5 points if you can name the comedy song the title is from, minus 10 is you have to Google it.
I have finally entered the wireless networking age. Although I ran CAT5 cable throughout my house when I built it four years ago I have yet to make use of it. All my computers have been in the study and within reach of my router. My old router was playing up a bit and I needed a way to get the Wii on-line. A good friend had a spare Linksys WRT54GS that he has passed on to me. These seem to be highly rated, partly because you can replace the firmware. I have looked at some of the alternatives, but I don't see any reason to change it just yet. My networking needs are fairly basic. It has the usual web-based set-up screens with loads of options. I made the essential changes to the passwords and it seems to be working, including the Wii which is in the next room. This configuration will also give me more options for where I use my work laptop when I have it here.
I know I could open up my network for others to use, but I'm not sure that there would be much demand. The neighbouring houses are not too close and those who need internet probably already have it. I would have to be very sure of not compromising my own network security before taking such steps.
Getting the Wii on-line was just a matter of finding the router and setting the password. This now gives me the following possibilities:
- Linking to friends. This is the main reason as we have friends with Wiis. We can send them messages and move our Mii characters across.
- Shopping channel. Nintendo allow you to buy various games from older platforms to download using Wii Points. You can buy these or you get some when you register products. I have a few, but they are not showing up after I logged in via the Wii. How do I get my points and what should I buy? I could get the Opera browser for 500, but some more games might be welcome.
- Forecasts and news. Fairly basic weather and news pages with some fancy graphics. We can get more information via the Freeview text service. The problem with these if that they seem to need the Wiiconnect24 service to be running in standby mode, but I can't see why they should. I don't really want it on all the time as it will use more power and there may be a small risk of overheating. I don't plan on leaving the router on all the time anyway.
- Network games. Thos ought to be something big, but there do not seem to be many games that allow for network games. A few can swap scores and levels, but that's not too exciting. There's a new chess game, but I find it hard to get worked up about that.
The other recent networking change is that I now have 20Mb broadband instead of 4Mb, but am not noticing much difference. My rare big downloads may be quicker, but general internet seems much the same. A reason for changing was that I also get more free landline calls that may actually save me some money on the phone bill.
I just heard a newsreader refer to the 'Information Superhighway'. Does anyone say that apart from newsreaders and politicians?