What can I un-wire next?
Because I'm all hot on this wireless thing now, I did a little research into the subject, with the question "How much stuff can I make wireless?"
See, when I bought my Inspiron, I made a conscious decision to make the unit as portable as possible - and that meant outfitting it with as much integrated wireless stuff as I could. My Inspiron has wireless a/b/g and Bluetooth - all integrated. The only wireless thing I didn't opt for was the AT&T/Sprint wireless because I have absolutely no use for it.
Being that I got all this wireless stuph inside my laptop, I'm going to make the most of it - that's what it's there for.
The first thing I found out is: Serial connections absolutely refuse to die.
Got an old printer? Turn it into a wireless print server. And yeah it will plug into that big nasty Centronics port in the back of that old printer. I mean, sheezis.. you could even make a DOT MATRIX printer built 10 years ago into a latest/greatest wireless print server. Crazy but true.
Alternatively, you can Bluetooth your old printer. Slick.
To note: The reason this means anything to anybody is because you can grab an HP Laserjet 4 or 5 which prints perfect laser copies - and instantly network it. No worry for USB's, network cards or any other of that crap. Just plug in and go. That's what I call backwards compatible in the best sense of the phrase.
(And yes I plan on buying an older Laserjet 4 or 5 and doing just that. All inkjet printers are garbage.)
The second thing I found out is: If your computer has USB, you don't even need to crack your computer open to go wireless. And if you don't have USB.. um.. get a new computer. 😉
But anyway, going wireless with USB is so cheap it's ridiculous. Like 17 bucks cheap.
Basically put, wireless is now cheap. It didn't used to be, but now it is. A wireless router is 65 bucks. The USB stick is 17 bucks. And you can outfit your printer to go wireless for around 50 or 60 bucks. If you have a relatively recent computer with at least 2 USB ports on it you're good to go. Sheesh, even if you have 1 USB port you can still get a USB hub and turn that into 4, cheaply I might add.
Those who would ask "Wireless? Why? What's the point?" The point is portability. If you decide to move a computer from one room to another, you turn it on and your internet is there. You can place your printer anywhere in the room, or a separate room, or the garage if you felt like it. And let's not forget, no wires to trip over, save for one power cord.
I think it's just plain cool and I'm glad I did it.