Mac laptops on vacation

Once again, I am amazed at my Mac… anyone who knows me knows I’m a true computer dork, but even though I’m an advocate of computers, they routinely suck, so I’m more amazed than most when they work right, or better yet, as you expect them to work. My iBook is frustration-free even when on vacation.

It’s got four ways to connect to the internet: Wi-Fi, wired ethernet, phone line or Bluetooth-enable cell phone. So if it’s possible to get on the internet where you are, the iBook can do it. The minimum I need is cell service, which is just about everywhere on the globe these days. All laptops today have two of those connection methods, many have three and a tiny few have all four. But the least expensive Mac laptop has all four.

OS X makes connecting trivial. With WiFi, you just open it up and it finds the network and you’re connected. This worked great at SeaTac airport, at the Taipei airport and at the hotel. The hotel was only difficult because they were prepping their pay-for-internet service which always causes problems (the Four Seasons, of all hotels, should give free Wi-Fi to its customers) so I had to call the concierge to get a username/password combo.

Right now, I’m dialed into a local ISP so I’m connected. But Gay’s iBook is also online sharing my internet connection over WiFi between our two computers. And to do that, I just pressed the Start button on Internet Sharing Network System Preference panel. I didn’t even have to tell it I want to share the modem connection (as opposed to one of the other 3 connection types) because it’s smart enough to know that’s how I’m currently connected, i.e., it doesn’t ask me stupid questions. Gay sat down, opened her iBook, joined the network and was online in seconds without a second thought. This is how it should be, but so often it’s not.

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