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WiFi

Wireless internent access information. Free access, hardware, software and anything else I can think of.

Written By: Gary on November 9, 2011 One Comment

On the Detroit to Atlanta part of my trip, the gogo wireless on the airplane it was $4.95 for the whole flight, but they offered 15 minutes for only $1.95.

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I didn’t think that was too bad of a price, so I thought I might do it on the next leg of the trip. But they didn’t offer that option later on. Actually, it’s was only $4.95 for the whole flight (both flights) and I didn’t think that was too bad either. Didn’t airplane internet access originally start off at $10 or $15?

There were some services you could access like movie rentals and shopping. It also looked like it was set up for flight tracking, but that didn’t seem to be working. It knew where we were heading, how hight we were and how fast we were going (500+ miles/hour).

Written By: Gary on May 24, 2011 No Comment

Am I silly for wanting this?  It’s Seagate’s new GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage. It lets me have 500 GB of storage for my iPhone!!!

The 500 GB portable hard drive wirelessly connects to any Wi-Fi enabled mobile device, and can be used to store music, movies, pictures and documents of various types.Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage STBF500101-Black Seagate

iOS users can then access that media using a free companion app from the App Store designed specifically for use with the GoFlex hardware. If you’re using an Android or other device, you can access your media using a web browser. The GoFlex Satellite can stream media to up to three devices at a time (great for family road trips), has a battery life of 5 hours of continuous streaming (or 25 hours in standby mode) and retails for $199.99.

via Mobile Technology News.

I read about this a week ago and just keep thinking I should order it!! I think more storage is just the geeky version of wanting bigger power tools!

Written By: Gary on April 10, 2011 5 Comments

Last month I saw the HP LaserJet Pro CP1525nw Color Laser Printer on sale so I picked one up. Why?

  • Because I don’t have a color printer set up (inkjet printers usually dry out before I use them all),
  • I wanted a network printer (I gave Mom my networked laser printer so she could keep it in my old bedroom instead of at her desk) and this one also has WiFi,
  • I wanted to be able to directly print to the printer via an Apple Macintosh (not routing it through a Windows PC),
  • I wanted it to print directly from my iPhone (and my future iPad)
  • and it was only $150 plus tax!!!!

The darn thing got to my house in under 48 hours and it didn’t cost anything for shipping.

cp1525nw.pngThe one I received needed the firmware updated (maybe that’s part of the cheaper price?) but that only took a few minutes. It works great. It was easy to put together and I can print from my iPhone!

What else can I tell you: It’s also built-in Ethernet, wireless 802.11b/g/n and USB connections. And it’s got some other kind of feature that you can set up so you can e-mail files to it via HP ePrint. It’s got 4.3 stars our of 5 at HP.com and about about the same at Amazon (but it’s $70 more).

The huge benefit is when I’m looking at an e-mail or web page, I don’t need to remember to go back later and print it, it just does it for me then. And my e-mails and web pages look just like I printed them from my computer. The photos print small though (maybe 3″ x 5″?) but they look great. I wish the iPhone would let me print while on the go and then sync up to the printer when I got home (that’s the way it works on the computer); I’m sure that will come in a later version. I’m almost tempted to get a second one because that would get me 4 spare toner cartridges at only $37.50 apiece.

So the color wireless HP LaserJet printer is only $150 until the 15th of April, 2011 so if you’re thinking of a new printer get it. It’s worth it for the cost of toner alone…

Written By: Gary on December 19, 2010 No Comment

Just testing out the Free WiFI on my plane! I shot this with my iPhone 4 and uploaded it and now I’m blogging it from my McBook.

And you can even watch it in HD!

The world of technology is an amazing place!

FYI: The WiFi is free because of a promotion Google Chrome is doing through the holidays.

Written By: Gary on August 23, 2008 One Comment

This was the easiest layover I think I’ve ever had. I needed to go to gate E29 and when I got off the plane I was at E31, right next door! Usually I have to traipse all over the place but I still figured I’d have a long ways to go to get food and convienently there was a great food court around E25-ish. So there was no rushing no running it’s was great. I managed to get McBreakfast, pick up a cold sandwich for the flight and there was free WiFi to do a quick check of my mail.

And the flight? I have a whole row to myself. Actually, if everyone spread out I think every one could have their own row (out of the back 9 rows there are only 5 of us). The pilot thought it was a little bumpy for a while because of the tropical storm so it was a while before they passed out snacks but I thought it was fine.

