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Like a swimmer’s convention with no pool

July 22, 2008

So I’m in Memphis at a technology conference. There are many positive things I could write about the ideas being presented, and the intensity of being around so many of my colleagues. But I rarely blog about work, so for now at least I’ll refrain. I will say one thing though: why is internet connectivity–even at technology conferences–such a struggle?

Let’s start with the hotel. Is there WiFi in the rooms? Nope. Not in the lobby or “business lounge” areas, either. Not for any price. There is, however, a network jack in my room which I may use for $12 per day. And what choice do I have? I’m in technology, I have to have it. Adding insult to injury, the network cable provided is approximately 4 inches long.

During the day, I’m across the street in the convention center. WiFi was to be provided for all attendees. Upon registration at the conference we got sheets of paper explaining how to recognize the access points and what names and passwords we would need to log into them. Problem is, the WiFi network was overwhelmed by 7 am on the first day and has only worked sporadically ever since.

Why is this such a continual problem? Can 500 people not show up at a large hotel and conference center and expect internet connectivity? A king’s ransom awaits the clever individuals who develop a service whereby they roll up in a truck and provide working WiFi to any place where large numbers of nerds gather.

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  1. “A king’s ransom awaits the clever individuals who develop a service whereby they roll up in a truck and provide working WiFi to any place where large numbers of nerds gather.”

    My friend sort of does this with his WRT-54G running dd-wrt and a “cantenna.” He can roll up anywhere and serve it as a repeater from any other internet source. (Such as EVDO or an open WiFi)

    -Adam


  2. Yes, the grumbles on this were even heard from presenters who struggled with the wireless in front of full classes. Ouch. The only folks not noticing were those with crackberries, from what I observed. At any rate, I hope you enjoyed your time in Memphis. It was nice to meet so many out of towners this week. –mary


  3. Yeah,those of us with smartphones–Blackberries and iPhones, etc.–at least had connectivity that way. I did. I was at least able to monitor my email, which is something.



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