You can even find hotspots in Interstate highway rest areas and truck stops.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983
T e c h n o f i l e
Finding hotspots and dealing with big videos
July 15, 2007
By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2007, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2007, The Post-Standard
It's time to catch up with the mail again. Let's start with a question
about wireless networks.
How easy is it these days to find public Internet access while
traveling across the country? I can imagine it's probably pretty
sparse once you get into the countryside. -- T.J.A., via
Finding hotspots (wireless access points) while you are away from home
can be difficult. There is no reliable way of knowing where they are.
But you'll probably find hot spots in major hotels and motels, in
public libraries and in businesses such as Starbucks coffee houses and
even MacDonalds restaurants.
Increasingly, you can find hotspots in Interstate highway rest areas
and truck stops. This can be a handy way to check your e-mail while
But if you can afford the service, a much better option is a
high-speed wireless adaptor for Windows and Mac laptops. They work in
most areas, even out in the countryside, and even can be used in a
moving vehicle. The cost is steep: $60 to $80 a month. They're offered
by some of the major cellphone service providers.
My sister took videos of a snowstorm. They're huge. One is 34
megabytes and the other is 75 megabytes -- much too big to send in an
e-mail. Any way I can do this? -- M.T., via Road Runner.
I wrote about Windows and Mac software that can convert videos to a
different (and smaller) format recently. Go to
www.technofileonline.com/texts/tec052707.html (Windows) or
www.technofileonline.com/texts/tec052707B.html (Mac). But no software
can work enough magic on a 75 megabyte file to turn it into something
that can be mailed. ISPs usually limit everyone to attachments of no
more than a few megabytes. I also doubt that the 34 MB file can be
shrunk enough, either.
To share a long video recording, you could make it into a video DVD
and send it via standard postal mail. Or you could upload it to
YouTube (at www.youtube.com) and e-mail a link to your friends.
(YouTube rejects videos larger than 100 megabytes or longer than 10
I want to have my own Web site. I am a writer who wants to publish on
the Internet. I do not enjoy interacting with computers. All I want to
do is send in a manuscript and have it published in the same format I
submitted it. Is this possible? -- D.A.W., via adelphia.net.
Yes, it's not only possible; it's easy -- as long as you're willing to
interact with the computer a little. If you're able to use a word
processor or do e-mail, you won't have a problem putting your own
writings onto a personal Web site. Such sites are called Web logs, or
There are many blog providers. The one I prefer is Blogger. I wrote
two articles about using Blogger:
I just changed from a Gateway PC to an iMac and am confused because
they sent me a mouse that has no right click on it and my grandson is
trying to play a game and needs to right click for the game. Can I get
a mouse with a right click on it? -- J.H., via Road Runner.
All desktop Macs come with Apple's Mighty Mouse, which has two-button
functionality. You can't actually see two buttons, however; the mouse
senses which part of the mouse your finger is pressing and signals a
left click or right click that way. But if you have an older,
single-button Apple mouse, you can plug any two-button USB mouse into
your Mac instead.