Thursday, June 16, 2005

WiFi Crash! Crap!

Dammit. After making my airport run this a.m. with the Sasquatch, I headed to Mayorga Coffee to settle in with the laptop, an iced latte and the Washington Post Jobs website. Unfortunately, my computer had other ideas. I have a Netgear WGB511 wireless card for my Gateway laptop. I think I paid $5 for it, after rebates. Only once since I've bought the card have I had any problems, until today. This morning, though, was a spectacular flop, with the computer crashing each time it tried to access the 'net and the damned Blue Screen of Death telling me there was a serious error. After forty-five minutes of nonsense, reloading the software, and multiple crashes, I gave up, took my sweating plastic cup of coffee and headed home.

I need to call Gateway, I guess, and see what the problem is. But, as some folks know, I have come to loathe Gateway. (Long story short there - my desktop, under warranty, stopped working last August. I only got satisfaction in November after I sent unpleasant e-mail directly to the president and the board of directors of the company. Funny how embarrassing the head of a corporation will get you speedy attention. I got a new computer out of it, but even that one is crappy and never shuts down unless I do it manually.) So, I'm just not looking forward to an hour on hold listening to the same four songs and the chirpy woman who tells you how much they love you. DON'T BELIEVE IT! NOOOO!

Sigh. It's times like this when I wish I'd just joined the cult and bought a Mac years ago. I've had the pleasure of visiting Apple in lovely Cupertino, California. I am proud to say that I brought the very first delegation from the former Soviet Union to ever visit Apple. A very, very cool woman at the Apple corporate office coordinated the visit for me and my guys. I had a great time there, especially playing with all the new Apple products while my guys listened to technical lectures on product testing. I got to see that ginormous "cinemascope" screen for the Mac before it was released. Man, that rocked. I also got to meet one of the original engineers on the Macintosh. He told me some awesome stories, including how Steve Jobs was such a bastard and rode the Mac design team so hard that they would find novel ways to get even with him. Jobs is a vegetarian, and, when he was a total jerk to them, they'd go out and get a bucket of KFC, eat it in his office and leave the chicken remains scattered across his desk. Now, that's one happy corporate atmosphere!

Right around the time that the engineer was sharing the love with me, someone rolled in the lunch for my group - prime rib and steamed asparagus. Someone passing by freaked out and started hissing, "Is Steve here? Is Steve here today? He's gonna shit a brick if he sees meat here!!" (The coordinator for my visit, an immigrant from Russia herself, had determined that "dead animal" - her phrase, not mine - was the best thing to feed a group of Eurasians. She was right. And I thank her for taking a risk with the boss. Prime rib kept them very happy.)

Okay, time to call Gateway and see what gives. Un-fun. Anyone have a recommendation for a decent XP-appropriate wifi card for my laptop if my Netgear problem can't be solved? (Keep in mind I'm jobless and broke.) Muchas gracias in advance for any advice anyone can offer. I'm a techno-boob. Man, I need a boyfriend who's a nice computer geek...

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