Written By: Gary on March 12, 2007 One Comment

So I picked up a Buffalo WHR-G54S Wireless Broadband Router because you can never have too many routers in your house but mostly because ever since wireless existed I’ve wanted someway to bridge across my house (mostly to hook some old non-WiFi equipment that was in the living room hooked to the stereo) for older equipment that wireless wasn’t an option. So I just wanted a box with an ethernet and an antenna that would then connect to the network. The stuff I tried was too expensive (although that was a few years back) didn’t work as advertised or didn’t pass Appletalk packets. In general, my favorite home router is the Netgear brand wireless routers but I thought I’d try thing.

So the packaging on the Buffalo WHR-G54S made me think it would work (or that I could make it work). It seemed like a nice wireless router but it looked like it wouldn’t do what I wanted, but more importantly I knew I could make it work with the DD-WRT project. This is pretty much a way to put a different OS inside the router and it supports a lot more options, it’s kind of a mini-linux (it might actually be all linux now, mildly confused on that) and there are a few projects like this out there. The most important option (for me) is by being a bridge (a mega-bridge that I can hook 5 computers up to). But it’ll also support radius authentication (if you need it, it’s a big deal), a mini web-server and even a way to power (and charge) your internet cafe.

Warning the content gets pretty geeky from here on.So you have to flash it with a new OS which is mildly tricky, I recommend printing the instructions and crossing out all the non-relevant stuff. It was pretty simple once I found the parts to ignore. Once done it was pretty much how you’d expect any wireless router to be (but better).

It had an option to be a the bridge I wanted this meant I could take any old computer that had ethernet and make it wireless by just plugging it in the router and it would connect to my wireless connect in the other room. I told it what my network was and it was ready to go. This would also be handy for running operating systems that don’t have support for some odd wireless card or USB dongle. Not only would it let me hook up 4 devices it could actually use the 5th port too (that’s probably overkill but it does it anyways).

It’ll run a little web server too. I haven’t figured out all the parts but I will. What I’d like is to set it up like a regular router and as soon as you connect it’ll give you a default web page welcoming you to the network (I figure if I can make this work I can more easily convince my local hangouts to WiFi.)

As a router goes, it supports the blocking options that many routers support but it has 10 different definable options by IP number than you can use (plus you can block by keyword and URL).

Other stuff: It supports multiple DDNS Services (Dynamic Domain Name Services), multiple VLANs, and some VPN stuff. Also some QoS options (Quality of Services) which might be handy if you don’t want those computers sucking up all your bandwidth (just lower their limit). You can telnet in and all sorts of fun stuff.

Written By: Gary on January 21, 2007 No Comment

So I stopped by the Midnight Espresso Cafe in Dearborn. I really like it there but it’s generally pretty smokey (lots of smokers hang out and smoke cigarettes or a hooka) but they didn’t look too busy so I stopped by. WOW! They just renovated and made it much bigger and it seems brighter too!

They’ve got a wide variety on the menu, I’m guessing much of it is Arabic in origin. Whenever I bring people here they generally find something interesting that they like. I generally get the BBQ Chicken Quesadillas and that’s what I’m getting today.

Bonus, I pulled out the laptop hook up my phone as a modem and realized I connected to a network! So they’ve got WiFi now too (or else the business next door does), with their new larger non-smoking section and WiFi I think I’ll be here a bit more often now.

Written By: Gary on January 2, 2007 No Comment

So wireless Internet connections are limited around here (all of Costa RIca). There are computers at Internet cafes (all over) but most don’t have wireless (WiFi), actually I haven’t seen any cafes with that yet (just a few restaurants). Some are willing to let me plug in my laptop (which is almost as easy as wireless) but many don’t understand the concept. I want to do it this was because I type and pick photos before I ever go to the cafe, I don’t want to sit at the cafe, I just do it when I have a few minutes here and a few minutes here and there (99% of what you read and see is picked and typed already). Then when I get to the cafe I hit send and I just have to wait a few minutes to send/recieve e-mails and post items (photos take longer).

FYI, Internet is way cheap everywhere here, about 20 colones a minute which is about $2.40 an hour. Some are very slow though…

Written By: Gary on November 18, 2006 One Comment

So I’m eating at the new Olga’s in Allen Park (Michigan) and I just went to plug my laptop into my cell phone to check my e-mail and the WiFi network “Olgas” popped up! And voila, free WiFi! And to think I thought I was afraid I going to get a crappy signal in the not-near-the-window spot where they put me.

FYI, it’s totally dead here and I got a great parking spot. Is there a football game or something on?!?

Written By: Gary on October 14, 2006 No Comment

Freewifi1006So I took a survey and they gave me this code from the results of a survey, but it appears gave the same code to everyone (and it doesn’t require any registration). So really, it’s just free WiFi for me and I’m showing you my coupon (I’m not recommending you actually use it).

