doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Off the grid

Her: Sir, I can’t see your computer on the network

Me: That’s why I called; I can’t get on the network

Her: I really can’t help you then; can I close your case?

Me: Do what you’ve got to do

My wife was on the chair busting a gut laughing at this. She has seen and heard me on the receiving end of this type of call for years.

Earlier this week, she and her sister had spent a couple of nights in Goderich at this hotel and I got a panic call that she couldn’t get her Chromebook on the network. Our tech discussion was similar to the one above.

As it turns out, we fell into a couple of dogsitters and went back there for Sunday/Monday to enjoy the leaves and I traveled light; meaning I brought my Chromebook to see if I could use it. I’m egotistical enough to think that I’d be able to get connected easily.

Darn it if I didn’t have the same problem. Our Android phones connected just like “poop through a goose” but the Chromebooks were a no-go.

It was frustrating. With my job and my work as a CSTA volunteer, I’ve connected to networks all over the Northern Hemisphere but this was a non-starter.

As a regular blogger, I had mentally formulated a blog post to go Monday morning and all I had to do was key it in. That’s the easy post; posting it is kind of important too. Thanks to those who checked in to see if I was not healthy or something. Except for higher blood pressure from my call with tech support, I was great. We visited parks in Bayfield and Goderich and did the Menesetung Bridge twice and enjoyed the leaves. A rather noisy bit on Instagram and Facebook will tell the story.

As I’m sitting and panicking on the fourth floor of the hotel, I could see neighbours’ networks coming and going. They weren’t strong enough to join and kudos to them for having passwords on them. Then, I noticed a flash and a Tim Horton’s network was available. I pulled the curtains and sure as shooting, there was a coffee shop just a short distance away. I grabbed my Chromebook and went.

Now, I don’t know if you believe in signs and I didn’t think I did but check this out. As I started to walk through the driveway, it was closed! The stars had aligned.

I could have gone back and blogged on my phone or set it up as a hub but I thought I’d done too much away from the original purpose so I packed the computer and we went out to West Street Willie’s for an incredible supper and then down to the lake for some sunset pictures. (Yeah, I know, more pictures)

Now, I’m not one to admit defeat so I’m curious to know if there are others with the same problem. And there was.

Chromebook Won’t Connect to Hotel WiFi – How to Fix

I tried most of them – and the tech person indicated that she had reset the router. Who knows for sure?

This was interesting. I’m not about to do a Powerwash (particularly if I’m not connected) but the Captive Portal issue sounds like it might have the answer.

My easiest solution would be to just not take my Chromebook in the future and avoid the issues that way.

So, folks who were wondering about me, I was enjoying a great weekend and just couldn’t get connected. That’s certainly not the end of the world.

Has this happened to you? Do you have a solution?


3 responses to “Off the grid”

  1. Good morning Doug!

    I have not taken my Chromebook on the road, so I can’t say I’ve ever had trouble getting it connected.

    Is there an option for you to use your android phone as a hotspot? I’ve been amazed by the magic that can happen when your phone can provide Internet to a computer in the most remote of places.

    • managed to complete my report cards when the school Wi-Fi was out
    • sat in on an Elluminate session hosted by Alec Couros while parked in the garage at the Rideau Centre
    • attended the ECOO 2009 AGM
    while parked on the side of the road on my way back from the Western RCAC Symposium
    • attended an online meeting just last week while sitting in a park in northern Ontario
    • doing a 2-hour broadcast on #ds106radio from a beach in Prince Edward county

    I realize it’s always better if you can get the WiFI problem resolved, but the solution that works when there’s no WiFi to be had is also there when there should be WiFi to be had, and it’s not working!


  2. […] Off the grid – doug — off the record […]


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