Using the Linux laptop “in the field”

I have tested my laptop’s Wifi capability off and on for a month around town accessing various hot spots. It has been quite easy to get on the internet so far. But I don’t consider the laptop fully tested until I get to use Wifi for more than several hours.

My chance to test the laptop in the field came this week. On the last two days, I brought my laptop with me to the hotel where my work was holding a conference. The hotel has free Wifi and I successfully got onto the internet using NetworkManager instead of Wifi Radar which I previously raved about in an older post. I guess I didn’t understand how to use NetworkManager a while back. It seems to connect to Wifi much more readily than Wifi Radar.

I manually opened Firestarter each time after I turned on the laptop because I couldn’t get it to load automatically during login even after I followed the instructions from its website to set it up. It’s really not too much of a hassle, especially after I experienced my first hit a few weeks ago at a cafe near my office. The Firestarter icon in the system tray changed from blue to red and the attempt to connect was recorded under the Events tab in Firestarter. Although not surprised, I came to accept my suspicion of the vulnerability of Wifi connection. More attacks came in the last two days. However, I wondered if the hotel’s own system initiated those attempts to connect because I was forced to go through the hotel website each time I tried to start an internet connection. It became somewhat annoying when I got redirected to the hotel page several times after letting the computer sat idling for various lengths of time.

Once I got the internet going, it worked quite seamlessly. I checked email (both work and personal) and accessed the intranet of my work. Aside from a few “Page Not Found” while using the intranet, everything seemed to work well. All in all, I am satisfied with the laptop’s Wifi capability in the field. On the other hand, I feel really lucky to have so much success in such short amount of time using Linux as a newbie. Beginner’s luck is definitely key.

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