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Update, in which I reach new heights of incoherency

The 30th Skeptic’s Circle is now available for your perusal. The Circle is a regular run-down of interesting skeptical blog posts from around the Cyberweb, including a couple from yours truly.

That should keep you busy today as I shirk today’s blogging responsibility due to my inability to connect various thoughts together in coherent patterns. I had a late night, but it’s not what you think! I was up all night a.) upgrading Iggy the Powerbook to OS X Tiger (Rowr!) and then b.) setting up a brand-spanking new DSL connection. There were a number of minor problems (beginning with Amazon telling me that my order was delayed indefinitely and sending me across town to the Apple store to buy the OS after work, and then the T breaking down for 20 minutes, and then dealing with a half-broken phone line outlet and . . . okay, I’m cranky), but I managed to get the basics installed. Wireless hate

The only problem that remains is figuring out how to switch from using the ethernet cable to going wireless when Verizon only provides instructions for doing that on a PC. Thanks a ton, Verizon. Those of you with ideas or experience doing such a thing, please comment here or e-mail me at [email protected]. I have the Westell Versalink modem and my laptop can handle wireless, but I can’t figure out how to make the two shake hands and say “howdy,” let alone get married and make sweet, sweet wireless love to one another and produce a multitude of uploading/downloading network babies.

What did that even mean? I told you it was a late night.

Today’s blog image comes from the first return of a Google image search for “wireless hate.”

Today’s Quaker Instant Strawberry Oatmeal “Brain Teaser” is: “Which mammal has four knees and is the only mammal that can’t jump? A: The Elephant!” Note: this is not, in fact, a brainteaser, and for that matter it may not even be true but I can’t be bothered to look into it right now.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Most DSL modems and routers these days can be configured via web interface, so all you'll have to do is find out what address to go to to configure it (usually 192.168.something.something, where the "somethings" are numbers between 0 and 255.) The precise address should be in the documentation somewhere.

    I did some quick Googling and it looks like the default address for that modem is, but some ISPs have custom firmware installed that might change that.

  2. In response to the most frequently asked question from e-mails thus far received: my computer has no trouble seeing wireless connections and hopping on connections that do not require passwords. When I try to connect to the one that I'm pretty sure is my modem, it asks for a password. Nobody ever gave me a password. So I thought there must be some intermediate step I'm missing, but perhaps not — I may need to bite the proverbial bullet and call tech support. Blah.

  3. Most wireless access points and wireless switches have a default password when they ship. This is usually something like leaving the username blank and typing "admin" in the password field. One might wish to do a google for your specific access point brand and model and the words "default password".

  4. becca, I have a powerbook and a cable modem that we connect to (wireless). Feel free to give me a call for details. (and isn't X awesome? Widgets! Yay!)

    Have you tried setting up the router first with a direct ethernet connection to the powerbook, and then switching to airport?

    Sometimes if you go to the online chat help, they don't charge you, like they do for the telephone support. Of course, that assumes that you can get online…..

  5. I am happy to report that I am posting this from the comfort of my bed, competely uninhibited by wires. Hooray! Thanks to everyone for the helpful comments and emails. It did end up being a generic password that I was able to guess easily. Then there was some mix-up in which I could get on the network, it had a signal, but the computer couldn't get online still. I'm not sure what exactly I did, but something worked and now I believe I have the situation under control — and the password has changed, for those of you trolling Boston looking for a free connection.

    I also just downloaded Skype. I haven't felt this trendy since I joined Myspace (it was ages ago! I was young and impressionable! It was before it was cool! I swear!).

  6. I really need to download skype some time.

    And I installed wireless internet access (on my broadband cable connection that I've had for 5 years :p) just after I got back from TAM4.

    I can't believe I was already trendy before rebecca was, hehe …

  7. Congrats on being free of wires. Now you too can enjoy a life of dropped downloads, lost packets, and general wi-fi annoyances.

  8. I hate to wreck your day, but it doesn't sound like you have any encryption set up so anybody can use your wireless connection. That can be a headache but well worth it once you get it going. When I first plugged in my wireless card I could figure out why I couldn't see my other systems until I noticed I was connected to my neighbor's wireless. How that's done depends on your particular router and your OS (I'm guessing Mac OSX from the comments, I haven't read earlier blogs yet). I have no Mac experience but if I can get FreeBSD wireless a Mac should be easy!

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