We arrived in Birmingham last night at about 8, and got our room at the Homewood La Quinta. It’s an excellent hotel, and the staff is helpful, and even interested in my stepson’s trumpet playing, but it would be nice to have wi-fi internet in the rooms, and not just in the lobby.
I walked through the 93 degrees and the humidity to the lobby of the Best Western to ride one of the free shuttles over to Samford University, as my wife and stepson had headed to Huntsville. (He’s attending Space Camp while I attend “Genealogy Camp.” It’s becoming a family tradition.)
The registration was amazingly simple and quick. All the packets and handouts were pre-assembled. You just said your name, and seconds later everything you needed for the week was in your hands.
Well, except wi-fi internet connectivity…. Although the packets included the username and password you would need to set up your account, the instructions did not include key information, for example that you had to join a particular wireless network first, simply to get set up. Once you did that, then opened up a browser, you got a message saying you were connected. But, of course, you weren’t ready to start using the internet. Instead, you had to find a little green Start button, click it, install some software, log in with your administrative username and password, and then you were ready.
Guys, it doesn’t have to be this complicated. I walk into a McDonalds, or into a Dunkin’ Donuts, as my wife did in Birmingham, and wi-fi connectivity is immediate. You simply need to create a public network alongside your secure site, and serve up that public network.
Well, enough about that. I already spent 45 minutes in line (the poor engineer had to do the same task again and again during that time, so he was the one with the raw end of the deal.)
I got to see Lori Thornton (ran into her yesterday at the Archives in Morrow), Linda Woodward Geiger, Rick and Pam Boyer Sayre, Craig Roberts Scott and Vickie Scott (the newlyweds), and Barbara Vines Little, who will be my lead instructor this week. I als0 met Lynda Childers Suffridge (outgoing NGS Vice President) in the network connectivity line and Frazine K. Taylor in line at the cafeteria.
As it does every year, the Institute promises to be an educational and interesting time. It starts tomorrow promptly at 8:15.