Locations include (but not limited to) Avis, Barnes & Noble, Caribou Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, The UPS Store and a lot of airports. Check the web site for more locations. The original (much larger) coupon says it does not include their McDonald’s locations (but I haven’t tried yet).

I’m at B & N and there is a flyer that says you can get WiFi for as low as $1.99 if you are a Yahoo DSL subscriber, but I couldn’t find any info at their site related to that but I did find this. Seems like a great deal if you have them as your service provider!

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Written By: Gary on September 26, 2006 3 Comments

So I had some of the best Coca-Cola* yesterday at Pangea’s Pizza in Traverse City. It was just extra tasty, I’m not sure why. And not only was it served in fancy old Coca-Cola glasses it was served by the charming Rachel** who attended to all my cuisine related needs. That, a slice of pepperoni pizza, some on-line access and I was all set. I was hoping for more dead animals on my pizza but I would have had to order a whole pizza.

I mentioned WiFi availability earlier today: I could see a few local access points from inside the restaurant (none of which I think were Pangea’s) but eventually I’d lose the signal, the same if I hooked up with my cell phone. Not sure why. Probably something with all the pleasantness radiating from Rachel was interfering with my digital*** reception.


* – In case you were wondering the best Coca-Cola I ever had was at the Chicago Aquarium in February of 2002. This is fountain Coca-Cola, in the bottles it’s generally the same, unless it’s in the glass bottles where it’s extra delicious.

** – I’m thinking Rachel was spelled slightly differently (sorry).

*** – Pleasantness is a full spectrum analog signal in case you didn’t know. It’s supposed to overwhelm everything.

Written By: Gary on September 26, 2006 No Comment

So I’m up north in Michigan at Lake Leelanau / Sutton’s Bay (top left of the Lower Peninsula). I’ve been around here and Traverse city the past few days. I’ve noticed the smaller towns are more often than not to have WiFi you pay for. Lot of free places in Traverse City but I can connect my cell phone to my PowerBook and get pretty good speed (EVDO), but it the rest of the area I’m roaming. I noticed a few were inexpensive to pay for, but I think they’d be better if you were in that town for a week (or the summer) and it’d be great deal. I did notice one of the networks gave me five free minutes, which was enough to sync my mail and check a few web pages.

The big bonus is my Aunt’s brother lives less than a mile away and I can stop by his driveway to sync my mail (getting new mail and sending mail that I composed off-line) and post any blog entries I’ve written off-line with my blog client (Ecto). It’s definitely not hi-tech but I’m surviving….

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Written By: Gary on September 4, 2006 One Comment

For a while my local Burger King had WiFi. Then it only worked if I tweaked with the TCP/IP settings. Then it was intermittent. Eventually it died and I had to use the wired port (or my Airport Express adaptor) and that pretty much died. I can honestly say I’ve eaten here less since then. I mean if I gotta be WiFi-less or mess with my phone as a modem I can go anywhere, right?

Today I popped in for a quick snack. Wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to hook up the modem but I knew I wanted to type a few things. I opened my laptop and got the wonderful message “Do you want to join the network ‘Burger King’?”. I love WiFi….


(I think it’s gone again)

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Written By: Gary on May 28, 2006 One Comment

It’s such a great day I went up to Michigan State University to wander around. It’s a great day, it was a little hot for rollerblading though. Campus seems pretty covered with WiFi, I like that :)

I’m off to Charlie Kangs for dinner. That would be “beef with broccoli, with no vegetables, but I want the broccoli (just not the other ones)”…

Written By: Gary on April 30, 2006 2 Comments

So I’m at the Cairo Airport ready to head to JFK and they’ve got FREE WiFi! In case you haven’t noticed while things are cheap here, nothing is free. So we’re very early for our flight but I’m ready, two weeks was long enough to be away from home. Egypt was wonderful, but I’m ready for my own bed and to have the ability to drink tap water and not be afraid to accidentally rinse after I brush my teeth.

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Written By: Gary on March 28, 2006 2 Comments

BamboozlesSo my local around the corner bar, JB Bamboozles in Dearborn, has just added WiFi and so here I am having a drink, eating, checking my mail and (of course) I’m blogging about it.

The other bonus of being here today is that I’ve been here on Friday’s and having the fish during lent and I miss my hot wings. So I’m having the hot wings that I’d normally get during Friday happy hour (although the perch has been excellent!).

In case you were wondering I am the only person here with a laptop. Heck I’m the only here not smoking. The rest of the crew here is regulars (way more regular than me) and people from the Ford plant(?). And of course the bartender, Jane is here too (sigh).

