Multi-hop networking

Venice, as you may know, is made up of about 100 islands connected by lots of little bridges. That’s roughly how the little network here in my Venice hotel room works, too.

The hotel charges for a wifi connection – only a one-off charge, but it is per-machine, so I only paid for my Macbook to be connected. With recent versions of OS X you can easily create a PAN (a ‘Personal Area Network’) using Bluetooth, so Rose’s laptop and my iPad could then get access by using my Mac as a Bluetooth < -> Wifi gateway. All very cool.

However, I could not get my iPhone to connect that way. I don’t know whether it should work or not – the general expectation is that you’re more likely to use your phone to provide connectivity for your laptop than the other way around! But I wanted a connection for the phone because I needed to download maps and other reference materials to have in my pocket as we explored, and I didn’t want to pay roaming data charges.

And then I realised that, just as my laptop was sharing its wifi connectivity to Rose’s laptop using a Bluetooth PAN, so her machine could then share that connectivity as a wifi network again! And, hey presto, my phone had a network, so I can now download maps to my heart’s content!

What else would one be doing in Venice, after all?…


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You, fine Sir, are a man after my liking.

In cafe in LA at present with only 1 iPhone wifi conn. Had similar discussion with Jane (who wasn’t interested). Good point. David.

That is a lot of network address translation!

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