Wednesday 7 March 2018

#465 Chasing wi-fi

In between my hours spent in lecture theatres copying down equations and code at point five past lightspeed, I had some downtime. An hour here and there that I needed to fill. It wasn't difficult. My main priority was finding my next job. What was difficult was getting online.

You'd think a uni would have decent network connectivity. And it did. Only I wasn't a student and there seemed to be some kind of firewall that extended to mobile data. I didn't even know if that made sense, all I knew was I couldn't check my email.

At the back of the uni was a canal. It was one of the waterways I'd explored over the summer. The boat people had to have connections. I walked gingerly down the steps to the towpath, perched on a wooden bench, reset my phone's hotspot and opened the laptop. Still no email page.

Over the road next to the canal was a Starbucks. I certainly wasn't going to buy coffee. Fortunately this wasn't just any Starbucks. Between the water and the road was a small park. The grass banked upward so as to cover the roof of the coffee shop. It reminded me of teletubby land.

I clambered up the bank, reset the phone again and got out the laptop to see if the page had loaded. Two police officers on horses clocked me and rode over to see what I was up to. "Lots of robberies around here Sir, you might want to put that laptop away" one said. I thanked her. As unlikely as it seemed that I'd get mugged within sight of the met's cavalry, I decided to move on.

Eventually I found a part of campus where I could connect. It was a short walk from the lecture theatre and I still didn't understand how or what made the difference but I had email so I was happy. Then I realised the time. With a sigh, I closed the laptop once again, put it back in my rucksack and jogged off to the next lecture.

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