Adventures In WiFi

Believe it or not, this all started when I bought my Kindle Fire e-reader, last week. I’ve had a “Grey Kindle” (Kindle 3) for about 18 months, and was used to how it worked. The Fire is quite another story.

First, the Kindle 3 or other models like it which I call “The Grey Kindles” all operate on a 3G network which is operated by Amazon called the Whispernet. Once you’ve registered your devise (and named it) with Amazon, you can download books (or media) into your devise through Amazons Whispernet, free of charge.

You can either do your ordering on the computer and send it to your Kindle, or like me order books through your smartphone (my Samsung Galaxy) and have it sent directly to  your Grey Kindle ( mine is named “Pinky”).

However, The Kindle Fire works on a totally different principle. It only uses WiFi to deliver media to your device. So in order for your Fire to work, you must have your own WiFi hookup at home, or if you are daring, use a public access WiFi network (like in Starbucks, McDonald’s, etc).  Or if they allow you to, at work.

My adventure started because I brought a Fire, brought it home and it was practically useless. This was unprecedented for me because, I as a rule research stuff before I buy it. Had I known I would have to go through so much to get the thing to work, I would’ve left the darned thing in the store. . .

I currently have cable as my internet provider. When it was originally installed like four years ago, the guy hooked me up with free WiFi (which he wasn’t supposed to do – what a VERY BAD man. . .), and I had a keycode everything. However, since that time, my Mom passed away, and several traumatic experiences occurred and I forgot the keycode.

Now every GEEK knows, you should have a Big Chief Book where you keep all of the codes for the sites you frequent. Yes, I have an old fashioned telephone book which alphabetical tabs, and I list my sites and codes that way.  Yes, the keycode for my WiFi set up should’ve been in there too. Only problem is, I HAD a Big Chief Book, but I haven’t a clue where the thing is.. . .

Talk about hiding things from one’s own self. . . . .

So, typical geek, I started playing with all kinds of possibilities, words, names and number combinations I could have used, to no avail.

So, I took everything one step further, I called the cable company and explained the situation and asked what can they do. Oh, they can send a technician out to my house to reset my wifi code. But guess what? Since they previously had no knowledge of my ever having wifi, I would now have to PAY a monthly fee for it!  :+/

So, I took the drastic action of ordering CLEAR. CLEAR is a wifi company which rents a wifi device or devises to you for a monthly fee. They provide package plans where you can order a home hook up, or a combo home and on the road (portable hub) for starting at $50. per month.

I ordered it Thursday (08/30/2012), it came Friday (08/31/2012) and I had it set up and running within fifteen minutes. Unlike cable with runs on a 3G network, CLEAR runs on a 4G network, which is much faster.

I’m very satisfied with my service so far, but for one tiny problem. I can’t access my wifi network to use my Fire. . . . .   Don’t ask why, but for some reason my customized password does not work. . . . . I’ve tried numerous times to no avail. I will have to chat with one of the support techs soon. In the meantime, my Fire was still useless.

So, on Saturday I purposely stopped at a local McDonald’s to have lunch. While I sat there I logged into their free wifi network and first, registered my Kindle Fire and two, started shopping and downloading some of the stuff I had in the Amazon Cloud.

You see, Amazon holds all of the stuff you buy on their cloud servers. I have about 700 books on Pinky (my Grey Kindle) and I wanted to transfer some of the stuff to FRYA (my Kindle Fire), so I downloaded like 100 books, plus my bibles. I even received a nice email from Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, thanking me for registering my Kindle Fire . . . . .

So far everything is working fine! I just have to clear up that minor issue of the wifi this week. And, bye the way, Cable IS history. . . . . . . .


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