We are always looking to improve this FAQ in order to make your experience using the Personal Telco nodes easier. If you are having problems and don't see the answer to your question below please add the question to the list below and somebody will answer it soon.

Happy surfing.


General Questions

  1. Q: Is this really a free internet site? Can I use it as much as I want? BR A: You bet! This is a community wireless network provided to the public free of charge. Please remember that someone else is paying for the bandwidth so you can use it for free. Be respectful.

  2. Q: Why are you guys giving away free wireless internet? BR A: Well that's a bigger question then we have space for here. You might try browsing the website for some insight into what it's all about, especially the [CategoryPhilosophy philosophy section]. The short answer is that we think it's fun, and a great way for geeks and local businesses to give back to the community they live in.

Trouble Shooting

  1. Q: Why am I having problems with my email? BR A: You should only be having problems with sending email. See the next question for details.

  2. Q: Why can't I send email from some nodes? BR A: Most of the high profile public nodes (see NodeMap) have port 25 blocked. This means that you can not send email. The reason we do this is to prevent spam, it would be too easy for spammers to abuse the public internet access offered to spam even more people.

    The best solution is to use a free web based mail service like [http://www.mail2web.com/ Mail2Web] or [http://www.mollymail.com/ MollyMail] to send and recieve your mail. We are actively working on solutions which will allow you to send your email, but will stop the spammers from abusing the system.

  3. Q: I can't get access with my Palm Pilot, what's going on? BR A: (Note: This is off the top of my head, if someone knows more details please help). Unfortunately this is a limitation of most browsers for palm pilots. Almost all of them do their web browsing via a proxy (which does some magic to format their pages for the small palm screen), and since the proxy isn't available before you authenticate it just can't work. Unfortunately there isn't anything we can do to make this work right now. However there is a free palm web browser which doesn't require a proxy called [http://www.eudora.com/internetsuite/eudoraweb.html EudoraWeb]. If it works for you please let us know so we can pass on the information to other PalmPilot users. 11/2003 With the release of the [http://www.palmone.com/us/products/handhelds/tungsten-c/ Tungsten C] a few months back and with the [http://www.sandisk.com/consumer/sdwifi.asp Sandisks Wifi SDIO card] many Palm can now fully enjoy the fruits of connectivity without conduits, proxies or clipping software.

  4. Q: I can't get access with my Pocket PC, is this caused by the same limitation with a Palm re the proxy? BR A: No, I have used our nodes with PocketPC 2000, and PocketPC 2002 on an iPaq. What is the problem you are having? Are you getting our splash screen? Does it have a login button on it?

  5. Q: When trying to access the web via the Pioneer Square node on PPC2000, there was no Login Button. Didn't get a chance to try with another web browser (which I believe was suggested). Recently purchased a PPC20002 with Wi-Fi built in and tried it for a few minutes. It didn't seem to want to get an IP from the node. But then, it doesn't at home with my SMC WAP either. BR

    A: I posted the previous question some months ago and just thought I would pass along the answer I discovered through trial and error: You may have to soft-reset your PDA to have it "get" an IP. Touchy. BR A2: On http://www.tucows.com, you can download the freeware vxIPConfig program for your PocketPC PDA which allows you to refresh DHCP. -- TedSeeber BR

  6. Q: After I connect to a Personal Telco node my DNS settings get over written. BR A: Most likely you are running a Unix if you are having this problem. What's happening is that your DHCP client is overwriting your /etc/resolv.conf file with the settings most appropriate for the node you connected to. The best way to fix this problem is to enable DHCP everywhere you go and just let it overwrite your settings with the most appropriate settings whereever you are. If you don't like that then most clients have a setting which tell it not to do this. With pump you can tell it to leave your resolv.conf alone by running it like this (where eth0 should be replaced by whatever your ethernet/wireless interface is):

    # pump --no-dns -i eth0

New Questions

  1. Q: Does PersonalTelco.net have a news server if I want to cruise newsgroups?BR A: The PTPnet currently does not run its own newserver, though several nodes might have access to such via the ISPS they are using. Please ask the node admin for further details. Another solution is to use [http://www.google.com/grphp?hl=en&tab=wg&q= Google Groups], which covers many usenet groups plus deep archives of them to search. At some future time PTPnet might include local groups and feeds from outside groups, but as of Nov 2004 this is not even on the todo list.

  2. Q: I was initially able to access the WiFi at Costello's Travel Cafe, I donated some money to Telco, and now I am unable to access the wireless internet here. I am using OSX on a mac. The first time I got on the internet, the Telco page came up and I donated and then used the internet for a half hour or so without any problem. Does it have anything to do with my computer going to sleep and then waking up and trying to reaccess? Others in the cafe are able to browse just fine right now. My Airport finds the www.personaltelco.net, but when I try to access it, a message says that I am unable to access it right now. What's going on? BR A: There typically is a 5 minute timeout in place on most of the nodes. If your laptop is idle for >=5 minutes, you'll have to open a browser and re-auth by clicking on the 'I agree' button again.

Please feel free to ask questions here. You can edit the page by clicking on the Edit link at the top of the page.

How can I get my node added to the "Hot Spots" page? We've got one set up at a new Boyds Coffee location on 11th and Flanders. It's free, and open during store hours. Website is [http://www.boydscoffee.com].