Attention 2007 FGS Conference attendees: if you have wireless network capabilities in your laptop or handheld computer, you will be able to check your e-mail, the news, and online Web sites at almost any time in the Exhibitors' Hall. This free service will be provided by Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.
The wireless network should work most anyplace in the Exhibitors' Hall. In addition, if you stop by this newsletter's booth, I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find there. This newsletter, in conjunction with Footnote.com, is sponsoring a "Laptop Lounge" in Booth #321.
The Laptop Lounge is a place for newsletter readers to stop by, relax, sit for a bit and enjoy themselves. If you brought your laptop with you, there will be an opportunity for you to check your e-mail from the Laptop Lounge. If you have a laptop with a network connection but no wireless capability, you will also be able to find a wired network connection available for use in the Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter booth #321. Please feel free to use it for a while.
I would like to invite all newsletter readers to stop by and relax. You may want a place to sit for a bit. You will also find other newsletter readers there and they probably have similar interests to your own. I hope this will be a "conversation pit" as well as a relaxation place.
The wireless service offered to subscribers of this newsletter will not use the convention center's network at all. If everything works as I have planned, I will be able to provide open Internet access to newsletter subscribers and others by connecting to an external wireless network.
While the signal will be strongest at Booth #321, it should also work from anyplace inside the Exhibitors' Hall. To access this wireless network, simply open the wireless access menu on your computer and look for a network labeled "eogn," which stands for "Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter." You should be able to connect to that open-access network in the same manner that you connect to other wireless networks.
Once your web browser loads, you will be asked for a user name and password. You create those yourself! You do not need to register in advance. Once logged in, you will have full access to normal web sites, although with some restrictions as detailed below. If you wish to use the Internet again at a later time, simply use the same user name and password that you created earlier.
There is no charge for the online access, but I will ask you to do something else instead of paying money. This free wireless network is a pet project of mine, designed to help publicize this newsletter. You can help. When you return home, please extend that publicity by telling several of your on-line and off-line genealogy acquaintances about this newsletter. You can tell them in person, by e-mail, or by writing an article for your local society's newsletter. This newsletter relies on word-of-mouth publicity, and I will ask you to contribute a few words to that effort as "payment" for using the Wi-Fi network at the conference.
I have provided wireless Internet access at past conferences, but there will be some changes this time. I found that a few people at past conferences have used more than their "fair share" of the wireless network by downloading many megabytes or using it for many hours each day. In order to give everyone a "fair share" of this network, I have been forced to institute a few controls. However, I don't think anyone who simply wants to check e-mail or wishes to surf a few web sites will notice.
In short, everyone will be limited as to the number of bytes, the protocols available, and the number of hours you can remain connected. The exact numbers have not yet been determined and may vary during the conference as I gain experience. Anyone who simply wishes to check their e-mail several times a day and perhaps check the news will never notice the limitations. However, you will not be able to play many of the online games, nor will you be able to remain connected for hours and hours. You also will not be able to download megabytes of files, thereby depriving other attendees of access on this shared connection. FTP and SMTP access is available only to Plus edition subscribers of this newsletter.
Everyone has free, but limited, access to the Web. In addition, Plus Edition subscribers of this newsletter can obtain increased limits at no charge. I suspect that the default limits will suffice for almost everyone. However, if you do need more hours or more bytes or more protocols and you are a Plus Edition subscriber, simply stop by this newsletter's booth to have your limits increased. Plus Edition subscribers can also obtain FTP and SMTP privileges. In effect, your Plus Edition subscription dollars paid for this network, so I believe that Plus Edition subscribers should receive enhanced service.
If the network does become saturated and I am forced to limit usage even more, Plus Edition subscribers will receive higher priority than others.
Network experts may be interested to know this wireless network does not use the convention center's networking at all.
The wireless access in the Exhibitors' Hall is free and available to everyone but with several caveats:
- The free Wi-Fi access depends on wireless connections in a place where there is no possibility of testing in advance. While everything should work, there is no guarantee. The hardware has already been tested in several other locations and has always worked reliably. However, there is always the possibility of being in a "wireless dead spot" in Ft. Wayne or the chance of some critical piece of equipment failing at an inopportune time.
- The Wi-Fi wireless network will be installed in the Exhibitors' Hall, which will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The network probably will not be available on Wednesday, except possibly for a short time while I am setting it up.
- Once connected, you will need to log in with a user name and password that you create, and you also must supply a valid e-mail address. There is no charge for the online access.
- I will ask you to limit your usage by using common sense. Please keep in mind that the network is wireless; so, it will be slower than a DSL line although significantly faster than dial-up connections. In addition, you will be sharing the single connection with me, my booth, and other convention attendees. Feel free to check your e-mail and look at web pages. However, please do not use this shared resource to download large files, play online games, or otherwise use more than your "fair share" of network time. Please consider your fellow conference attendees who also wish to use the shared wireless network.
- Exhibitors are asked to not use the wireless network in their booths for product demonstrations or other "customer-facing" uses. Such use violates the license agreement I signed with the wireless provider. However, please feel free to check your own e-mail at any time. Anyone caught using the service to demonstrate their products in their exhibit booth will immediately be locked out.
- I must assume that you already know how to configure and use wireless connectivity in your own computer. The wireless network will work for me and for others. If wireless access from your laptop does not work for you, please be aware that I will not have time to set up or troubleshoot your computer. I suggest you test your computer's wireless connectivity BEFORE traveling to the conference so that you will know in advance how wireless connectivity works on your system. If you can make it work elsewhere, your computer will work with the EOGN wireless network in Fort Wayne.
- The EOGN wireless network is available free of charge. However, if it becomes saturated or is abused, I may turn the wireless access off or limit it to Plus Edition subscribers only without notice.
- The EOGN wireless network is not sponsored by or sanctioned by the conference organizers or the other sponsoring organizations in any way. If it does not work, please do not complain to them! This is strictly my own personal project; so, stop by the Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter booth and complain to me! (smile) In fact, please stop by even if you do not have any complaints. Kudos are always accepted!
The hardware and Linux software used in this network is rather unique, and much of it is not available in your local computer store. Stop by this newsletter's booth, and I'll show you how it works.
I hope you enjoy the free wireless access provided by this newsletter.