use a place's Wi-Fi, or just use your own service if you want.

Chances are pretty good that JT was using one of your neighbor's networks (and I'm sure he knew it. ;)) which is pretty common for an apartment complex at this point. In our old complex, there was something like 6 or 7 networks going around us. A little confusing, but you can look to see whose network is whose, because they each have a name of some sort.

At Comic-Con, Steve and JT were using the convention center's (press area) wireless connection, which... as I understand it... sucked.

Dar' Argol
06-02-2008, 07:14 AM
What you got Josh is a Internet card. It allows you to access Verizon's network via satellite no matter where you are. It does not affect your phone service at all. There is no "long distance" charges because you connect to the satellite. Think of it as cable/DSL service that you take with you.

Wi-Fi is a term to describe a wireless access point like a wireless router. Most of your chic cafe's have them, i.e. Starbucks, Panera Bread, etc. Most hotels are offering Wi-Fi now to better service their "business customers". Wi-Fi is very limiting seeing you need an access point. The broadband card you have is non-limiting, you can use it anywhere and get service. You could be in the desert looking for your mouse droids and still tell us about it.

Tycho
06-02-2008, 03:54 PM
Do you think I can really find more Mouse Droids in the desert?

Tycho
06-02-2008, 04:08 PM
By the way, with regards to viewing YouTube videos, my DSL was a lot faster downloading than broadband.

Maybe it's just the net traffic today. But I don't think so.

In any event, posting here on SSG is just as fast and I notice no change.

However, I liked to be able to watch the lights flash on my extrenal DSL modem before to know that I was transmitting. Now I can't see my broadband connector because it's behind my laptop screen where my USB ports plug in (on the back of my laptop).

I don't know if the cell-phone type thing is called "a card," or it's something else. I have a side port for an actual card-shaped thing, but the folks at the Verizon store told me that the USB connector which also has a limited flash drive built in, etc. was a better value and more modern - as it would work with a new laptop should I one day need to purchase one, or put my connection on a friend's computer.

JediTricks
06-02-2008, 11:26 PM
Dang! I forgot to get one of those beanbag desktops. I'll get it tomorrow before my appointment. But yeah, I don't want the hard bottom of the computer pressing down on me for 3 hours.Actually, if you're still cold all the time, the laptop's warmth might help you out there. But it can get pretty hot, and needs some airflow, so it's probably not a bad idea to get some sort of thing to put it on.


Anyway, I'll also be able to watch DVDs on my machine, but I'll have to see how long the battery will last. It's supposed to go 3 hours, but you know how that is. Running a DVD will drain it faster.On my laptop, watching a DVD is actually better for the battery than anything else, but that's because Windows Vista has Media Center built in as an alternate operating system. In any event, you can bring your laptop power cord with you.


Anyway, I also bought a blue2th. That will be so much nicer to use my cell phone with, and it's California law for when driving by July.Bluetooth is the device, blue2th is the forumite. :D Get used to it fast, most folks I know who didn't get one until now aren't really comfortable with theirs yet.


I'm not sure whether I'm going to be appreciative of new technology or not. However, now I have this thread to come back to and I'll let you all know after I've been using this stuff a little while.Bluetooth is a gem when it works right, but is a pain when it doesn't.


I think the hands-free part for HOME USE will actually be most appreciated. We'll see if I use the broadband at dialysis or whether carrying extra stuff with me like a laptop and beanbag desk will just annoy me and cause me to forgo that in the future.Microwave, walls with metal (pipes), and distance are your big challenges for bluetooth at home. You and I have spoken on my bluetooth many a time, sometimes you could tell and sometimes you couldn't. It should work out well for you, but if it doesn't, LMK, I've been doing a lot of research on headsets lately, just bought my 3rd one (I have my old one from last year, my current one, and this new one is an update to my current one with better sound). But welcome to the 21st century.



