RedRoof Inn’s all inclusive room isn’t, exactly

I wouldn’t be as irritated if I had been told up front, but here’s the story:

My wife and I checked in to the RedRoof Inn in Peoria, IL. After patiently waiting for a basketball team to get checked in (it takes awhile for one person behind the desk to get 10 rooms sorted out and paid for in cash), it came to be my turn. We reserved their “all-inclusive” king which is supposed to have free wifi and other stuff. During the checkin process, the front desk jockey asked me if I had a laptop. I commented that we had multiple laptops, to which she didn’t respond.

Fast forward to about 15 mins later when we’re all settled in, and I hop on to quickly check my email. I use this pre-paid card to get on the wifi, with little fuss. About 10 mins later, my wife had actual stuff to accomplish on her laptop, online. She tries to sign in, but it keeps kicking her out. So, I go back to the front desk to complain, and they tell me that the card only works for one machine, and that I’d have to buy another card. I grumble a bit, but I buy their card, and stand around for awhile while the night shift guy fumbles around getting the card activated. I get back to the room and get her all signed up, but their site keeps re-directing me back to the prepaid card pin screen in the middle of the process. So, I switch over to IE, and this time when I’m re-directed there’s an error message saying that the pin is invalid, and to call support. I call support, explain this whole story, and promptly get disconnected. I call back, and they run the PIN, and tell me the card hasn’t been activated, and I need to go back to the front desk.

I get back up to the front, and update the night shift guy on the situation. Without an apology yet for this whole fiasco, he tries to activate the card again. Then he grabs another card from the shelf, and activates it.

I’ve done some digging around, and nowhere on the RedRoof Inn site, on the prepaid card, or on T-Mobile’s FAQ’s do they ever bother stating that you only get to use the card for one device.

I’m letting Guest Services know about this, so we’ll see if they care more than the night shift does.


Spellchecking in Flex

I just came across <spellcheck:*>>, a neat replacement for the TextArea and RichTextArea components. It provides client-side or server-side spell checking, along with custom dictionaries.

The best part is that it’s donation-ware, so just claim you built it yourself, it took a week, and pass your hourly rate along to the author*. Just don’t send them $5 and consider yourself even 🙂

*Don’t actually do this.


Moving to Mac: VPN

Before I had my Macs, I used the Microsoft VPN on one of my Windows servers to give myself access to the home network while on the road. It worked smoothly, and required little setup on the client machines.

While trying to eliminate physical machines in my house, one of the boxes set to get the axe was this Windows box. But how would I connect remotely?

Well, the answer, it turned out, took less than a half-hour to set up. I use IPCop for my firewalls (have for years, probably won’t switch to anything else, ever), and it turns out that someone has an OpenVPN plug-in for IPCop called ZERINA. A quick install and setup of ZERINA and I was ready to get my Mac connected. Then, I found a neat tool called Tunnelbick that provides a GUI for OpenVPN connections on the Mac. I found these instructions (scroll down to “MACINTOSH OSX:”) for setting it up with ZERINA, and they worked like a charm. After a quick run to McDonald’s a couple days later for their free WiFi via AT&T, I confirmed that everything was up, running, and working like a charm.


Moving to Mac: Keeping in touch with Windows, followup

So, it turns out that Amazon’s got a great deal on VMWare Fusion… $35 after rebate:

Also, two different readers (I have 2 readers?) pointed out a better RDP client, Chord. It’s still a Terminal Services/Remote Desktop client, but with such obvious features as multiple and saved sessions, and the ability to change the screen resolution by just resizing the window. I think this is going to replace Microsoft’s client for me.