Thursday, July 22, 2004

On Kids and Computers

(or, "Mike McComas is a Brave, Brave Man")

What an interesting day I had after leaving work yesterday.

Almost immediately after I posted about my wireless dilemma yesterday afternoon, I decided to take the plunge and get it over with.  It was only a matter of time, after all, and so it made sense to me that I should just go ahead and do it as soon as possible.  I purchased the networking gear online through Circuit City and used their Express Pickup Service so I could just stop by the local store and grab my order on the way home.

As I was driving home with my gear, I got a call from my friend McComas.  His girlfriend was at work and he had a softball game that evening, so he needed someone to watch their 7-month-old daughter Kiersten for a little bit.  I'm more than happy to help out my friends, and he didn't have anyone else he could ask anyway, so I said I would do it.  He probably thought Brandi would be there to do most of the babysitting, but she was at work.

When I got home I immediately started working on establishing my wireless network.  I managed to get the router set up and configured before McComas got there with the baby, and then I started on Brandi's laptop.  I thought I'd get that one out of the way first since it's had so many issues with the wired network and I wanted to see if those would continue, and also since installing the network card wouldn't require any disassembly like the desktop computers would.  That's where I was when the baby arrived.

I've made no secret in this blog about my general disdain for small children, and that's been the case for a long time.  I've always avoided babies whenever possible, so I know very little about what in the hell to do with them.  As such, having one be utterly dependent upon me for even a short period of time was a bit of a culture shock.  I thought I would be able to continue with my networking tasks, but that didn't really happen.  Kiersten, unlike me, is something of a people person, and she got a little fussy whenever I wasn't holding her.  Put her down, she screams and cries; pick her up, she giggles and bounces.  Babies are weird.

Anyway, she was there for about an hour and a half.  In that time I did manage to finish configuring Brandi's laptop for wireless networking--I had absolutely no trouble--but that's as far as I got.  I'm sure McComas feared for Kiersten's life on his way back from the softball game, but she was fine.  When he got there, he invited me to a cookout one of his softball teammates was having, so I headed over there with him.  I got some free food out of the deal, and there were a couple of people there that I knew, so it was pretty cool.  Of course, several people there besides McComas had young kids, so that was a little weird.  The kids themselves were fine, but I found myself in a crowd of people approximately my own age, and the dominant topic of conversation was children.  Blech.

I continued working on wireless installation when I got home from the cookout.  I tackled one desktop before Brandi got home from work, and the second one afterwards.  I love doing that--opening the towers and working inside.  I got a bit of a surprise with the first one, when I opened it up to find I didn't have any open PCI slots.  After a few moments of pondering, I took out the modem.  I've had the computer for almost two years and the modem has never been used--I don't even have a phone line in my apartment--so I thought that was a pretty safe bet.  Other than that, the installation was pretty smooth.  I had some small issues with the second desktop, but that was mainly because the computer is old and it's still running Windows 98.  I got it all taken care of, though, so my apartment is now fully wireless.  It doesn't matter a whole lot now, except for the newfound connectivity of Brandi's laptop, but it'll be great when we move into our new place next week.

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