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Written By: Gary on February 19, 2006 2 Comments

So I’m at the Burger King that has free wired internet but no wireless. So I go to pull out my trusty Apple Airport Express out of my backpack. Or at least I try to. It’s gone!!! I dig and dig, I’ve got everything in this thing. If McGuyver carried a Powerbook, this is all the stuff he’d have “digital duct tape” and all that.

It’s not here. But then I notice neither is my mini retractable ethernet cable, the last time I used both was (you got it) at this Burger King. I ask if they have a lost and found and they don’t (how weird is that?). But I describe it to them, they go to the office and sure enough they’ve got it!!!


FYI, if you don’t know what an Apple Airport Express is, you’re missing out (even if you’re a windows user). Read my earlier review about this wireless router / repeater / music streamer and printer adaptor (it’s really small only 3.7 x 2.95 x 1.12 inches).

Written By: Gary on November 26, 2005 5 Comments

So I’m at Panera and there are all these college age students here with their laptops (I’m sure a few are older and a few are younger), more than I’ve ever seen here before. My guess is that a good portion of them are home from college for the weekend and their parent’s homes don’t have the high-speed internet access that they’ve gotten used to at college. So they’re here using the free WiFi. At least that’s my theory (and I’m sticking to it).


One thing I’ve noticed other times when at Panera is that the network always seems to work (start working) better if I launch Internet Explorer first, I’m not sure why, but whenever I’m at a hotspot and having problems that seems to get me going. I think it helps at other places but it really helps at Panera (it might be the user agreement they have you agree to before proceeding).
I noticed an extra network when I was trying to connect called “Kristy” and also noticed an iBook user who had all sorts of windows open (but none had web pages). We tried the above IE “trick” but I guess the new iBooks don’t ship with it. It was her first time trying to connect to a WiFi hotspot so there might be some other problem.
We never did get it going, I think it’s something in the “internet connect” options, she somehow created a 802.1x (point to point?) network and we couldn’t delete it. I had something similar happen once upon a time and it seems to me it was a bit of a problem until I was able to delete it, but I don’t know what I did to do that.

Written By: Gary on October 4, 2005 One Comment

So I’m up north, over at a neighbor’s who mentioned I could use their WiFi. Actually I’m in their driveway…

It’s like night and day with the high speed ‘net access. I’ve only been here ten minutes and I’m happy as a clam (whatever that means).


These guys are going to be my new best friends the next time I’m up here! ;)

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Written By: Gary on May 18, 2005 2 Comments

So I’m at the The Little Cafe’ on the Avenue (Dearborn) and in the middle of my table instead of flowers or a candle or something I’ve got goldfish!!! That’s kinda unique…

They have WiFi too! Plus, I didn’t realize that had food too, I thought they just had drinks and desserts, I would have been here way before now…

Written By: Gary on February 21, 2005 One Comment

So I’m in the hospital today. Mom’s getting some surgery on her shoulder. We had to be here by 6:15 am, did you know it’s still dark out then?!? She’s done already and the Doc said everything went perfect and she’ll be out of recover in a few hours. Yeah!!


I’m posting this from the hospital via their free WiFi! Actually it’s more likely it’s an accidentally open access point, but I can’t be sure, there’s free coffee and kleenex, why not WiFi?

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Written By: Gary on January 9, 2005 No Comment

So when I say “airport” I mean the place with airplanes not WiFi. But I am also going to mention WiFi since this airport (McCarran Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA) has WiFi. For being an electronics conference there appears to be a severe lacking of wireless internet. I really needed a fix and I found a spot with a good signal AND a power outlet. I can catch up on my podcasts with my iPod with all this speed…


Only Terminal one has WiFi BUT there is a free shuttle from terminal two. No configuration hassles at all. There isn’t any information on their web site on this other than a (non-linkable) press release.

Written By: Gary on December 11, 2004 No Comment

Here’s a tip for connecting to the free WiFi at Panera. It wants you to authenticate via a web page (just click to accept their rules) so if you try your mail program (or something else first) it will not connect to the net. So launch the web first and you should be okay.

Extra Macintosh Tip: It doesn’t seem to like safari to authenticate so I always launch IE first to authenticate and then use the browner of my choice…

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Written By: Gary on October 2, 2004 One Comment

Went to Wyandotte (Michigan) today and went to some 50′s themed bar/brewpub on Maple and had The Back Yard BBQ Burger. What a great burger! It had Melted cheddar, crisp bacon, and BBQ sauce. The place was called Sports – A 50′s Bar & Grill. Good prices too!


