No, I'm not talking about the transit system, Canada Post or even me. I'm talking about the wretched wireless internetworky thing in Chateau Ricardipus, which is giving me grief. And impairing my blogging.
Figure 1. Wireless router (detail).
Usually blasting along at a laser-fast* 54 Mbits/second (say what?) and using some arcane security protocol called WPA, the thing has decided over the last few days to tick over at rates down to 1 Mbit/second (still don't know, but it seems slower, doesn't it?). My lovely laptop now seems to notify me about once every two minutes that the wireless is connected, which I interpret as meaning it's probably falling off and on with some regularity. Of course, these problems are never consistently repeated on the even lovelier Mrs. Ricardipus' laptop (which is newer and spiffier, if running Windows Vista which is indeed the work of the devil).
The old chugger of a desktop downstairs is perfectly happy, being tacked into said wireless router with an honest-to-goodness "cable". And plugging this laptop beastie into said "cable" seems to work fine as well.
1) the wireless router is intermittently knackered (seems likely); or
2) the wireless card in this laptop is crap (also seems likely); or
3) the internet coming into the house via the devil's minions known as Rogers Cable is crud (more than likely to be sure, but I think not the root of today's evil); or
4) some spyware has hijacked one or more of our computers (unlikely, since I manically scan for the stuff more frequently than is probably necessary, and this computer has all kinds of pre-loaded junk that looks for it too).
Of course, the router manual is completely arcane, and for various reasons I have to log off and back on as an Administrator in order to get a look at all the configuration and setup of the wireless card in the laptop. Don't ask, I'm not telling. But it is terribly, terribly inconvenient and I rather doubt I would know what to look for anyway.
Nevertheless, it's resulted in a passable imitation of a rant for today's blog post, but has been really, really frustrating. Somehow, I managed to get the grant application I've been working on done on time (uploading the final file exactly six minutes before today's deadline), but looking up background information in the evenings at slow-to-no-speed-at-all has been a bit trying.
Just another chapter, you know, in my own little private War With Technology™.
In other news, the lovely Mrs. Ricardipus knocked my socks off by not only identifying a Maserati Quattroporte as she dueled its Ferrari-sourced 4.2-litre V8 with our Mazda-rrific 105 horse powerplant on her way to university one day, but actually bothering (and remembering) to tell me about it. She even liked the look of the car. There's hope for her yet.
She wasn't nearly as excited as I was to see a (admittedly ugly in that colour) silver-gray Ferrari 550 (or 575M? I can't tell the difference without getting a good look at the headlights) Maranello steaming by us on Saturday. Ah well, little steps, little steps.