When I purchased my iMac, a wireless network card was an optional extra and I could not envisage a future in which my home contained a wireless network, so I went without. At the old flat, I initially connected to the router by a cable and then using a wireless bridge calgor scavenged from work.
My bedroom in Forest Hill is quite a long way from the router, which is necessarily located near the flat's only phone socket, and I was unable to configure the bridge because, helpfully, its web interface wouldn't run under Safari. Luckily, Airport Extreme cards are now dirt cheap. Unluckily, the one I bought on eBay went to my old address and suffered several annoying delays before finally reaching me last week. (In the meantime I have been using my ten-year-old, OS 9-running, tangerine iBook, which is beautiful as an art object but found modern concepts like, er, PDFs challenging.)
Fitting the Airport card entailed performing open-Mac surgery. The Internet suggested this was very much a one-spanner Haynes job, but the idea of hacking apart something which cost me a grand in 2004 and has since been the repository of most things I hold dear still filled me with horror.
In the event, it was indeed easy. I opened it up with my Swiss army knife, found the place for the Airport card, connected it, put the shell back together, and snapped one of the little plastic tabs that hold it in place - which is par for the course whenever I do anything involving little plastic tabs.
The seconds spent waiting for the startup BONG were tense indeed, but the machine booted fine, detected new hardware and connected itself to the house network, joining my iPod Touch, Kindle and iBook online.
I hope to be more active on LJ now that I can comment on everyone's journal no matter what style they use, and be reasonably sure that hitting Previous 25 won't make the entire system hang for no good reason.
I may even be able to stream music from iMac to iBook. Let's go and find out...