Wifi or internet access on the Playa

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Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby Ardlidoo » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:52 am

Hi everyone,

I'm 'Ardlidoo', from Ireland and I have been wanting to come to BM for years. I finally got the money and won the BM ticket lottery, booked flights, arranged to meet friends etc etc etc ... Everything has been falling nicely into place but now have one issue which may throw a total spanner in the works :( Work has gotten stupidly busy and I will need to be able to check emails every day or two while on holidays - I can't be out of contact for 7 full days. Does anybody know how many camps offered / are offering WiFi last / this year....Any info on the reliability / speed etc would be gratefully accepted too.

I know we're meant to be able to be totally disconnected (and believe me I would love to be).... but it is going to make the difference between attending or not ... either that or losing my job or not.

Thanks in advance for any answers anyone can give me. I plan to make the best Irish Coffees on the Playa so please please do get in touch!! :D

A

xxxxx
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby Elliot » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:02 am

Sounds like a wonderful opportunity for you to make a lifestyle choice. :D
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:24 am

There is wifi on the playa, I don't know where. Think about when. Small hours of the morning are likely to have fewer people using it.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby jkisha » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:20 pm

Yes, there is WIFI, closets Centercamp. As stated above, early in the morning is usually the least busy time. The last couple of years there has been cell service too, though WIFI is usually more reliable than cell service.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby ckburn » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:32 pm

If you must have wifi out there, you should bring your own. Last year I brought a BGAN terminal that I rented from Outfitter Satellite. It was painfully slow and fairly expensive, but I could reliably check my email every day.

There is accessible wifi on the playa, but my experience has been that its of minimal use, especially later in the week.

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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby Eric » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:32 pm

If it's a "Lose Your Job" situation, you had better figure out an alternative you control. While there may be Wifi or cell service you can never guarantee that (a) you'll have access to it, and (b) it will be available when you need it. I haven't been able to connect the last two years even to make a quick call to my BF, I would never rely on it for necessary communication.

Your best bet would to be to check with satellite phone companies & see if any of them offer wifi-type service, and then use them as needed. It would give you control over your needs without relying on others (which is a very iffy situation out there when it comes to technology)
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby lemur » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:06 pm

my camp is in the area in center camp that gets the participant provided wifi ........ i wouldnt count on it.

not even a 'it might be up!' type thing.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby International Incident » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:41 pm

Or its a long drive out to Reno to check it - although you can get mobile (cell) coverage closer than Reno (not sure which provider would be best) so you might be able to leave mid way through BM - check your email, deal with crisis and then come back in. But being able to check it on a day to day basis might not be so reliable.

Alternately, have a look at the theme camps and see if any of them are saying they will be bringing wifi or if they seem like IT nerds 9I say nerds with the highest respect intended) - perhaps you might make some new friends and they could help you.

Best of luck!
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby Elliot » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:14 pm

:?:
Did my first comment not resonate at all?

My "working life" was essentially a dismal failure, but I did manage to make myself sufficiently valuable to my employer that I could take any leave of absence I cared to schedule a reasonable time in advance. My employer was simply glad that I deigned to return, as opposed to taking my talents and work ethic elsewhere.

Perhaps this is not applicable to your situation. It's Sunday, it's hot, I'm drinking icy-cold beer, and I'm doing "art" stuff. But dangit.... Seems to me, if you cannot take a couple of weeks off, something is very very wrong with your life-situation.

Most cordially,
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby Ardlidoo » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:44 am

Hi everyone,

Thanks very much for all your replies - I hadn't thought of BGAN and to be honest I didn't know that system was available for such short rental periods. If satellite phones are also available for rental that could be another option.

Thanks very much again - it looks like Irish Coffees might be GO GO GO!

But if anyone else has some other ideas / experiences with BGAN rental add please feel free to let me know

Slainte go foill!!!

A

xx
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby bluesbob » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:16 pm

In the rush to condone or condemn the Wifi...not many said welcome. So, Welcome.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby Ardlidoo » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:17 pm

Thank you very much BluesBob!!!

Getting very excited now!

