HOWTO: Wireless Internet at 17th St. Diedrich Coffee

Original author: substitute

The Diedrich coffee houses offer free wireless internet access. When access fails, it is often the result of the wireless access point failing to give out addresses and other information. This document describes the procedure for connecting during such service failures.

  1. Introduction

    The arrival of free wireless Internet access at the 17th St. Costa Mesa Coffeehouse was welcomed, but reliability has been spotty. In most cases, a failure to connect is the result of the wireless router’s DHCP server behaving unpredictably. One can see a strong signal, but cannot get to any Internet sites, and service that has been working properly can suddenly stop. To make matters more confusing, other laptops will have connected just fine but not your particular one. Here’s how to fix that.

  2. Document History

    This is the first issue of this document, version 0.01, August 2005.

  3. How to use this HOWTO

    If you cannot reach the Internet but have a wireless signal, follow the instructions in this document. If that does not work, you are S.O.L.

  4. General Information about Wireless Networking at Diedrich Coffee

    The Diedrich coffeehouses offer free 802.11b wireless access to the Internet. They do this by installing open access points made by Linksys, which are connected via NAT to the DSL router; upstream is handled by Covad Communications. In theory, anyone with a standards-compliant wireless card can easily connect to the network and enjoy Internet access along with a beverage or pastry. In practice, it is common to connect and find the network inexplicably unable to route out to the Internet.

  5. Network Configuration when DHCP is not available

    Open your operating system’s network configuration program. On the Mac OS X system this is the Network Preferences Pane in System Preferences; on Windows it will be the Network Control Panel. Other operating systems are not discussed here, since the general information below should be sufficient for users of Unix-like systems.

    Find the screen for your wireless adapter’s TCP/IP connection settings. Change the configuration method from “DHCP” to “Manual”. Insert the following settings:

    IP Address: (see note 1 below)
    Router Address:
    DNS Server Addresses:

    Note 1: If this does not work, choose an address ending in 201, 202, 203 etc. until your operating system stops telling you that the address is already in use.

    Make sure that you have applied these new network settings. At this point you should be able to browse the web, read email, etc. If you still cannot do so, go back to your network settings and change everything back to DHCP the way it was before. You are S.O.L.

  6. Glossary of Terms used in this document

    DHCP: DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. It is a system by which a pool of Internet addresses can be handed out as needed to client computers by a server. A client set to connect via DHCP sends out requests in a predefined manner to the server, which then returns the appropriate configuration information to the client.

    802.11b: The 802.11b standard defines a wireless network access method with a maximum network throughput of 11 MB/sec. It is of the “Wi-Fi” wireless access standards the most available and most compatible.

    S.O.L.: Shit outa luck. Go do something else today.

  7. Acknowledgments

    I would like to thank Lauren Maddox for letting me rant at her tonight about how messed up the wireless is there.

  8. Copyright

    The Diedrich Coffee 17th St. Coffee House Wireless Internet HOWTO is © Copyright 2005 substitute.

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the: Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.