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Wi-Fi memories

I’m in the process of setting up a new laptop and I’m doing a “clean install”, rather than use Migration Assistant, manually copying across what I want to keep. While it will be nice to leave behind a lot of cranky cruft that’s built up over at least 14 years of fiddling with the past two laptops, there’s one thing I can’t transfer that I will miss.

If I open System Preferences and, in the Wi-Fi pane, click the “Advanced…” button, I can scroll through a list of “Preferred Networks”. Somehow, a few of these networks are also listed on my new laptop but most of them don’t and never will be.

It’s only a list of Wi-Fi networks. It’s neither critical data nor treasured family memories. And yet so many of these networks’ names are reminders of holidays and workplaces and friends’ homes. Names of zones that lie invisibly across physical spaces where invisible memories were created.

The names alone are evocative, reminding me of the people I shared those events, spaces, times and internet with. Maybe not names like the industrially-generated ZyXELB419D6 and PLUSNET-9HPTRK but the others are like flipping back through diaries or photo albums.

And so, while I think of it, and before I wipe clean this old laptop, here are the memories of the places it holds:

  • roveriswiv
  • Wigwam WiFi
  • Libraries Wi-Fi Service
  • Barbican Free Wifi
  • Tate
  • Connect Ventures
  • Matt’s iPhone
  • John-Lewis-WiFi-by-BTOpenzone
  • SHED
  • Coffee@
  • CitAHome
  • Nomad
  • Hotel Clemens Guests
  • Edinbane Inn WiFi
  • Salvation Jane
  • SFO-WiFi
  • Georgie’s World
  • clw-ap
  • 507BJHb
  • World of Magic and Wonder
  • RedEyedFly
  • BERG
  • Makerversity_5G
  • Ritual Roasters
  • Halcyon
  • reboot
  • RIG
  • Bookpeople
  • Cabinn Public WiFi
  • Hide&Seek
  • Disco Baby Sexy Baby Hot!!!
  • MakieLab Public
  • RIG Fast
  • MoreHomeSlice
  • Citizens Advice Guest
  • dConstruct
  • GFnS
  • CentrePompidou
  • eastcoast-wifi
  • Mv_maproom_2G
  • WholeFoodsMarket
  • The Ginger Man
  • JosCoffee
  • Mv_Maproom_5G
  • Cafe sia free
  • noisebridge
  • Gueros
  • CornerBakeryWiFi
  • SXSW09
  • cafecoho1
  • Ambrose Guest
  • Manolo Cafe
  • AirBears
  • Maxfield
  • Halcyon Cafe
  • Mason&Taylor
  • Dome Auditorium
  • wifi Centre Pompidou access libre
  • Fix Coffee
  • Berg
  • DoTank
  • ETech
  • TheDiner
  • ScotRail free wifi
  • Shorefield-Guest
  • The_Temple_Bar_Inn
  • ShoreditchWorksHoxton
  • ~unionsquarewifi~
  • holcroftextreme
  • SanJose
  • British Museum Wifi
  • Shednet
  • TimHelenAndRossWifi
  • BERG Guest
  • Seren-Guest
  • Ramada Limited San Jose
  • dogtown
  • RIG Not as Fast
  • Futurefest Tech
  • bergcloud
  • eduroam
  • Copenhagen Airports
  • SXSW2010
  • Philz Coffee
  • Amys Soco
  • Glen Rowan Cafe
  • Trace Computers
  • BRIG Guest
  • Berg 5GHz
  • sjcfreewifi
  • Premier Inn
  • Ritual Roasters
  • Interstellar Overdrive
  • crema_coffee

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