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It’s A Wonderful Wi-Fi World


On my last trip back to the UK, I carried with me an old laptop that didn’t have an Airport card. This meant I had to figure ways to plug into someone’s broadband if I wanted to keep the site going – or, more likely, resort to dial-up and the slow speeds of uploading photos. Or else not update the site at all.

But here in ’06, every laptop (including my new one) seems to come with a Wi-Fi friendly airport card, mainly because there seems to be a Wi-Fi hot spot everywhere you turn. Sometimes these spots require payment, like at Newark Airport (the physical Airport, not the kind of computer card) where I had two hours to kill and couldn’t resist spending the time on line. Or, sometimes a friend shares their password for their Network, as per the person I’ve been staying with in London.

And sometimes you get lucky: I showed up in Beverley, a little concerned as to how I’d hijack my mother’s new Broadband connection considering she’s on OS9 and I’d forgotten to bring a US-UK phone plug adaptor. Lo and behold, the moment I open up the laptop, I’m asked if I want to join a network called Conexant. (The answer, obviously, is yes.) I can only assume this network belongs to one of my mother’s neighbors who’s kindly decided to share his bandwidth without putting in the usual requirement for a password. Thanks to you, my anonymous friend, I can keep working and playing from the comfort of the spare room, which is where I’m sat now, happily typing and uploading to my heart’s desire.

I often wonder how Jamming! magazine would have fared had we had mobile phones and laptops and Wi-Fi back in 1979, rather than me having to illegally leave the school yard at lunch to make fruitless phone calls with a limited number of 2p pieces, or write up the last pages of the magazine by hand on the bus en route to the printers. Obviously, it would have made my life easier. But when I think about it, I don’t know that it would have made Jamming! any better…

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