The joy of free wi-fi

I can’t be the only person who is genuinely delighted when they can find a free wi-fi connection when outside their normal workplace.

The first time I used a wireless laptop ‘out and about’ was in 2004, when I went out to Hong Kong and Singapore for UCE. I found that in my hotel room in HK, by sitting near the window I could use a ‘borrowed’ wi-fi connection from a local apartment. I only used it for emai, but I still felt a little bit of illicit joy in being able to ‘steal bandwidth’.

Of course now most, if not all home wireless networks are secure. I’ve occasionally paid for wireless access when out and about (the last time being at Dublin airport heading back from New York), and there was free wi-fi when I was at the lighthouse centre in Wolverhampton earlier this year, but that’s been about it.

But today I got myself set up at the Open Event at the courtyard centre, fired up my MacBook and voila, a really fast, strong, and free wireless connection.

This has practical uses too – so much of the OU material is online, being able to show students the information on the web site will be useful.. and with over four hours of battery life on my MacBook, no problems with running out!

Better go, it’s starting to look busy here!


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