And I just saw on their web site they have WiFi too! Too bad I don’t live closer… Anyone know of any places in Dearborn with Free WiFi?

Written By: Gary on August 29, 2004 No Comment

I’m not sure exactly why I bought the Apple Airport Express. That might sound silly but it’s not just one device, it’s not two, it’s not even only three, it’s FOUR (yes four!) devices in one.

  1. It’ll work as a WiFi router. Can I tell you how easy this was to use? I was at my local Burger King and the WiFi was down again but the wired connection was up. So instead of sitting by the noisy TVs I plugged in the express to the wall and a RJ-45 (phone-like cord) into the ethernet jack and my laptop asked if I wanted to join the new network. That was it! I’m now wireless sitting in my comfy corner.
  2. A WiFi Extender. Does your WiFi network start to fade at the far end of the house? Put this somewhere where you still get a signal and it will extend the range farther for you.
  3. A music (i.e. iTunes) streamer. Computer in the other room with all your music on it? Plug in the optional audio cables into the AirPort Express next to your stereo and you can listed to your iTunes ianywhere in the house!
  4. Printer Adapter. Want to share a printer? Plug a USB printer into the port and you can print to it from anywhere in the house!
It works for Windows and Macintosh (but I haven’t tried the printing yet) and it’s great!

Written By: Gary on April 20, 2004 No Comment

If you didn’t know it already many of the Panera resturant/stores now have free WiFi!

Guess where I am right now?!?

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Written By: Gary on March 20, 2004 No Comment

So I’m getting a snack at BK and some sun, I’ve got a spot I like where the sun shines in the window. And a bunch of little girls who are celebrating a birthday came in. I’m not sure how many of them were the Mom’s that was with them but they were a handful. They sure ate a lot too. Mom kept threatening them with no ice cream if they didn’t shape up! It’s pretty much a disaster where they were although it’s the spot that faces the televisions (closed captioned) so all the kids always want to sit there.

They just redid our BK in Dearborn and now it has WiFi. Isn’t technology great!

I tried the new checken tender sandwich (lettuce, tomato and no mayo), it’s better than the old one but Wendy’s spicy is way better. Oh, and I won free french fries too!

Written By: Gary on February 16, 2004 No Comment

It looks like Apple might be finally entering the PDA market! This is a good thing since Palm OS 6 doesn’t plan to support the Macintosh.

The odd part of this is that even though Macintosh has a small percentage of the computer market, many of the Palm OS people that I know are Mac-users. The question to me is what percentage of their sales go to Mac-users? The only reason I put Windows back into my house after 20 years was to get better synchronization with my Macintosh. I wanted some of the geekier conduits and they just didn’t exist for the Mac. Some third party company (the Missing-sync folks) will write a Mac-driver if the market is there…

But I digress:
It’ll probably have a hard drive (ala mini-iPod) and Firewire, USB and BlueTooth. The second article mentions WiFi and cell phone. There were hints of it playing music (actually downloading music while in the waiting room). Of course it’ll support QuickTime and sync with all of the iApps. And (wait for it…) it’ll support Windows. Maybe not the first week, but soon. You can’t tell me that all the Windows people who bought iPods (and considered iPods) won’t at least consider this device. I’m assuming it’s share files in a variety of ways (like target disk mode and such). The only thing I haven’t seen mentioned is a camera and GPS. I’d subscribe to .mac I think if this tied into it…

One of the articles I read said something like ‘people spend more time deciding on a phone or a PDA than any other electronic device’. I know I do, if I’m going to carry it everywhere, I’m going to be fussy about it. My 2 cents: No mini-keyboard/thumbboard. Let me use grafitti or something similar. Let it support a regular USB keyboard (or mouse) thought the USB port (or via WiFi?)

You can check out this article from MacNet2.com and part 2.

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Written By: Gary on January 9, 2004 One Comment

How’s this: “The OQO computer has all the functionality of a ultraportable notebook computer, with a 1GHz processor, a 20GB hard drive, 256MB of RAM, color transflective display (for easy indoor and outdoor viewing), 802.11b wireless, a removable lithium-polymer battery, and FireWire™ and USB 1.1 ports. For input and navigation it includes thumb keyboard with TrackStik™ and mouse buttons as well as digital pen and thumbwheel.” It even has more than that! All in a handheld computer which fits in your pocket (I can’t find size specs on the web site).

CES and he showed it on TV a minute ago. It comes with a funky connector that has usb, firewire, svga and all the other ports you need (you can use this as a docking connector) It has a USB port built in so you can take a full size keyboard with you! I’ve been asking for this on palms for years!

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