Connected to: Jesus. Signal Strength: Excellent.

August 11, 2007 on 12:43 pm | In Communication, Miscellaneous, Travel | 1 Comment

Anyone could be forgiven for not knowing Jesus’s MAC address (00:14:6c:a6:23:4a), and for not knowing Jesus’s approximate location (somewhere near Norwalk, CT). It’s hardly common knowledge, after all. I only found out because I was on the Amtrak Acela Express from New York City to Boston yesterday, and decided to run Network Stumbler on my laptop for the entire journey. (Network Stumbler is a free program that logs the names and details of every wireless network that it encounters.)

Altogether I logged 1,660 access points during the train journey, one of which was named “Jesus”. The naming of wireless routers should rightly occupy an odd little niche in social anthropology. When you look at this many access point names, a couple of points become clear. People name these things with an awareness that the names are publicly visible. At the same time, these names belong to private spaces, and a lot of the names have private significance. A wireless name is a little like a button with a personalized slogan, only you can’t see the person wearing it.

As a rough jump-start to this discipline, here’s an organized digest of some of the access points that I rolled past:

Home Sweet Home

  • Jimmy's Place
  • Kobes-Castle
  • rejectbarn
  • rockpile
  • HoMe
  • homey


  • CATS_bklyn
  • Harrison Represent Yo (near Harrison, NY)
  • OakHill_Boomerang

Network Sweet Network

  • Mi Gente Network
  • YupNet
  • Ken's Extreme Network

Screen Names/Handles

  • lillamb
  • Fruity
  • kittyup
  • katburki
  • spoiledone
  • toughguy
  • SirKnight
  • Sweetness
  • Geek06583_Clark

Cultural References

  • Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch
  • Napoleon Dyno
  • Night Rider
  • Me van a Matar por las Mujeres


  • ManTown
  • Sitivity
  • apSSIDiointerpol
  • Deshmukh (I had thought this could be Klingon, but a reader pointed out that it’s a common Hindi surname. Possibly the network owner is bilingual in Klingon and Hindi.)
  • Numbers

I miss…

  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Sonoma
  • phoenixarizona
  • dakotaboy1
  • riven (some people spent a lot of time there)

We Want Your Business

  • Pay3$@javajoes
  • H@rv3yguns (why the hacker orthography?)
  • Holiday inn Bridgeport (also could be read as the very unlikely concept, “Holiday in Bridgeport”)

We Don’t Want Your Business

  • Dont Touch This Router
  • Mine
  • Not For You
  • BuyYourOwn (amazingly, this network was not encrypted)
  • fuck you

Islands In The Crowd

  • redsox (at the western end of Connecticut)
  • yankees (at the eastern end of Rhode Island)

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  1. Deshmukh is definitely a word in Hindi (Indian Language). It is well known surname just like Bush or Putin are in other parts of the world.

    Comment by Aditya — September 26, 2007 #

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