Hanging with the Snow Leopard

I’ve had a technologically challenging week.

I got a Bell TurboStick on eBay (rather, my brother did, since I didn’t have internet), that held the promise of anywhere-access internet. At home, traveling, anywhere at all. However, it didn’t work. And didn’t work, and didn’t work.

Meanwhile, I dunked my good camera along with myself on a canoeing trip. That’s why I have only one picture, of the canoe on the truck. The Before picture. It was a crazy trip, best summed up by “it’s only an adventure once you feel lucky to be alive”. We’re not positive whether we swamped 3 or four times, because they started to blur together, and my body was covered with scratches and bruises. By covered I mean green and purple bruises the size of my hand, populating my legs and arms like continents on the map. Luckily the canoe was not as badly abused. Camera did not survive.

Oooo, doesn't my truck look aMAZing accessorized with canoe?

After hours on the phone with Bell’s tech support (not bad service, on the whole!), and repeated visits to the local Mac store we established that it wasn’t the stick, it was my computer. Not the operating system, not other computers like mine, but just my computer.

So, many more fairly pleasant hours passed at Digerati, fueled with coffee and cookies, downloading updates and generally chilling with the MacDaddy, Benjamin, while my computer continued to not make friends with the stick, even after completely wiping the drive and reinstalling the OS. With my computer as naked as the day I got it, without the benefit of having internet after all that, I wanted to really cry.

Someone suggested throwing the newest OS on it, Snow Leopard. We did (Ben did), and it seemed to work! Oh frabjous day, “install successful”! Oh, wait… wait, a new error message.

Back on the phone to Bell. “Uhoh,” says Marie at Technical Solutions, “we don’t have software for that stick that’s compatible with Snow Leopard. That’s supposed to be coming out in August.”

At this point, I practically expected that.

She suggested a “workaround” that worked, although she sounded frankly astonished that it did. And since, I have internet!!!! It’s glorious. I can park on the side of a highway, and Google Map for where I’m headed. I can take the laptop in the barn and look up wiring diagrams. Or just lie in bed and play Scrabble. Life is good.

Imagine the freedom! I’ve never appreciated connectivity in such a way as when I had to drive someplace I could jack, beg, or borrow wifi just to check my email, greedily seeking quick opportunities to log in to Facebook for a minute. That’s all over. I’m a big big fan of 3G wireless. It’s a pretty good solution for these rural situations. And now I have two pretty new pictures of the desperately endangered mountain cat of the giant tail in cycle on my desktop.

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