SPUG: Meetings at Amazon

CJ Collier cjcollier at colliertech.org
Thu Sep 23 13:24:25 CDT 2004

Truth be told, I think Amazon would be less likely to let us do this.
They're not a big proponent of potentially putting their intranet on an
internet-facing wireless network.

However, I do suggest that everyone with a rooftop go buy one of Matt &
Rob's Wireless kits.  Seattle Wireless members get a discount on their


Matt founded Seattle Wireless, and Rob wrote some great books on using
wireless networks.  He's also responsible for the existence of NoCat
Splash and NoCat Auth, which are written in perl.  These projects
provide a captive portal to anyone attempting to use a wireless network
equipped with the software.  Things like greetings and / or credit card
payment dialogs can be presented (and be required to be filled out)
before the user can make use of the wireless network.  For more
information on these projects, see this wiki:


Perhaps I should invite Rob to talk about Nocat at one of our meetings.
Any interest in this?


On Thu, 2004-09-23 at 10:47 -0700, Ken Meyer wrote:
> If you don't have any access to the "outside" Internet at all that could be
> shared with you being responsible party, it seems to me that, from that
> promontory, it is very likely that you could create a completely independent
> Inet connection via some outside 802.11 access point, especially if the
> conference room has reasonable visibility north and/or east.  You might need
> to use a directional antenna of some sort  external to the transceiver card.
> Perhaps such a connection could be bridged to allow sharing by the user
> group attendees via a local AP.
> In any event, at least the presenter could have access outside, which at
> GSLUG, we have found to be an important capability desired by most
> presenters in order to show related sites and/or to access information on
> their own home machines.
> You might even be able to find some "legitimate" 802.11 connections.  If
> there is any potential feasibility in this WiFi approach, one thing that I
> would do is to consult www.seattlewireless.net for potential nodes
> maintained by "associates" of that organization that you might be able to
> "see" from Jeff's Conceit.  I know that some of the main proponents of SWN
> have nodes on Cap Hill, but I'm not sure that they are visible from the
> south.
> Another thing that I just learned at a recent GSLUG meeting at NSCC is that
> an individual machine could acquire a DHCP IP address there without joining
> the internal network -- just "not part of the school's domain" was the
> explanation.  So they were able to see outside without having access to the
> school's internal network.  Perhaps you could investigate that possibility,
> even via some person who is not a new employee such as you apparently are.
> Ken Meyer
> -----Original Message-----
> From: spug-list-bounces at mail.pm.org [mailto:spug-list-bounces at mail.pm.org]On
> Behalf Of C.J. Collier
> Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2004 8:40 AM
> To: spug-list at pm.org
> Subject: SPUG: Meetings at Amazon
> Hey all,
> There is in fact free parking in the lot on the north side of the building.
> We will have to walk between the main building and parking building to get
> around to the front, but it's not a big deal.
> Internet access is limited to Amazon employees only. As a contractor, I
> don't even have access to their intranet. This is going to be a sticky
> point, and if it is violated, they will likely become upset.
> I will put together a "how to get to Amazon" document when I get a chance.
> Unless someone else has the time and knowledge?
> The room is large. It's big enough to hold around 50 people. If we know one
> of our meetings is going to be very large, we can probably reserve the
> middle room which I guess can hold as many as 100 people. I can even look
> into pulling down one of the separators and joining the rooms. I don't think
> the size of the meeting place is going to be a problem.
> My friend Bill and I walk from Weller street to PacMed in about 5 minutes.
> The International District and its abundant pre- and post-func locations are
> about equidistant. If we have a qualified cat herder we can walk from Pac
> Med to the ID in as little 15 minutes.
> We have access to the projectors. I will be responsible for checking it out
> and returning it unharmed.
> Can any of you longer-time Amazonians on the list clarify at all?
> Cheers,
> C.J.
> On Wed, Sep 22, 2004, Andrew Sweger wrote:
> C.J. Collier, a longtime SPUG member and recent new hire at amazon.com,
> has done all the footwork to provide SPUG the opportunity to hold our
> monthly meetings in the A/V room at the amazon.com Pac-Med office (near
> the I-5 & I-90 interchange). The arrangement would be similar to the years
> we met at Safeco tower in the U-district (visitor sign-in, escort to
> meeting room). C.J. is offering to sponsor our group in meeting there and
> will be our representative (ambassador?) to the company (like Dora Choi
> was for Safeco).
> So, what do folks think about this?
> Some information I already know folks will need include: access from
> freeway, parking availability nearby, size of room, projector, Internet
> access, nearby food/drink establishments for pre- and post-meeting
> activity. C.J. will try to provide some of that when he has a chance. I'll
> work on gathering some of this information next week when I'm back in
> town. What else do folks need to know (as if the location wasn't enough)?
> Discuss.
> (We're tentatively lining things up to meet there for our 19 October
> meeting. We are still welcome to meet at Geospiza for the foreseeable
> future.)

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