I don’t know who the owner of wireless network 000DOB323970 is, but he’s my new personal hero. After exactly a month and a half without an online connection, I’m wired again. How this has happened is a mystery known only to the spirits of the internets, to whose fickle caprices I’m surely in debt. I’m considering a ritual sacrifice to demonstrate my gratitude. What do you think: my Blackberry or a goat?
Shortly after I moved into my new apartment downtown at the beginning of February, I abandoned hope of picking up a stray wifi signal near my building. A week’s worth of hunting, during which I carried my laptop around the apartment in every conceivable position and elevation, yielded diddlysquat. I have no idea what I would have done if I’d found a signal an inch from the ceiling, but I tried it. I joggled the PC card, read and re-read the unhelpful help guide, and tweaked countless advanced options. Nada. When you’re dealing with something as insubstantial as an electromagnetic radio wave, it seems counterintuitive to have to hunt for it. It’s like air; it just seems so simple and ubiquitous. It doesn’t look like it’s there even when it is; why should it never not be there? But not there is just what it was.
For 41 days my sleek laptop sat whirring quietly on my apartment floor, a throwback to the ‘80s. I fell out of touch with friends and family. My blog became a binary ghost town. Then, last night, while I was in the kitchenette cooking up some dinner, my laptop suddenly let loose with an electronic *ping* of joy. It was the kind of ping that a computer makes only if it has a good reason, and it got my attention immediately. I hurried over to see what was going on. There, at the bottom of the monitor, I saw something that made my heart leap: a little icon of a wirelessly connected computer. The angry red X that had lain over the little icon for so long was gone, replaced by dancing circles of the happiest color that exists: green – the color of life, of money, of spring, of go.