What's In A Name (6/18/00)
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How many of you assumed that Apple's name choice for its wireless networking technology was simply a clever play on words? You know, like "Air" as in transmissions sent wirelessly through the air, and "Port" as in the thing you plug a network cable into. AirPort. Get it? Nuh-uh-- you just think you do. In reality, the "AirPort" name holds far more meaning than a simple pun. Apple's ever-astute marketing department was fully aware that calling the technology "AirPort" would virtually guarantee its use in airports. We realize this may sound sketchy, but hey, apparently it worked.

See, Dave Hamilton over at MacObserver made an interesting little discovery while PowerBooking the time away at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. While he was waiting for his flight to board, he decided to turn off his AirPort card to conserve battery power-- and noticed a wireless network named "Wayport_Access." He selected it as his AirPort network, set his TCP/IP control panel to receive settings via DCHP, and bickety-bam: suddenly he was surfing the 'net, RF-style. Free wireless Internet access while stuck in the terminal? Sounds good to us.

But wait, there's more! Lest you think the Austin thing was a simple fluke, may we refer you to a recent Go2Mac article? It seems that another traveler noticed a similar phenomenon while waiting in O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. The "Laptop Lane" service (which evidently provides wired access for a fee) is apparently planning to offer pay-to-surf wireless service as well. During this testing phase, however, it looks like the "pay" part of the equation hasn't been worked into place yet, so if you're stranded in O'Hare and you have an AirPort-equipped laptop, at least you might be able to catch up on old AtAT episodes to help while away the hours.

Incidentally, wireless network access is only half the fun when you've got AirPort-- the other half is the entertainment value derived from seeing what other wireless networks are in your area. Once we upgraded to the performance-boosting 1.2 version of the AirPort software, we were surprised and delighted to note a new entry in our list of available base stations-- our own, and something called "Dave's Roving Access Point" or something like that. Heck, if we're ever bored and looking for something to do, we may just drive around town with the iBook and see what other networks we can find. Beats cleaning the downspouts...


 
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The above scene was taken from the 6/18/00 episode:

June 18, 2000: Bungie sells out to Microsoft-- and AtAT follows suit. Meanwhile, AirPort shows signs of increasing use in airports, and Microsoft admits the merest possibility of a breakup in a filing with the SEC...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2362: A Whole New Direction (6/18/00)   Who says rumors are always false? Faithful viewer Navarro Parker clued us in; according to CNET, it's really happened-- Bungie, the formerly Mac-only company who has always demonstrated undying support for the Mac gaming community, has sold itself to Microsoft...

  • 2364: Moment Of Doubt (6/18/00)   It's a time-honored dramatic device: the fearless leader who sits straight-backed in the saddle as he insists to his followers that victory is assured, but slumps in self-doubt when no one else is looking...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

(878 votes)

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