Even though I’m on call over the holiday, the bone marrow transplant unit is quiet enough that I’ve been able to get out of there at a reasonable hour for the past two days, and spend some time working on setting Shannon’s office up. I mentioned before that the office is far enough away from the main net connection that we decided to use wireless networking rather than string (and hide) a cable all the way through the house. Yesterday, I was able to install a wireless card into her computer, but instead of seamlessly adding the desktop machine onto our network, I learned that Windows ME had an entirely different idea. The operating system acknowledged the card’s existence, and I could even half-configure the settings, but beyond that, I was the card’s bitch. “WiFi access point? What access point!?! You will struggle and curse and click on every single option, and yet I will still deny the existence of the access point!” Fucker.

At first, I figured that the antenna on the card was just too weak to pick up the signal from the front of the house, and spent a little time fiddling with alignment and whatnot, to no avail. Then, I set my iBook on the desk and turned it into a wireless access point, but the machine wouldn’t even see that. Lastly, I thought foul, foul thoughts about WinME, and started backing up all of Shannon’s files so that I could erase the worthless operating system from existence (well, at least in this house).

Not surprisingly, after a 40-minute installation, Windows XP instantly recognized the wireless card, and more importantly, recognized the wireless network. The signal isn’t strong, but running over 802.11g, it’s still faster than our Internet connection (which actually says a lot), and did I mention that it just plain works? That’s the key; I may not be sophisticated or nothin’, but I’ll take a working network connection over one that doesn’t work any day. WinXP also acknowledged the existence of the UPS, the combo FireWire/USB 2.0 card, the CD/DVD writer, and my JumpDrive, all of which made me much less interested in throwing the entire jumble of metal, wires, and glass through the window and into the sunroof of the sparkling new Passat sitting down below.