New Wireless Hotspots Site!

Thursday, August 11, 2005



So I’ve given my Free WiFi Internet Access subsite an overhaul. Go check it out and then come back and tell me what you think. Right now.

The most obvious change to the site is cosmetic. I’ve ditched the chunky, blocky, bold look of the previous sites in favor of something a bit airier and sunnier. Happy. Weightless. Childnen playing in the park. Furry little kittens playing with feathers. Etc. At it just looks a bit more professional with this new design. And I’m nothing if not professional.

Under the hood, I’ve reorganized the PHP code and MySQL databases to make it easier for me to update and maintain the site — and easier for me to keep it clean. The site attracts all sorts of goofiness, and I need to be able to tell what’s going on. Also, I need to be able to detect when someone writes that a location has gone away or is no longer free quickly so I can either remove the location from the list or make a note for people.

Also, I’ve implemented a system for catching both spam and dumb user errors (of which there have been many of both). This should save the site from decaying into a huge advertisement for gay porn when I go away for a few days…

Hm. Well, that’s really about it. Please, if you use the site, add a comment to this post and let me know what you think. I really want it to be as useful as possible, and, well, you can help me do that! Yes! You!


you asked for it...

Posted Thu, August 11, 2005, 8:18pm EST by kirk

Here's the error Safari throws out when you try and go to the sitelet from either of the links:

Safari canít open the page.
Too many redirects occurred trying to open ěî. This might occur if you open a page that is redirected to open another page which then is redirected to open the original page.

never mind.

Posted Thu, August 11, 2005, 8:20pm EST by kirk

clicking on the links after posting the above comment produces the hotspots now.

Working on WiFi

Posted Thu, August 11, 2005, 8:23pm EST by Josh

Yeah, sorry about that. I was trying to fix something else and created a new problem. You might notice things changing a bit while using the site during the next few days as I continue tweaking.

Thanks for the feedback, though!


Posted Fri, August 12, 2005, 10:21am EST by Lee

I think your site is very easy to use. Not too busy. One suggestion: I think your alphabetizing tool is recognizing "the" as a valid word. As a result, the businesses whose names begin with "The" all end up in the T-section. Might make them hard to find.


Posted Wed, August 17, 2005, 3:32pm EST by Anonymous

set a background color dammit!

Background Color

Posted Wed, August 17, 2005, 7:28pm EST by Josh

Um. Okay. Put a background color in the stylesheet.

I'm curious what the site looked like for you, though...

not bad

Posted Tue, August 23, 2005, 2:17am EST by Anonymous

I come to this site then and's a nice site: very clean and modern. Easy to navigate and the load time is not bad either.

Still Tweaking

Posted Tue, August 23, 2005, 4:19am EST by Josh

Thanks! I still think it's a bit cluttered and have been trying to streamline the look more, but yeah -- it ain't bad. If I do say so...

Is anyone else getting piles of SQL errors, by the way?


Posted Wed, September 7, 2005, 4:39am EST by ellen

I was the one who bitched about an outdated listing in Portland. Now that I realize you're a one-man band, I'm impressed. BTW, thanks for deleting it.

You know what would be awesome? A rating system, like 4 stars or better yet, 4 cups of coffee. :) That way you may not have to delete posts but when enough people rant about a place, it moves to the bottom. Just a thought.

Anyway, I bookmarked the site because it's just so darn useful. You ranked #1 on Google for 'wireless cafe Portland'.

P.S. Here's a link you may be interested in. It's about an independent group called the "Personal Telco Project" attempting to cover the entire city with free wifi spots.

And of course, a government-backed plan called the "The Portland Wireless Internet Project" that's taking much longer and requires a subscription:

thank you for this site.

Posted Wed, September 7, 2005, 11:47am EST by Ruth Temple

In Minneapolis on biz, and thought I'd check out the current state of WiFi here this year. It's getting a little better, verrry slowly, which is a surprise. I always thought my hometown was more geeky than that.
Added in the delightful eclectic Blue Moon Coffee Cafe on East Lake St., which was one of the pioneering firsts in supplying free wifi with good coffee.
Thanks for the streamlined, quick to load, easy to use site!

I'll bookmark and come by to see the state of keeping up with the wifi-cafe-every-block state of the Mission in SF; currently home/working digs.

Words cut-off

Posted Fri, September 30, 2005, 10:18am EST by Richard

The listing has the first 2 or 3 characters cut off on ALL the hotspots names. I tried IE and Firefox, but got the the same result.

Also there is a new wi-fi hotspot called : It's a Grind Coffehouse, 4005 W. Parmer Lane Suite A (Silver Creek Plaza). It has the same setup as It's A Grind on fm620 - not sure about the music though. Would like to see bigger tables and more outlets, only saw 2 outlets. But the pastries, snacks, variety of items and the VERY friendly people working there, make it worth going to.

WiFi Site Fixes...

Posted Sun, October 2, 2005, 12:34am EST by Josh

Okay. I took some time to correct some of the EGREGIOUS layout errors that were happening in Internet Explorer (and elsewhere).

Things may not be perfect, but at least everything's readable, now.

Sorry it took so long.

Please, though, if you see any other oddities -- let me know. I'm the only guy working on this and the assistance sure helps!