I skipped Sunday School today to install a wireless card in my little girl’s new Vista PC and add a wireless printer my wife bought last week to the Burke home network. I made it for church, so everything was quite successful, and enlightening.
As for installing my little girl’s wireless card in Vista, I went with a NetGear card because it listed “Works with Vista” on the box. I always bought Linksys in the past, but not a single Linksys card listed Vista as a supported OS on the box on the Circuit City racks. How lame! Vista’s been out about 8 months now. I didn’t need the potential aggravation, and the NetGear install was flawless, that is, once I figured out how to rig the PCI card. I didn’t know PCI changed! There’s now PCI-E x16 and PCI-E x1 apparently. My little girl’s new HP a6220n has 2 PCI-E x1 slots and a PCI-E x16 slot. My NetGear wireless card was the “old fashioned” PCI card. It clearly didn’t fit in any of the 3 available slots. Fortunately, the a6220n came with a modem in a traditional PCI slot, so I yanked that and put the NetGear card there instead.
As a hardware sidebar, the first thing I always look for when I crack open a PC for the first time is the number of RAM SIMM slots available. In this HP a6220n model, there are four slots, two filled with 1GB SIMMs for 2GB total memory with two free slots. It’s good to know I can easily double my RAM by filling the available slots with 1GB SIMMs. (Total RAM supported is 8GBs.) It’s this type of detail that I keep buying HPs. The last 3 machines I bought were HPs and I’ve been 100% happy with them. I wouldn’t think of buying another brand than HP for a desktop. I would only buy a Dell laptop though, for what its worth.
The HP Photosmart D7460 with built-in wireless is a sweet printer! I’m not much of a printer guy and haven’t had a printer connected to my office network since 1998, honestly, but I still love this printer. Wireless, a touchscreen that made connecting it to a secure network a breeze, Vista support, media drive, and it’s fast! I’m strictly Ethernet on my office network and still don’t have a printer, but when I upgrade to Vista I’ll have to go wireless just to see this printer on my network. Not that I’ll use it, but it will be nice to know it’s there.