Seeing as how you'll be using the hospital's broadband, you should bring the computer for sure, and spend your time downloading bootleg movies from shady Chinese Web sites.Actually, Tycho's laptop doesn't have wifi, for some reason.



As I understand it, it's my broadband wherever I go. I'm calling in like a cellular to Verizon.You're correct, except that it is cellular.


While he was visiting here, I think JediTricks logged on to a Wi-Fi system - probably my apartment complex's, though he might've been hitching on to a neighbor's signal, too. I don't know if he ever figured that out.It was the building's, it had the complex name, it was from the computer lab downstairs broadcasting into your apartment, I don't believe your whole building has wifi, just that part and you happened to be in range.



You know what I forgot to ask about? Does long-distance affect your service prices? Suppose I return to Louisiana to work at the setting of my action-adventure for the movie, for example? How about just going to Los Angeles? Or Indiana for another Star Wars celebration?Cellular pricing doesn't work that way, for phone it's either on the Verizon network and regular price, or roaming off the network and a hefty roaming charge; for your cellular broadband, you can only use it in areas that have Verizon broadband, not all Verizon areas do yet, so you can only use it where it is.



But the San Diego Convention Center (where Comic Con is held) has Wi-Fi for sure.They didn't actually, a 3rd-party company offered paid wifi, the same company who ran the wifi at Celebration IV, and it suuuuuucked - dial-up speeds. The only good wifi there was in the press area, that was free but it also had speed governing.



I guess you want to use Wi-Fi when you have a limit to your minutes or MBs with your broadband service. I bought unlimited for $60 / month. I think the only way I'll go over my download limits is if I try to download a full-length movie. My YouTube forays shouldn't affect my bill in the least bit.Read your contract carefully about "unlimited" limits, normally you can download big files like movies, but if you do it all night and day constantly that's when they get mad. Youtube should NEVER bother them (though it'll stream a little slowly and choppily from what I've seen)



Chances are pretty good that JT was using one of your neighbor's networks (and I'm sure he knew it. ;)) which is pretty common for an apartment complex at this point. In our old complex, there was something like 6 or 7 networks going around us. A little confusing, but you can look to see whose network is whose, because they each have a name of some sort.Whoa whoa there, no way did I use the neighbors' broadband. All of his neighbors had passwords or were slow. :p

His building has free broadband, both ethernet and wifi.


At Comic-Con, Steve and JT were using the convention center's (press area) wireless connection, which... as I understand it... sucked.It wasn't THAT bad, it had these super-fast connection speeds that would then throttle back, that sucked, but it was a decent room, I'll definitely use it again should the need arise this year.



What you got Josh is a Internet card. It allows you to access Verizon's network via satellite no matter where you are. It does not affect your phone service at all. There is no "long distance" charges because you connect to the satellite. Think of it as cable/DSL service that you take with you. It's not satellite, it's EVDO cellular, it works the same way a cellphone does.


Wi-Fi is a term to describe a wireless access point like a wireless router. Most of your chic cafe's have them, i.e. Starbucks, Panera Bread, etc. Most hotels are offering Wi-Fi now to better service their "business customers". Wi-Fi is very limiting seeing you need an access point. The broadband card you have is non-limiting, you can use it anywhere and get service. You could be in the desert looking for your mouse droids and still tell us about it.Verizon EVDO coverage is about 50/50 in the California desert, but worse in the Nevada desert, here's the search I did with my zip code as the start, zoom out to see it, the blue areas are EVDO. http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/CoverageLocatorController?requesttype=newsearch&zip=90046&city=Los%20Angeles&state=CA&mapType=VZW%20FOOTPRINT

(I just checked Sprint, the other company with EVDO cellular broadband, their coverage is lagging WAY behind Verizon's area.)



By the way, with regards to viewing YouTube videos, my DSL was a lot faster downloading than broadband.

Maybe it's just the net traffic today. But I don't think so.

