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OT/Computer Help

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by esoxhunter, Oct 16, 2007.

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  1. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I spend 3 months a year in Wisconsin in a camprground with no phone hookups. I am told I can access my email off the internet by traveling to a local library and using an "Airport Card" on a laptop. I have several desktops, but no laptops. I am partial to the Apple computers, but would consider a Windows unit. My question is, How is the best way to access the internet in my situation? And secondly, can I get by with an older type laptop; such as a G4 or ?? Again, all I want is to access the internet. I really don't want to invest a $1000 + when I can purchase an older model at 1/2 the price or less. Thanks. Ed
     
  2. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    As I am surely not a computer geek by any means it confuses me when I see these commercials of a guy out in the "boondocks" accessing the net using some "magical" access card. Evidently this is something only business's can enjoy and then only if the "boondocks" happen to be in Central Park in New York City. Anyway, from what I have gathered, to access the internet a person must have a laptop, with an "Airport" card, (if we are talking about an Apple laptop), and then must position his butt in the middle of a library's parking lot. Sorry for not being computer literate. Still I would like some input as to what type of laptop I can use for my needs. I would think an older laptop, without all the "bells and whistles", would suffice; as long as it has one of these WiFi cards, (or whatever they are called), in it. That's what one gets for going through school without the aid of a calculator, much less a computer. Thanks. Ed
     
  3. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
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    esoxhunter

    What you are referring to is usually called an Air Card. It works like a cell phone to access data over the cell carriers network. If you have good cell service in the area, odds are it should work pretty well. The cards start around $50 with a 2 year contract. The monthly charge can be from about $50 a month and up, depending on carrier and your usage. That was the one you referred to as the guy in the boondocks. Not all carriers have good service in all locations. Ask around and be sure they have a money back return policy if their network doesn't cover your area.

    The other cards are a Wi-Fi wireless access card that can work in hotels, airports, restaurants, and other areas that provide wireless accesss. Some networks are open and free to use and some others require a subscription. The subscription can usually be paid by the hour, day, week, or month. It's not always cheap either, and the subscription may not be usuable in too many places either.

    Both of these devices usually slide into a PCMCIA slot on the side of the laptop. Some Wi-Fi adaptors can plug into an open USB port and could be used with a desktop also. They don't work on the cellular carrier services, just the local wi-fi network.

    Satellite is also another option, but may require a phone line to connect. Some carriers don't require one. Shop around and ask questions.

    You can also connect a cell phone to your system with a modem. Not all cell phones are capable of this and it usually requires additional hardware. Some phones and laptops can connect by infrared if they are both equipped.

    You don't need a real heavy duty laptop either. Windows probably has more wireless options, but a Mac would do well also. Just that Windows is more popular/prevalent and is targeted by most wireless carriers. Some carriers are dismal when it comes to a Mac.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. luvnbearhugs1

    luvnbearhugs1 TS Member

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    Dec 18, 2006
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    One other note. Most of the bluetooth high end units (treo, blackberry's etc) can be used as modems with a laptop via the bluetooth technology. Verizon charges an extra $15 a month for the service and it requires a service pack download to your laptop and wireless device. Usually only works in urban areas but will work anywhere the EVDO network is available. I am not sure AT&T or Sprint/Nextel have this option. If you are a verizon user, it makes sense to look into it.

    Luvn
     
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