Friday, November 04, 2005

WarBike Report

Every now and then, when Oklahoma weather inspires the soul, feeds the imagination, and makes the big butt want to get off the couch, Tulsa Indy Gazetters are sent scurrying all over Tulsa, on bicycles, warbiking, in search of the wi-fi hotspots we have overlooked on our normal hustle and bustle of getting through traffic, without getting squashed by HickMobiles.

Today was no different. We started off from Saffron Coffee Shop, 1148 S. Harvard Ave. We came back to Saffron this morning, because of the cute counter girl we saw last evening. This morning, she was not there. But, we stayed anyway, bought chia teas, and tried to log on.

Waiting for the computer to boot, we noticed Saffron put a little more thought into creating cozy katchy walls decked out with original artwork. The ceiling, modern industrial black. Menu, in chalk, offered java, muffins, and soup d'jour. Nice graffiti art on the exterior walls.

When the Belkin wi-fi client finally splashed across the screen, Saffron appeared in the SSID. So far so good. Next step, launch Firefox. Oops. Window error: An IP address already on the network conflicts. Yahoo homepage resolved, once. Let's reboot. Same problem. Okay, we are done with the tea and outta here.

Next stop, TU Allen Chapman Activity Center. The wi-fi scanner detected seven access points, including Tulsa MetroNet, TU Net, and several AP's without SSID's. Only Tulsa MetroNet resolved. But, the homepage required $$$. No way, Jose.

Tulsa MetroNet is a great idea to expand the reach of wi-fi, beyond the 300 feet boundary. With a paid subscription, surf anywhere within a pretty large coverage area. Unfortunately, it is already obsolete, even before migrating out of beta. And, it's $25 per month. Two thumbs down. We are already counting down the days.

We jog down to the Law School. Three AP's appear. No SSID broadcast. No connection. So, by now, we are getting impatient and bike over to Panera Bread on Cherry Street.

Six AP's appear. We already know Panera connects reliably. Panera uses on-site triple-A servers at every location. Just launch your preferred browser. Click "Go Online." The triple-A authenticates, free. If your homepage doesn't immediately resolve, don't make too much ruckus with the manager on duty.

The connection may actually be available. The problem may be with your computer. And, if you ask the manager on duty to reboot the server, other users may lose their connection and whatever they are about to upload. Just a little wi-fi hotspot etiquette.

Try launching the browser and reboot a couple of times. If the browser still won't resolve the destination webpage, politely ask the manager to reboot the server. It is a quick operation. But, during rush, the manager may not get to the server right away. Be patient. After all, the connection is free. Yay!

We tried the next AP available, linksys SSID. Kewl. We just hitched a free ride on someone's Net connection. They didn't enable security. Boneheads.

But, we decided to get back on Panera, just to be on the safe side. The open connection could be a honey pot, recording keystrokes. Not a good thing.

Once we were able to upload our next blog entry, it's lunch. Back to base. Next warbike expedition will hit OSU-Tulsa area, Brady District, and Arby's Downtown. Happy WarBiking, WarDriving, or however you get around.

Saturday, 5 November 2005--We are logged on OSUWireless to blog the rest of this post. Sweet. We are happy as a bunch of teenagers at the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas! Wowee! Zowl-weee! Ok, ok, we are getting carried away with a little too much geek-speak and lots of endorphin-induced, creative exuberance. No, we might put it to our lips, but, we never inhale.

Yours truly rocking rolling bunch of warbiking bubbas are attending the Blue November MicroFilm Festival. En route from that great bastion of suburban wasteland, called South Tulsa, we randomly stopped at various points of interests. Thusly, we missed the one film we really wanted to see, "Bridging The Gap." We'll do a review on another post.

This is a review of OSUWireless. Ok. Boot the computer. So far so good. The wi-fi client resolves. Good. OSUWireless is active. We click the SSID. OSUWireless homepage resolves. Awesome. Enter email address to sign on as guest. And, WaaaaLaaaa! Yahoo resolves. Let's blog!

Monday, 7 November 2005--We sent a warbiker to the Gypsy Coffeehouse. Unfortunately, she would not enter the premises. Gypsy is a smoking-allowed facility. Smoke kills hard drives. So, we understood and sent her on another assignment to Cafe Cubana.

Tuesday, 22 November 2005--Encountered a new hotspot, Quebada Mexican Grill on Cherry Street. Report available soon.