In any event, posting here on SSG is just as fast and I notice no change.I have similar results with my home wifi router, streaming video doesn't work as well wireless as it does cabled because there's more buffering and tiny starts-n-stops involved with wireless broadband. I would bet there's a way to turn up a buffer to avoid that, but I don't really watch a lot of video so I didn't bother finding out what to do.


However, I liked to be able to watch the lights flash on my extrenal DSL modem before to know that I was transmitting. Now I can't see my broadband connector because it's behind my laptop screen where my USB ports plug in (on the back of my laptop).There's a way to show modem lights on your Windows taskbar (the bar at the bottom of the screen).


I don't know if the cell-phone type thing is called "a card," or it's something else. I have a side port for an actual card-shaped thing, but the folks at the Verizon store told me that the USB connector which also has a limited flash drive built in, etc. was a better value and more modern - as it would work with a new laptop should I one day need to purchase one, or put my connection on a friend's computer.It's not a card, a card slides into the body, usually in a PCMCIA card slot. USB was the way to go if you don't mind it sticking out of the laptop.

Tycho
06-03-2008, 12:01 AM
Actually, if you're still cold all the time, the laptop's warmth might help you out there. But it can get pretty hot, and needs some airflow, so it's probably not a bad idea to get some sort of thing to put it on.

With dialysis and some medication they're giving me intraveneously while I'm all hooked up, I'm regenerating red blood cells (which carry oxygen and heat the body). I'm actually not so cold any more. I think people used to get cold on dialysis because in the past, they didn't know to do that.

In any event, I discovered that if you move the switch on my climate control for my apartment to the side opposite the selection for heat, there's something called air conditioning. I'm using it very mildly now.


On my laptop, watching a DVD is actually better for the battery than anything else, but that's because Windows Vista has Media Center built in as an alternate operating system. In any event, you can bring your laptop power cord with you.

My power cord has a transformer that's like a brick. My laptop is a 2004 model. I'm going to go on Dell's website and see if I can't order something smaller that I keep in my Jeep all the time (to plug in AC at the clinic). But this way I don't have to crawl under my desk to unhook "the brick" from the wall either. In other words, I'll have 2 power transformers; one will be for while I'm on the go.



Bluetooth is the device, blue2th is the forumite. :D Get used to it fast, most folks I know who didn't get one until now aren't really comfortable with theirs yet.

I don't like wearing something in my ear. Maybe I'll look at full headsets. I think that's what you use. But I typically don't get phone calls (except when it's inconvenient) so I don't wear the Bluetooth but put it in my shirt pocket and hook it over the edge with the ear hanger. Then I put it on if I must use it. At home it will be nice, as my cell has free long-distance, but now I've made it hands-free.

Blue2th takes 2 less characters to type, so it's also convenient. I wonder why the device is called a Bluetooth anyway?


Bluetooth is a gem when it works right, but is a pain when it doesn't.

Mine has NOT not worked.



Microwave, walls with metal (pipes), and distance are your big challenges for bluetooth at home.

I stopped climbing into my microwave now that I've gotten older as I find that I can't fit inside of it anymore. Plus I overcooked that squirrel when trying to follow Mike Huckabee's recipe and it wasn't pleasant.

I don't know if I have metal pipes, but I hope I don't have led pipes. They cause cancer even though they can prevent Superman from watching you change your underwear in case he turns out to be gay or something.

The difference between Lois Lane and Louis Lane is only one letter.


You and I have spoken on my bluetooth many a time, sometimes you could tell and sometimes you couldn't. It should work out well for you, but if it doesn't, LMK, I've been doing a lot of research on headsets lately, just bought my 3rd one (I have my old one from last year, my current one, and this new one is an update to my current one with better sound).

Since I've never tried a lot of this technology, I have no idea if it really requires that much research, but I guess it does. So thank you for your offer. I may take you up on that.


But welcome to the 21st century.

