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Welcome to the 21st Century, Bug!!!

Welcome to the 21st Century, Bug!!!

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Danny/Steve 2 Hawaii Five-O
So, I think I mentioned I finally got a laptop...but most of the past month has been spent using it as a DVD player and e-reader (for saved fics and books) as I don't have a wireless plan.

Before you think I drag the thing around everywhere with some sort of LAN cable attached, I must of course tell ya'll that my HOUSE is set up as a wireless network, with a cable modem and all, but I thought it didn't get access anywhere else.


Slade wanted to go to the McD's play place and I knew I'd be bored shitless, so I carted the 'puter with me to watch SPN (ha! too loud) or read--and OMG ya'll I have Teh Interwebz!!!! Evidently McD's has some sort of public wireless access!

(No, I am not really that clueless. I know the Library has this option; I've just never had the opportunity to use it. It just amused and pleased me to no end to find out McD's does, too!)

I think I need a "duh!" icon now.
  • *sidles up to the 21st century and looks around*

    I bought a netbook last month, which I've only used at home so far.

    So if I take it somewhere that has wireless access, my netbook will shout and point to it as soon as it powers up? That's how I thought it would work, and it sounds like that's what happened to you. :-)

    Enlighten me, o wise one! :-)
    • *scoots over to make room for you*

      In my case, I saw the spinning circle over the Network Connection bars (looks like stairs) in my taskbar and was like, WTF? cause everywhere else it just has an "x" over it to show there is no connection.

      So I opened the Network Connection and looked at what was there. Of course, there's like 4 options, but 3 of them said "private" (and wanted a password/SSID) while the one for ATTWIFI said "public" so I clicked it and VOILA! I get connected to the McD's wifi connection page that says I can now access the internet.
    • More of a whisper than a shout. *nods* Good to know! Thanks, sweetie!
    • ATTWIFI is available at a lot of places. My Android phone has a program where it will locate the closest one vs. using 3G service to go online because it's an AT&T phone. You can also go here and click on "Public Hotspot Locator" to find them, just in case you want to scope out other spots.

      They tend to do McDonald's and Starbuck's in my area and we're too small for that, but luckily two local restaurants have started offering free WiFi. Well, one's a convenience store with a restaurant in it, but still. Comes in handy if I need to look up something while eating out, but also helpful because I can refer people there if they come in looking for it at the library. We literally have nowhere for people to sit with a laptop, so we haven't offered it. We've got two chairs wedged into the place, but we're bursting at the seams.
      • Thank you so much for that link. I was a little creeped out that once I chose Las Vegas, my location was smack in the middle of the grid (and I live off to the side of the city, so this doesn't happen on Google maps) but that helped me narrow down some locations.

        I didn't see anything specific, but you wouldn't happen to know what a typical coverage range is, would you? I only ask because my work internet is a closed system and there is no way for an outside computer to log into the network and I like to surf the web at lunch. I can do it on my work computer, but the IT guys have blocked sites like youtube and other video/music sites & Software.
        • I think range depends on setup. Type of router, building design, that sort of thing. Too much brick or metal in between you and the open router degrades the signal. The library kills a lot of cell phone signals, including my own, but I'm not complaining, because it keeps a lot of people from carrying on conversations about their colonoscopy (true story!) at full volume while in the library.

          Our building finally got a locked WiFi system for City use only (read: not the library for some reason, grrr), but I finally got access because there have been times our side of the building would lose our internet connection (we have a separate receiver for our service) and I can run the library off my tinky little personal netbook by using the WiFi. I also have the password in my cellphone, but I don't use it much, it's a "just in case" thing.

          Since you're in a major city, you might have a lot of open signals around you. A lot of hotels and coffee shops have them, but some hand out a code to log on, but I've seen more places offering totally free access. You won't know for sure until you take it in and see what pings. If your cell phone is a smart phone, it can also search for WiFi signals around you too. In both cases, it will say what's available, what's open and what the signal strength is.
  • You know what? I was so glad to hear from a "real" Mother, who admits that going to places like that (McD's) is boring! I get irritated with family and friends that make Chucky Cheese sound like soooo much fun. When I see them after the trip, they look wrecked. But none will admit that it's a)stressful, b) not that fun for adults and c) they feel like they need a shower and a spa trip afterwards.

    Have fun with your new computer and discover all the free wireless places and enjoy. :)
    • I hate the playplace because all the kids are so horribly behaved and it seems like there's only one adult for 42 kids, and she's not watching. (Yeah, as opposed to me who looks up only when I hear my own kid misbehaving/screaming).

      Oh, and the only way I don't kill all the kids at Chucky's is to buy $20 in tokens and play skee-ball all afternoon. I have a half dozen ticket vouchers sitting around the house somewhere, waiting for redemption.

      Hell, even the park stinks. No really, it stinks--as in there is some sort of ridiculously funky air there. I think it's that homeless guy sleeping under the tree.

      But, I love my kid. And since I kinda can't stand the only kid his age in our neighborhood, I take him places to play or whatnot whenever I have a day off.

      Thank you, and I will. Only, my battery is like half charged, so now I wish I'd brought by AC adapter!
  • LOL.
  • *grins at you* Glad you found this out! I also use my ipod (touch version) at McDs for the same reason :D
  • Yay for Buggy!

    Just be really careful when using public wifi... if you don't have to enter a username and password, anything you do can be intercepted by anyone who's looking, and it's ridiculously easy to do so. As in, you can download free programs to do all the work for you..

    Who cares? Well, if someone were watching when you posted this from McDonalds, they got your Livejournal username and password. Check your email? They got your username and password... update Facebook? Username and password... you get the idea... and, there's no real way to tell if someone is monitoring or not...

    I don't even want to talk about what can happen if you log in to your bank's website and someone is watching...

    Edited at 2011-04-17 08:36 am (UTC)
    • Good to know; luckily, I didn't have to log into anything. I've got the whole fingerswipe thingy and I'm in...hopefully there's no backdoor for that!
      • Oh, no, what I mean is logging in to websites. Your laptop is secure, it's the wireless traffic that can be monitored. Even if you're not actually typing in your username and password (ie., your browser is already logged in), that info is still send when you post a message/check email/whatever. Using public wifi is just incredibly dangerous... smartphones that automatically log in to public wifi, and that automatically check your email every so often, for example, can give your info away without you even realizing it.

        Santa Monica PD busted this guy at a Starbucks just last month when an officer walked by him and noticed that he was using a wifi snooping program... if the guy had just kept it minimized, or the officer hadn't recognized it for what it was, no one would have been the wiser. Until he started using the info he had... they found hundreds of stolen credentials on his laptop... email logins, bank logins, online shopping logins... all sorts of stuff...

        All of my wireless devices are set to never log in automatically to public wifi...
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