Sunday, February 12, 2006

Something Fishy

So they now have wireless internet access on Baros, or do they? Well the answer is some of the people do, some of the time, and always at a price. While I'm not overly happy with having to pay $25.00 per day for the privilege of any internet access, I do get annoyed when the service is flaky. Furthermore, I've tested the download speed and the best I've managed to get is 58Kbs, a far cry from what one would consider broadband.

The fun started after we got an access code from reception, which we presumed you would enter into a default login page that would open as soon as you opened your browser. My laptop could see the Baros Wireless network as soon as I powered up but could not acquire an IP address. I tried a few things to remedy this but either their DHCP server was down or the access point in the room was flaky. I tried rebooting the access point, which is supplied by Teledex and is built into the room phone base, but this didn't resolve the problem.

In desperation I rang the island's IT supremo who said he'd be over in five minutes. Soon after I hung up I noticed that I had now acquired an IP address in the 10.x.x.x range and we were up and running. When the IT chappy arrived he said I should disable my proxy server (which I never have enabled) but couldn't explain why I was connected. I tried to explain to him that before I called him I wasn't able to even get an IP address and he said that I didn't need one! Hmmm... interesting network they're running. Anyway, he departed and the connection stayed up for a couple of hours, then went down. Once again, I could get no IP address from the DHCP server or couldn't communicate with it. I rang reception to complain and as soon as I did I noticed that I again got an IP address. After a little bit of experimentation I found that to make contact with the DHCP server one must first dial a number on the phone, any number will do (we've been dialling 9 for an outside line, which does the trick), and a few seconds later you get your IP address. I wouldn't like to think how other less techie guests are managing. I've been debating whether I'll share this info with the IT chappy, but I suspect he already knows that this quirk exists with at least some of the room wireless APs and is saying nothing.

So, at 25$ per day for a flaky, slow wireless link I say adieu. Talk to you again when we return to the world of broadband and leave you with a couple of pix from this morning's snorkelling.

No comments: