My family rocks

Today I got a UPS package from the fambly containing a buttload of candy for Easter in addition to my birthday booty. I opened the package right away because I smelled food through the wrapper and didn’t want it to go to waste if it was baked goods, etc. I was trying to be good and not open my gifts until my ACTUAL birthday, but I figured any presents would be wrapped. This was a faulty assumption, as the presents were “wrapped” in a bag from the Apple store. As I am the only person in my family who is a Mac user, I knew they didn’t reuse a bag lying around… :) But still trying to be a good boy, I didn’t open the bag, even though I could pretty much see through it. :) After talking to my parents on the phone, though, they said I should just go ahead and open it. So I did.

My parents got me an Airport Express, the audio cables for it, and a little USB remote control gizmo… I had asked for the Airport Express as my current access point is 802.11b, which isn’t a problem as far as getting to the outside world (since 11Mbps is much faster than my cable modem), but any internal transfers dragged pretty bad. While my current condition prevented me from setting things up as I really wanted, I set it up rube style just to play…

First off, my current router/access point sucks (Thanks, Belkin!), as there is no way to disable it’s wireless capabilities… So I am currently squandering a channel for no good reason… I think my dad still has my old SMC wired router, if so I’ll ask him to bring it up next time they visit so I can ditch the Belkin POS. Anyway, I couldn’t easily get to any Cat-5, so I just stole a connection from my Mac workstation, which is being phased out anyway.. Hooked it up to the Belkin, plugged it into AC, and fired up the Airport Setup gizmo on my Powerbook… It saw the device lickity-split, and the configuration was a breeze.. Within no time flat it was setup and ready to go… The software even detected the firmware was out of date and updated it for me (after asking me, of course).

So that was pretty painless… Then, after went to bed I decided to really risk life and limb and see if I could hook it up to my stereo to test the AirTunes feature. I opened up the box of cables, took the RCA cables (it will take some real reorganization behind my stereo to use the TOSLink cable, and I’m not up for that yet). Anyway, I hooked up the cable, fired up iTunes, and enabled AirTunes in the preferences (which was probably on by default at some point and I turned it off). The Airport Express showed up in the drop down at the bottom of iTunes and right away I was able to play music through it.. So this also replaces my old Slimp3 player, which I haven’t been using since I don’t leave any computer on 24/7 anymore. I’ll miss the display of the Slimp3 player, but it simply isn’t realistic in our current apartment.

I haven’t played around with the remote or anything yet… But all in all I had some nice geeky fun tonight, and it’s not even my birthday yet!

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