Since my post above, I ended up buying a couple of toys to play with. Kind of fits with my nag about copper is money.
So if you want to take a look at a dirt cheap WiFi adapter and some instructions on using it, follow this link.http://www.instructa...ur-8266-module/
I could be way off base here, I think this is the way forward. I'm so distracted with family stuff I've hardly had time in the last year to solder stuff.
That being said, I have three cellphones that act as WiFi hot spots, it was only a $5/month option so I got it on three. This isn't counting my other WiFi junk, just how low the entry is for a WiFi hot spot. If you already have a WiFi network, no additional cost.
I've also been reading up on the ESP8266 modules. Pretty much a stand alone processor with WiFi that handles all the negotiations. IOW: Instead of writing things like 'PING' on the Atari side, you just issue a PING request to the module. There would still be a number of things that have to be taken care of like a static IP, but there are several outfits that maintain your current address, whatever it may be or become, and direct traffic accordingly. The modules themselves are less then $5.
The only gotcha is the modules are 3.3 V. I stared at that for a while, thinking I would use something like a 4049 CMOS hex inverting buffer with 3.3 V regulator and the MPP handler to just hang it off a joystick port. After a while I thought it would actually be useful to hook it to something quicker then 300 BAUD so I came up with something equally as retro. What should be done is a 1489 with a 3.3 V supply doing the level translation and inversion. That scheme would open it up to anyone with a joystick port, which I dare to say is most people here as well as people with Black Boxes and PR:Connections to higher speeds.
So it kind of appeals to our demographic. [regulator, ESP8266, 1489] ~$6 for people that want to build it themselves, cheap and simple enough that you wouldn't get gouged too bad by the people that like building this kind of stuff to cover their Atari habit. Last time I looked, Lantronic was around $100 w/o cables.