View Full Version : wireless laptop or maybe set top box?

03-09-2001, 02:10 PM
Can someone help me with a solution that will be best fit for my 70 year old mother? She wants to have Internet, primarily for email I think. She is not well, so would be best with something eg a laptop where she can sit in different places in the room eg in armchair or at a desk. An added complication is that my father has Alzheimers. Mum would rather not have to connect to a phone line by a wire as Dad could trip over it, pull it out etc. Also she wants something she can put away that he can't fiddle with. Is there a solution out there?

03-09-2001, 06:14 PM
The solution won't be cheap, but it can be done.
A set-top box with infra-red mouse/keyboard is one way, but can't honestly say if we can get them in NZ yet.
Alternatively, you could use a notebook with wireless ethernet. You would then need a wireless ethernet access point, which you could plug into an ADSL router (I didn't say it was cheap, did I). Otherwise, you'd need the wireless ethernet hub connected to a PC that dials the internet and runs something like wingate or uses the features in Windows ME.
I hope this helps.
Rob Clarke

03-09-2001, 06:24 PM
You could use something like the solution that I use at home. I have a wireless card (Cisco) for my laptop, and that connects to an Apple Airport wireless BaseStation which in turn connects out to the internet.

In my case, the base-station goes into my ADSL router. But the Apple also comes with a built-in 56k modem, so you can equally well use it for a dial-up internet connection (though if you can afford it ADSL is so much faster!!)

The Apple Base station is really designed to work with Apple Mac's, but will work fine with a PC too. The only thing you need to get it working with a PC is the configuration software - there's a free configuration package on the internet called Freebase:

They're not so cheap here though (over $1000 retail for the base-station and probably about $300-400 for the card for your laptop).

There's also a D-Link option .. see

This combines a wireless card and wireless access point as well (actually you get 2 cards) for $1350 retail, so would give you all you need.

Finally a number of recently released notebooks actually include wireless LAN access built-in to them ... you need to look for a standard called 802.11b.

If you get a notebook with wireless LAN built in, then you won't need a wireless card for the laptop .. which'll save a bit of money.

Hope this helps


04-09-2001, 12:31 AM
Dick smith has this:


Unfortunatly its IHUG only, although i'm sure it could be hacked.

Personally I don't like the idea of being stuck with one ISP as they have less of a reason to be concerned with quality of service when your stuck with them.
I would look for a more generic one.

04-09-2001, 07:11 AM
Yes, the Ihug surfboard is in a mailer I got this morning, and at $453 you don't have to worry about crashing windows and reinstalling everything. Limited but cheap and simple.