Today is August 2, 2011 — or 08.02.11, which geeks the world over are proclaiming as “Wi-Fi Day,” paying homage to the IEEE spec 802.11 which defines wireless networks.

I vividly remember the first time I used a wireless network. In the spring of 2003, I was working as a student worker in a computer lab at Lander University in Greenwood, SC, and our lab had gotten a test access point and PC Card adapters (remember those?). Imagine my amazement when I put in the card, installed the drivers, and was online. It was, in a sense, magical. No being tethered to a network cable (or a modem, for that matter). It was so incredible that when I left for the summer I demanded my parents get a cable modem and wireless equipment for the house — and the rest was history. I haven’t lived in a Wi-Fi-less place since — who would want to?

I challenge you to think of another technology that’s had more of an impact on our culture than Wi-Fi over the last 10 years. Without Wi-Fi, mobile adoption of social networking would likely have been stunted. Wireless connectivity — especially Wi-Fi — has likely been a huge part of why Apple is successful again. (Imagine the first EDGE-only iPhone without the Wi-Fi option — yuck!) The tablet computer is likely not even a thought without wireless networking.

Many of us take Wi-Fi for granted now, but it has brought us — and will continue to help bring us — wonderful new technologies that build on top of it. So here’s to you, Wi-Fi, on 08.02.11. Thanks for being there for me (most of the time, when I’m in range).


Nerd networking in Bluffton Tuesday at 6:30

[gmap width=’200px’ height=’120px’ zoom=’12’ center_lat=’32.2372725′ center_lon=’-80.8662327′ type=’G_STATIC_MAP’]Bluffton Web development and social media firm ThreeTenSeven is hosting a nerd networking event at Bear’s Comics in Bluffton Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM. This event should be attractive to any and all tech gearheads in Beaufort County and surrounding areas, so if you’re of that persuasion, come on out and meet up with some fellow nerds.