I finally got around to upgrading my home network from 802.11b to 802.11g tonight. Wow! I wish I had done it sooner. What got me off my duff was walking into CompUSA and seeing a Netgear 802.11g router on sale for $29.99 after manufacturer’s rebate. At that price, you can’t afford not to upgrade. I’m a big fan of Netgear networking hardware. The first wireless network I installed in my house was a Linksys. When I had to upgrade the firmware on the Linksys router to VPN out and the upgrade blew away all the router’s settings, I bought a Netgear router and have been happy ever since. Netgear just works!

Also on the hardware front, I ordered a new laptop today: a Thinkpad T42 with a 1.8 GHz processor and a gig of RAM. My old Thinkpad, which is two years old, has gotten old and slow. It’s too underpowered to run Microsoft Virtual PC, which is an essential tool for folks who run alpha and beta software (especially unfinished operating systems). While I favor Dell desktops, I wouldn’t even think about buying any kind of notebook other than a Thinkpad. You can take them anywhere in the world and plug them into any wall outlet and any projector and, like Netgear, they just work!

I’ve been watching CNN and Fox News to keep up with the aftermath of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean. The news hit close to home because my wife and I vacationed in Phuket, Thailand earlier this year and came to love the place–indeed, the whole country. We stayed at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket. I imagine the hotel was hit pretty hard because it’s right on the beach. My wife and I still laugh about a young Thai girl we met who said “Is this your first time in Thailand? You’re so white!“ She worked in an open-air souvenir shop on the beach. I hope she wasn’t working the day the tsunami hit.

One of the things we loved the most about the Sheraton was the elephants that roamed the grounds. Here’s my wife with her pal Ning-Ning. Now there’s something you don’t see every day in the U.S.!

I got a new CD for Christmas that I absolutely love: Best of Sixpence None the Richer. It’s in my CD-ROM drive right now pumping out great tunes while I type. Sixpence is one of those rare bands like the Gin Blossoms whose music just seems magical to me. Leigh Nash has a voice like an angel. Too bad the band recently broke up.