I took the laptop over to Best Buy yesterday morning to have the Geak Squad check out the wireless capabilities. I've never attempted a wireless connection. Turns out that with the laptop being about 5 years old, the internal network card wasn't working so I had to buy a card. My original purpose for doing this is so that we have the laptop available next month while TMann is in the hospital. I know that my Sis will be spending a good deal of time there for a few days. So I decided to make sure that she (and I) could use the laptop with their Wi-Fi network while she's there if she wants to do so.
When I got home and got the card installed, I opened up a whole new world! I've temporarily hooked into a neighbor's wireless network (thank you whoever you may be!) and am really enjoying it. I can hang out in the livingroom and play around on the Internet. I don't have to park myself in the office and work at the desktop computer. However, because I don't know where the wireless connection is coming from, the signal is not real strong and therefore not real reliable. Also, because the signal is pretty weak, I don't have all of the same capabilities. I can't do download or instant messaging and Internet pages are slow to load.
The bottom line here is I've nearly convinced myself that I better see about setting up my own network setup. It might force me to get more use out of the laptop. It's just been sitting around gathering dust for the last couple of years except for any occassional use once in a while. Besides, the couch is much more comfortable than the diningroom chair in the office.