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Friday 11 November 2005 12.16pm
Why such silly names? because the IT industry has historically tended to be led by "greebs"... that certain type of person who attends Star Trek symposiums, and instead of saying "hello" or "goodbye", say things like "greetings" and "farewell my friend".

So, any technologist worth his salt, with a worthy invention up his sleeve has to give his invention a silly name:
....witness the Java programming language, the Soap protocol, etc.

My favourites from the old days:

A Nibble is half a Byte.

Some techie devised something called CC (which stood for compiler-compiler). The next version was called ACC (for "another compiler-compiler"). The version after that was called YACC (for "yet another compiler-compiler").

Anyway, getting back to the original question about Wifi:

The 802.11g standard doesn't just give you wizzy speeds; it is also offers far greater security than the older 802.11b standard. Once you've got your router, the instruction book should explain how to set up something called WPA (don't ask!). In short, WPA "should" make it quite difficult for anyone to intercept your network traffic, whereas the older technology called WEP can be cracked quite easily.
I have a Belkin router, which seems to do the job. Despite all the wacky acronyms, the instructions provided with the router were quite explanatory.
Saturday 12 November 2005 6.22pm
And Jac didn't even mention Wifi dongles.

Poor Santa. I am not sure how he will cope if kids start asking for a Wifi dongle in their stocking. How high tech is Lapland?

So own up. Who has a wifi dongle, or indeed any other similarly named bit of kit. Presumably Sidhue, our very own Gadget Girl.

I'm still at the stage of wanting to get music from CDs to my new flashy phone, but haven't a clue how to do it. Our better computer, bought from Sidhue, is in a room which does not have a phone line. So I would probably like to use some sort of wifi.

Wifi for Dummies sounds good. Trouble is that I also need Mobile Phones for Dummies, Ripping CDs for Dummies, Downloading digital photos and editing for Dummies and a whole lot more. Perhaps starting with Knowing what you actually have within your home PC for Dummies, and what it all means.

Can anyone suggest a course, book, or even support group, for people who used to be reasonably technologically competent, but are now totally confused?

Instead of a book club we could meet to discuss Wifi dongles, presumably whilst drinking SE1cider.

My nine year old has put an end to his mother playing spider solitaire on the better computer by setting up password access. So it is now a computer dedicated to the playing of Rome Total War and similar. I feel very old.

Saturday 12 November 2005 6.52pm
I'm sure the judge mentioned 'Dongles' when he outlined conditions of my Restraining Order.
Saturday 12 November 2005 6.58pm
I will confess to having owned a bluetooth dongle in the past. Now have both bluetooth and wifi built in (largely due to periods of intense irritation at trying to get said dongle to work with WinXP native bluetooth drivers).

To answer Fabhat's original question, there are a few Mac compatible wifi dongles out there, but they're not that well regarded - one in particular has (according to a number of internet reviews) serious stability issues. The reason there are so few (compared at least to Windows wifi dongles) is because the Airport series is so good, stable and well supported. So not really any need for competing products. Would definitely go with Airport - the extra money will be worth it in terms of ease of use and stability.

Oh, and The Sarah, I just read your last post - to get something off a pc to a mobile phone - it's usually best to use bluetooth or infrared rather than wifi - your K750i doesn't support wifi. My old pc supports bluetooth - let me see if I still have that dongle. If so, can drop it round and try and get the two paired up.

Edited 2 times. Last edit at 12 November 2005 7.02pm by Siduhe.
Saturday 12 November 2005 7.55pm
Sounds great. In return we can offer lower tech things like roast potatoes, rhubarb crumble (with custard), and, just out of the oven, mince pies.

That said I, and others, know that Sidhue's culinary skills are equally impressive.

I am not so ambitous as to want to download music to my flashy new phone using Wifi. (I have just moved on from my retro-chic Nokia, which did little but make calls and send texts, and even then I hadn't properly mastered texts. Now I have one of those Sony Ericson jobbies with a two megapixel camera. Vital when playground conversation has moved on from what sort of car does your dad drive, to what sort of phone does your mum have.) I just want get stuff on CDs onto my phone using leads. But am also interested in linking that PC to the phone using Wifi, so my son can access the internet: regularly a requirement for homework. But first I probably need to investigate this thing called Broadband.


Is a native Bluetooth some form of native American tribe. Presumably dongles are what they collect, now that scalping in out of fashion. Or perhaps a species of dolphin.

Or better still, are dongles male merkins?

Thursday 17 November 2005 1.35pm
Ah, I left the dongles in the end. Too confusing. I picked up an airport card but that's given me some new problems (see below). Can anyone help me with this:

I have a wireless Netgear router plugged into the BT socket and turned on. I connected it to the Mac via ethernet cable to set it up and install it. It all seems to be in order (i.e all green lights on and working)
I also installed the said airport card and that seems to be working, as it shows up in the menu bar and recognises every network nearby. However, when I go to select MY Network from the airport menu, and the password prompt appears, my password doesn't seem to work. (I am using my demon password). Is this right? Or is the airport card password protected? Or is there something else I am doing wrong.
I am such a dunce with this wireless lark!! Help me, please.
Mr Fabhatx
Thursday 17 November 2005 1.52pm
It's not the Demon password that you should be using, it's the WEP password that you (presumably) specfied during the Netgear setup process or else the default out-of-the-box password. Have a look in the Netgear manual.

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Thursday 17 November 2005 1.57pm
Hi James

Thing is, the router was sold to me by a friend (all above board, honest guv!) so the default password will have been changed. Rather unhelpfully he didn't give me a manual.
What the dickens is a WEP password? And roughly where would I find the details to change it?

Mr Fabhat
Thursday 17 November 2005 2.04pm
If you're going to run a wireless network you need to secure it. One of the ways of doing this is a WEP password. The other commonly used standard is WPA. A good basic article is here.

I cannot stress enough how important this is if you don't want other people to be able to access your network. One of my neighbours regularly runs a totally unsecured network which I could (if I were tempted) just tag along on, use his internet connection, monitor traffic on the network etc, etc, etc.

I don't think you can change the WEP password without giving the original one first. Ask your friend. Or you can do a factory reset which puts all the settings back to the original configuration. Which Netgear router are you using (model number) ?I can probably find you a copy of the manual if it's a commonly used version
Thursday 17 November 2005 3.38pm
I'll find out the model number tonight. But that would be a great help. I definitely want to make the wireless connection secure so I'd really appreciate your help. Cheers
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