Tales of a Wireless World

I have been fighting long hours with our company’s wireless network for a new office space, and finally I gave up on the prospect. After about $1,000 in hardware, and too many hours on the phone with technical support, we are going back to a wired network. Hopefully with the new wireless standard that is being developed, the remaining kinks will be worked out of wireless hardware.

It is amazing how the technology is advancing and becoming commonplace, which reminds me of an amazing story a colleague recently told me-

She was in a downtown area with her laptop, trying to catch up on some projects for work, and feeling like getting out of the house. She was working, undisturbed, when an itinerant gentleman passed by. His appearance was disheveled; he was dirty and verbally rambling, scabs covering his face. She focused on her work and ignored him, minding her own business as she inclined the laptop towards her a bit more. For a time the man stopped his monologue and all was silent. It was at this moment when clearly and concisely the man pointed out,

“I bet you could get wireless access from those apartments up there,” as he gestured to the surrounding buildings.

My colleague, a bit surprised, clicked on her wireless network on the laptop. Within seconds, she was connected with broadband speed to a surrounding network. Amazement and a bit of incredulity set in as she contemplated the man.

It was at this moment that the reality of our new wireless, technologically inclined culture hit. The man asked if he could check his email! My colleague, a young woman, prudently told the man that the connection had not been successful and he eventually went on his way.

With this, I contemplate whether I should have, instead of calling technical support, gone downtown in search of such a man. Maybe the dot-com recovery for the Bay Area has not been as good as imagined.