Wireless Shenanigans at the Hideout

Up until now, it's been a frustrating afternoon here at The Hideout. I was sitting in the back trying to use my laptop to do some work online. Wireless connectivity on the laptop was drifting in and out, breaking connections on all my remote sessions. It was terribly hard to get work done.

The situation was perplexing, because I was seeing a strong Wi-Fi signal and I was connected to the network (with address and default route assignments). The problem is that I'd be working for a while, then suddenly all my packets started getting dropped. If I tried to reset the interface I'd lose those assignments and the network wouldn't let me back on (DHCP failed).

I asked the server if other people were reporting network problems. She said, "You know, people seem to have all sorts of problems at that table. It seems to work better up front."

I moved to a table up front and reset the network interface. Everything came up fine, and it's been that way since.

Once I looked at the configuration it all became obvious: the Hideout is running multiple networks. They must have one in the theater (or some other meeting area) that is closed, and another in the shop that is open to the public. When I was sitting out back my laptop would hop between the open and closed networks, depending on which signal seemed stronger at the time. When I moved to the front it stayed locked to the public network.

So, wireless visitors to The Hideout should be advised, take care that you don't lock onto the wrong network. If you sit out back, you may need to force a connection onto the open network. Here are the details I saw on the two networks:

open network: channel 6, 2.437GHz, ESSID "hideout"
closed network: channel 11, 2.462GHz, ESSID "THEATRE LOCKDOWN"

The management of The Hideout probably ought to post a sign. I'll forward this article to them.

Comments

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re: Wireless Shenanigans at the Hideout

THAT explains it! Thanks again for introducing me to The Hideout. Despite the WiFi oddity I've really enjoyed the place. Great coffee and nice atmosphere.

Sheena

re: Wireless Shenanigans at the Hideout

Seems their web site could use a little work as well. I got the following from several links:

Object not found!

The requested URL was not found on this server. The link on the referring page seems to be wrong or outdated. Please inform the author of that page about the error.

If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster

Error 404

www.hideout.cc
Tue 27 Apr 2004 03:55:51 PM CDT
Apache/2.0.40 (Red Hat Linux)