I hopped into my car and made my way to Tyson's Corner, where the Apple store is. I had no idea there was an Apple store there before I looked that up today. It's the first one on the east coast according to Apple's web site. I picked up my Airport card there, and was tempted to pick up OS 10.2, but I was spending enough on this wireless stuff already. Back in Maryland, I stopped by CompUSA and bought a Linksys access point.
All in all, thing went together smoothly. The Airport card went in with a minimal amount of muss and fuss. My main problem was the smallness of the parts. The Linksys took a little more effort, mostly because my desk is wiring hell.
I am security concious. I restricted access down to computers with approved MAC addresses. I did try to turn on encryption, but that did not work out too nicely. Since I don't see sending secure information across this network, I am not too worried. I am mostly worried about unapproved folks hopping onto my network. I will take another stab an encryption later on.
As a token of victory, I am writing here, on my bed, with my laptop in lap. This was not painful at all. The signal level drops a little in my basement, but is otherwise unaffected much. That is good. On the other hand, I do have a very small house. Most folks won't be this lucky with signal strength.