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Oz never gave nothin' to the Tin Man...

Tinman is the name of my Compaq Mini netbook. Twiki* is the name I gave to my wife's netbook, which is an EeePC. Both, at this point, run Windows XP. Yeah, I'm the big Linux guy, but as a web developer, I find it useful to have a machine running Internet Explorer that I can test against.

We got the Mini with a deal with Sprint. We get the card Bill Kurtis has been pushing, which would allow someone to use the Internet when far away from wireless access points, using the Sprint cell network for data. It also provides good and useful GPS information like location and speed and the way to the closest Sprint store. I got a netbook out of the deal (yay) but I live in a house with Wi-Fi and work in a dank sub-basement with Wi-Fi and sufficient network cables. I don't find the need to check email much when I'm not either at work or at home. However, K spends her day running around a lot. It therefore makes reasonable sense for her to use it. So she asked me if she could have it.

Let me cut to the end, of the story, just for a moment. The dingus, once set up, is set up. You have to reinstall the interface software, sure, but anything you plug it into should be able to quickly get online, because by plugging it in you've done all you have to do to log onto the network.

Unless you have some sort of problem with your USB. Which Twiki seems to have.

* In the beginning of the Mystery Science Theater take on Catalina Caper, Joel has the bots say their prayers, even for Twiki. My eldest asked "Who is Twiki?" This is the description I gave.

There was a show in the late 70s and early 80s called Buck Rogers. There was a character whose name I don't recall, who was a hyperintelligent computer which takes the form of a of a blinged-out hubcap. Being a hubcab, that character cannot move, so there's Twiki, who looks like a cartoon seven-year-old with a bowl cut frozen in carbonite, who wears the blinged hubcap like Flavor Flav wears a clock.

This caused my son to laugh out loud.

I know the time, boieee

The installer comes with the Sprint card, and I have installed it four times. I have talked to the Sprint helpdesk. I have tried this process on three (3) computers ( Twiki, Tinman and Maria, named after the evil Maria from Metropolis ) and the problem comes up only on Twiki. Yeah, I have other Windows machines I can test against, sure. But the take-away seems that there's something wrong with K's machine.

Just had a thought. K might not be running as Admin. In general, that's good, but if she is, she can't install the drivers in the protected places and thus can't get networking going. I thought she was running with Admin privs, but I do not recall. Still, that's worth a look. ETA I checked, and she's running as Admin. It isn't that.