Tuesday, 01 February 2005, 11:50:43 EST

I touched up my friends links and my general links. Instead of the friends links pulling from the database and tracking clicks, they are now just standard links. For some reason the old page would randomly decide to not send you to the link but instead send you right back to itself. I have no idea why and don't really care to figure it out. As for the general links, I never really read two of the three "Daily Web Journal" links so I replaced that section with something a bit more interesting mathematics links! I hope to add more links to the list as I come across more sites that impart mathmatical information in a way that is either intriguing or easy to understand. When I get stuck on a math problem I turn to Google and usually find something to point me in the right direction.

This past weekend I learned why I am not very excited about publicly available wireless access. It is a lovely dream, take your laptop to some location other than your house or work and actually be able to browse the internet and do other online things. What is my problem with it? If you don't live a major city, and I mean really live in it and not just say you do like everyone who lives "in Atlanta," then your possibilities of getting wireless access outside of the home or office are very slim. Sunday, I came to the conclusion that my apartment might be without electricity until some time during the week. So, I dragged my roommate around two towns looking for internet access so that I could do something other than walk around stores. We first tried Barnes & Noble in Morrow; I knew that wasn't going to work but I figured we would at least give it a shot since it would have been a comfortable environment. After sniffing out the SSID I connected to the network and proceeded to try and browse the web. What happened? I was greeted with a page asking for my username and password to Freedomlink with every web page I tried to visit. So now I have another reason to hate the yuppie bookstore they charge for a service that other people provide for free to attract business. Good job BN!

There is no way I am going to pay $3.95 for internet access for two hours so we went over to the Dunkin' Donuts in Morrow. I got a donut and some juice and sat down to use the wireless. After I figured out the SSID I fired up GAIM to test out the connection. One of the instant message protocols connected and the rest hung up. After determining that I could ping the wireless router but all traffic was stopping there I talked with the people behind the counter. It seems they had just got on the phone with their tech people about a problem with their computer. Great. That was two down.

After Dunkin' Donuts we drove by campus to see if it was open. Sadly, public safety still had all the entrances blocked off. So, I continued on my quest to find internet access "in the wild" so to speak. There was one last place I could check a coffee house that just recently opened in Stockbridge. They were closed but I thought that maybe they left the wireless access open since most people wouldn't think to turn it off. I was able to pick up the access point but it was unresponsive.

There are whole cities that have free public wireless access but I couldn't even so much as check my email in the part of the metro Atlanta area where I live. Some places like BN get it wrong while other places like the Dunkin' Donuts in Morrow try to get it right but don't have the technical capability. Sure, there are places like http://www.wififreespot.com/ that will tell you where to go for access but if you can't get online in the first place what good does that do? I won't be excited about public wireless access until it is so prevalent that one would have to question why it isn't available instead of marveling at the fact that it is available.

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I've had best luck obtaining free WiFi at Panera Bread and Krystal.

Posted by William S Graves Jr. on Tuesday, 01 February 2005, 23:22:40 EST.

It is a novelty at this point. More of a promotion for your business, since any configuration help would be fruitless for a store employee to provide.

There are roads in Europe that are experimenting by putting in wireless access points in street lights. I think that is needs to be a government run infastructure because of the size and the costs of maintainance. Before anyone groans about a government managed wi-fi network, just keep in mind that they did a good job with street lights and interstates.

Other than that - Travelodge surprised me when they offered wi-fi access when we broke down coming back from vacation. That was a helpful resource.

Posted by Mr Frosti on Wednesday, 02 February 2005, 17:06:11 EST.