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Peter Cochrane had a problem. A WiFi problem to be exact. The former CTO and Head of Research at British Telecom discovered there are time when desperate time call for desperate measures.

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Peter Cochrane cooking up a WiFi storm. Image: Silicon.com

On a boat cruising along the Norfolk Broads off the south east coast of England, Cochrane found his internet Wifi signal was appalling and virtually impossible to locate.

“My mobile phone is showing one bar of 2.5G and one bar of wi-fi. My laptop isn’t doing any better, and a data connection is proving impossible,” he wrote on his Silicon.com blog.

“There are some buildings behind the trees on the other side of the river, and my scanner is showing a number of open access wi-fi opportunities. But all I have is what I carry, and that does not include a high-gain antenna.”

Needing to write his blog posting and do some other tasks, he found that improvisation, in the form of the “unlikely combination of a baking tray and some judicious positioning” worked quite well in helping him locate internet signal.

“Time to improvise. A visit to the galley turns up a much-used baking tray. A few simple experiments later and I’m able to locate the direction of the 2.5G base station and the strongest wi-fi signal.”

 

You won’t find this in a textbook, Cochrane admitted, “but it works sufficiently well for me.”

“All the other options would have been far more expensive and far less convenient.”

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