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Re: flakey wifi access

On Mon, 30 Jun 2014 06:39:29 -0400
ken <gebser@mousecar.com> wrote:

> On 06/29/2014 10:50 PM tom arnall wrote:
> > my wicd agent is unable to connect to wifi at mcDonald's, both in
> > mexico and the states. it's fine with my home wifi and the coffee
> > shop i go to. it also fails on the network at the campus where i
> > teach in mexico.
> "Unable to connect" can mean a lot of things.  I recently had a wifi 
> connection problem which, using 'ping', I determined to be caused by
> a lot of packets being dropped-- like 30 - 60% of them.  I found that
> ping will return a response in some cases even when it seems there is
> no connection.  You'll need to find out the IP address of the access
> point (AP).  If your system doesn't tell you this, you might ask some
> other user.  Get rates from all APs, working and non-working, and
> compare them.
> Another utility to use is tcpdump.  This will provide very detailed 
> information about the packets constituting the connection attempt.
> And iwlist will provide info on the available APs.  Noting the
> relative signal strengths and protocols used and other details might
> point to patterns.

You can try to go the "manual" way to see if you get better results:

-bring up your wireless interface, if it s not already up
'ifconfig' (if it doesn't appear here, means it is not up)

'ifconfig -a' (you should see it here, as this command lists all the
available physical interfaces on your machine. Then) 

'ifconfig WIRELESS-INTERFACE-NAME up' (to bring it up).

-Then, once up, you can, as ken said, use iwlist to know about the AP
in your vicinity

'iwlist scan'

You should see mac-donald's AP essid name in the list you get from

-Finally, for mac-donalds, I saw on their page they re isn't any
encryption and password to connect to their AP, so you just need to run

and then dhclient to get an IP(with the -v flag to be sure you
obtained an IP address)


-Finally_2, open your browser and you should see mac-do HP, 
and a 'connect' button to connect from there.

There is a detailed explanation to connect manually on crunchbang,
under the three main methods (no password and no encryption, or WEP or
WPA). Here is the link

Also, you might have to use 'sudo' for all those commands as you need
to be the root user to run them.

Also_2, stop all the other wifi-network-related daemons as they might
get in the way when you try to config manually(wicd and others if you


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