A Visit to Fry’s

It's been a while since I have been to Fry's but I needed to get some gears today.

Wi-Fi stuff – Annoyances of being wire-bound finally got to me.  So I picked up some Wi-Fi PCMCIA cards and a Wi-Fi router/firewall.  It's amazing how cheap the stuff is now.  I paid $29 per Wi-Fi cards and $49 for the Wi-Fi router/firewall, both made by D-Link.  They were actually $49 and $69 respectively, but I lucked out and got $20 rebates on each of them.

External USB hard disk – I didn't want the hassle of upgrading the internal hard drive so the only remaining choice was an external hard disk.  I went with Maxtor One Touch 250G which was priced at $279.  Isn't it annoying that external drives cost about $100 more than the internal drives?  Someone must have read my mind because they charged me only $179 for the drive when I got to the counter.  Weird but I wasn't going to argue with them to charge me more, so I was smiling on the way out.  Heh.

I also had to get a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card for the laptop because my Dell laptop only had USB 1.1 support.

Now it's time for a bit of ranting.  I can't use Wi-Fi and USB 2.0 at the same time because both the Wi-Fi PCMCIA card and the USB 2.0 PCMCIA card has bulb-like ends.  They are all right if only one card is like that but you can't insert two such cards at the same time because they both extrude in the same direction (normally up).  If different direction is problematic they they should have at least made one card types longer.

Update:

I guess you get what you paid for.  I got Wi-Fi working but when I started looking around the D-Link router admin console to increase security, I found that D-Link is rather lacking.  For example, I found no way to restrict access to a handful of MAC and WPA didn't seem to work.  Windows Wi-Fi control panel being confusing didn't help either.

I wonder if NetGear is any better.

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