We drove from Lubbock to Oklahoma City last night, to check out housing options and prepare for my first day of work for my new employer on Monday. I was amazed to see a wireless network popup when I opened my laptop at a rest stop north of Abernathy, Texas (just north of Lubbock):

Road Warrior Connect

When we arrived in Amarillo, the following wireless networks were available at the “Loves” truck stop– we didn’t actually stop, these were the options available from the Interstate! (Not enough time to really connect going by at 70 mph, but enough time to gawk at the options!)

Just a few choices

There are more choices than ever for road warriors when it comes to getting online. My 5 year old was using the laptop in the back seat during part of the trip to create a new song in Garageband, and asked us how to spell Disney.com. She had quit Garageband and was in the Safari web browser, trying to get online to play some games. Again (as we have on past trips) we had to explain that we couldn’t (yet) access the Internet from our car when we were driving. Digital natives (esp young ones) don’t have a clear idea of what the Internet is– I think she considers it natural that she should always be able to connect to the virtual world.

In the not too distant future, I suspect she (and the rest of us) will! 🙂

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3 Responses to Road Warrior Wireless Options

  1. Chris Barker says:

    Wes,

    What takes you to OK City? You Stopped half way short of the goal… 🙂 Three hundred and fifteen more miles would have landed you in Manhattan.

    I love the take children have on technology. In their youth they often ask the question, “Why not?” before doubting the possibility of anything (like why not have internet as we drive down the road?). Part of me hopes that we, as educators, will be able to encourage them to continue asking that same questions and help them figure out how to solve those questions.

    Chris

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    Well, OKC is going to be home now! But that means the “trip to the goal” is just 6 hours rather than the 12 hours it was when I lived in Lubbock!

    I agree that we need to always encourage natural curiosity which children often exhibit much more enthusiastically than adults do!

  3. Steve says:

    Wes, great post. There are a couple of terrific wireless stumblers for Macs that let you sniff out wireless networks; one is called Kismac, and the other is iStumbler.
    I’m also working on a Google Maps project that lets users post the locations of free WiFi around the world:
    http://www.stevewhitaker.net/projects/geowifinder/

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Made with Love in Oklahoma City