Quick Hit: My Hotel is Evil

At first, I thought my hotel was weird. I mean. I have pictures to prove it.

The story of how I finally ended up here is almost an entire post in itself1, but I didn’t actually settle into the hotel until this evening, after the 5:20 Glasgow - Oban train, and the full day on Mull and the other islands. I want to get on the internet, and I see these notes about the WiFi.

Note suggesting there is only a free trial of WiFi
This does not bode well for connectivity

I’m a bit pissed. I really expect only a few things from a hotel: a clean, comfortable room; a hot shower; and good power and connectivity. Decent WiFi2 is now baseline for traveling in the UK. But, I digress. This is not what makes the hotel evil.

I take some time to get set up, and get things charging. Then, I get ready to connect to my phone, and say a silent thanks that my job comes with free data.

List of wireless networks including one literally called 'free trial browsing only'
It’s just like Carol said the old gypsy woman said!

I see it. It’s a bit weird. It asks for a password. I wonder if I am being trolled. I put on a pair of trousers, and walk down to the weird reception area. I re-read the sheet. I go back up to my room, give it a go. It doesn’t work.

I’m momentarily relieved. At least I can keep up my rightous indignation at Expedia that sold me this hotel without any WiFi! Then, I notice, it’s a long password. Maybe there’s no spaces.

Password is 'if slow use 4g', all one word, no spaces
I’m going to be pissed if this works.

The Mac thought about it for a second, and then connected. I’ve been using it for about an hour now, and it’s just working3.

Connected to the network
Yes. ‘ifslowuse4g’ is actually the password

This is really first class trolling. It’s just perfect, but it also means I have to spend some time exploring this hotel in the morning. Something like this can’t be a one-off thing. The owner thought it through, and I hope it’s not a one-off thing.

  1. tl;dr: Alarm didn’t go off in Madrid, missed my flight to get me to my train, so took a later train, but then that got delayed for an hour and half because of a disruption. Ended up getting to my hotel in Glasgow at 23:00 for a 5:20 train. 

  2. Somewhere, I still have my original WaveLAN PC-card. It was a large, awkward, not-quite dongle thing. Someone should do an in-depth history of exciting innovations in PC Cards over the years. 

  3. I’m installing Lightroom on this machine, and the download is a bit slow, but that could be entirely because I’m in fairly rural Scotland, and there’s just not a lot of bandwidth coming out here.