Hey, Where’d My Signal Go?

Written by

As Columbia enters the last few days of the “midterm period,” bunkering down in Butler may look more and more enticing. But, to help you hang on to that precious wireless signal, Bwog spent Monday night in the Milstein and Reference Rooms measuring signal strength. The key corresponds to the average readout out of four bars on a standard 13 inch MacBook. You’ll never be more than a click away from procrastination!



Tags: , ,


  1. lol  

    Worthless post. Thanks bwog.

    Nice to see someone has spare time on their hands.

  2. Oh The Horror...  

    Hawkma tore apart a pigeon today outside of Hamilton. Horrified children looked on a a mass of white feathers littered the ground.

  3. Uh...  

    "out of four bars on a standard 13 inch MacBook"

    As if the size of the MacBook affects the signal strength?

  4. Butler the Documentary  

    Are we going to get extreme Butlering pictures Bwog? Those are the best! When I see the stacked coffee cups and disheveled papers my inner child cries but also, with hand over mouth, secretly giggles. And maybe, cutie pie that he is, farts a little too.

  5. wow  

    bwog, which columbian took a picture of james franco sleeping in scherm and sent it to tmz? get on this!

  6. whoever  

    sent that picture in is an asshole. james franco is actually a very nice guy. tmz is the most degrading garbage ive ever seen.

  7. Ok first of all  

    #8...calm down. You act like they caught him peeing in the bathroom or making out and posted it. Secondly, nice post bwog! I think it's super useful.

  8. what?  

    I can't believe this map, I can *never* get a signal in the reference room but once I move to 303 it's very strong. How could that be?

  9. ...  

    who needs wireless when there's a billion free computers taking up valuable space on the deathstars in 209?


    WiFi antennae locations can vary across all notebooks, regardless of brand and size. Some are in the case (under your palms, right on the chip itself - bad) some are wired up on top of the screen (best). Astute to mention type of notebook, BWOG.

  11. impressed  

    wow bwog, this is almost scientific. kudos.

  12. wow  

    some of you guys are kinda super pathetic. Fighting over whether or not you actually have spoken to James Franco? Who cares?! This isn't middle school, get over yourself.

  13. I'd say  

    Milstein 212 deserves a better rating. I study there regularly and always get good wireless (you can see the router on the south wall).

  14. ...  

    no error bars. you fail frontiers of science forever.

  15. person  

    If you use the iwconfig command line tool it rates strength much more precisely. Shame on you bwog, for going on a scale of 0-6 instead of 0-100.

    • actually  

      Mac OS 10.5 doesn't have iwconfig installed by default (even if you have Developer Tools) and by God I can't imagine blog actually compiling an open source program with dependencies -- many CS majors at this school don't even know how to do that (moreover, is iwconfig even compatible with Apple Airport hardware?) The truth is, it's just not trivial to get a wireless signal value from Mac OS X.

      That said, one way you could do it -- without installing anything -- would be to run a little-known command-line airport utility. It is indeed well hidden.

      To get information about wireless signal strength, you would run "/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -I"

      To address the issue of error bars and all that crap, you could then pretty easily write a perl program that get data with the

      print `airport -I`; $@=$data;

      (excuse me if my syntax is wrong, this is just the main idea; these commands cause perl to throw the airport command to the terminal then grabs the result and would store it in a variable $data)

      Then, from the output, parse the signal strength data every second, say, and throw that into an array. Then, while the program is running, walking around the room at a constant speed, being sure to cover every portion of it. Finally, have the program parse that array into a csv (a type of file that Microsoft Excel can deal with), and you can go wild calculating all the error bars, confidence intervals, and averages that you want.

      Oh yea, and PS: You probably won't believe me, but I'm studying Biology in the College.



  17. 17-Inch  

    So, my computer's screen is bigger, and that means it's better and that means it don't lie.


© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.