A
x
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby trilobyte » Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:44 pm

Welcome to ePlaya! I'm moving this thread over to the Q&A board since that's a better fit for the wifi question - but please do feel free and circle back to the Greeter's Station and post a fresh introduction, tell us about yourself.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby lbhat » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:35 pm

You could use the EMPIRE-GERLACH BUS SERVICE http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/infrastructure/bus_service.html to visit downtown Gerlach. $10.00 roundtrip... There is open wi-fi from the Blackrock saloon. I would suggest the little park by the water tower.

Then pop across the street for a beer & a burger at Bruno's. The Blackrock saloon won't be open during the burn.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby pink » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:58 pm

Last year I got strong cell service in Gerlach. Of course that was Thursday before gate opened; after the masses arrived I was going nuts trying to get my credit card number to my vet for an emergency with my dog. But I've been able to pick up wifi enough to check email at the cafe periodically throughout the burn. You do have to be patient.

And yes, the nerd/geek camps may be your best bet. If you don't rent your own satellite.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby some seeing eye » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:24 pm

The ORG steps in a microwave shot. Priority on it goes to the ORG, BM radio, then the masses. It's distributed around some parts of the playa but seems to be strong around Playa Info in Center Camp. It could fail, your computer could fail or it could be overloaded. Try to run a minimum bandwidth email reader.

The Camp Papa Legba steps in an extension of the mobile phone network for texting and limited voice calls. You need a specific phone and sometimes their SIM. Service not guaranteed. That camp may or may not be there this year.

Sometimes a commercial mobile phone supplier sets up a temporary base station, in the past by Frog Pond I believe, that covers the playa. Voice and text, unlikely data, can be overloaded, since it is just one sector.

I've never heard of short term Internet Dish-type rentals, but sure some people bring them or have them on their RV'$.

A SAT phone with data is your best bet. Not that expensive, but it is not going to provide the full Internet experience either. The only choice for reliable calls in, but you aren't going to haul it around 24x7, I'm sure.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby mgb327 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:45 am

I assumed when I went last year that I would "pull the plug" on my electronic communication life entirely for the week. At day 3, I actually fired up my cell phone and found that it did receive some voicemails, and I could listen to them....but, I actually felt guilty as hell for even doing that. I hid the fact from everyone that I had even gone that far. I had a friend that did need to "check-in" once a day, and she had a satellite phone, from the Forestry Dept. It worked just fine. Part of my BM experience is dropping all of my electronics for a week, so exhilarating. Since I have been "self-employed" all my life, it makes me wonder how some people can let the pursuit of a dollar bill take away the freedom of life......not a sermon, just a thought.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby VultureChow » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:51 am

mgb327 wrote:I assumed when I went last year that I would "pull the plug" on my electronic communication life entirely for the week. At day 3, I actually fired up my cell phone and found that it did receive some voicemails, and I could listen to them....but, I actually felt guilty as hell for even doing that. I hid the fact from everyone that I had even gone that far. I had a friend that did need to "check-in" once a day, and she had a satellite phone, from the Forestry Dept. It worked just fine. Part of my BM experience is dropping all of my electronics for a week, so exhilarating. Since I have been "self-employed" all my life, it makes me wonder how some people can let the pursuit of a dollar bill take away the freedom of life......not a sermon, just a thought.


As one of those 24 hour employees, I can say it's not just the pursuit of a dollar, but my identity and to some extent my sense of worth is tied up in my job. I lament the loss of personal time as well, and am looking forward to my time in BRC as one where I check my emails maybe once, but to say I do it because of the pay is missing a lot. I'm essential to our company and I genuinely enjoy the feeling of pride it gives me.

And before you say that it's a modern invention or unhealthy, identifying ourselves by our jobs so much, it's a pretty old convention. People once literally identified themselves as their jobs. That's why there are so many Smiths, Taylors, and Coopers. I admit it can be dangerous in these times of economic uncertainty, but humans are flexible and can redefine ourselves based on what our most immediate needs are.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:09 am

VultureChow wrote:[..]my identity and to some extent my sense of worth is tied up in my job.[..]



