Difference between mobile and wifi access

It came to my attention this week, when I was working with some older people , that they do not  necessarily make a distinction between mobile/cellular access and wifi access. Some did not know you could turn your mobile data on and off to save money or, as was the case, turn it on because you have no wifi access. Older people have grown up on wired technology and the wireless was a radio which ran off batteries. To them wireless can just mean it does not have wires and so no, it cannot be assumed they distinguish between mobile data use and wifi access. It means they won’t distinguish between a portable radio and a DAB one either. It is really important everyone would know the difference between mobile access and wifi access both so they can derive the cost benefits but also for personal safety and security reasons.

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Linux Mint 17.2 Raphaela

Raphaela desktopI first encountered Linux Mint 17.2 when I installed it on an HP desktop computer in 2015. 3 years later and I have just installed it on my vintage 2006 HP Compaq Presario V6000 because the Linux Mint Nadia was unsupported. I was actually wondering whether it would run  or not. As it turns out it is running beautifully and very fast . I have a 1.6Ghz chip , 75Gb hard drive and 1.5Gb ram. I really was not expecting 17.2  to be this efficient. There are a couple of issues , though. When I first put Linux Mint on this laptop because it was struggling to run Windows I lost access to wifi capability. No amount of installing Broadcom drivers helped. Not working with Linux Mint 17.2 either and I have tried everything. I have used every fix I can find on the net and everything else I could think of. I am running wifi off an old D-Link wifi adapter. I have a nice little D-Link DWA-131 but that doesn’t work on Raphaela and doesn’t work on Ubuntu 16.04 either. Works instantly on Windows. The fixes do not work. My old D-Link adapter is reliable across all operating systems. That’s interesting.

I can’t load Virtual Box, which I was hoping , and have tried different versions. No matter. I have it on Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04. I probably don’t have enough system resources to run it on this Compaq . There is no excuse for the wifi, though . I have read that the onboard wifi card  for this V6000 can just stop working. Why? I have so much vintage technology which still runs fine and to different degrees to efficiency.

The two other odd things about 17.02 on this laptop is the driver manager doesn’t open first time. I always have to click on it a second time, then I have had tabs crashing on me in Firefox, a new experience for me, so I have downloaded and installed Chromium.

Apart from the things mentioned I am really pleased with how this is all going on my old laptop. This is the one I take out and about and I used to use a mobile stick with it which meant it didn’t matter if I could access wifi or not. Now I have to access wifi with a clunky dongle but I am in no way complaining. I live in 2018. I need wifi.  I have yet to see if it will run off a mobile hotspot.

The graphic display on this laptop is still excellent and it loads programmes like Gimp really quickly. It is working really well. Sometimes you just need to be using  an older laptop because you don’t want to put your new one at risk for whatever reason. I like the keyboard on this and it has stood the test of time since the keys are not worn in any way. Raphaela is cruisy and has given my old Compaq such a cool makeover.

Dual band wifi

dual band wifiImage: Asus

So should you use 5GHz or 2.4GHz wifi and what are they? The picture from the Asus site explains it well. 2.4GHz is the old standard which is used for roller doors, phones, the  now old wifi connections and gadgets. I now have dual band with my nbn connection. I have set my iPad to 5 GHz and my phone on 2.4GHz and I’d set a laptop to whichever one depending on what I was doing…choices! My desktop has an ethernet connection but if I were to run it on wifi I’d be choosing 5GHz because this is a very graphics capable  and dedicated machine. How-to-geek explains it in detail and in a good way so that you properly understand the reason for both wifi bandwidths and why there are times you should be running on ethernet connections. Ethernet is solid, stable and will not put your computer under unnecessary strain especially if you are running video, image and fast changing content. If you are installing connections, operating systems, downloading videos and software an ethernet connection is preferable for stability and ease of data downloads and  smooth connection establishment. There is no strain on anything.

Set up a mobile phone hotspot

Dottotech’s video is more comprehensive and goes more slowly but for some reason WordPress won’t let me embed it. You can find that video here. A lot of people already know how to turn their mobile phones into hotspots. It means you are using your 4G network to set up your own wireless hotspot which you can connect to. I use my old Samsung Galaxy Express to be the hotspot and then connect my laptop , phone or tablet to that. It means I am running a separate sim card but for that I use prepaid and can make the data choices which suit me and my needs at the time. You may not have wifi access. Not all places can easily offer free public wifi. I live in one of those places. You also might want to do it for security reasons so that you are on a safer network. It can also be a life saver if you need wifi but have no other way of getting it . Yes, it runs up your mobile data costs and you need to be aware of that, but there are times where it becomes a good option for you . If you are unaware of the option you cannot choose it. It is simple to set up and it works well.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 2017

Maslow's hierarchy of needs This revamped version of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been making the rounds. I found this one on Twitter by Morten Øverbye. It’s something which has sparked some good discussion on his feed. Adding battery and wifi to the hierarchy of needs acknowledges we have become technology dependent. Does it mean we can’t be stable and secure without them? Is it a first world problem? To have battery there is a bold statement about how we have failed to address the basic requirement of a technology society. We are constantly interrupted by failing batteries, batteries which have a short life, places which don’t sell the batteries we need,waiting for the right battery to be delivered. It really is an implementation problem in our technology paradigm. As for wifi, yes, we are looking for that everywhere, but we also have mobile coverage which can alleviate the problem if we have the money to pay for it. Do we need batteries and wifi before food and water? I think not, but as someone points out , we might need our location services to find food and water. Interesting remodelled hierarchy to ponder and a sign we are changing as a society and that Maslow’s will need to be upgraded.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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