Tuesday, February 19, 2008

B****y technology

You'd think someone (me) who worked in IT for more than ten years would be able to persuade a computer to do what I wanted, but the truth is far from it. The last few days have been an almighty techno struggle with only minor successes.

One of our targets at the weekend was to update the blog while away from home using wifi connection. We figure now that Wetherspoons and McDonalds both offer free wifi internet access, we should never be far from a place to do the updates when we're cruising. How nice it would be to publish fresh news and pics as we travel rather than retrospectively after we get home. So on Saturday we went to Wetherspoons in Uxbridge armed with our laptop and also my Dell Axim palmtop - both wifi enabled.

After ordering a pint (well you can't just sit there) we opened up the laptop and swtiched on. Three wifi networks were detected, two being strong signals and one weaker. The weaker one of course was the free Wetherspoons one, the others being encrypted. The laptop seemed strangely reluctant to latch on to the proper network, but after an age the log on page appeared. At that precise moment the battery died. It makes you want to weep doesn't it.

So I tried the palmtop. Same thing, the other two networks were interfering and the Wetherspoon signal was not strong enough. Brainwave - its a big pub, let's try sitting in another part. So we move seats to nearer the door and hey presto we get a good signal. Up comes the log on page. type in ID "sponsored" Password "Service" as instructed in the Wetherspoons leaflet and click the logon button. Except the logon button was misplaced on the tiny screen and there was nowhere to click. I tried for ages then gave up.

You'd think that a major wifi network - The Cloud, which provides the Wetherspoons and the McDonalds hotspots would make their log on page useable by mobile devices, but apparently not.

I shall not give up even if I have to go to the pub twenty more times. I'll just have to make the sacrifice. Or perhaps I'll have to go on the McDonalds diet.

On the up side, I did manage to get the little video to work on the previous blog entry, even if it did take me about two hours before I succeeded. The things I do for you, dear reader.

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