:shock:
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby lemur » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:13 am

long ago there were some churches that organized the pews by roles/jobs in the community..

like fishermen in one box pew and carpenters in another.... and some other trade in yet another.. some people got a better spot than others
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby VultureChow » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:42 am

junglesmacks wrote:
VultureChow wrote:[..]my identity and to some extent my sense of worth is tied up in my job.[..]



:shock:


Ehh... I'll admit I've had low self confidence most of my life, but there is something said for feeling valued, and needed and wanted. I get that from my friends and family as well, but as I'm single with no kids, there's no sense of dependence there.

Work augments my self confidence and sense of self value. It's less and less as time goes on and my social circle expands, but I don't think it ever goes away completely. I contribute to society, to the business community, and to my fellow employees. It increases my sense of self worth.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:51 am

..and that's ok. No one is anyone to tell you that you're not allowed to feel that. I can think of all kinds of professions and walks of life that I'm sure get that sensation.

I guess I'm coming from the angle that I personally hate the mandatory question of.. "So, what do you do?". I hate talking about myself.. and I feel funny when I tell people what I "do" because then I get the wide eyes and people wanting to know the whole story. It is old school to have your work define you.. but it's something that I personally for myself shun as I don't feel that what you do to make a living should truly define your existence on this earth. Your works.. yes. Your paycheck.. no.

..but that's just me.. and to each their own. :D
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby VultureChow » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:57 am

junglesmacks wrote:..and that's ok. No one is anyone to tell you that you're not allowed to feel that. I can think of all kinds of professions and walks of life that I'm sure get that sensation.

I guess I'm coming from the angle that I personally hate the mandatory question of.. "So, what do you do?". I hate talking about myself.. and I feel funny when I tell people what I "do" because then I get the wide eyes and people wanting to know the whole story. It is old school to have your work define you.. but it's something that I personally for myself shun as I don't feel that what you do to make a living should truly define your existence on this earth.

..but that's just me.. and to each their own. :D


And I get that as well. There are time's when I've rebelled against it. I've basically become my father. But unlike him and unlike a lot of people in the business circle I run with, I truly believe that a person's actual worth is not determined by their job or title. But I struggled through my life with feeling of inadequacy and unworthiness. Of guilt and self loathing. I've come to a really good place in my life now, and my job has a lot to do with it. Not all of it, and I hope it's given me enough practice that so someday when I retire (hopefully) or lose my job that I can find something else in my life to give me that same feeling.

/Nice thread drift
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby jkisha » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:03 am

There is a BIG difference between doing something because you want to do it and enjoy doing it than doing it because you feel you HAVE to do it.
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Re: Wifi or internet access on the Playa

Postby mgb327 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:23 pm

Kind of serednipitous (sp?) that this thread went this way, as I had a long discussion about this very subject recently. I have always been an entrepreneur, even as a child. I had a roadside stand selling different "things" even before I was a teen. I only had a traditional "job" a few times in the 1970's, drove ships for Mobil Oil, managed a large boatyard, and maybe something else. For decades back then, I was so ego-driven, I defined myself by what I did or owned. I was always on the road to impress, and often I was miserable. In the last 20+ years, 'tho, I have come to grips with you are what you are, not what you do. One thing I don't like anymore is when someone asks me "what do you do". I am stumped, as I do a lot of things, some hard work, some easy work, some travel, all kinds of stuff. I do not fit in any mold. I am in the "process" of enjoying life and trying to have some fun, as our life is not a rehersal. I have 10 or 15 "things" going on all the time, some produce income some times, some produce income all the time, some are simply hobbies. One of my main businesses for 20 years is a large antique store. It is staffed, full time. BUT, I need my cell on me 7 hours a day to deal with "stuff" from said store. As I was writing this, the store called and I had to make a decision about something. I respect those that went to school, got an education, (I am a high-school dropout) and created a career. I have dated some professional/executive women over the years, and swore I wouldn't wear those chains...but, in some respect, I do. Part of why I love BM so much is that it is more important to me than anything else. I unplug for a week, simply. Let the default world do what it does, as I am only a small grain of sand on this beach.
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