Moving onward in my incident: One of my friends recently suffered the catastrophic loss of her computer to accidentally dropping it. While the hard drive is reported to have come through without loss of data the logic board didn't, and so a replacement is on the way. That may seem to have nothing to do with chat about the wireless network in my home, but, trust me. What the loss of the computer did was get me properly scared about the dangers of my own computer and that I don't do backups nearly often enough. I do them sometimes, and had a 120 Gigabyte external hard drive pretty much filled up with copies of my home directory from different times, roughly once a month, as well as grand strategy video games that I don't play often enough to keep on my hard drive, but often enough that I don't want to keep re-installing them. And every now and then I get to burning a DVD with parts of my home directory, since even my photograph directory is too big to fit on a single DVD.
What I obviously needed was to get a hard drive to use with Time Machine, since it's designed to just make regular backups when it can access the hard drive and that's that. The utterly insignificant question which had left me in paralyzed helplessness was first, whether to buy a ``portable'' hard drive, the kind that's powered just by a USB cable, or a fixed external hard drive which requires its own power supply. The advantage of the portable would be, of course, that it doesn't have to be plugged in so very much; the advantage of the external hard drive is that it's cheaper, or I could buy one with more memory, depending on how you want to interpret things. And then Apple went and confused everything by introducing Time Capsule.
Time Capsule is the sort of thing which leave you wondering why nobody did this before: a hard drive, intended for use as a backup, which connects by wireless so you don't have to do anything but have your computer somewhat near it. The disadvantage is it costs more; the advantage, the easier it is to use the more likely it is I do use it. I was incidentally amused to discover in a blog discussion about Effective Backup Methods a person taunting all the Mac users who praise Time Capsule for its ease and convenience on the grounds that if the Time Capsule fails then where are you? How you back up in a way which can't ever fail I don't know.
Trivia: In order to aid the United States's war effort, the civilian production of toasters, percolators, griddles, waffle irons, and heaters ended 31 May 1942. Source: Don't You Know There's A War On?, Richard Lingeman.
Currently Reading: Project Pope, Clifford Simak. Robots creating their own Pope so they can have a truly infallible religion, and the humans who drift into their lives ... this is so Simak.