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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Thursday, 30 October 2003

Wi-Fi Hotspots and iPAQs (techy)

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I've enjoyed being able to access the internet from all over the place - I now have a wireless network card which plugs into the Compact Flash caddy of my iPAQ. The battery runs down a little more quickly, but as long as I remember to charge it before I go wandering, I generally get about an hour out of it.

There are a number of communities forming, with the intentions of either creating a mini 'internet' through connecting wi-fi networks together - (www.communitywireless.org) or collecting information about unencrypted (or shareable) wireless connections around the place (www.warchalking.org)

Currently our wireless internet connection is encrypted, but I intend - once I have made sure that sharing our connection would not put our data at any risk - to create a web page which I'll place in the SSID (the network identification that gets broadcast), as a kind of 'advert.'

Places to surf.

I'm fortunate that, just a couple of yards from the bus stop where I catch my coach home, there's a hotspot that I can use to connect to the internet; it means, now I've got the MSN Messenger problems sorted out (see later in this dull blog entry) I can let Beth know when I'll be home, and check my email.

Here's a couple of locations I've found open connections:

  • Nr Allsop Arms, Gloucester Place, London just north of the Marylebone Road junction
  • Marylebone Railway Station

I'll add more in later blogs as I find them. There are quite a few places - generally caf?s - that offer 'paid for' internet connections (see the rather impressive map thing at www.zdnet.co.uk/specials/wifimap/) which I won't be including, though.

MSN Messenger miscellany

So, to MSN Messenger problems. As of the 15th October, Microsoft stopped allowing people using a certain (older) version of MSN Messenger from connecting to their server, due to lots of - guess what - security flaws. Unfortunately, the version of MSN Messenger installed with the iPAQ used the old system, so it stopped working.

It took me a good while to find a new version - at one point I thought it didn't exist - but now there's a specific page in the "Windows Mobile" section which explains nearly everything.

Posted by james at October 30, 2003 9:29 PM

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