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walkerj

 
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Member Since: Feb 13, 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA, USA
Posts: 1,186
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Mac Specs: 13" Macbook Pro 2.26Ghz Unibody 4G RAM 160G HDD Superdrive

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Not that this helps as such, but I thought I'd chime in since I had a similar type of experience not too long ago.

My wife was in the hospital (in Philly) for about a month, and you are correct that having a Macbook was a sanity-saver for her, even if it only was able to play DVDs or do iTunes. Fortunately, however, in the room that she was in was adjacent to a college dorm across the street which is probably where her Macbook was able to connect to an unsecured wireless. The signal wasn't all that great (3 bars or so on the Airport Menubar indicator) but the bandwidth was sufficient such that we could do iChat AV video conferencing as well as the standard web/email/IM stuff.

As for wireless broadband (cell phone) I'm pretty sure that there is a USB solution that you'll find to access your own internet. Though I would think that in NYC you'd be able to find an unsecured one to glom onto. I know that Macbooks are pretty tenacious in sniffing out wireless connections. There were parts of the hospital you could get a signal, and parts where it was completely shielded. Before my wife was moved from one part of the hospital that couldn't get the signal to another room where she could, I'd go down to the parking structure where I could get a signal and connect. So I'd be down in the corner there checking email and surfing the net!
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