In order for our network to reach 3 classrooms which are too difficult to wire, we've decided to put in a wireless network. Today, our technology partner, Dean, came to the school to help me test some of the wirelessness. While he was on the second floor, I told him about the Linksys network that one of our wireless cards found. We went into the room and he tested with his laptop, and found it as well. The signal was sporadic, but definitely there. So dad and I started to speculate on which house nearby was the likely culprit.
There's a church across the street and a house next to it - another house catty corner to that, and then another house down the block a bit. Dad wondered if maybe the used car lot might be responsible - it was two blocks away, but had a clear line of sight to this second floor office.
So Dean decides to find out. And with laptop in hand, he started walking around the neighborhood in front of the school. During the course of this warwalking, we discovered 4 wireless networks other than our own (only one encrypted). As Dean and I walked down another block near the church, dad went across to the car dealership. Then as Dean and I neared the dealership, we confirmed that it was his wireless network that we were seeing.
Dad had already introduced himself to the owner and then introduced me and Dean. And turns out Dean knew the fellow. So we told him about unencrypted wireless networks and that the school techs are available (on our limited schedule) to help out local business owners but for really good service, Dean was the man.
We returned to the school and then checked to see if we could see our wireless network in the basement. Thanks to metal walls and doors, the simple answer was "no." But we think we might be able to drop a wire to the basement so that the custodian/maintenance guy can talk to the rest of us.
So a piece of unasked for advice to those of you playing at home... If you have a wireless network, put encryption on or any ol' wardriver, busser, or walker can hack into your network! And that could be BAD. (And Trina, when you're done testing your new wireless network which doesn't have encryption on yet, turn it OFF before going away on a trip to Minnesota.)
In other tech news, Dean also showed me Ghost 8 Corporate Edition and Ghostcast. Man alive! I never set up a classroom full of cloned computers so fast! This is going to be a mega time saver for me! Woohoo! Shame I'm going away for a week, or I could set up the other two big labs tomorrow!