doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

The Need to Read…

… caused some on the fly problem solving for me recently.  

Burton Cummings tells a story of how he invited Randy Bachman to play on one of his singles.  Randy shows up with a huge selection of instruments to do the job!  When I leave home, I liken myself to Backman.  My wife wants to know why I carry so much, so many cables, etc. in my computer bag.  You never know what you’re going to need!

My problem solving this time really didn’t need much equipment but rather some mental networking.  Of course, having music playing from my portable speaker helped a great deal.

Recently, my wife and I took a quick trip and made a couple of stops at different hotels.  In the first hotel, there was no problem.  We were able to connect my MacBook Pro, iPad, and her MacBook Pro to the wireless without problem.  We were able to stay up to date, post a few pictures, and life was good.

Not so good at the second hotel though.  The MacBook Pros connected to the wireless network with no problem whatsoever.  The signal strength looked to be very strong and we were good.  I switched my Android smartphone to the wireless with no problem.  But, a problem arose when I tried to connect my iPad.  While the MacBook Pros saw a few networks, the iPad did not see a thing.  Nada.

So, I did what any experienced Macintosh user does.  I turned the Wireless off and then on again.  


I turned Airplane Mode on and then off.


Getting serious, I turned the iPad off completely.  Then, I turned it back on.


I went to the Wi-Fi settings and chose to connect to another network and carefully keyed in the address of the network the MacBook Pro was connected to.

Nothing. (That step seemed silly but I was running low on ideas…)

I decide to nuke everything.  I went and reset my Network Settings.


It doesn’t make things better but it is somehow comforting to know that you’re not alone with a computer problem.  I did a search for ipad ios7 won’t see wireless network at hotel” and there were all kinds of results and discussions about the topic like this one.  

Of course, like with many online forums, there’s a share of Mac-Bashing, many who tried the same steps as me with and without success, suggestions about calling the hotel technicians, how it’s no problem with the iPhone and iOS 7.0.3 but is a problem with the iPad, and comments about Apple knowing this problem and needing to solve it.  But, at least I now know that I’m not alone.  

I’m only at the hotel for one night so I’ll just forget about it.

Then I remembered two things.  First, my daughter will actually call me on the phone to remind me that it’s my turn in Words with Friends and secondly, I do like my personal reading time in the morning.  

I had to find a solution.

I’m sitting there with my disconnected iPad watching my MacBook Pro getting Twitter updates and my wife tapping out an email thinking that “two out of three ain’t bad”.  Then I thought, why not share one of the internet connections?

I’ll never wrangle my wife’s computer from her so I’ll do it on my own.  But, how to connect the iPad to the computer?  Bluetooth, of course.

Off to System Preferences, I head for the Sharing Folder.

It’s just a matter of turning Internet Sharing on.  I can see Gust Mees waving a finger at me but it’s just going to be for a couple of minutes.  Then, I’ll turn it off.  I had used Bluetooth Sharing in the past to transfer files so the iPad was already known to my computer and it was just a matter of turning it back on again.

A few second later and I was in business.  My iPad was now connected to my MacBook Pro which was connected to the internet and I was making my plays in Words with Friends.  Could it get any better?

The whole solution really was a mixture of things but it got me through my moment.  I was careful to get on, do my task, and then disable the connection.  It even just feels like a weakness in security.  

In the meantime, I hope that a fix for iOS for iPad comes pretty soon.  Obviously, if all the other devices connected properly, there’s something incompatible between the hotel Wi-Fi and the iPad.

So, what would you have done?  Does anyone have a better solution?  I would sure like to read about it in case I’m ever in this situation again.


6 responses to “The Need to Read…”

  1. I would have tethered to my iPhone, which is often faster than the hotel wifi anyway.


  2. When you say that you “turned the iPad off completely” do you mean that you did a hard reset (holding the home and lock buttons together for 6-10 seconds)? If not, I would have tried that – it’s helped with the iPad’s WiFi connection for me before, including on iOS 7.


  3. Also, I just wanted to mention that I loved reading your troubleshooting steps – most people I know might have tried flicking wifi on and off (I’m being optimistic) and then contacted me. I would love to see users try to solve problems with a little more perseverance.


  4. Haha! Did you catch the increasing frustration in my steps as I was doing it? I’ll have to get your cell phone number in case I need to contact you in the future! 🙂


  5. Mary-Ann Fuduric, OCT Avatar
    Mary-Ann Fuduric, OCT

    I would have done everything you did except for use the bluetooth to connect to the MacBook. I can’t believe I never thought of transferring files via bluetooth between devices. I usually put into drop box then save to other dev ice then delete from dropbox. Going to try that next time!


    1. You now also have AirDrop to use as well.


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