My pleasure. Like I said, I also just re-learned how air conditioning works.

JediTricks
06-03-2008, 12:47 AM
With dialysis and some medication they're giving me intraveneously while I'm all hooked up, I'm regenerating red blood cells (which carry oxygen and heat the body). I'm actually not so cold any more. I think people used to get cold on dialysis because in the past, they didn't know to do that. Dang, that's pretty nifty then.


In any event, I discovered that if you move the switch on my climate control for my apartment to the side opposite the selection for heat, there's something called air conditioning. I'm using it very mildly now.I was about to ask how that was possible, since when I was there you were running the heater AND the air conditioner at the same time... then I remembered it was summer and "the heater" was you leaving all the ****ing windows open. Make sure to tell Frank about this whole "using the A/C" thing, that was one of the things about you that set him off when I mentioned it on preview night. :p


My power cord has a transformer that's like a brick. My laptop is a 2004 model. I'm going to go on Dell's website and see if I can't order something smaller that I keep in my Jeep all the time (to plug in AC at the clinic). But this way I don't have to crawl under my desk to unhook "the brick" from the wall either. In other words, I'll have 2 power transformers; one will be for while I'm on the go.Mine also has a brick on it, but it's only 4 inches long so it's still portable. I bought a super-cheap surge protector which plugs into it, adds another inch.


I don't like wearing something in my ear. Maybe I'll look at full headsets. I think that's what you use. But I typically don't get phone calls (except when it's inconvenient) so I don't wear the Bluetooth but put it in my shirt pocket and hook it over the edge with the ear hanger. Then I put it on if I must use it. At home it will be nice, as my cell has free long-distance, but now I've made it hands-free.My new ones are in-ear which generally I hate, but these fit ok and are super tiny and lightweight. My old one hooks over the ear so the weight isn't in the ear, but it also went in the ear. I tried the ones that hang in front of the ear, and would have preferred that design because I have small ear canals, but they didn't sound as good (that was a while back, these days try something like the Samsung WEP430 that's over-the-ear, water-resistant, and supposedly has great sound, I just ordered it for my mom). And it'll be nice to not have to use your damned speakerphone, that sucked.


Blue2th takes 2 less characters to type, so it's also convenient. I wonder why the device is called a Bluetooth anyway?Named after a Danish king who was famous for bringing factions together.


Mine has NOT not worked.Return it, get a different one. I've found Amazon's bluetooth return policies are very good.


I stopped climbing into my microwave now that I've gotten older as I find that I can't fit inside of it anymore. Plus I overcooked that squirrel when trying to follow Mike Huckabee's recipe and it wasn't pleasant. When it's running, you'll find bluetooth is compromised, staticky, if you're within about 20 feet of it. You'll probably also find your EVDO broadband is similarly compromised when it's on if you're that close.


I don't know if I have metal pipes, but I hope I don't have led pipes. They cause cancer even though they can prevent Superman from watching you change your underwear in case he turns out to be gay or something.

The difference between Lois Lane and Louis Lane is only one letter.Oookay. Anyway, pipes aren't the only things that can be metal, there's also wiring buses, fuse boxes, large joist joiners, other crazy stuff.


Since I've never tried a lot of this technology, I have no idea if it really requires that much research, but I guess it does. So thank you for your offer. I may take you up on that.The research is because there's so many out there with different features, battery strengths, different fits, etc..

JediTricks
06-04-2008, 03:37 AM
Something I just read said that Verizon has their 3G service capped at 5gb, I don't know if that's per day or per month or per what, but they DO have a cap. Nice, very classy. :mad:

Tycho
06-04-2008, 04:32 AM
I don't think I'd use that much at all.

I buy the occasional iTune, with usually less than 10 purchases in a month.

I play a bit of YouTube / MySpaceTV.

And I post here and on a couple other forums and check my e-mail, which might have the occasional pictures sent to me.

I doubt my useage really amounts to anything.